The lavender flower has long been celebrated as one of the most fragrant and beautiful plants in the world. This evergreen plant is native to the Mediterranean, but it can be found worldwide, from the US to Europe.
Lavender thrives in sunlight with fast-draining soil. Although bugs hate it, bees love it, and this plant is one of the most nectar-rich plants in existence. However, there’s much more to it than just purple hues, a sweet fragrance, and an abundance of nectar.
If you want to find out more, stick with us to learn some of the deeper meanings behind the lavender plant, including facts, uses, botanical characteristics, and more.
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What Does the Lavender Flower Mean?
Like most other flowers, the Lavender flower has a tonne of potential symbolic meanings. So let’s explore some of the most common ones below.
First: The Origins
To understand the meanings of the lavender flower, let’s first explore its origins.
Many believed that the word “lavender” derives from the old french “Lavandra”. This also comes from the Latin term “Lavare” or “to wash.” Some experts also believe the word “lavender” coils stem from the Latin term “livere” or “blueish.”
The term “to wash” isn’t completely understood in relation to Lavender. However, it’s thought to refer to how certain parts of the plant can be used for washing.
Many celebrates lavender for its therapeutic and medicinal properties. This has given it a broad range of positive connotations, including:
Etymological Meaning Of The Flower
Etymology studies words and their origins and how their meanings have changed over time. Let’s take a look at the etymological meaning of the lavender flower.
Lavender is a noun deriving from the 13th century anglo-french term “lavendre”, the old French Lavendre (or lavender plant), and from the Medieval Latin term “lavendula”, of the 10th century.
The word lavender also has an adjective meaning with roots to the 1800s, meaning “of a pale purple color, of the color of lavender flowers.” As early as the 13th century, the word was also a term to describe a “prostitute,” “whore”, or “camp follower.”
Symbolism Of The Flower
The symbolism of the lavender flower makes it all the more appealing.
It has held many powerful, symbolic meanings for centuries. From as far back as ancient Greece, it signifies grace, silence, and calm nature. The ancient Greeks called lavender Spikenard or Nardus, named after Naarda, a Syrian city.
In the Middle Ages, it became symbolic of love. The catholic church even used it during their holy days to ward off evil spirits during strewing.
In Victorian times, it is a symbol of devotion. In English royalty, Queen Victoria was particularly fond of lavender. Its scent also signify both cleanliness and purity.
The London suburb of Mitcham played a big role here; it became the center for lavender oil production, and as a result, it became known worldwide.
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Flower Color Meanings
Lavender is a color that’s beauty and symbolism is often overlooked. Although it often associated with purple and pink, this color has its own unique, cool tone that delivers an effortless mix of cool and warm hues.
If you take one look at it, you’ll fall into an instant state of tranquility. People often considered it a more mature, warming tone than the baby purples and pinks it’s so closely related to.
Not only is lavender a beautiful color, but it has collected a range of meanings throughout the years. Lavender has become a color heavily associated with the Christian celebration of Easter.
It is symbolic of purity and positivity – what better color to associate with the resurrection of Jesus? In fact, lavender’s connection with Christianity is so strong that they considered this color a sacred hue.
It has a breezy, innocent, and youthful tone. This color often associated with birth, and you may often find this tone at baby showers.
Lavender has strong connections with the springtime. English lavender flowers bloom in June and July, but some varieties can even bloom twice in one season.
These plants are hardy and will only need light pruning after their first flowering to flower again. This gives it some close affiliations with rejuvenation, transformation, and the changing seasons.
In addition to this, many also celebrated it for its femininity and delicate nature. This isn’t just for its sweet, muted tones, either.
Lavender also became associated with the “Lavender Menace,” an informal group of radical, lesbian feminists who worked hard to protest against the exclusion of the lesbian identity and lesbian issues from the feminist movement.
The Lavender Menace was remembered as a pivotal moment in the second-wave feminist movement. With the help of the “woman-identified woman” publication, people remembered the Lavender Menace for creating a lasting organization to continue its cause.
Therefore, in addition to these associations with femininity, lavender can also symbolize strength and tenacity.
Meaningful Botanical Characteristics Of The Flower
Lavender is a mixture of light purple or blue shades. Although this is the most common color of the lavender plant, some species have white, pink, dark purple, or blue hues.
The foliage is often light gray, and blends beautifully against the lavender-blue flowers of the plant. Lavenders foliage is distinctive and loved by gardeners, farmers, and homeowners across the world.
Many even used it foliage as home decor to give certain rooms a fresh, clean scent and improve the aesthetic of specific areas.
The most distinctive feature of the lavender plant is its aroma. It has a unique, pleasing fragrance that closely associated with purity, calmness, and femininity.
Although some may describe this aroma as overpowering, for others, its particularly strong scent is what makes it so appealing to many. These parts of the lavender plant can even be dried and used as a scent around the home.
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Special Occasions For The Flower
Do you have a special occasion coming up? Looking for the perfect scent to compliment your event? Lavender may just be the perfect aroma for you. Let’s explore some of the most common special occasions brought to life with this flower.
