Holly and narcissus are both seasonal favourites and are most notable as the December birth flowers. Both add a bright mood to the winter landscape, but their symbolic meaning lifts them above ordinary ornaments.
Holly is a type of evergreen shrub that produces red berries. Its branches are used to construct wreaths and centrepieces for tables. Meanwhile, during the Christmas season, sweet and innocent Narcissus (paperwhite) bulbs produce stunning white blooms indoors.
Read on to learn more about holly and narcissus, the December birth flowers.
The holly belongs to the Aquifoliaceae family, native to North America, China, Japan, Europe, and North Africa. In addition to bushes, 400 holly tree species grow to be 50 feet tall. Many species have been discovered to have serrated spines on their leaves.
The holly comes in red, white, yellow, black, and pink berries and must be produced by both male and female holly plants. Female plants are those that produce berries.
Holly: History, Meanings and Symbolism
In the Christian religion, the prickly leaves of the holly depict the crown of thorns worn by Jesus during his crucifixion in Christianity. The scarlet berries represent his blood. To this day, a holly is a traditional Christmas decoration.
The ancient Romans celebrated Saturnalia, the winter solstice harvest festival, using holly to ward off evil spirits. Meanwhile, the druids of Britain decorated with holly during the winter solstice, symbolising vitality and light. Pagans and Celts believed that holly ruled the Earth between the summer and winter solstices.
Some people believed that holly represented optimism, wealth, and fertility. It now denotes pleasure and peace. Others saw its thorns as defensive and protective.
Planting holly near your home was supposed to ward off evil spirits and guard against lightning.
Caring for Holly Plants
Holly plants require full sun, well-drained, slightly acidic soil, and spring and fall planting. The bushes work well as hedges, borders, and foundation plantings. To preserve size, larger kinds can be clipped in the autumn or spring.
Throughout the winter, when other food supplies are scarce, the plant offers food for a large number of birds in colder places. Both humans and animals are harmed by it.
Understanding The Narcissus (Paperwhite)
Narcissus is a member of the Amaryllidaceae family, which includes the daffodil. The majority of members bloom in April. The flower is a Mediterranean native that has spread to North America, Asia, and Europe. A paperwhite bulb has twelve fragrant white blossoms.
The Narcissus: History, Meanings and Symbolism
Narcissus was the son of Cephissus and Liriope, according to Greek mythology. Narcissus was overly concerned with his physical beauty, fell in love with his reflection, and drowned as a result and where he died, genus flowers blossomed.
It got its name from its little petals, and today it represents purity, faithfulness, and esteem. During the Victorian era, narcissus represented “the only one” and everlasting love for romantic relationships.
Because narcissus is the oldest and most extensively distributed species, it is a popular flowering bulb. Paperwhites that blossom in the middle of winter are sometimes associated with the Chinese New Year.
Paperwhites’ strong odour is used in perfumes. The most hazardous component is the paperwhite bulb.
How to Grow Your Own Narcissus
Narcissus are winter plants that thrive inside. Bulb mixture with no soil. Drain thoroughly. Bulbs’ roots should not be allowed to dry up completely. Bulbs can also be planted in shallow water with small rocks.
Once planted, keep it in a cool, dark environment to promote root development. Grow in full sunshine. Move the plant to filtered light after the flower stalks have bloomed to continue flowering.
As the colder months roll in and the holiday rush envelopes us, don’t forget to have your fair share of December birth flowers. Whether you will use them as a seasonal decoration or simply a fresh vase to have at home, allow the beauty of holly and narcissus to fill your surroundings. After all, fresh and beautiful flowers can always boost anyone’s mood!
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