You may think you know a thing or two about flowers, like what types are suited for certain occasions, what your personal favourites are and what exotic variety the lady down the street is growing in her front garden. But most of us probably haven’t even touched on the bizarre and fascinating world of flowers throughout out history and across the world. There’s an endless supply of surprising floral trivia out there, but here’s our pick of the bunch:

  1. Every plant in Tomorrowland at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, is edible. Disney wanted that part of the park to act as a food farm, where guests could eat the fruits and herbs planted there.
  2. In 1986, U.S. Congress voted to make the rose America’s national flower.
  3. Roses are often known for their romantic symbolism but their blooms are also edible and have the flavors of green apples and strawberries. But be aware as commercially grown roses are chemically treated so eating them is not a good idea.
  4. Roses symbolized two warring factions in England. Red roses symbolized the Lancaster faction while white roses symbolized the York faction, this clash became known as the War of the Roses.
  5. In 2002 scientists in north-east China discovered a fossilised flower that blossomed about 125 million years ago. Called “the mother of all flowers”, Archaefructus sinensis is the oldest flower and resembles the modern water lily.
  6. The Titan Arum is not only the world’s largest flower it is also the world’s smelliest. This native of the central Sumatran rainforests grows up to 3 metres and is known affectionately as the Corpse Flower for its heady perfume of rotting flesh.
  7. 70,000 roses went into the making of the world’s largest flower bouquet. The 23.4 metre arrangement was the work of Ashrita Furman.
  8. Feng shui buffs believe that chrysanthemums will bring happiness and laughter to any room.
  9. Centaurea, Germany’s national flower, is related with the emperor of old Germany. It has been called the “Emperor’s flower”. Because of the authoritative language of the flower’s name, it naturally has been considered the German national flower. Its status was not changed after the republic of Germany was established.
  10. Women prefer pastel colored roses, men on the other hand prefer red.
  11. Eighty percent of people who purchase poinsettias are 40 or older.
  12. In 17th Century Holland, tulip bulbs were more valuable than gold! The flower symbolized immortality, life and love. In most recipes, onions can be replaced with tulip bulbs.
  13. Celebrities Barbara Streisand, Whoopi Goldberg, Dolly Parton, and Rosie O’Donnell each have a rose named for them.
  14. The city of Mt. Vernon in Washington grows more tulips than the entire country of the Netherlands.
  15. A single, full bloom rose means: I still love you; (Pink) – please believe me; (Red) – love and desire; (Yellow) – infidelity and jealousy [but now often means friendship]; (White and Red together) – unity and warmth of heart.
  16. Dandelion seeds are often carried as many as 5 miles from their origin!
  17. White flowers tend to be more strongly scented than their colored kin.
  18. Latin American countries like Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala and Costa Rica are now major flower-growers. So too are African countries like Kenya, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Zambia and Tanzania.
  19. Brocolli is the only vegetable that is a flower.
  20. The top 10 cut flower imports during the Valentine season are, in order: Roses, Mixed Bouquets, Dianthus, Pom-pon, Chrysanthemum, Mini Dianthus, Rose Bouquets, Alstroemeria, Chrysanthemum, Hydrangea and Gerbera Daisies.
  21. Poinsettias were introduced into the United States in 1825 by Joel Poinsett.
  22. Christopher Columbus discovered America because of a rose! It is written that on October 11, 1492, while becalmed in the Sargasso Sea, one of the crewmen plucked a rose branch from the water. This sign of land renewed their hope for survival and gave the seafarers the courage to continue on to the New World.
  23. Most of the world’s cut flowers are sold through the huge flower market in Rotterdam in Holland.
  24. Snapdragons are popular as cut flowers and will stay fresh in a vase for a week to 10 days. The wide variety of bloom colors available makes it easy to coordinate snapdragons with other plants in floral arrangements.
  25. All flowers were originally wild. Garden flowers have been bred over the centuries to be very different from their wild originals.
  26. The name “daisy” is thought to come from the Old English “daes eage”, meaning “day’s eye”, for the way in which it opens at dawn.
  27. The dandelion is the only flower that represents the 3 celestial bodies of the sun, moon and stars. The yellow flower resembles the sun, the puff ball resembles the moon and the dispersing seeds resemble the stars.
  28. In Malta, chrysanthemums are associated with funerals, making it unlucky to keep the flower indoors.
  29. In the past, sunflower stalks were used in the manufacturing of life jackets as they provided buoyancy.
  30. Scientists claim that there are over 270,000 species of flowers documented and are existing in the 21st Century.

Many thanks for the references: Pinkie’s Parlour, Grower Direct, Trivia 101, Sharpex Blog, Nancy Bond, The Telegraph, University of Illinois, 2020 Site, My Dandelion is a Flower, Life123, House & Home