Botanist's Variety 2

Get to know your favorite garden varieties a little better.

Syringa Vulgaris


Etymology |

  • Via Arabic ليلك lilak from Persian نیلک nilak meaning “bluish.”
  • The genus name Syringa is derived from Greek syrinx, meaning a hollow tube or pipe and refers to the broad pith in the shoots in some species, easily hollowed out since ancient times to make reed pipes and flutes.
  • The English common name “lilac” is from the French lilac

The Language of Flowers |

Purple lilacs symbolize the first emotions of love.

| Syringa is a flowery, wooded plant that’s related to the olive family (Oleaceae) and is native from southeastern Europe to eastern Asia. Although they are commonly cultivated in temperate areas such as Colorado, which is why you see them blooming in early-, mid- and late-season. |



Etymology |

The word peony has its root in ancient Greek. One legend has it that the peony is named after Paeon, the physician to the gods, who studied under Asclepius, who became jealous of his pupil. Zeus saved Paeon from the wrath of Asclepius by turning him into the peony flower.

The Language of Flowers |

Peonies symbolize honor and riches.

| Peonies are known for having healing qualities (hence why they are named after a physician) and their roots, seeds and flowers were formerly used in medicine. |

Other Featured Florals

/// Antirrhinum, Snapdragon

/// Craspedia, Billy Buttons 


Etymology |  

Again, we’re back to Greek with Anemone, which comes from the greek word windflower. Why wind? Because it was thought that wind opened their delicate petals. According to Greek mythology, the anemone sprang from Aphrodite’s tears as she mourned the death of Adonis, her long-time lover.

The Language of Flowers |

These sometimes-shy flowers symbolize anticipation and excitement for something in the future.

| Anemone is pronounced a-NEM-ehnee, and they are part of the Ranunculaceae family. Here’s a fun flower fact: Anemones keep growing and twisting even after they’re in a cut arrangement. They will bend toward the light and can add a beautiful gestural line to even the simplest arrangement. |

Other Featured Florals

/// Ranunculus, Buttercup

/// Centaurea cineraria, Dusty Miller


Etymology |

From Middle English ellebore, from Old French ellebreelebore, from Medieval Latin eleborus, via Latin from Ancient Greek ‎(helléboros). The initial h was restored in English to reflect the Ancient Greek etymology.

The Language of Flowers |

This flower has the darkest meaning of the bunch. Hellebores represent scandal and calumny.

| Hellebores have been around long enough to have their own folklore. One of the legends surrounding hellebores involves witchcraft. It is believed to have ties to summoning demons. These flowers also have a notorious place in history books. During the Siege of Kirrha in 585 BC, hellebores were reportedly used by the Greek besiegers to poison the city’s water supply. The defenders were subsequently so weakened by diarrhea that they were unable to defend the city from assault. Many of the species of hellebore are poisonous. |