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Flowers and Their Roots

In this article, we will be learning about the origins of flowers and their presence in human history. We'll look into the records of human interaction with these lovely blooms. These span all the way back from the Paleolithic era to modern times.

The next section of this article probes into flowers as art subjects in ancient history. We also discuss the influence they had as muses for artists of all kinds.

Last, we'll delve into a list of the most popular flowers and identify the stories behind their names!

Interested in a formal course? Want to get certified as an expert on all things floral? We encourage you to check out organizations that offer programs in floristry, such as:

    American Institute of Floral Designers ( Society of American Florists ( American Floral Endowment (

Flowers through Human History.

How far back are flowers recorded in human history? Have they always been diverse? How diverse? How did humans identify and make use of them in early history?

These are a few of the things people often ask about flowers. Here is a list of answers to some of the most important queries about flowers as recorded in history!

Have flowers always existed? Since when?

Yes, they have. Archaeologists have dug deep to find out when flowers first emerged. Using modern-day technology over time, they found flower fossils. With these, they assessed that flowers have been around since the prehistoric period. Their earliest estimate is around the Paleolithic age, about 93 million years ago.

Were flowers always as diverse as they are now? Or did that develop over time with human intervention?

Today, there are about 270,000 species of flowers! This number continues to grow with time and scientific progress.

As for the evolution of their varieties, records only go back to about 150 years. History shows only 125,000 species already existed.

Are there flowers that have been here through ancient history?

Plants like magnolias and herbs go back to 120 million years old. This time allowed them to evolve into their forms today.

Experts presume that flowering plants have been around for around 146 million years.

How did humans identify them? Did they make use of them in their everyday lives and regimen?

There is no specified record of how humans discovered flowers and plants. But there's data on the role of flowers in the day-to-day life of humans in early history!

For instance, placing flowers on graves has been a tradition long before current times.

Various forms of art have also used florals both as main subjects and backdrop details. From music, literature, and sculpture, people have used flowers to express themselves. Now we see how blooms have always lightened lives and made occasions more special.

We'll discover more on flowers in art below, so keep reading!

Flowers as Art Subjects in Ancient History.

From Ancient Egypt to modern pop art, flowers have inspired masterpieces through history. Famous works with flowers vary from clay pots to still-life paintings. Its portrayal has been vital in cultivating several art forms and mediums.

In fact, flowers as artists' muse in history is a course in arts studies programs. This only proves how important florals are in art!

Here, we'll go over the impression that flowers have on various periods in art history. We'll learn what makes them so enticing to artists and audiences alike.

The lotus flower is one of the most prominent subjects in Ancient Egyptian art. This is due to its symbolic significance in their religious myths. It was often depicted in paintings, amulets, ceramics, and other art works. Evidence also indicates the use of florals as jewelry for the royal court.

In medieval times, tapestries became popular as art works. This gave way to the use of flowers as backdrops for several types of scenery.

It later birthed the form of millefleur, or a "thousand flowers". These tapestries had duplicating patterns of elegant florals stitched on it.

Artists from the Renaissance also used blossoms in their myth-inspired paintings. Other painters took flowers as a prime focus in their work. They produced still-life paintings of fresh blooms and intricate bouquets.

The Impressionist and Fauvism movements also engaged the use of flowers in art. Flowers often served as the subject of an indoor scene with a person or two beside it. Fauvism stressed this using vivid colors. Other times, flowers were either the center of the artwork or the backdrop of the scene.

Today, flowers remain as a popular muse among artists through pop art and modern 3D art.

Pop art imagines plain everyday objects in a different light and color. 3D artists often use flowers to build a sculpture of another figure. They also pay homage to art from the Renaissance and Ancient Egypt.

Flower Names and their Origins.

Have you ever thought about where roses and calla lilies got their names from? Look no further! Here is a brief list of famous flowers and the history behind their names.


Believed to come from the Greek word carnis (" flesh"), referring to its original color. Also thought to come from corone (" flower garlands"). This is because they were first used in ceremonial crowns.


First called "lion's tooth" because of the petals' likeness to a lion's sharp teeth. The French translation "dent-de-lion" later changed into the English dandelion.


In Greek mythology, flowers called "asphedelos" covered Elysian fields. Adapting the first d in the name in the future, it translated to the modern daffodil.


Born from Old English poetics, daisies are an evolved variation of the phrase "day's eye".


Called the "Holly Tree". Later known as "holly." Medieval monks trusted it would defend them from evil and lightning.


From Latin word lilium, from "lily of the valley". This is because it was often located in valleys.


From Greek word orchis, "testicle". Greeks suspected if pregnant women ate these, their unborn child would become a boy.


From the Spanish and Italian rosa. Used to name red flowers.

Click here for our next article about the History of the Tradition of Flower Giving