Flowers

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The flower is the poetry of reproduction. It is an example of the eternal seductiveness of life.

Flowers, sometimes known as blooms or blossoms, are the reproductive structures found in flowering plants (plants of the division Magnoliophyta, also called angiosperms). The biological function of a flower is to mediate the union of male sperm with female ovum in order to produce seeds. The process begins with pollination, is followed by fertilization, leading to the formation and dispersal of the seeds. For the higher plants, seeds are the next generation, and serve as the primary means by which individuals of a species are dispersed across the landscape. The grouping of flowers on a plant is called the inflorescence.

In addition to serving as the reproductive organs of flowering plants, flowers have long been admired and used by humans, mainly to beautify their environment but also as a source of food.

Contents

Quotes[edit]

Generally[edit]

  • Flowers are the sweetest things that God ever made, and forgot to put a soul into.
  • The bud may have a bitter taste,
    But sweet will be the flower.
    • William Cowper, Olney hymns, 'Light Shining Out of Darkness', June 1778.
  • Not a flower
    But shows some touch, in freckle, streak or stain,
    Of his unrivall'd pencil.
  • The flower is the poetry of reproduction. It is an example of the eternal seductiveness of life.
  • Full many a flower is born to blush unseen
    And waste its sweetness on the desert air.
    • Thomas Gray, Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard (1751).
  • Yellow japanned buttercups and star-disked dandelions, just as we see them lying in the grass, like sparks that have leaped from the kindling sun of summer.
  • Above his head
    Four lily stalks did their white honours wed
    To make a coronal; and round him grew
    All tendrils green, of every bloom and hue,
    Together intertwined and trammell'd fresh;
    The vine of glossy sprout; the ivy mesh,
    Shading its Ethiop berries.
  • Young playmates of the rose and daffodil,
    Be careful ere ye enter in, to fill
    Your baskets high
    With fennel green, and balm, and golden pines
    Savory latter-mint, and columbines.
  • I sometimes think that never blows so red
    The Rose as where some buried Csesar bled;
    That every Hyacinth the Garden wears
    Dropt in her Lap from some once lovely Head.
  • One thing is certain and the rest is lies;
    The Flower that once has blown for ever dies.
  • Dear common flower, that grow'st beside the way,
    Fringing the dusty road with harmless gold,
    First pledge of blithesome May,
    Which children pluck, and, full of pride uphold.
  • "Aye," said Math, "let us seek, thou and I, by our magic and enchantment to conjure a wife for him out of flowers"...And then they took the flowers of the oak, and the flowers of the broom, and the flowers of the meadowsweet, and from those they called forth the very fairest and best endowed maiden that mortal ever saw, and baptized her with the baptism they used at that time, and named her Blodeuedd.
  • Anemones and seas of gold,
    And new-blown lilies of the river,
    And those sweet flow'rets that unfold
    Their buds on Camadera's quiver.
  • There is that in the glance of a flower which may at times control the greatest of creation's braggart lords.
    • John Muir, A Thousand-Mile Walk to the Gulf (1916).
  • Where flowers degenerate man cannot live.
    • Napoleon, as quoted in The table talk and opinions of Napoleon Buonaparte (1868), p. 148.
  • Color is the ultimate in art. It is still and will always remain a mystery to us, we can only apprehend it intuitively in flowers.
    • Philipp Otto Runge, in a letter (February 1802) quoted in L. Eitner Neoclassicism and Romanticism, 1750-1850: Enlightenment (1970), p. 150.
  • Thou shalt not lack
    The flower that's like thy face, pale primrose, nor
    The azur'd harebell, like thy veins.
  • When daisies pied, and violets blue,
    And lady-smocks all silver-white,
    And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue
    Do paint the meadows with delight.
  • I know a bank, where the wild thyme blows
    Where ox-lips, and the nodding violet grows;
    Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
    With sweet musk-roses, and with eglantine.
  • Age cannot Love destroy,
    But perfidy can blast the flower,
    Even when in most unwary hour
    It blooms in Fancy's bower.
    Age cannot Love destroy,
    But perfidy can rend the shrine
    In which its vermeil splendours shine.
    • Percy Bysshe Shelley, Untitled (1810); titled "Love's Rose" by William Michael Rossetti in Complete Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley (1870).
  • The awful shadow of some unseen Power
    Floats though unseen among us; visiting
    This various world with as inconstant wing
    As summer winds that creep from flower to flower;
    Like moonbeams that behind some piny mountain shower,
    It visits with inconstant glance
    Each human heart and countenance;
    Like hues and harmonies of evening,
    Like clouds in starlight widely spread,
    Like memory of music fled,
    Like aught that for its grace may be
    Dear, and yet dearer for its mystery.
  • There grew pied wind-flowers and violets,
    Daisies, those pearl'd Arcturi of the earth,
    The constellated flower that never sets;
    Faint oxlips; tender bluebells at whose birth
    The sod scarce heaved; and that tall flower that wets
    Its mother's face with heaven-collected tears,
    When the low wind, its playmate's voice, it hears.
  • So passeth, in the passing of a day,
    Of mortal life, the leaf, the bud, the flower;
    No more doth flourish after first decay,
    That erst was sought to deck both bed and bower
    Of many a lady and many a paramour.
    Gather therefore the rose whilst yet in prime,
    For soon comes age that will her pride deflower.
    Gather the rose of love whilst yet in time,
    Whilst loving thou mayst loved be with equal crime.
    • Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene (1589-96), Book II, Canto XII, Stanza 75.
  • Roses red and violets blew,
    And all the sweetest flowres that in the forrest grew.
    • Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene (1589-96), Book HI, Canto VI, Stanza 6.
  • There has fallen a splendid tear
    From the passion-flower at the gate.
    She is coming, my dove, my dear;
    She is coming, my life, my fate;
    The red rose cries, "She is near, she is near;"
    And the white rose weeps, "She is late;"
    The larkspur listens, "I hear, I hear;"
    And the lily whispers, "I wait."
  • The slender acacia would not shake
    One long milk-bloom on the tree;
    The white lake-blossom fell into the lake
    As the pimpernel dozed on the lea;
    But the rose was awake all night for your sake,
    Knowing your promise to me;
    The lilies and roses were all awake,
    They sighed for the dawn and thee.
  • The daisy, primrose, violet darkly blue;
    And polyanthus of unnumbered dyes.
  • To me the meanest flower that blows can give
    Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.
    • William Wordsworth, Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood (1803).
  • Say it with flowers.
    • Slogan coined by Patrick O'Keefe (1872-1934), in 1917, for the Society of American Florists, as quoted in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations (1999), p. 8.

