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Summer may be winding down, but the beauty of nature continues to thrive with the arrival of August. And what better way to celebrate the month of August than with two of its birth flowers: the Gladiolus and the Poppy.
These two flowers are not only known for their stunning beauty, but also for their rich symbolism and cultural significance. In this article, we’ll delve into the history and significance of these two August birth flowers and take a look at some unique gift ideas for an August born.
Birth Flower Gift Ideas for August Babies
If you’re looking for a gift idea for the August-born in your life, check out the following options:
1. Poppy or Gladiolus Jewelry
Poppy or gladiolus jewelry can be a good idea for someone born in August, as both flowers have different symbolic meanings that can be associated with the month of August. Additionally, both flowers are known for their vibrant colors, which can make for beautiful and eye-catching jewelry. You can gift the August born in your life a birth flower necklace, pair of earrings, bracelet, or ring.
2. Poppy Scarf
A poppy-printed scarf is a good gift for an August born because it combines both fashion and symbolism. Poppies are associated with remembrance and honoring those who have served in wars. Wearing a poppy-printed scarf can be a way to show support and remembrance, it can also be a stylish accessory that can be worn all year round.
It can also be a way to spark conversations and educate people about the significance of the poppy. A poppy-printed scarf can be a unique and meaningful gift for anyone who has a connection to the military or is interested in history.
3. Poppy Patch
Poppy patches are an appropriate and thoughtful gift for someone born in August, especially if they have a connection to the military or hold an interest in history. Additionally, Poppies are a hardy and resilient flower, which can be a symbol of the strengths and the positive qualities of an August born.
4. Ceramic Poppies
A ceramic poppy is a good gift for someone as it’s a unique, meaningful, and lasting way to honor and remember those who have served in wars. It’s a symbol of remembrance and gratitude, that can be displayed in many ways and it shows thoughtfulness, appreciation, and respect for the sacrifices made by those who served in the military.
5. Poppy and Gladiolus Bouquet
A bouquet of poppies and gladiolus can be a good gift for someone because the flowers have different symbolic meanings. Poppies are often associated with remembrance and sleep, while gladiolus represents strength of character and integrity.
Giving a bouquet of both flowers can symbolize both remembering someone and admiring their strength and integrity. Additionally, the bouquet may be aesthetically pleasing and can brighten up someone’s day.
Gladiolus – What You Need to Know
Belonging to the Iridaceae family, the gladiolus is originally from South Africa, where it was exported into Europe. It was then interbred and hybridized to create the varieties now found in home gardens. The flower is also known as the sword lily majorly because its leaves resemble a sword. In fact, the term “gladiolus” is the Greek interpretation of a sword.
Sword lilies have long, frail stalks, and trumpets- resembling flowers that bloom in pink, white, yellow, red, and purple depending on the variety in question.
- Because of its sword-like shape and its elegance, folks in the Victorian era believed that the gladiolus was capable of piercing one’s heart with its beauty.
- In ancient Rome, sword lilies were showered on the winners of gladiator battles as a mark of honor. Because of this, they came to be known as the “flower of the gladiators”.
- Gladioli are also known as sword lilies and are sometimes given as a symbol of remembrance or as a tribute to someone who has passed away.
- Gladiolus plants can grow up to 6 feet tall, making them a great option for adding height and drama to a garden or flower arrangement.
- Many species of gladioli are fragrant, adding an extra layer of appeal to the already beautiful flowers.
- Gladioli are also known as “corn flags” or “xiphium” because of the shape of the corms which resemble corn on the cob or a sword.
- Gladiolus flowers are edible and can be used as a garnish for salads, and desserts, or as a colorful addition to a cheese platter.
- Gladiolus flowers are used in the production of essential oils that are used in perfumes and cosmetics.
- Gladiolus is the birth flower for August.
- Gladiolus is also the flower of the 40th wedding anniversary.
- Gladioli come in a wide range of colors, including pink, red, orange, yellow, white, and purple, and some varieties have bi-colored or multi-colored flowers.
- Gladiolus flowers are also known as “glads” and are often used in funeral floral arrangements.
- The gladiolus flowers are also known to have a vase life of 7 to 10 days, making them a great option for a long-lasting cut flower.
Gladiolus Meaning and Symbolism
The gladiolus is a flower with a rich history and symbolic meaning. Its tall and stately stems are often associated with strength and integrity, making it a popular choice for honoring and remembering loved ones who have passed away. The gladiolus is also known as a symbol of remembrance and is often used in funeral floral arrangements.