If your special day is fast approaching, and you’ve yet to secure the perfect bouquet, look no further than the humble lavender plant.
It can be used as a standalone bouquet or as a collection of mixed stems and flowers for an eye-catching, punchy centerpiece.
Let’s not forget about the calming properties of lavender, either. If you need something to calm the jitters, a few sniffs of your bouquet can clear your mind and put you in the right state of mind to let loose and enjoy your big day.
You could even incorporate it into your invitations and RSVP. Also, you can attach dried lavender to your letters for a unique, personal touch that your guests will truly appreciate.
Lavender’s connotations with birth and renewal can make it the perfect flower to complement your baptism. For example, if you want to inject a muted, pastel burst of color and tranquility into your day, you could opt for a lavender color scheme, with the addition of real lavender plants to tie it together.
Flower Cultural Significance
The lavender flower has a rich history, rooted in abundant cultural significance.
For example, the ancient Egyptians would use it for perfume or mummification. When the tomb of Tutankhamen was discovered, jars filled with lavender were found inside.
In most cases, it was only used for royalty and priests in ancient Egypt. In addition to perfume and mummification, it was also used in massage oils.
The ancient Egyptians also used it essential oils for rituals and healing purposes.
During the 17th century, Europeans believed that lavender’s microbial properties could protect them from falling ill with the plague.
When the plague was at its height, those who lived in a town called Bucklersbury managed to avoid falling ill – the citizens and historians firmly believe that this may be due to Bucklersbury being the central hub of the lavender industry.
In the Middle East, particularly in Persia, it was used in several cooking recipes and tea. They also firmly believed in the medicinal properties of the flower and used it to treat various ailments, such as digestive and respiratory issues.
Lavender also appeared in the Bible. Several references can be found to an ointment named “Spikenard,” a word that many believed it to have derived from lavender. However, the plant we’ve come to know today as lavender is from a different family to spikenard.
Clearly, there’s more to lavender than just pretty colors and a punchy scent. Let’s take a look at some of the most fascinating facts about the flower.
Used In Potpourri
Lavender is a common ingredient in potpourri, a mixture of various dried plant materials. Other common ingredients include cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and bergamot oil.
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In Elizabethan times, when bathing was not a common practice, many citizens used lavender as a perfume for their bedding and clothes.
Ingredient In Honey
Believe it or not, the nectar from lavender plants is also used to make honey! The average lavender flower contains just 0.02 microlitres of nectar.
Considering a bee can hold 50 microlitres, lavender nectar is rather rare to come by.
Hundreds Of Varieties
If we asked you to picture lavender in your head, you would probably conjure up an image of traditional English lavender.
However, there are actually hundreds of varieties of the lavender plant. According to the U.S Lavender Growers Association, there are more than 450 varieties and 45 species.
The Mint Family
Lavender has a distinctive aroma and a unique appearance, but you may be surprised to know that it’s actually a member of the mint family!
Lavender doesn’t just look pretty in the wild. People can use it in various ways for various purposes. Let’s take a look at some of its most loved uses below.
Anxiety And Stress Relief
Many commonly used lavenders as anxiety and stress relief. Some people will pluck sprigs of it straight from their yards or the wild, take it home, and breathe in its scent to create a calming, medicinal effect.
If you don’t want to use it this way, its aroma can be found in hundreds of essential oils, potpourri mixes, anti-anxiety medications, air fresheners, linen scent boosters, and more. It even has a calming effect on pets. Some organic pet products now feature it to promote relaxation.
You can even drink it as tea for stress relief. Lavender tea can be bought in most superstores or online retailers, and it’s even beginning to make its appearances in coffee!
Creams And Lotions
Lavender can even be used in creams and lotions. These creams and lotions can be anything from moisturizers to eczema, dry skin creams, and even wound healing creams!
If you need to moisturize your skin or treat a skin irritation, why not do it with this flower’s calming scent?
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Other Healing Properties
One of the most incredible characteristics of the lavender plant is its healing properties. It is antiseptic and anti-inflammatory; if you want a natural, organic treatment for your ailments, you may just find a lavender product to do the trick.
Wondering what health issues lavender can treat? Take a look at our list below:
- Fungal infections
- Menstrual Cramps
- Neurological disorders including brain tumors, bell’s palsy, acute spinal injuries, and Alzheimer’s
- Skin inflammation or blemishes
What Is The Symbolism Of A Lavender Flower Tattoo?
As you’ll already know, lavender has an abundance of spiritual and symbolic meanings. A lavender tattoo can be an excellent way to convey the meanings that an individual feels closest to. Below, you’ll find a list of the most common lavender tattoo meanings.
- Inner Peace
- Spiritual awakening
- Calm nature
- Rebirth and renewal
Since as far back as the 13th century, and perhaps even before this, lavender has held a significant range of cultural and symbolic meanings.
The lavender plant isn’t just a lovely addition to your yard or home. It also has some remarkable healing properties and holds significant cultural meaning for people worldwide.
If you need to inject a burst of positivity into your life, look no further than the lavender plant! Lavender is a truly miraculous flower that can benefit everyone, whatever the ailment.
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