Your Guide to the Hottest Exotic Flowers
Can you imagine a world without flowers? A world without any colour? Perish the thought! To paraphrase what a famous man once said, ‘When nature laughs, a flower blooms!’ Flowers have always conveyed the deepest emotions of the heart, from grief and joy to friendship and undying love.
While old favourites like roses, daisies, chrysanthemums rule the roost, exotic blooms like orchids, anthuriums are slowly inching their way up the popularity charts because of their astounding beauty. Each of these lovely flowers has a rich history and deep meaning and a language uniquely its own.
Just what makes a flower ‘exotic’? What flowers are classified as ‘exotic’? Here’s a little guide to some of the hottest exotic blooms in the floral kingdom! Each has a different origin — but all are beautiful, fragrant and very elegant.
1. Anthuriums or Flamingo Lily — This highly unusual flower is native to Colombia and Ecuador in South America. Its striking pink colour and the distinctive yellow spike that sticks out from the centre of a large reddish modified leaf certainly qualify it as one of the most exotic flowers ever.
2. Carnations — The word carnation comes from the Greek word ‘dianthus’ which means ‘flower of the gods’ or ‘heavenly flower’. The carnation was used in ceremonial crowns worn by the ancient Greeks. Carnations come in all hues, ranging from the more common red to white, purple, pink and peach. A Christian legend has it that carnations sprang up in those places where Mary, the mother of Jesus, wept when she saw Him carrying the heavy cross. That is why the pink carnation symbolizes a mother’s love and is the flower given to mothers on Mother’s Day.
3. Orchids — Think exotic flowers and the first name that springs to mind is the orchid. With its very striking appearance and colour, the orchid has come to represent all that is delicate and rare. The elegant orchid has a staggering number of species, and its graceful beauty makes it perfect for almost any occasion, particularly when you want to impress a loved one. Although classified as tropical flowers, orchids can grow in almost all climates. The most popular varieties are the Moth and the Vanilla Orchids. Traditionally, orchids have symbolized wealth, beauty and love. These exotic blooms were also believed to possess magical healing properties and were highly prized by the ancient Romans, Greeks and the Chinese.
4. Iris — This is one flower that can easily put other flowers in the shade. An iris in full bloom is as close to ‘poetry in motion’ as is possible. The iris is named after the Greek word for ‘rainbow’ since this exotic flower is available in as many as 200 varieties in a wide range of colours. Known for its stunning blue variety, the iris is also found in other colours such as yellow and white. Representing faith, hope and wisdom, the iris is actually named after the Greek Goddess Iris, the messenger of love for the gods and the link between heaven and earth. The iris has travelled from ancient Egypt to medieval France till the present days, mesmerizing all who set eyes on its striking appearance.
5. Heliconia — The loose-branching flower clusters that make up the heliconia make it a perfect candidate for the list of truly exotic flowers in the world. The heliconia is named after Mount Helicon, believed to be the seat of the Muses, the nine goddesses of the arts and sciences in Greek mythology. Also known more popularly as lobster-claw, the heliconia is native to tropical America and the Pacific Islands. It comes in vivid shades of bright colours and is a huge attraction for hummingbirds. These breathtakingly brilliant flowers rise in small clusters, much like bananas which is why they are also known as ‘wild plantain’.
6. Bird of Paradise — One of the most strikingly exotic flowers in the world, the Bird of Paradise looks uncannily like a brightly coloured bird in flight. It has wing-like unusual flowers which come in a dazzling blend of colours such as white, orange, yellow, green and blue. It gets its name from the bird of the same name due to its spectacular flower shape which resembles a bird’s beak complete with a head plumage. This highly dramatic-looking flower is a native of South Africa, where it is also known as Crane Flower. The Bird of Paradise flower symbolizes paradise, magnificence, freedom and good perspective.
Each of these exotic flowers is special in its own way and a whole bouquet of them to that someone really special would convey a highly eloquent message.