Paradise Lost[edit]

Quotes reported in John Milton, Paradise Lost (1667, 1674).
  • Flowers of all hue, and without thorn the rose.
    • Book IV, line 256.
  • A wilderness of sweets.
    • Book V, line 294.
  • The bright consummate flower.
    • Book V, line 481.
  • And touched by her fair tendance, gladlier grew.
    • Book VIII, line 47.
  • * * * at shut of evening flowers.
    • Book EX, line 278.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922)[edit]

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 315-320.
  • Sweet letters of the angel tongue,
    I've loved ye long and well,
    And never have failed in your fragrance sweet
    To find some secret spell, ,
    A charm that has bound me with witching power,
    For mine is the old belief,
    That midst your sweets and midst your bloom,
    There's a soul in every leaf!
  • Take the flower from my breast, I pray thee,
    Take the flower, too, from out my tresses:
    And then go hence; for, see, the night is fair,
    The stars rejoice to watch thee on thy way.
    • Third Poem in Bard of the Dimbovitza; Rumanian Folksongs. Collected by Helens Vacaresco. English by Carmen Sylva and Alma Strettell. (Quoted by Galsworthy, on fly leaf of The Dark Flower).
  • As for marigolds, poppies, hollyhocks, and valorous sunflowers, we shall never have a garden without them, both for their own sake, and for the sake of old-fashioned folks, who used to love them.
  • Flowers have an expression of countenance as much as men or animals. Some seem to smile; some have a sad expression; some are pensive and diffident; others again are plain, honest and upright, like, the broad-faced sunflower and the hollyhock.
  • Flowers are Love's truest language; they betray,
    Like the divining rods of Magi old,
    Where precious wealth lies buried, not of gold,
    But love, strong love, that never can decay!
  • Thick on the woodland floor
    Gay company shall be,
    Primrose and Hyacinth
    And frail Anemone,
    Perennial Strawberry-bloom,
    Woodsorrel's pencilled veil,
    Dishevel'd Willow-weed
    And Orchis purple and pale.
  • I have loved flowers that fade,
    Within whose magic tents
    Rich hues have marriage made
    With sweet unmemoried scents.
  • Brazen helm of daffodillies,
    With a glitter toward the light.
    Purple violets for the mouth,
    Breathing perfumes west and south;
    And a sword of flashing lilies,
    Holden ready for the fight.
  • Ah, ah, Qytherea! Adonis is dead.
    She wept tear after tear, with the blood which was shed, ,
    And both turned into flowers for the earth's
    Her tears, to the wind-flower, his blood, to the rose.
  • The flower-girl's prayer to buy roses and pinks,
    Held out in the smoke, like stars by day.
  • Yet here's eglantine,
    Here's ivy!, take them as I used to do
    Thy flowers, and keep them where they shall not pine.
    Instruct thine eyes to keep their colours true,
    And tell thy soul their roots are left in mine.
  • The windflower and the violet, they perished long ago,
    And the brier-rose and the orchis died amid the summer glow;
    But on the hills the golden-rod, and the aster in the wood,
    And the yellow sunflower by the brook, in autumn beauty stood,
    Till fell the frost from the clear cold heaven, as falls the plague on men,
    And the brightness of their smile was gone, from upland glade and glen.
  • Where fall the tears of love the rose appears,
    And where the ground is bright with friendship's tears,
    Forget-me-not, and violets, heavenly blue,
    Spring glittering with the cheerful drops like dew.
  • Who that has loved knows not the tender tale
    Which flowers reveal, when lips are coy to tell?
  • Mourn, little harebells, o'er the lea;
    Ye stately foxgloves fair to see!
    Ye woodbines, hanging bonnilie
    In scented bowers!
    Ye roses on your thorny tree
    The first o' flow'rs.
  • Now blooms the lily by the bank,
    The primrose down the brae;
    The hawthorn's budding in the glen,
    And milkwhite is the slae.
  • The snowdrop and primrose our woodlands adorn,
    And violets bathe in the wet o' the morn.
  • Rose, what is become of thy delicate hue?
    And where is the violet's beautiful blue?
    Does aught of its sweetness the blossom beguile?
    That meadow, those daisies, why do they not smile?
  • Ye field flowers! the gardens eclipse you 'tis true:
    Yet wildings of nature, I dote upon you,
    For ye waft me to summers of old,
    When the earth teem'd around me with fairy delight,
    And when daisies and buttercups gladden 'd my sight,
    Like treasures of silver and gold.
  • The berries of the brier rose
    Have lost their rounded pride:
    The bitter-sweet chrysanthemums
    Are drooping heavy-eyed.
  • I know not which I love the most,
    Nor which the comeliest shows,
    The timid, bashful violet
    Or the royal-hearted rose:
    The pansy in her purple dress,
    The pink with cheek of red,
    Or the faint, fair heliotrope, who hangs,
    Like a bashful maid her head.
  • They know the time to go!
