Flowers in Greek mythology have various symbols behind their existence. It’s no surprise that so many myths had thrived around them. From love, passion, to purity, flowers have been used to symbolize something in many tales. Particularly, both Roman and Greek mythology exploits flowers frequently because of their ancient gods’ habit bequeathed to people.
As time goes by, these myths are still alive in modern flowers until now. Each flower has associated with various myths. For instance, Eros who is believed as God of Love Cupid is portrayed to always bringing roses. Thus, we remain using the rose as a symbol of love.
Anyone may see flower bouquets as a gift is a sign of affection, gratitude, or accomplishment. However, there is probably more than that. Below, you’ll know the floral myth in detail and the symbolism of each flower you received.
Rose, Associated with Aphrodite
The rose has so many folklores in the entire world, but most of them clearly using rose as the symbol of beauty and love. Along with the belief of Eros that always carries flowers, actually, Aphrodite is the one credited to this flower. Perhaps, this rose reminisced people to Aphrodite, the god of love, rather than Eros.
In Greek mythology, people believed that rose was originated from Aphrodite’s tears over the mortal wound between Adonis with Chloris, the goddess of flowers. Meanwhile, others described a different story about flowers in Greek mythology. It says that rose gets red color because of Aphrodite’s blood when her foot stepped on a thorn that was dropped by Cupid.
Whatever which one is true, the rose has been associated to love and Virgin Mary. It is being a metaphor for beauty, passion, and undying love. Thus, the rose will be perfect to show your affection and love towards someone. It is ideal to use it at a wedding, either for classic or contemporary style.
Daffodil, Sad Ending of Narcissus
Being one of the popular flowers in Greek mythology, daffodil gets its name from a Greek figure named Narcissus. This God was cursed to fall in love and obsessed with his own self for his ignorance and selfishness.
Narcissus was popular to have a handsome face but always getting trouble for breaking other’s hearts. Indeed, people believed that he rejected a nymph named Echo and left her in despair. It turned out that Nemesis as the goddess of revenge decided to give mortal punishment to him by desperately loving his reflection.
Sadly, it happened until his last breath. Yes, he still obsessed with his reflection, and this flower suddenly budded in his place. This Narcissus flower that is renamed as daffodil becomes a sign of unrequited love.
Anemone, Forsaken Love of Adonis
This member of the uber-hip ranunculus family that is popular as a windflower also has numerous folklores. Anemone becomes one of the flowers in Greek mythology that has deep meaning along with its myth. It all started with Adonis, a handsome man that being Aphrodite’s mortal lover. Even if he seemed more interested in hunting wild animals, rather than spending his time with Aphrodite.
Unfortunately, he got killed while hunting vicious boar. Unexpectedly, an anemone flower has sprung up on Adonis’ blood. Others say that Aphrodite came to him at the moment before he passed away. Then, her tears mixed with Adonis’ blood that turned out into a red flower. No wonder, anemone has crowned as the symbol of loss and death or forsaken love.
Hyacinth, the Death of Hyacinthus
As one of the flowers in Greek mythology that belongs to lily family, this hyacinth is related to a Spartan named Hyancithus. He was known as an incredible handsome prince that being a hero in Greek mythology. His handsome appearance attracted so many gods, especially the sun god Apollo.
From all the suitors, Hyacinthus finally chose Apollo. Although his rejection might not well-accepted by others. One day, when Hyacinthus was trying to impress Apollo while having a discus game, he was chased by his ex-lover.
At that time, Zephyrus who was known as the West Wind god made his move by chopping Hyacinthus’s head off. Of course, it killed Hyacinthus immediately. Apollo who was devastated strongly refuse Hades’ will to take Hyacinthus. Instead, Apollo chose to transform Hyacinthus’ soul into a hyacinth flower.
According to these myths, people may have their personal opinion related to flowers. However, most people still remember this story to interpret flower meaning. Indeed, there are still a lot of flowers in Greek mythologywith its stories, like lily or iris.