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Flower Types and The Symbolic Meaning of Flowers

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 DAFFODIL

Definition: Daffodils form a group of large-flowered members of the genus Narcissus.

Description:  Most daffodils look yellow, but yellow-and-white, yellow-and-orange, white-and-orange, pink, and lime-green cultivars also exist. Daffodils grow perennially from bulbs. In temperate climates they flower among the earliest blooms in spring: to this extent daffodils both represent and herald spring. They often grow in large clusters, covering lawns and even entire hillsides with yellow. All daffodils have a central trumpet-shaped corona surrounded by a ring of petals. The traditional daffodil has a golden yellow color all over, but the trumpet may often feature a contrasting color. Breeders have developed some daffodils with a double or triple row of petals, making them resemble a small golden ball. Other cultivars have frilled petals, or an elongated or compressed central trumpet.

Symbolic Meaning: Respect and admiration ; I send my regards; You’re the only one for me
 

Daffodil Links: Daffodil Information, Daffodil Pictures

 

DAHLIA

Definition: Any of several plants of or developed from the species Dahlia pinnata having tuberous roots and showy rayed variously colored flower heads.

Description:  Dahlia is a genus of bushy, summer- and autumn-flowering, tuberous perennials that are originally from Mexico, where they are the national flower. In 1872 a box of Dahlia roots were sent from Mexico to the Netherlands. Only one plant survived the trip, but produced spectacular red flowers with pointed petals. Nurserymen bred from this plant, which was named Dahlia juarezii with parents of Dahlias discovered earlier and these are the progenitors of all modern Dahlia hybrids. Ever since, plant breeders have been actively breeding Dahlias to produce hundreds of cultivars, usually chosen for their stunning and brightly colored flowers. The dahlia is named after Swedish 18th-century botanist Anders Dahl.

Symbolic Meaning: Elegance and dignity
 

Dahlia Links: Dahlia Information, Dahlia Pictures

 

DAISY

Definition:  Common name of several different genera and species in the flowering plants family Asteraceae.
 

Description:  The family Asteraceae or, alternatively, family Compositae, known as the aster, daisy or sunflower family, is a taxon of dicotyledonous flowering plants. The family name is derived from the genus Aster and refers to the star-shaped flower head of its members, typified well by the daisy. The Asteraceae is the second largest family in the Division Magnoliophyta, with some 1,100 genera and over 20,000 recognized species. Only the orchid family (Orchidaceae) is larger, with about 25,000 described species.

Plants belonging to the Asteraceae must share ALL the following characteristics (Judd et al., 1999). None of these traits, taken separately, can be considered synapomorphic.

Inflorescence: a capitulum or flower head
Syngenesious anthers, i.e. with the stames fused together at their edges by the anthers, forming a tube
Ovary with basal arrangement of the ovules
Ovules one per ovary
Pappus (a tuft of hairs on a fruit)
The fruit is an achene
Sesquiterpenes present in the essential oils, but iridoids lacking.

A typical Asteraceae flower head showing the individual flowers is The most common characteristic of all these plants, is that what in common parlance might be called a "flower", is an inflorescence or flower head; a densely packed cluster of many small, individual flowers, usually called florets (meaning "small flowers").

Plants in the family Asteraceae typically have one or both of two kinds of florets. The outer perimeter of a flower head like that of a sunflower is composed of florets possessing a long strap-like petal, termed a ligule; these are the ray florets. The inner portion of the flower head (or disc) is composed of small flowers with tubular corollas; these are the disc florets. The composition of asteraceous inflorescences varies from all ray flowers (like dandelions, genus Taraxacum) to all disc flowers (like pineapple weeds).

Symbolic Meaning: Unfettered love and innocence; I'll never tell

Daisy Links: Daisy Information, Daisy Pictures

 

DOGWOOD

Definition: Dogwoods are one to three genera (depending on botanical interpretation) of deciduous shrubs and trees in the family Cornaceae.

Description:  The Dogwoods comprise a group of 30-50 species of deciduous woody plants (shrubs and trees) in the family Cornaceae, divided into one to nine genera or subgenera (depending on botanical interpretation). Four subgenera are enumerated here.

Flower clusters semi-showy, usually white or yellow, in cymes without large showy bracts, fruit red, blue or white:
(Sub) genus Cornus. Cornels; four species of shrubs or small trees; flower clusters with a deciduous involucre.
Cornus chinensis (Chinese Cornel). China.
Cornus mas (European Cornel or Cornelian-cherry). Mediterranean.
Cornus officinalis (Japanese Cornel). Japan.
Cornus sessilis (Blackfruit Cornel). California.

