Daisy and Sweet Pea

19 April 2023

If you were lucky enough to be born in April, you have the choice of two different flowers to represent this occasion.  April signals warmer days and fills us with the exuberance to spend time outdoors and promises more sun and activities available.  Look for these flowers during the month.

Daisy

One of the early bloomers, the daisy gets its name from an Old English term “daes eage” or day’s eye that comes from the flower’s full spread during the day and closing its petals at night.  Knowing this, it should come as no surprise that daisies are related to sunflowers, another plant that is heliotropic.  (Try that for your Word of the Day.)

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Daisies have a bright yellow center with white or colorful petals.  Folklore associates them with abundance, financial balance, and good luck.  With their early spring bloom they also give us the hope of new beginnings.

Daisies are a low maintenance plant often found as wildflowers in the Finger Lakes area.  While they like a good organic soil (thus why they flourish in forested areas), they need to be kept moist.  The Bellis perennis from the family Asteraceae, they can be a lovely addition to your flower beds or can become a persistent weed that is difficult to control.

Common daisies are Bellis perennis and we easily recognize them as English Daisies, oxeye, or black eyed Susans.  Gerbera and daisy chrysanthemums come in a wide range of colors.  In South Africa we have Blue-eyed daisies that have a deep purple center and white petals and in Australia they produce somewhat the opposite of blue petals and yellow middles.

Since we have different colors, the mysterious “someone” has designated different meanings:

  • Pink for friendship or a platonic relationship
  • Yellow for more friendship and cheeriness
  • Orange means warmth and excitement
  • Red is, of course, passion or love
  • Purple mean pride

 

Sweet Peas

The other option for an April birth flower is the Sweet Pea.  They started in the region of Sicily where they grew wild.  They have a sweet aroma somewhat like honey and jasmine but with a touch of citrus.

They represent hope, strength, and gratitude.  White and peach versions connote modesty and purity but pink means grace and liveliness.  In the language of flowers they tell the recipient of your consolation, remembrance of good times, or a farewell.

Part of the Fabaceae, they are part of the legumes (like chickpeas, fava beans, and the standard green pea) and is the third largest family on the planet.  The flowers we are addressing today, however, are not grown for food but for pleasure.  They self pollinate and are a great addition to your garden if you are plagued by flies; the insects are repulsed by the flower’s aroma and will find other places to congregate.  Try pots of them around your patio to make outdoor dining more pleasant.

During the Victorian era they were popular at weddings and were associated with bliss and pleasure.  They were sometimes given to the bride to avert spitefulness or negativity.

Their color range goes from a soft pink to a deep fuschia.  They also are found in the blues.  However, there are no yellow sweet peas.  Like the daisy, different colors have been given different associations:

  • White for the obvious peace and purity
  • Pink symbolizes happiness and platonic love
  • Red for a passionate love
  • Purple for royalty and success
  • Blue for calmness or serenity
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