February Flowers

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The birth month flowers for February are the violet and the primrose.

The violet is a lovely five-petaled flower, with a velvety texture and light perfume, flowering all year round in solid colors of purple, pink and white. It is one of the most popular of all flowering houseplants, and the sweet violet (v. Odorata) attracts bees with its wonderful sweet scent. Violets signify modesty, faithfulness and virtue, and have been used, over the years, for dyes, perfumes, and medicines.

In ancient Rome, violets were the symbol of mourning and of affection for the deceased. Wreaths of violets decorated tombs on the Festival of the Dead, or “Feralia,” in February and at the “Violaria,” or the Festival of Violets, at the end of March. These ceremonies guaranteed the peace of the departed. Pliny the Elder, the Roman natural philosopher, wrote that a garland of violets protected the wearer from dizziness and headaches, and eased the scent of wine.

The primrose, often called primula, first blooms around now, in early spring, and the delicate blossoms, pale yellow in the wild but a wide variety of shades under cultivation, predict the warmer days of spring just ahead. Primroses have been picked since ancient times for their medicinal value, and in the Middle Ages, in Britain, they were known as “the fairest and the best of all flowers.”

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