Nothing says Happy New Year more than the January birth month flowers – the carnation and the snowdrop! The winter months can be cold and gray, but the bright cheerful colors of the January birth month flowers are sure to lift your spirits. December holidays can get crowded with cards and gifts, and so sending a floral arrangement in January will catch everyone’s attention.
The scientific name for the carnation is Dianthus Caryophyllus which means “heavenly flower” or “the flower of love”. Its name Dianthus is derived from the Greek word “dios” that means Gods and “anthos” meaning flower. The word carnation is derived from the Latin word “caro” which means flesh because the first carnations were of a pink fleshy color. It is also believed that the name was derived from the Latin word “incarnation” which refers to God in the flesh.
One legend even claims that carnations first appeared from the tears of Mary when she wept for the crucifixion of Christ. Much like roses, although less expensive than roses, the carnation is said to have different meanings based on its color as noted below:
White: purity and innocence
Pink: a mother’s love or gratitude
Yellow: disappointment or rejection
Red: true love or admiration
Purple: capriciousness or change
Carnations also have different meanings around the world. Spain and Slovenia recognize the carnation as their countries’ national flower. In the Netherlands, white carnations symbolize the country’s opposition to World War II and are worn to honor their veterans. France uses purple carnations for funerals.
Carnations are one of the most popular flowers in floral arrangements. After the rose, carnations are the most popular cut flower in the United States. With a height of 18-24 inches, they mix in easily with other flowers like lilies, roses, and chrysanthemums. Their strong voluminous blooms add bulk to any bouquet, and they do not wilt easily. They are one of the longest-lived flowers and can stay fresh and beautiful in a vase for upwards of three weeks. As a frequent wedding flower, they are often part of the bridesmaids’ bouquets and are often seen on a tuxedo as a boutonniere. Because they symbolize a mother’s love, they are included in many Mother’s Day arrangements.
Although not as popular as carnations, snowdrops are also the January birth flower. Symbolizing hope and rebirth, these delicate, white, droopy shaped flowers are captivating. Snowdrops are small plants with a maximum height of 3 to 6 inches. These small flowers are mainly used to show condolences at a funeral.
In a famous story about the Garden of Eden the snowdrop comforted Eve while she was shedding tears after being banished from the garden. An angel picked up a snowflake, breathed on it, and tossed it back down to earth where it became a field of white snowdrop flowers that symbolized hope.
Victorian England had a different view of the snowdrop. They viewed the flower as a symbol of death and bad luck. It was thought that picking the flower was also bad luck when brought inside the home. The superstition also blamed the flower for causing milk to sour and eggs to spoil.
The Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus named the snowdrop the Galanthus nivalis which means “milk flower of the snow.” Snowdrops are one of the first flowers to bloom in the spring. Once the snowdrop blooms you know that winter has come, and spring is not far behind.
Petals and Pinot
Celebrate your January wedding or a January birthday with carnations or snowdrops. Send a bouquet of white carnations to congratulate a friend or family member who is celebrating the new year with new job or home. Let Petals and Pinot design and deliver the perfect arrangement for you! Contact us so that we help you bring in the new year with a custom floral arrangement!