(Sub) genus Swida. Dogwoods; about 20-30 species of shrubs; flower clusters without an involucre.
Cornus alba (Swida alba; Siberian Dogwood). Siberia and northern China.
Cornus alternifolia (Swida alternifolia; Pagoda Dogwood or Alternate-leaf Dogwood). Eastern North America north to extreme southeast Canada.
Cornus amomum (Swida amomum; Silky Dogwood). Eastern U.S. east of the Great Plains except for deep south, and extreme southeast Canada.
Cornus asperifolia (Swida asperifolia; Rough-leaf Dogwood).
Cornus austrosinensis (Swida austrosinensis; South China Dogwood). East Asia.
Cornus bretschneideri (Swida bretschneideri; Bretschneider's Dogwood). Northern China.
Cornus controversa (Swida controversa; Table Dogwood). East Asia.
Cornus coreana (Swida coreana; Korean Dogwood). Northeast Asia.
Cornus drummondii (Swida drummondii; Roughleaf Dogwood). U.S. between the Appalachian belt and the Great Plains, and southern Ontario.
Cornus glabrata (Swida glabrata; Brown Dogwood or Smooth Dogwood). Western North America.
Cornus hemsleyi (Swida hemsleyi; Hemsley's Dogwood). Southwest China.
Common Dogwood flowering (Cornus sanguinea)Cornus koehneana (Swida koehneana; Koehne's Dogwood). Southwest China.
Cornus macrophylla (Swida macrophylla; Large-leafed Dogwood). East Asia.
Cornus obliqua (Swida obliqua; Pale Dogwood). Eastern North America.
Cornus paucinervis (Swida paucinervis). China.
Cornus racemosa (Swida racemosa; Northern Swamp Dogwood or Gray Dogwood). Extreme southeast Canada and northeast U.S.
Cornus rugosa (Swida rugosa; Round-leaf Dogwood). Southeast Canada and extreme northeast U.S.
Cornus sanguinea (Swida sanguinea; Common Dogwood). Europe.
Cornus stolonifera (C. sericea; Swida stolonifera; Redtwig Dogwood). Northern North America.
Cornus stricta (Swida stricta; Southern Swamp Dogwood). Southeast U.S.
Cornus walteri (Swida walteri; Walter's Dogwood). Central China.
Cornus wilsoniana (Swida wilsoniana; Wilson's Dogwood). Central China.

Canadian Dwarf Cornel (Cornus canadensis)Flower clusters inconspicuous, usually greenish, surrounded by large, showy petal-like bracts; fruit usually red:
(Sub)genus Chamaepericlymenum. Dwarf cornels; two species of creeping sub shrubs growing from woody stolons.
Cornus canadensis (Chamaepericlymenum canadense; Canadian Dwarf Cornel or Bunchberry) Northern North America.
Cornus suecica (Chamaepericlymenum suecicum; Eurasian Dwarf Cornel). Northern Eurasia, locally in extreme northeast and northwest North America.
Cornus x unalaschkensis (hybrid C. canadensis x C. suecica). Aleutian Islands, Greenland, Labrador.

(Sub)genus Benthamidia (syn. subgenus Dendrobenthamia, subgenus Cynoxylon). Flowering dogwoods; five species of trees.
Cornus capitata (Benthamidia capitata; Himalayan Flowering Dogwood). Himalaya.
Flowering Dogwood in fall colorCornus Florida (Benthamidia Florida; Flowering Dogwood). U.S. east of the Great Plains, north to southern Ontario.
Cornus hongkongensis (Benthamidia hongkongensis; Hong Kong Dogwood). Southern China, Laos, Vietnam.
Cornus kousa (Benthamidia kousa; Kousa Dogwood). Japan and (as subsp. chinensis) central and northern China.
Cornus nuttallii (Benthamidia nuttallii; Pacific Dogwood). Western North America from British Columbia to California.
Cornus urbaniana (Benthamidia urbaniana; Mexican Flowering Dogwood). Mexico.

Cornus Florida Dogwood berries encased in ice, Hemingway, South Carolina Most species have opposite leaves, but alternate in a few. The fruit of all species is a drupe with one or two seeds. Flowers have four parts.

Many species in subgenus Swida are stoloniferous shrubs, growing along waterways. Several of these are used for naturalizing landscape plantings, especially the species with bright red or bright yellow stems. Most of the species in subgenus Benthamidia are small trees used as ornamental plants.

The name 'dogwood' is a corruption of 'Dagwood', from the use of the slender stems of very hard wood for making 'dags' (daggers, skewers). The wood was also highly prized for making the shuttles of looms, for tool handles, and other small items that required a very hard and strong wood.

The fruit of several species in the subgenera Cornus and Benthamidia is edible, though without much flavor. The berries of those in subgenus Swida are mildly toxic to people, though readily eaten by birds.

The dogwood is the provincial flower of the Canadian province of British Columbia.

Popular legend has it that wood from the dogwood was used to construct the cross on which Christ was crucified. God had pity upon the tree, giving it white flowers similar to the cross. The reddish center of each flower symbolizes the blood of Christ. God transformed the once towered tree into one that is small with twisted, gnarled trunks so that could never be used for the purpose of building a cross again.

The composite nature of the inflorescences of these plants led early taxonomists to call this family the Compositae. Although the rules governing naming conventions for plant families state that the name should come from the type genus, in this case Aster and thus Asteraceae. However, the long prevailing name Compositae is also authorized as an alternative family name (ICBN Art. 18.6).

The numerous genera are divided into about 13 tribes. Only one of these, Lactuceae, is considered distinct enough to be a subfamily (subfamily Cichorioideae); the remainder, which are mostly overlapping, are put in the subfamily Asteroideae (Wagner, Herbst, and Sohmer, 1990).

Symbolic Meaning:
Our love will endure adversity; Durability
 

Dogwood Links: Dogwood Information, Dogwood Pictures

   



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