If you celebrate a February birthday then you may be surprised that your birth month flowers are the violet and the primrose. Roses are the flowers most associated with Valentines Day in February, but the rose is actually your birth month flower if you were born in June. February is the perfect month to celebrate with your birth flowers – the violet and the primrose.
Violets symbolize modesty, virtue, humility, and faithfulness. Although there are blue, yellow, white, and cream violets they are known mostly for their purple “violet” color. The violet flower is asymmetric with five delicate petals and heart-shaped leaves. The surface of their leaves is either smooth or covered with fine hairs, depending on the species.
There are close to 500 different species of violets. Of the 60 species found in the United States, the Viola sororia, or the sweet violet is the most common. The fragrance of the sweet violet is one of the most beautiful aromas in the plant kingdom and is included in many perfumes and lotions. Most violets are native to Europe and Asia and date back to 500 B.C. in ancient Greece. The Greeks used the violet in wine, food, and medicines. In the United States, the states of Illinois, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin call the violet their state flower.
Legend has it that St. Valentine wrote love letters to his blind girlfriend with the ink he squeezed from violets. She was actually the jailer’s daughter where he was imprisoned awaiting execution. The words from the letter St. Valentine wrote to her were said to make her see again.
Violets were also made popular by the notorious French leader Napoleon Bonaparte. He adopted them as his signature flower. It was so widely known that Napoleon liked violets that his friends called him Corporal Violet. Supporters of Bonaparte were asked if they liked violets as a way of determining their loyalty to him. When his wife Josephine died, he covered her grave with violet blooms.
Like the violet, the primrose has almost 500 difference species. Commonly referred to as the English Primrose, the name primrose is derived from the Latin word “primus” which means “first.” Typically, the primrose is the first flower to bloom in early spring. You will find the primrose in several colors such as yellow, blue, white, red, pink, and purple. However, the one feature they all have in common is a delicate, yellow-tinged center that looks like an eye.
The primrose is an easy flower to grow and is a low maintenance and hardy plant. In gardens they provide a beautiful splash of color and are even used as ground cover. They love shade and moderate temperatures – which is why they bloom nicely when planted under a tree. They are far easier to grow that than the traditional rose.
Known for being an edible plant, the primrose is said to taste like lettuce. It is found in foods and drinks (such as herbal teas). They also make a nice birthday cake topper. If you’re baking a birthday cake for someone born in February, consider personalizing the cake by using yellow frosting and a few primroses for the garnish. It is also believed to have medicinal benefits such as treating headaches, migraines, PMS, congestion, and cough.
There are a few legends and superstitions associated with the primrose. One German legend believed that the first girl to find a primrose in spring would marry that year. The English believe that bringing primrose flowers into your home will bring you good luck, but they must be done in groups of 13. Any more or less than 13 is thought to bring bad luck. Irish folklore believed that rubbing a toothache with a primrose for two minutes would stop the pain. Regardless of the superstitions, the primrose makes a beautiful and cheerful addition to any arrangement.
Petals and Pinot
Want to send your February birthday friend a special gift? What about congratulating a new parent on the birth of their February baby? Send them a floral arrangement with their birth flower, the violet or primrose. At Petals and Pinot we design your arrangements to order and deliver them with care. Contact us so we can help you celebrate the month of February with a memorable and meaningful flower arrangement!