    The fairy clocks strike their inaudible hour
    In field and woodland, and each punctual flower
    Bows at the signal an obedient head
    And hastes to bed.
  • Flowers are words
    Which even a babe may understand.
  • And all the meadows, wide unrolled,
    Were green and silver, green and gold,
    Where buttercups and daisies spun
    Their shining tissues in the sun.
  • The harebells nod as she passes by,
    The violet lifts its tender eye,
    The ferns bend her steps to greet,
    And the mosses creep to her dancing feet.
  • Up from the gardens floated the perfume
    Of roses and myrtle, in their perfect bloom.
  • The rose is fragrant, but it fades in time:
    The violet sweet, but quickly past the prime*
    White lilies hang their heads, and soon decay,
    And white snow in minutes melts away.
    • John Dryden, translation, from Theocritus. The Despairing Lover, line 57.
  • The flowers of the forest are a' wede away.
  • Why does the rose her grateful fragrance yield,
    And yellow cowslips paint the smiling field?
  • They speak of hope to the fainting heart,
    With a voice of promise they come and part,
    They sleep in dust through the wintry hours,
    They break forth in glory, bring flowers, bright flowers!
  • Through the laburnum's dropping gold
    Rose the light shaft of orient mould,
    And Europe's violets, faintly sweet,
    Purpled the moss-beds at its feet.
  • Gather ye Rose-buds while ye may,
    Old Time is still a-flying;
    And this same flower that smiles to-day,
    To-morrow will be dying.
  • Go, happy rose, and, interwove
    With other flowers, bind my love.
    Tell her, too, she must not be
    Longer flowing, longer free,
    That so oft has fetter'd me.
  • Faire pledges of a fruitful tree
    Why do yee fall so fast?
    Your date is not so past
    But you may stay yet here awhile
    To blush and gently smile
    And go at last.
  • The daisy is fair, the day-lily rare,
    The bud o' the rose as sweet as it's bonnie.
  • What are the flowers of Scotland,
    All others that excel?
    The lovely flowers of Scotland,
    All others that excel!
    The thistle's purple bonnet,
    And bonny heather bell,
    Oh, they're the flowers of Scotland.
    All others that excel!
  • I remember, I remember
    The roses, red and white,
    The violets, and the lily-cups,
    Those flowers made of light!
    The lilacs, where the robin built,
    And where my brother set
    The laburnum on his birthday, ,
    The tree is living yet.
  • I may not to the world impart
    The secret of its power,
    But treasured in my inmost heart
    I keep my faded flower.
  • 'Tis but a little faded flower,
    But oh, how fondly dear!
    'Twill bring me back one golden hour,
    Through many a weary year.
  • Growing one's own choice words and fancies
    In orange tubs, and beds of pansies;
    One's sighs and passionate declarations,
    In odorous rhetoric of carnations.
  • Roses, and pinks, and violets, to adorn
    The shrine of Flora in her early May.
  • * * * the rose
    Blendeth its odor with the violet,
    Solution sweet.
  • And O and O,
    The daisies blow,
    And the primroses are waken'd;
    And the violets white
    Sit in silver plight,
    And the green bud's as long as the spike end.
  • Underneath large blue-bells tented
    Where the daisies are rose-scented,
    And the rose herself has got
    Perfume which on earth is not.
  • And the rose herself has got
    Perfume which on earth is not.
  • The loveliest flowers the closest cling to earth,
    And they first feel the sun: so violets blue;
    So the soft star-like primrose, drenched in dew ,
    The happiest of Spring's happy, fragrant birth.
  • Spake full well, in language quaint and olden,
    One who dwelleth by the castled Rhine,
    When he called the flowers, so blue and golden,
    Stars, that in the earth's firmament do shine.
  • Gorgeous flowerets in the sunlight shining,
    Blossoms flaunting in the eye of day,
    Tremulous leaves, with soft and silver lining,
    Buds that open only to decay.
  • The flaming rose gloomed swarthy red;
    The borage gleams more blue;
    And low white flowers, with starry head,
    Glimmer the rich dusk through.
  • And I will make thee beds of roses,
    And a thousand fragrant posies.
  • The foxglove, with its stately bells
    Of purple, shall adorn thy dells;
    The wallflower, on each rifted rock,
    From liberal blossoms shall breathe down,
    (Gold blossoms frecked with iron-brown,)
    Its fragrance; while the hollyhock,
    The pink, and the carnation vie
    With lupin and with lavender,
    To decorate the fading year;
    And larkspurs, many-hued, shall drive
    Gloom from the groves, where red leaves lie,
    And Nature seems but half alive.
    • D. M. Mom, The Birth of the Flowers, Stanza 14.
  • Yet, no, not words, for they
    But half can tell love's feeling;
    Sweet flowers alone can say
    What passion fears revealing:
    A once bright rose's wither'd leaf,
    A tow'ring lily broken, ,
