Fun Facts About Flowers

Find out more about the secret life of flowers.
Clusiana Tulips Appear in Late Spring

Clusiana Tulips Appear in Late Spring

Tulip-mania overtook the Dutch in the 17th century.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Tulip-mania overtook the Dutch in the 17th century.

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Flowers aren’t just for gardens. Throughout history, they’ve played roles in medicine, folklore, cooking, religion, romance, and much more.

See what you know about beautiful buds and blossoms with our fun facts, below.

  • A rage for tulips in the 1600s led Dutch gardeners to spend fortunes on the bulbs. Striped tulips were the most expensive because no one at that time knew how to create them. Later, developers realized the stripes came from a virus carried by aphids.
  • Water-meal, a type of duckweed, is the smallest flower in the world. It’s the size of a candy sprinkle, and weighs about as much as two grains of salt.
  • The biggest flower in the world is also the smelliest. The bloom on ‘Rafflesia arnoldii’, also known as the corpse flower for its odor, measures some three feet in diameter.
  • America’s oldest landscaped garden, Middleton Place, is in Charleston, SC. Designed by Henry Middleton in the 1740s, it was inspired by classical gardens in Europe and England.
  • Roses are the most popular flowers in the U.S., followed by lilies, orchids and daisies.
  • For centuries, flowers have been used in magic. Crocus were thought to bring about visions, while dandelions were believed to aid healing.
  • There are lots of flowers you can eat, including apple blossoms, daylilies, roses and squash blossoms. Never eat any part of a plant that has been treated with chemicals or pesticides.
  • Many flowers make beautiful dyes. Add mint and lemon juice to roses and lavender to make a bright pink. Try foxgloves, lilacs or snapdragons for green.
  • Torenia is called the wishbone flower, for the wishbone-shaped stamens inside the blossoms.
  • The vanilla we use to flavor cakes, cookies and other foods is made from the pods of the Vanilla planifolia orchid.
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