After at least a month of gloomy weather and plenty of rain showers, it’s finally time for it all to pay off with some beautiful blossoms. In 1886, the proverb “the winds of March and the showers of April bring forth the flowers of May” was recorded for the first time. In honor of the month of May, we’ve handpicked some of our favorite flower tattoos from talented artists around the world, along with interesting facts about each botanical variation.
Subgenera: Hulthemia, Hesperhodos, Platyrhodon and Rosa
Symbolism: Love (red), Innocence (white), Death (black)
Origin: According to fossil evidence, roses date back 35 million years
Subgenera: Clusianae, Orithyia, Tulipa, Eriostemones
Etymology: The word tulip comes from the Ottoman Turkish Tulipa, which means gauze or muslin, and the flower received this name because it resembled the Muslim turban.
Origin: The cultivation of tulips began in the 10th century in Persia.
Genres: Cardiocrinum, Notholirion, Nomocharis, Fritillaria
Misconception: Many flowers are named after lilies, however, not all are real lilies. For example, water lilies, calla lilies, and lily of the valley are not part of the water lily family.
Anecdote: Only white and tiger lilies have a scent, all other lilies are odorless.
Species: There are at least 38 known species of peonies, of which 30 are classified as herbaceous and eight are classified as woody.
Culture: Ancient Chinese texts make many mentions of peonies, even in matters of cuisine. The famous Chinese philosopher Confucius has already been quoted saying: âI do not eat anything without its sauce. I like it a lot, because of its flavor.
Tattoo: Peonies are a popular motif in Japanese tattooing, symbolizing risk-taking and courage.
Etymology: The proper name of daffodils is Narcissus, which is linked to the Greek myth of Narcissus, the origin of the term narcissism.
Symbolism: In the West, the flower symbolizes narcissism. However, in the East, it symbolizes wealth and good fortune.
Philanthropy: In many countries, the daffodil is synonymous with causes of cancer, such as the American and Canadian cancer societies.
Etymology: The word Iris is Greek for rainbow and serves not only the flower, but also the goddess.
Subgenera: Iris, Limniris, Xiphium, Nepalensis, Scorpiris, Hermodactyloids
Environment: In many places, yellow irises are grown in reed beds to purify water bodies.
Habitat: With the exception of three species found in South America, all sunflowers are native to North and Central America.
Growth: Sunflowers typically grow between six and 10 feet, taking between 70 and 100 days to grow from seeds to full foliage.
Species: Although most recognize Helianthus annuus, there are actually 70 unique species of sunflowers.
Etymology: The proper term for carnations is dianthus caryophyllus, which in ancient Greek translates to divine flower.
Habitat: Carnations are native to the Mediterranean and wild variations can be found in Greece, Croatia, Italy and Spain.
Symbolism: Red carnations are used to symbolize socialism and the labor movement.
Etymology: The proper term for daisy is bellis perennis, which means quite eternal in Latin.
Health: Daisies contain chemicals that can contract body tissue and were once used by surgeons in ancient Rome.
Habitat: These flowers are usually found in Northern, Western and Central Europe.
Variations: There are more than 28,000 species of orchids, distributed among 763 genera. There are four times as many species of orchids as there are mammals.
Origin: Through genetic sequencing, orchids are believed to date back 76-84 million years.
Habitat: Orchids typically grow in tropical climates, but species have also been found on the Arctic Circle.
Species: Despite its colorful and fragrant flowers, this plant belongs to the olive family.
Habitat: Lilacs are native to the Balkan Peninsula and grow on rocky hills.
Symbolism: In Greece, Lebanon and Cyprus, they are associated with Easter.
Species: Like lilacs, gardenias belong to a surprising family and are closely related to the coffee tree.
Habitat: These flowers are most often found in Africa and Madagascar.
Popular Culture: Hattie McDaniel was known for wearing this flower in her hair when she accepted the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, becoming the first person of color to win an Oscar.
Health: A species of poppy, Papaver somniferum, is the source of opium, a narcotic.
Currency: In 2004, Canada issued 25-cent coins with poppies on them, becoming the first country to issue colored circulation coins.
Symbolism: Due to their association with opium, poppies often symbolize sleep and death, as noted in “The Wizard of Oz”.