    Oh, these may paint a grief
    No words could e'er have spoken.
  • The Wreath's of brightest myrtle wove
    With brilliant tears of bliss among it,
    And many a rose leaf cull'd by Love
    To heal his lips when bees have stung it.
  • Forget-me-not, and violets, heavenly blue,
    Spring, glittering with the cheerful drops like dew.
    • N. Muller, The Paradise of Tears. translation. by Bryant.
  • "A milkweed, and a buttercup, and cowslip,"
    said sweet Mary,
    "Are growing in my garden-plot, and this I call
    my dairy."
  • "Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
    "Oh, sir! the flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
  • He bore a simple wild-flower wreath:
    Narcissus, and the sweet brier rose;
    Vervain, and flexile thyme, that breathe
    Rich fragrance; modest heath, that glows
    With purple bells; the amaranth bright,
    That no decay, nor fading knows,
    Like true love's holiest, rarest light;
    And every purest flower, that blows
    In that sweet time, which Love most blesses,
    When spring on summer's confines presses.
  • In Eastern lands they talk in flowers,
    And they tell in a garland their loves and cares;
    Each blossom that blooms in their garden bowers,
    On its leaves a mystic language Dears.
    • Percival, The Language of Flowers.
  • Here blushing Flora paints th' enamell'd ground.
  • Here eglantine embalm'd the air,
    Hawthorne and hazel mingled there;
    The primrose pale, and violet flower,
    Found in each cliff a narrow bower;
    Fox-glove and nightshade, side by side,
    Emblems of punishment and pride,
    Group'd their dark hues with every stain
    The weather-beaten crags retain.
  • There grew pied wind-flowers and violets,br>Daisies, those pearled Arcturi of the earth,
    The constellated flower that never sets.
  • Day stars ! that ope your frownless eyes to twinkle
    From rainbow galaxies of earth's creation,
    And dew-drops on her lonely altars sprinkle
    As a libation.
  • Ye bright Mosaics! that with storied beauty,
    The floor of Nature's temple tesselate,
    What numerous emblems of instructive duty
    Your forms create!
  • Sweet is the rose, but grows upon a brere;
    Sweet is the juniper, but sharp his bough;
    Sweet is the eglantine, but sticketh nere;
    Sweet is the firbloome, but its braunches rough;
    Sweet is the cypress, but its rynd is tough;
    Sweet is the nut, tut bitter is bis pill;
    Sweet is the broome-flowre, but yet sowre enough;
    And sweet is moly, but his root is ill.
  • The violets ope their purple heads;
    The roses blow, the cowslip springs.
  • Primrose-eyes each morning ope
    In their cool, deep beds of grass;
    Violets make the air that pass
    Tell-tales of their fragrant slope.
  • The aquilegia sprinkled on the rocks
    A scarlet rain; the yellow violet
    Sat in the chariot of its leaves; the phlox
    Held spikes of purple flame in meadows wet,
    And all the streams with vernal-scented reed
    Were fringed, and streaky bells of miskodeed.
  • With roses musky-breathed,
    And drooping daffodilly,
    And silver-leaved lily.
    And ivy darkly-wreathed,
    I wove a crown before her,
    For her I love so dearly.
  • The gold-eyed kingcups fine,
    The frail bluebell peereth over
    Rare broidery of the purple clover.
  • Here are cool mosses deep,
    And thro' the moss the ivies creep,
    And in the stream the long-leaved flowers weep,
    And from the craggy ledge the poppy hangs in sleep.
  • Along the river's summer walk,
    The withered tufts of asters nod;
    And trembles on its arid stalk
    The hoar plume of the golden-rod.
    And on a ground of sombre fir,
    And azure-studded juniper,
    The silver birch its buds of purple shows,
    And scarlet berries tell where bloomed the sweet wild-rose!
    • [[John Greenleaf Whittier, The Last Walk in Autumn.
  • But when they had unloosed the linen band,
    Which swathed the Egyptian's body, lol was found,
    Closed in the wasted hollow of her hand,
    A little seed, which, sown in English ground,
    Did wondrous snow of starry blossoms bear,
    And spread rich odours through our springtide air.
  • To me the meanest flower that blows can give
    Thoughts that do often he too deep for tears.
  • And 'tis my faith that every flower
    Enjoys the air it breathes.
  • The flower of sweetest smell is shy and lowly.
  • Hope smiled when your nativity was cast,
    Children of Summer!
    • William Wordsworth, Staffa Sonnets, Flowers on the Top of the Pillars at the Entrance of the Cave.
  • The mysteries that cups of flowers infold
    And'all the gorgeous sights which fairies do behold.
  • There bloomed the strawberry of the wilderness;
    The trembling eyebright showed her sapphire blue,
    The thyme her purple, like the blush of Even;
    And if the breath of some to no caress
    Invited, forth they peeped so fair to view,
    All kinds alike seemed favourites of Heaven.
  • Pansies, lilies, kingcups, daisies,
    Let them live upon their praises.

