JULY ~ Birth Flower of the Month

Did you know the birth flowers for July are the Water Lily and Larkspur?

HANDS


Ahhh July.. when both the mornings and evenings are lovely and bright, with no working until dark (for the lucky ones anyway). 


Did you know the birth flowers for July are the Water Lily and Larkspur?

The Water Lily, named after the Greek nymph, is a symbol of beauty, unity, balance, and peace. In Buddhist religion, it personifies crossing over from the everyday world to the spiritual one. The flower has been growing since Assyrian and Babylonian times, swiftly spreading across the landscape to Europe and North America during the 1800s and 1900s. 


The Water lily, a freshwater flowering plant, is a part of the Nymphaeaceae family which consists of 58 different species. It is native to the temperate and tropical parts of the world however cannot be found in cold climates. Some of the countries it inhabits include Australia, Europe, Northern Africa, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, and North America.


Water lilies provide food for fish and wildlife however due to their rapid growth they can cause drainage problems. The largest water lilies are those of tropical South America which are known as the Amazon or royal water lily and the Santa Cruz water lily. The leaves of these particular lilies can span from 60 to 180 cm (2 to 6 feet approximately) which explains their nickname water platter. The flower itself is composed of 50 or more petals and measures about 18 to 46cm wide. At first when they blossom they are white however within a couple of days they transition to pinkish/red before withering, being replaced by a large berrylike fruit. Whilst the lily is similar in appearance to the lovely lotus, they are not considered safe to consume.


As the Latin name suggests, it’s derived from the Greek myth of nymphs. These beautiful yet dangerous water spirits often drowned innocent people who visited the creeks or ponds they protected. Due to the beauty of the Water Lily but its habit of growing in thick mud, it’s an apt metaphor.



Water Lily
Image from The African Garden​​


Also recognised as the July birth flower is the Larkspur. Its nickname being “Elijah’s Chariot” it symbolises attachment, devotion, and sincerity. It was previously thought to be part of the Delphinium family due to their physical similarities however the Larkspur is actually a part of the Ranunculaceae family as they are annual opposed to Delphiniums which are perennial. 


The story goes that the Larkspur first flowered after the famous Battle of Troy. The warrior Ajax was supposed to receive slain Achilles' armour, but took his own life when the honour was passed to another warrior. On the spot where his blood pooled, it is told, there grew the first Larkspur. 


The flower was introduced into Britain during the mid 1500s from its native habitat of the Mediterranean. The name, Larkspur, most likely originated in England referring to the horn-shaped nectary of the flower which resembles the spur of a lark’s claw. Upon introduction into Europe, the flower acclimatised very swiftly and could be seen in abundance along roadsides and in cornfields. It was documented in America by 1572 and when it came to the 1700’s it was a popular garden flower. However in the 1900’s the popularity of the flower depleted, only recently restoring its acclaim.



A few fun facts about the July birth flower ~ larkspur:


  • The flower is poisonous; the seeds being the most dangerous part causing vomiting if consumed

  • Ironically, although it is poisonous it is considered to be an antidote of stings

  • It was used to heal wounds in ancient times but has also been used as an insecticide in the U.K.


larkspur

July is the season of the Cancer, running from June 21st until July 22nd, it is the commencement of the Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere.


At this time of year, July, the sun’s heat and light are at its peak, with daylight outweighing the night hours. From this point, the days slowly begin to decrease toward the Autumn Equinox, representing the second seasonal pivot of the year.


Cancers have many strengths including being tenacious, highly imaginative, loyal, emotional, sympathetic, and persuasive. They are known to be “roots” kind of people, taking pleasure in the comforts of home and family. It is reasonable to assume they have big families as they love to nurture others. 


Cancer’s connection with nurturance, sustenance, and rejuvenation is mirrored in the bounty of energy and resources in July and the Summer months.



A summer rose

The Cancer birth flower is the rose. The most well known flower to symbolise love, devotion, and beauty, the rose mimics the personality traits of a Cancer.


The rose has a long history dating back 35 million years with it first being farmed approximately 5 thousand years ago. It has over 100 species spread throughout the Northern Hemisphere, from Alaska to Mexico along with northern Africa. 

In the radiant occasions of love and affection, we generally think of the rose- giving a bunch or an individual stem. 


These flowers are a classic representing the deepest memories, moments and feelings. If there is a Zodiac sign suggestive of deep feelings, it definitely is Cancer. The crab symbol cherishes all the objects that roses refer to which is wealth, respect, femininity, and also, affection and love.