The freesia is today a very popular flower, a flower that symbolizes friendship, innocence, trust and sweetness. Compared to the long history of cultivation and hybridization of some flowers, the freesia is a fairly recent entrant; native to the Cape Town province of South Africa, the freesia was named, with all due modesty, by Friedrich Heinrich Theodor Freese, a 19th Century German physician and botanist who discovered many native South African plants. The freesia came to wide acceptance and acclaim in the late 1950s, due no doubt to its delightfully delicate flower blossoms, and light, sweet fragrance.
Freesias, like the gladiolas and the crocus, grow from corms, bulb-like tubers. They’re available as cut flowers almost all year round, though you’re most likely to find them between February and April. During November and December, white freesias dominate availability (with their meaning of innocence, they are a popular Christmas flower.) The available color range is broad: in addition to white, you’ll find freesias in yellow, purple, pink, and red, as well as combinations in shades of red, yellow, and orange. Both single-headed and double-headed flowers are to be found.
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As much as for the beauty and grace of the blossoms, freesias are enjoyed for the light, sweet fragrance. You’ll find that the pink, red and purple colors are the most fragrant. The freesia scent is commonly used in cosmetics, in particular lotions, creams and soaps, and in perfumes and bath oils.
As we wrote above, the freesia symbolizes sweetness and innocence, as well as trust and friendship. It’s a wonderful flower to show appreciation to a trusted friend, in return for an act of kindness. You’ll often see them in boutonnieres or corsages. And thanks to its meaning of sweetness and innocence, it has become a common flower given to a new mother to welcome a new baby, the sweetest and most innocent thing in all the world.
Our favorite online florist sells some beautiful freesia bouquets, and offers same day delivery in the US and Canada.