Specific types[edit]

Anemone[edit]

Anemone, so well
Named of the wind, to which thou art all free.
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922)[edit]
Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 26.
  • Within the woods,
    Whose young and half transparent leaves scarce cast
    A shade, gray circles of anemones
    Danced on their stalks.
  • Thy subtle charm is strangely given,
    My fancy will not let thee be, ,
    Then poise not thus 'twixt earth and heaven,
    O white anemone!
  • Anemone, so well
    Named of the wind, to which thou art all free.
  • From the soft wing of vernal breezes shed,
    Anemones, auritulas, enriched
    With shining meal o'er all their velvet leaves.
Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 874.
  • Or, bide thou where the poppy blows
    With windflowers frail and fair.
  • The little windflower, whose just opened eye
    Is blue as the spring heaven it gazes at.
  • The starry, fragile windflower,
    Poised above in airy grace,
    Virgin white, suffused with blushes,
    Shyly droops her lovely face.
  • Thou lookest up with meek, confiding eye
    Upon the clouded smile of April's face,
    Unharmed though Winter stands uncertain by,
    Eyeing with jealous glance each opening grace.

Almond (Amygdalus communis)[edit]

White as the blossoms which the almond tree,
Above its bald and leafless branches bears.
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922)[edit]
Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 19.
  • Almond blossom, sent to teach us
    That the spring days soon will reach us.
  • Blossom of the almond trees,
    April's gift to April's bees.
    • Edwin Arnold, Almond Blossoms.
  • White as the blossoms which the almond tree,
    Above its bald and leafless branches bears.
  • Like to an almond tree ymounted hye
    On top of greene Selinis all alone,
    With blossoms brave bedecked daintily;
    Whose tender locks do tremble every one,
    At everie little breath, that under heaven is blowne.
    • Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene (1589-96), Book I, Canto VII, Stanza 32.

Amaranth (Amarantus)[edit]

Amaranths such as crown the maids
That wander through Zamara's shades.
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922)[edit]
Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 20-21.
  • Nosegays! leave them for the waking,
    Throw them earthward where they grew
    Dim are such, beside the breaking
    Amaranths he looks unto.
    Folded eyes see brighter colors than the open ever do.
  • Bid amaranthus all his beauty shed,
    And daffodillies fill their cups with tears,
    To strew the laureate hearse where Lycid lies.
  • Immortal amaranth, a flower which once
    In Paradise, fast by the Tree of Life,
    Began to bloom, but soon for Man's offence,
    To heav'n remov'd, where first it grew, there grows,
    And flow'rs aloft shading the fount of life.
  • Amaranths such as crown the maids
    That wander through Zamara's shades.
    • Thomas Moore, Lalla Rookh (1817), Light of the Harem, line 318.

Amaryllis[edit]

Give me kind Amaryllis,
The wanton country maid.
  • I care not for these ladies,
    That must be wooed and prayed;
    Give me kind Amaryllis,
    The wanton country maid.
    Nature art disdaineth;
    Her beauty is her own.
    • Thomas Campion, I Care Not for These Ladies (1601), reported in Arthur Henry Bullen, More lyrics from the song-books of the Elizabethan Age (1888), p. 48.
  • Alas! what boots it with incessant care
    To tend the homely slighted shepherd's trade,
    And strictly meditate the thankless Muse?
    Were it not better done as others use,
    To sport with Amaryllis in the shade,
    Or with the tangles of Neaera's hair?
  • Where, here and there, on sandy beaches
    A milky-bell'd amaryllis blew.
    • Alfred Tennyson, The Daisy, Stanza 4; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 21.

Apple blossom[edit]

The apple blossoms' shower of pearl,
Though blent with rosier hue,
As beautiful as woman's blush,
As evanescent too.
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922)[edit]
Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 38.
  • Underneath an apple-tree
    Sat a maiden and her lover;
    And the thoughts within her he
    Yearned, in silence, to discover.
    Round them danced the sunbeams bright,
    Green the grass-lawn stretched before them
    While the apple blossoms white
    Hung in rich profusion o'er them.
    • Will Carleton, Apple Blossoms.
  • The apple blossoms' shower of pearl,
    Though blent with rosier hue,
    As beautiful as woman's blush,
    As evanescent too.
    • L. E. Landon, Apple Blossoms.
  • All day in the green, sunny orchard,
    When May was a marvel of bloom,
    I followed the busy bee-lovers
    Down paths that were sweet with perfume.
    • Margaret E. Sangster, Apple Blossoms.

Arbutus (Epigæa repens)[edit]

  • Darlings of the forest!
    Blossoming alone
    When Earth's grief is sorest
    For her jewels gone—
    Ere the last snow-drift melts your tender buds have blown.
    • Rose T. Cooke, Trailing Arbutus; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 39.
  • Pure and perfect, sweet arbutus
    Twines her rosy-tinted wreath.
    • Elaine Goodale, The First Flowers; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 39.
  • The shy little Mayflower weaves her nest,
    But the south wind sighs o'er the fragrant loam,
    And betrays the path to her woodland home.
    • Sarah Helen Whitman, The Waking of the Heart; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 39.

