Many who are born in the cold winter months from November to March are often envious of anyone who is born in August.
Having birthdays in this late-summer period means you can enjoy long, sunny days and for kids, it’s even better as they are usually off school for their summer holidays. It’s truly one of the best months to be born in.
Every month has birth flowers associated with it. These flowers hold special meanings and symbolism that are unique.
Understanding each month’s birth flowers and what they symbolize is important when trying to find flowers to give someone for special occasions.
With August being in the heart of the summertime, it is no surprise that it is represented by beautiful, bright flowers. The official birth flowers of August are the Gladiolus and the Poppy.
Both have distinctive meanings and connotations behind them which we will discuss in today’s blog. We will also learn about the history of these flowers and the best occasions to celebrate with these two popular flowers.
The Official Birth Flowers Of August
Each month has birth flowers that represent their time of year. They also symbolize many different aspects of life and spirituality. As for August, the two birth flowers associated with this summer’s month are:
- The Gladiolus
- The poppy
These bright, showy flowers gleefully capture the very essence of the late, sunny, summer days that are synonymous with August. Let’s find out more about both flowers below.
The gladiolus flower is often referred to as the ‘sword lily.’ This is because of its long, narrow shape that is instantly recognizable.
With a wondrous bold bloom, gladiolus flowers come in a variety of colors such as pink, red, yellow, orange, purple, and white.
Gladiolus flowers are perennials. This means that they grow every year without needing to be re-seeded or re-planted. They are native to tropical regions and various parts of South Africa, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean.
The genus name ‘gladiolus’ is derived from the Latin word ‘gladius.’ This translates to ‘sword’ which the gladiolus uses in reference to the sword-like shape of the flower’s leaves. Another less common name for this flower is ‘corn lily.’
All in all, the gladiolus genus is believed to have approximately 300 known species. However, most of these are native to South Africa.
Although the majority of these species are endemic to specific regions, it doesn’t mean that they are not widespread throughout the world in current times.
During the 18th century, African gladiolus plants were brought to Europe from South Africa. From here, gladiolus flowers have been transported to many regions of the world and are available in many countries.
Today, we can enjoy an impressive array of colors and hybrids that were once only available in African regions.
As with many flowers, gladiolus flowers have been used for medicinal purposes over the centuries. There is evidence that parts of this plant were used as early as the 16th century.
The roots, flowers, and seed pods of gladiolus species were used as herbal remedies for different ailments from extracting thorns and splinters to soothing the symptoms of colic.
Gladiolus Symbolism And Meanings
Generally speaking, gladiolus flowers are seen as a symbol of remembrance, sincerity, infatuation, and strength of character.
This symbolism of remembrance and infatuation is why blooms of gladiolus flowers are also used to celebrate 40th wedding anniversaries.
The meanings behind gladiolus flowers vary. In general, gladiolus means strength and integrity. This is because of the flower’s unmistakable association with gladiators.
Furthermore, due to the flower’s continuous role in traditional medicine, it has become a symbol of healing. Nevertheless, these meanings are determined by the color of the flower.
Pink gladiolus flowers are usually associated with romance but not at a passionate level. That is left to the red gladiolus flowers which represent love and affection, such as other famous red flowers like the rose. Yellow gladiolus flowers represent friendship as well as positivity.
Purple varieties of this flower represent beauty, royalty, and fortune. This is why these gladiolus flowers are considered ideal gifts for family members, friends, and colleagues you admire.
There are also white shades of gladiolus flowers which unsurprisingly symbolize purity and innocence. This is why you will often see these flowers in wedding floral arrangements and bouquets.
Known for its famous bright red color, the poppy is often worn to remember fallen soldiers from bygone wars and those lost in current warfare.
In the United Kingdom, Canada, and France, poppies are worn on Armistice Day to remember those who lost their lives in World War 1.
Although synonymous with the color red, poppies are actually available in a vast range of colors such as pink, purple, yellow, orange, yellow, and white.
Each color has its own meaning and significance which we will discuss below.
The poppy has a rich history that spans many cultures over the globe over many centuries. Poppies were even used by the Ancient Greeks and Romans as offerings to the dead.
Today, poppies are also used as ornamental plants and are widely popular because of their bright, striking colors.
These flowers tend to thrive in most soils but the best growth results are usually in well-drained soil under full sunlight.
They especially thrive in alkaline, acid, or neutral soil while the larger, perennial poppies (oriental poppies) are ideal for adding to borders whether that is at the front or in the middle.
Poppy Symbolism And Meanings
As we mentioned, poppies come in a variety of colors with each hue representing different meanings.
Yellow poppies are said to represent prosperity, white poppies symbolize sympathy, consolation, and purity, while purple poppies represent enchantment.
Perhaps most known is the poppy’s symbolism of remembrance. This is especially evident in many Western cultures.
This is why you see poppies around Memorial Day in the U.S. These flowers represent everything from peace to death and, in some cases, even sleep. You will often see poppies laid on tombstones to represent eternal sleep.
This symbolism has been referenced in countless TV shows and movies but one of the most famous may be in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in which a poppy field makes the characters sleep forever.
As well as being symbols for death and remembrance, red poppies can also be used as symbols of happiness and joy as well as imagination.
It is perhaps quite apt that the birth flowers of August represent some of the feelings that surround the month. The bright, strong colors of the gladiolus flowers represent the long, sunny days of August while the poppy symbolizes the coming to an end of summer and a time to reflect on the year so far.
If you want to give flowers to someone special to you, both gladiolus and poppies could convey deep, personal meanings without the need for any words.