This flower is known to represent love at first sight, infatuation, and sincerity. The bright and vibrant colors of the gladiolus can also represent different meanings like red for love, pink for grace and white for innocence. It’s the flower of the 40th wedding anniversary, representing the strength of the relationship and the love that has lasted for 40 years.
There are several other meanings associated with the gladiolus flower:
- Strength and victory – This symbolism is associated with their use in gladiator wars as stipulated above.
- Infatuation – It’s the flower’s likeness to romance and infatuation that led to the belief that it can pierce a heart.
Symbolism of Gladiolus According to Color
Different colors of gladiolus flowers can also hold different meanings and symbolic associations:
- Red gladioli: Red is the color of love and passion, and red gladioli are often given to express feelings of love and desire.
- Pink gladioli: Pink is the color of grace and elegance, and pink gladioli are often given to express appreciation and admiration.
- White gladioli: White is the color of innocence and purity, and white gladioli are often given to express sympathy or condolences.
- Purple gladioli: Purple is the color of royalty and nobility, and purple gladioli are often given to express admiration and respect.
- Orange gladioli: Orange is the color of enthusiasm and energy, and orange gladioli are often given to express congratulations or encouragement.
- Yellow gladioli: Yellow is the color of friendship and joy, and yellow gladioli are often given to express happiness and well wishes.
Uses of Gladiolus
Gladiolus flowers have various uses including ornamental, culinary, and medicinal. Here’s a closer look at the uses of these flowers.
Culinary Uses of Gladiolus
Gladiolus flowers are edible and have been used in culinary applications in some cultures. The young flowers and corms (bulbs) are considered a delicacy in some parts of the world and are often prepared as a vegetable dish, typically boiled or fried. They can also be pickled.
However, it’s important to note that not all varieties of gladiolus are edible and some may be toxic if consumed in large amounts. It’s also important to ensure that the flowers have not been treated with any chemicals before consuming them.
Medicinal Uses of Gladiolus
Gladiolus flowers have traditionally been used in herbal medicine to treat a variety of ailments, including respiratory and urinary tract infections, as well as to reduce inflammation and fever. They have also been used to promote wound healing and as a sedative. However, there is limited scientific research on the medicinal uses of gladiolus flowers, and more studies are needed to confirm their effectiveness and safety.
Ornamental Uses of Gladiolus Flowers
Gladiolus are commonly used as ornamental plants due to their tall, showy spikes of brightly colored flowers. They’re often grown in gardens and used as cut flowers. Gladiolus comes in a wide variety of colors, including white, yellow, pink, red, purple, and bi-colored.
They’re also available in a range of sizes and bloom times, which makes them suitable for use in different types of gardens, including rock gardens and cottage gardens. These flowers are also used in flower arrangements and other decorative purposes. They’re popular in bulb farming and floriculture, as they’re easy to grow and propagate.
Although the gladiolus can adapt to different soil types, it grows best in well-manured, loamy, warm, and well-drained soil. It also requires full sun, as well as protection from strong winds due to its tall, feeble stalks.
Additionally, since they grow from corms that keep regrowing, if you’re in a cold area, make sure to dig them up in the fall and replant in the spring when it gets warmer. To maximize their vase life, wait until the first flower is appearing, and make the cut between the second and fourth leaf, then put them in the water right away.
Poppy – What You Need to Know
The poppy is a member of the Papaveraceae family and grows easily in the wild brightening the field with its dominant colors. While they vary in size according to the variety, they are generally characterized by delicate flowers with either four, five, or six petals surrounding several stamens. They also have long, hairy stalks that together with their buds produce a latex-like, milky substance upon cutting. The most popular poppies are red, but others come in black, purple, yellow, ivory, and white hues.
- The sap of the Papaversomniferum, also known as the opium poppy, has for a long time been harvested to make pharmaceutical opiates as well as illicit drugs.
- The seeds of poppy varieties commonly planted in home gardens are used for culinary purposes.
- It’s the easy growth of poppies in the wild that inspired Lt. Colonel John McCrae to write the poem, ” In Flanders Field.” The poem spoke of how blooms of poppies sprouted in a field that had been previously defiled by the blood of 87,000 soldiers.
- Poppies were dominant in Greek culture and were associated with gods like Hypnos, Morpheus, and Thanatos. However, the predominant association is with the goddess Demeter, who is said to have created the flower as a sleeping aid after Persephone, her daughter was kidnapped by Hades.
Poppy Meaning and Symbolism
The poppy is a unique flower with a lot of meaning and symbolism behind it. Here’s what this flower represents:
- Remembrance – The poem, “In Flander’s Field” inspired the wearing of poppies as a way to remember war veterans, hence leading to them becoming symbols of remembrance in general.