Ash (Fraxinus)[edit]

  • The ash her purple drops forgivingly
    And sadly, breaking not the general hush;
    The maple swamps glow like a sunset sea,
    Each leaf a ripple with its separate flush;
    All round the wood's edge creeps the skirting blaze,
    Of bushes low, as when, on cloudy days,
    Ere the rain falls, the cautious farmer burns his brush.
    • James Russell Lowell, An Indian-Summer Reverie, Stanza 11, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 45.

Asphodel (Asphodelus)[edit]

  • With her ankles sunken in asphodel
    She wept for the roses of earth which fell.
  • By the streams that ever flow,
    By the fragrant winds that blow
    O'er the Elysian flow'rs;
    By those happy souls who dwell
    In yellow mead of asphodel.
    • Alexander Pope, Ode on St. Cecilia's Day, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 45.

Aster[edit]

The aster greets us as we pass
With her faint smile.
  • Chide me not, laborious band!
    For the idle flowers I brought;
    Every aster in my hand
    Goes home loaded with a thought.
    • Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Apology, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 45.
  • The Autumn wood the aster knows,
    The empty nest, the wind that grieves,
    The sunlight breaking thro' the shade,
    The squirrel chattering overhead,
    The timid rabbits lighter tread
    Among the rustling leaves.
    • Dora Read Goodale, Asters, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 45.
  • The aster greets us as we pass
    With her faint smile.
    • Sarah Helen Whitman, A Day of the Indian Summer, line 35, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 45.

Azalea (Rhododendron)[edit]

  • And in the woods a fragrance rare
    Of wild azaleas fills the air,
    And richly tangled overhead
    We see their blossoms sweet and red.
    • Dora Read Goodale, Spring Scatters Far and Wide, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 53.
  • The fair azalea bows
    Beneath its snowy crest.
    • Sarah H. Whitman, She Blooms no More, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 53.

Bluebell (Campanula rotundifolia)[edit]

  • Hang-head Bluebell,
    Bending like Moses' sister over Moses,
    Full of a secret that thou dar'st not tell!
    • George MacDonald, Wild Flowers, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 73.
  • Oh! roses and lilies are fair to see;
    But the wild bluebell is the flower for me.
    • Louisa A. Meredith, The Bluebell, line 178, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 73.

Buttercup (Ranunculus)[edit]

See Buttercups.

Cardinal flower (Lobelia Cardinalis)[edit]

  • Whence is yonder flower so strangely bright?
    Would the sunset's last reflected shine
    Flame so red from that dead flush of light?
    Dark with passion is its lifted line,
    Hot, alive, amid the falling night.
    • Dora Read Goodale, Cardinal Flower, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 89.

Cassia (Senna obtusifolia)[edit]

  • While cassias blossom in the zone of calms.
    • Jean Ingelow, Sand Martins, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 91.

Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis)[edit]

  • For though the camomile, the more it is trodden on the faster it grows.

Celandine (Chelidonium)[edit]

  • Eyes of some men travel far
    For the finding of a star;
    Up and down the heavens they go,
    Men that keep a mighty rout!
    I'm as great as they, I trow,
    Since the day I found thee out,
    Little Flower!—I'll make a stir,
    Like a sage astronomer.
    • William Wordsworth, To the Small Celandine; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 91.
  • Long as there's a sun that sets,
    Primroses will have their glory;
    Long as there are violets,
    They will have a place in story:
    There's a flower that shall be mine,
    'Tis the little Celandine.
    • William Wordsworth, To the Small Celandine; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 91-92.
  • Pleasures newly found are sweet
    When they lie about our feet:
    February last, my heart
    First at sight of thee was glad;
    All unheard of as thou art,
    Thou must needs, I think have had,
    Celandine! and long ago,
    Praise of which I nothing know.
    • William Wordsworth, To the Same Flower; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 92.

Champac (Michelia Champaca)[edit]

  • The maid of India, blessed again to hold
    In her full lap the Champac's leaves of gold.
    • Thomas Moore, Lalla Rookh (1817), "The Veiled Prophet of Khorassan"; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 92.

Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum)[edit]

Chrysanthemums from gilded argosy
Unload their gaudy scentless merchandise.
  • Fair gift of Friendship! and her ever bright
    And faultless image! welcome now them art,
    In thy pure loveliness—thy robes of white,
    Speaking a moral to the feeling heart;
    Unscattered by heats—by wintry blasts unmoved—
    Thy strength thus tested—and thy charms improved.
    • Anna Peyre Dinnies, To a White Chrysanthemum, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 117.
  • Chrysanthemums from gilded argosy
    Unload their gaudy scentless merchandise.
    • Oscar Wilde, Humanitad, Stanza 11, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 117.

Clover (Trifolium)[edit]

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]
Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 122.
  • Where the wind-rows are spread for the butterfly's bed,
    And the clover-bloom falleth around.
    • Eliza Cook, Journal, Volume VII, Stanza 2, Song of the Haymakers.
  • Crimson clover I discover
    By the garden gate,
    And the bees about her hover,
    But the robins wait.
    Sing, robins, sing,
    Sing a roundelay,—
    'Tis the latest flower of Spring
    Coming with the May!
  • The clover blossoms kiss her feet,
    She is so sweet, she is so sweet.
    While I, who may not kiss her hand,
    Bless all the wild flowers in the land.
  • Flocks thick-nibbling through the clovered vale.
  • What airs outblown from ferny dells
    And clover-bloom and sweet brier smells.

