From weird and wild, to elegant and beautiful, these stunningly distinctive flowers have become representative of different nations around the world! Some are national flowers while others are unofficial representatives, either way, find out which of these beautiful flowers are mascots for which distinctive places!
Did you know that the national flower of China is the plum blossom? While many associate the blossom with Japanese culture, it was actually made the official national flower of the People’s Republic of China in 1964. Recognised as a symbol of resilience and perseverance in the face of adversity, these blossoms often bloom in vibrant shades of pink, even throughout harsh winters and snow! The plum tree can also live for extended periods of time with one living to the ripe age of 400 years in Nanjing! Other wilder assertions suggest there are ancient trees located throughout China that have reached up to 1,600 years!
The frangipani is the national flower of Nicaragua, but there it is known as the Sacuanjoche. This beloved bloom appears on the nation’s 1, 5, 10, and 25 cent banknotes. These flowers are native to Central America, Mexico, the Caribbean and South America and have a particular trick for continued pollination. They become particularly fragrant at night with the intent of luring sphinx moths to seek them out. Most adult sphinx moths feed on nectar and the thick, sweet scent of the frangipani creates the illusion of nectar, essentially tricking the moths into pollination.
While many hold the view that the cherry blossom is the national flower of Japan, the truth is, there is no national flower! While this may be the case, if there were to be a representative flower for this nation, the two top contenders would easily be the cherry blossom (or sakura) and some argue, the chrysanthemum. The chrysanthemum is used as the official seal of the Japanese Imperial Family, and it’s also highly decorated through the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum, Japan's highest order.
Not only is golden wattle the national flower of Australia, but it also has its own day for celebration. Did you know that September 1st is national Wattle Day? On this day, Australians are encouraged to wear a sprig of wattle (or Australia's colours of green and gold), greet each other with 'Happy Wattle Day' and organise picnics, lunches, morning/afternoon teas, BBQs or dinners with family and friends! Proclaimed as the national floral emblem of Australia in 1988, this australian flower is particularly representative of our nation as, when in flower, golden wattle displays the national colours, green and gold. A symbol of unity, golden wattle grows prosperously all across Australia.
Spend any amount of time walking through the Dutch capital and you’ll see the tulip heralded a national hero. From tulip museums and stands selling bulbs, to gardens and parks growing millions of the beauties, tulips have established themselves firmly in Dutch culture. Found in over 3000 variations (many of which can be seen at Keukenhof), in a myriad of colours, these pretty bulbs were also historically used in Dutch cooking. Said to be a good substitute for onions, today’s modern bulbs should be excluded from culinary experimentations due to the extensive use of pesticides.
The hibiscus has found itself representative of many tropical nations with South Korea, Malaysia, Haiti and Hawaii all recognising the hibiscus as their floral mascot. This diverse flower has different meanings from country to country. Wearing of the hibiscus flower by Tahitian and Hawaiian girls has a very particular meaning. If worn behind the left ear, the flower communicates that the woman is either married or involved, while when worn on the right, the woman is open to a new relationship. In 1960 the first Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman, chose the abundantly grown red hibiscus as the national flower for its symbolic meaning. The red colour is representative of courage, while the five petals symbolize the Rukunegara (the Five Principles of Nationhood). Brightly coloured and delicately beautiful, hibiscus flowers can be used in flower hairstyles as well as for brewing tea!
This stunning blue-violet bloom is the national flower of Germany. The cornflower (or cyani flower) became symbolic of Germany during the 19th century due to its colour, Prussian blue. During this time in Germany, it was customary for unmarried men and women to communicate their marital status by wearing the flower in their buttonholes.
The lotus flower is not only the national flower of India but is also intrinsically significant in religious tradition across Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. Known by many other names, the lotus is often referred to as the "Indian Lotus", the "Sacred Lotus", and the "Bean of India". It is considered a sacred flower, symbolic of divine beauty and purity, and is associated with Hindu gods, Vishnu, Brahma and Kubera, and goddesses Lakshmi and Sarasvat. In Buddist tradition it is said that Gautama Buddha was born with the ability to walk and wherever he stepped, lotus flowers would bloom.
The iris is the national flower of France and is represented in the Fleur-de-lis emblem, the symbol of the French monarchy. Iris flowers have three petals often called the "standards", and three outer petal-like sepals called the "falls". Meaning ‘rainbow’ in Greek, the iris flower is also symbolic of faith, wisdom, peace of mind, friendship and hope.
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