- Sleep and Death – Derived from the sedative effects of the Opium poppy, the flowers are seen as symbols of both sleep and death. The latter saw them being used as offerings in tombs in the Greco-Roman era. This symbolism, however, goes back to ancient Greece because of the flower’s association with the gods of sleep (Hypnos), death (Thanatos), and dreams (Morpheus).
- Growth and Recovery – This symbolism derive from the association with Demeter, who is also the goddess of the harvest. Following this, ancient Greeks believed that poppy growing in your garden was an indication of an upcoming bountiful harvest.
Poppy Symbolism According to Color
The symbolism of poppies can change depending on the color of the flower. Here’s what the various colors of poppies can mean:
- The Red Poppy represents hope and remembrance causing them to be worn during the commemoration of World War I veterans. In Eastern cultures, however, red poppies represent love, romance, and success.
- The Black Poppy also represents remembrance, albeit specifically the remembrance of the people of color lost during the war.
- The Purple Poppy following its red and black counterpart has become a symbol of remembrance for all animals lost and hurt in battle. In other instances, this hue represents luxury and success.
- The White Poppy symbolizes peace in western cultures and death in Eastern cultures.
Poppies have a variety of uses. The most common use of poppies is for ornamental purposes, due to their colorful and attractive flowers but they also have medicinal and culinary uses. Here’s a closer look:
Ornamental Uses of Poppies
Poppies are often used for ornamental purposes, particularly in gardens. Some of the ornamental uses of poppies include:
- Adding color to garden beds and borders with their brightly colored flowers in shades of red, pink, orange, and white.
- Creating a naturalized or wildflower meadow look by planting poppies in large drifts.
- Using as cut flowers in floral arrangements.
- Planting in rock gardens or using as ground cover.
- Creating contrast with other plants in the garden.
Poppies are also used for symbolic or commemorative reasons, particularly the red poppy, which is associated with the remembrance of soldiers who have died in the war.
Medicinal Uses of Poppies
Poppies have been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. The medicinal properties of poppies are derived from the alkaloids present in their sap, specifically morphine and codeine. Some of the medicinal uses of poppies include:
- Pain relief: Morphine, derived from the opium poppy, is a powerful pain reliever and is commonly used to treat severe pain, such as the pain caused by cancer, surgery, and injury.
- Cough suppression: Codeine, also derived from the opium poppy, is often used in cough syrups to suppress coughing.
- Sedation: Poppy derivatives such as morphine can be used for sedation and to treat insomnia.
- Diarrhea relief: Opium from poppies is traditionally used to treat diarrhea.
It’s important to note that using poppies for medicinal purposes requires medical supervision and guidance as they are highly addictive and have serious side effects if not used appropriately. Additionally, it is illegal to grow opium poppies without a license in most countries.
Culinary Uses of Poppies
Poppies are not commonly used in cooking, but their seeds are edible and have been used in various culinary applications. Some of the culinary uses of poppy seeds include:
- Baking: Poppy seeds are often used as a topping for bread, rolls, and pastries, and are a common ingredient in many types of cakes and cookies.
- Salad dressings: Poppy seeds are often used as an ingredient in salad dressings, particularly in vinaigrettes.
- Sauces: Poppy seeds are sometimes used as a thickener in sauces, particularly in Eastern European and Asian cuisine.
- Bagels: Poppy seeds are a traditional topping for bagels.
The seeds of the opium poppy are not used in cooking as they are illegal to grow and consume. Culinary poppy seeds are obtained from the opium-free varieties of the plant.
Although they prefer warmer climates, poppies grow very easily in most conditions and can reseed turning to weeds if not checked. When planting, the most important thing to note is that they don’t do well when transplanted, meaning that they should be planted directly in the planned area.
For vase life, it’s best to cut them when they’re just beginning to bud, and heat the cut area over a fire to avoid their sap leaking into the water.
Poppy and Gladiolus are both beautiful birth flowers that represent different symbolic meanings. Poppies are often associated with remembrance and sleep, making them a fitting birth flower for those born in August, a time of reflection and rest after the busy summer months.
Gladiolus, on the other hand, represents the strength of character and integrity, which is a fitting symbol for those born in August, a time of new beginnings as the school year or work year starts.
Whether you choose to gift a bouquet of both flowers or a piece of jewellery, it’s a perfect way to show appreciation and admiration for someone.
July Birth Flowers: Delphinium and Water Lily
May Birth Flowers: Lily of the Valley and Hawthorn