Columbine (Aquilegia Canadensis)[edit]

O columbine, open your folded wrapper,
Where two twin turtle-doves dwell!
O cuckoopint, toll me the purple clapper
That hangs in your clear green bell!
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]
Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 124.
  • Or columbines, in purple dressed
    Nod o'er the ground-bird's hidden nest.
  • Skirting the rocks at the forest edge
    With a running flame from ledge to ledge,
    Or swaying deeper in shadowy glooms,
    A smoldering fire in her dusky blooms;
    Bronzed and molded by wind and sun,
    Maddening, gladdening every one
    With a gypsy beauty full and fine,—
    A health to the crimson columbine!
  • O columbine, open your folded wrapper,
    Where two twin turtle-doves dwell!
    O cuckoopint, toll me the purple clapper
    That hangs in your clear green bell!
  • There's fennel for you, and columbines: there's rue for you.
  • I am that flower,—That mint.—That columbine.

Compass plant (Silphium laciniatum)[edit]

  • Look at this vigorous plant that lifts its head from the meadow,
    See how its leaves are turned to the north, as true as the magnet;
    This is the compass-flower, that the finger of God has planted
    Here in the houseless wild, to direct the traveller's journey.
    Over the sea-like, pathless, limitless waste of the desert,
    Such in the soul of man is faith.

Cowslip (Primula)[edit]

And wild-scatter'd cowslips bedeck the green dale.
  • Smiled like yon knot of cowslips on a cliff.
  • Thus I set my printless feet
    O'er the cowslip's velvet head,
    That bends not as I tread.
  • The even mead, that erst brought sweetly forth
    The freckled cowslip, burnet and green clover.
  • The cowslips tall her pensioners be;
    In their gold coats spots you see:
    Those be rubies, fairy favours;
    In those freckles live their savours.
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922)[edit]
Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 146.
  • Yet soon fair Spring shall give another scene.
    And yellow cowslips gild the level green.
  • And wild-scatter'd cowslips bedeck the green dale.
  • Ilk cowslip cup shall kep a tear.
  • The nesh yonge coweslip bendethe wyth the dewe.
  • The cowslip is a country wench.
  • The first wan cowslip, wet
    With tears of the first morn.
  • Through tall cowslips nodding near you,
    Just to touch you as you pass.
  • And ye talk together still,
    In the language wherewith Spring
    Letters cowslips on the hill.
  • And by the meadow-trenches blow the faint sweet cuckoo-flowers.

Crocus[edit]

  • Welcome, wild harbinger of spring!
    To this small nook of earth;
    Feeling and fancy fondly cling
    Round thoughts which owe their birth
    To thee, and to the humble spot
    Where chance has fixed thy lowly lot.
    • Bernard Barton, To a Crocus, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 152.
  • Hail to the King of Bethlehem,
    Who weareth in his diadem
    The yellow crocus for the gem
    Of his authority!
    • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Christus, Part II, The Golden Legend (1872), IX, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 152.

Daisy[edit]

See Daisies.

Daffodil[edit]

See Daffodils.

Dandelion (Taraxacum)[edit]

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]
Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 158.
  • You cannot forget if you would those golden kisses all over the cheeks of the meadow, queerly called dandelions.
  • Upon a showery night and still,
    Without a sound of warning,
    A trooper band surprised the hill,
    And held it in the morning.
    We were not waked by bugle notes,
    No cheer our dreams invaded,
    And yet at dawn, their yellow coats
    On the green slopes paraded.
  • Dear common flower, that grow'st beside the way,
    Fringing the dusty road with harmless gold,
    First pledge of blithesome May,
    Which children pluck, and, full of pride, uphold,
    High-hearted buccaneers, o'erjoyed that they
    An Eldorado in the grass have found,
    Which not the rich earth's ample round
    May match in wealth, thou art more dear to me
    Than all the prouder summer-blooms may be.
  • Young Dandelion
    On a hedge-side,
    Said young Dandelion,
    Who'll be my bride?

    Said young Dandelion
    With a sweet air,
    I have my eye on
    Miss Daisy fair.

Forget-me-not (Myosotis)[edit]

The blue and bright-eyed floweret of the brook,
Hope's gentle gem, the sweet Forget-me-not.
  • The blue and bright-eyed floweret of the brook,
    Hope's gentle gem, the sweet Forget-me-not.
  • The sweet forget-me-nots,
    That grow for happy lovers.
    • Alfred Tennyson, The Brook, line 172, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 288.

Gentian (Gentiana)[edit]

Blue thou art, intensely blue;
Flower, whence came thy dazzling hue?
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]
Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 310.
  • And the blue gentian-flower, that, in the breeze,
    Nods lonely, of her beauteous race the last.
  • Thou blossom! bright with autumn dew,
    And colour'd with the heaven's own blue,
    That openest when the quiet light
    Succeeds the keen and frosty night.
  • Blue thou art, intensely blue;
    Flower, whence came thy dazzling hue?
  • Beside the brook and on the umbered meadow,
    Where yellow fern-tufts fleck the faded ground,
    With folded lids beneath their palmy shadow
    The gentian nods in dewy slumbers bound.

Goldenrod (Solidago)[edit]

See Goldenrod.

