When it comes to birthdays, little could be more perfect as a gift than the birth flower associated with that month. So, every birthday boy or girl has their star sign, their birth stone plus their very own birth flower. So, why not do something different, giving your friends and family a bunch or a living plant associated with them on a personal level.
Most of these listed below are naturally flowers that thrive in woodlands and meadows, perhaps stemming all the way back to Roman times, when it is believed that flowers were used to celebrate seasonally, and also given and displayed for birthday celebrations. So, each is steeped in meaning and folklore. Here, we look at the traditional birth flower as believed in both the UK and the USA.
July – birth flower Larkspur in Britain and also the USA, where they also favour water lilies. Both of them signify the joy and lightness of summer, the sweetness of the flowers but also hint a bit not just at levity but fickleness, too. Larkspur is a beautiful white, purple or blue perennial delphinium, towering tall in meadows and fields, particularly at altitude. Be careful to keep it out of reach of the kids however; beautiful though it is, it's toxic.
Birth stone: Ruby; Star signs: Cancer and Leo.
August – birth flower: Poppy in both nations, also the gladioli in the States. The perennial, international symbol of remembrance, the poppy is traditionally a beautiful red (or sometimes purple) wild flower. It is not about grief however, but remembering the good and also symbolises moral integrity and steadfastness. A glorious garden favourite, the tall gladiolus with multiple flowers emerging from the side of the long stem has the same symbolism, plus infatuation, character fortitude and sincerity.
Birth stone: Peridot; Star signs: Leo and Virgo.
September – birth flowers: Asters, Morning Glory and also Forget-me-nots in the UK. The remembrance theme continues with all three of these. Being dainty flowers, they also symbolise daintiness too. In the USA, the first two also signify love, wisdom and magic (a nice combination) while in Britain they mean patience as well. The star flower, or aster, comes in a whole host of colours, from pink through the purple.
Birth stone: Sapphire; Star signs: Virgo and Libra.
October – birth flowers: Marigold, Hop, Calendula – grace is the order of the day for the Librans, as expressed in their flowers. Hopefulness is also suggested in the USA, with, sadly, a little grief thrown in. Perhaps it is only grief at the passing of summer, however, as the marigold is highly auspicious in many religions, especially in the Hindu Diwali, which takes place in the month of October.
Birth stone: Opal; Star signs: Libra and Scorpio.
November – birth flower: Chrysanthemum, in both the US and UK. The eastern beauty of the big bloom chrysanthemum represents, as is fitting, cheeriness, abundance and friendship. It can also imply secret love.
Birth stone: Topaz; Star signs: Scorpio and Sagittarius.
December – birth flowers: Narcissus (both) and Holly (USA only). The sweetness of the Narcissus is the main theme here, the sweetness of the birthday girl or indeed boy. Fidelity and respect are also suggested. In the USA, they also denote self esteem but also, of course, a little vanity. This comes from the Greek myth. The holly is a seasonal berry bush of course, synonymous with Christmas and the evergreen since Celtic times. For fertility and divinity, it can't be beat.
Birth stone: Turquoise; Star signs: Sagittarius and Capricorn.