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They look dainty and fresh, but flowers are a lot more powerful than we give them credit for. From having enough influence to spurn stories of market bubbles and crashes to soaking up radioactive toxins caused by nuclear disasters, their fragile forms don’t give us the full story.
We look at four different flowers: tulips, sunflowers, gerbera daisies, and roses with astonishing histories and incredible abilities. You won’t be able to look at these pretty blooms the same again.
1. Tulips were a symbol of wealth
Tulips are almost synonymous with Holland today, but in the 16th century, they were virtually unknown in Europe. They were first introduced to the region when a European botanist first brought some tulip bulbs from Constantinople. This ancient city was then controlled by the Ottoman Empire, and is present-day Istanbul. Some accounts detail that by the 17th century, they started getting noticed and became wildly popular, beginning the craze of tulips, known as “Tulip Fever” or “Tulipomania”.
Precious and rare, Euopreans needed to have them. With limited supply, but increasing demand, the value of each bulb started becoming incredibly high. At its peak, a single bulb was reportedly being sold for 3,000 Dutch guilders, the equivalent of USD1,500 today. Some claim that people also desired it enough to sell their horses and carriages. Whether fact or fiction, or a bit of both, the story of tulips becoming a national obsession, has stood the test of time.
2. Sunflowers clean up nuclear radiation
Sunflowers have the ability to absorb metals and radioactive toxins into its tissues and store them in their stems and leaves. These yellow flowers, tall and vibrant, are not just a pretty face—they are extremely effective in mitigating the effects of a nuclear disaster. They’ve been planted to soak up radiation from the major nuclear disasters like the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011 and the Chernobyl power plant meltdown in 1986. Due to their hardy nature, they don’t require much maintenance and make for a handy solution.
3. Gerbera daisies purify the air you breathe
Gerbera daisies, like sunflowers, are not just bright and cheery—they have extremely useful hidden talents. Airborne pollutants come from a variety of sources like new paint, household cleaners or cigarette smoke and deteriorate the air quality. Poor air quality can affect our health in a variety of ways, causing headaches and nasal irritation, and sometimes even nausea or eye infection. According to a study done by NASA that attempts to solve the issue of low air quality, it evaluated the effectiveness of different plants to purify air. Gerbera daisies give off oxygen and absorb pollutants like formaldehyde and benzene. With these flowers in the house, your air feels fresher.
4. Most expensive rose sold for millions
David Austin is an English breeder of special, exquisite roses. Roses bred by David Austin are remarkable for their many petals, strong, alluring fragrances and repeat blooms. In order to achieve the perfect bloom, 120,000 roses need to be first grown—and this takes close to 9 years.
The Julliet rose, cultivated by David Austin, took 15 years to grow, cost him USD3 million and was sold for USD15.8 million. Austin’s fascination with roses started when he was a teenager after receiving A. E. Bunyard's Old Garden Roses. He had the idea of creating a new breed of roses by crossing the Old Roses, known for its beauty and fragrance, with the Hybrid Tea roses, cultivated to be hardy and to flower repeatedly.
Where to purchase your flowers
Knowing about the background and history of these flowers makes them all the more desirable. The next time you’re at a wedding and you spot some tulips in the bride’s bouquet, you just might start associating them with Euorpeans in the 16th century clamouring and selling their horses. Buy a bouquet of gorgeous tulips together with its other famous, talented bloom buddies, sunflowers, gerbera daisies and roses, at Floristique online today. We have a wide range of bouquets for a variety of different occasions like birthdays, anniversaries or engagements featuring these pretty flowers.