Gorse (Ulex)[edit]

Mountain gorses, ever-golden.
Cankered not the whole year long!
Do ye teach us to be strong,
Howsoever pricked and holden
Like your thorny blooms and so
Trodden on by rain and snow,
Up the hillside of this life, as bleak as where ye grow?
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]
Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 329.
  • Mountain gorses, do ye teach us
    * * * * *
    That the wisest word man reaches
    Is the humblest he can speak?
  • Mountain gorses, ever-golden.
    Cankered not the whole year long!
    Do ye teach us to be strong,
    Howsoever pricked and holden
    Like your thorny blooms and so
    Trodden on by rain and snow,
    Up the hillside of this life, as bleak as where ye grow?
  • Love you not, then, to list and hear
    The crackling of the gorse-flower near,
    Pouring an orange-scented tide
    Of fragrance o'er the desert wide?

Harebell (Campanula rotundifolia)[edit]

High in the clefts of the rock 'mid the cedars
Hangeth the harebell the waterfall nigh;
Blue are its petals, deep-blue tinged with purple,
Mystical tintings that mirror the sky.
  • Hope is like a harebell, trembling from its birth,
    Love is like a rose, the joy of all the earth,
    Faith is like a lily, lifted high and white,
    Love is like a lovely rose, the world's delight.
    Harebells and sweet lilies show a thornless growth,
    But the rose with all its thorns excels them both.
    • Christina Rossetti, Hope is like a Harebell; reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).
  • With fairest flowers,
    Whilst summer lasts, and I live here, Fidele,
    I'll sweeten thy sad grave; thou shall not lack
    The flower that's like thy face, pale primrose, nor
    The azur'd harebell, like thy veins.
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922)[edit]
Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 353.
  • I love the fair lilies and roses so gay,
    They are rich in their pride and their splendor;
    But still more do I love to wander away
    To the meadow so sweet,
    Where down at my feet,
    The harebell blooms modest and tender.
  • With drooping bells of clearest blue
    Thou didst attract my childish view,
    Almost resembling
    The azure butterflies that flew
    Where on the heath thy blossoms grew
    So lightly trembling.
  • Simplest of blossoms! To mine eye
    Thou bring'st the summer's painted sky;
    The May-thorn greening in the nook;
    The minnows sporting in the brook;
    The bleat of flocks; the breath of flowers;
    The song of birds amid the bowers;
    The crystal of the azure seas;
    The music of the southern breeze;
    And, over all, the blessed sun,
    Telling of halcyon days begun.
    • Moir, The Harebell.
  • High in the clefts of the rock 'mid the cedars
    Hangeth the harebell the waterfall nigh;
    Blue are its petals, deep-blue tinged with purple,
    Mystical tintings that mirror the sky.
    • L. D. Pychowska, Harebells.

Heliotrope (Heliotropium)[edit]

  • I drink deep draughts of its nectar.
    • E. C. Stedman, Heliotrope, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 362.
  • O sweetest of all the flowrets
    That bloom where angels tread!
    But never such marvelous odor,
    From heliotrope was shed.
    • E. C. Stedman, Heliotrope, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 362.

Hepatica (Hepatica)[edit]

  • All the woodland path is broken
    By warm tints along the way,
    And the low and sunny slope
    Is alive with sudden hope
    When there comes the silent token
    Of an April day,—
    Blue hepatica!
    • Dora Read Goodale, Hepatica, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 365.

Honeysuckle (Lonicera)[edit]

See Honeysuckle.

Hyacinth (Hyacinthus)[edit]

Here hyacinths of heavenly blue
Shook their rich tresses to the morn.
If of thy mortal goods thou art bereft,
And from thy slender store two loaves alone to thee are left,
Sell one, and with the dole
Buy hyacinths to feed thy soul.
  • The bees came booming as if they had never gone,
    As if hyacinths had never gone. We say
    This changes and that changes. Thus the constant

    Violets, doves, girls, bees and hyacinths
    Are inconstant objects of inconstant cause
    In a universe of inconstancy. This means

    Night-blue is an inconstant thing. The seraph
    Is satyr in Saturn, according to his thoughts.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]
Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 382-83.
  • The hyacinth for constancy wi' its unchanging blue.
  • Art thou a hyacinth blossom
    The shepherds upon the hills
    Have trodden into the ground?
    Shall I not lift thee?
  • Come, evening gale! the crimsonne rose
    Is drooping for thy sighe of dewe;
    The hyacinthe wooes thy kisse to close
    In slumberre sweete its eye of blue.
  • By field and by fell, and by mountain gorge,
    Shone Hyacinths blue and clear.
  • Here hyacinths of heavenly blue
    Shook their rich tresses to the morn.
  • If of thy mortal goods thou art bereft,
    And from thy slender store two loaves alone to thee are left,
    Sell one, and with the dole
    Buy hyacinths to feed thy soul.
    • Mosleh Eddin Saadi, Gulistan (Garden of Roses). Compare: "If thou of fortune be bereft, / And thou dost find but two loaves left / To thee --- sell one and with the dole / Buy hyacinths to feed thy soul"; James Terry White, Not by Bread Alone, Stanza 1, published in The Century Magazine (August 1907), p. 519.
  • And the hyacinth purple, and white, and blue,
    Which flung from its bells a sweet peal anew
    Of music so delicate, soft, and intense,
    It was felt like an odour within the sense.

Indian Pipe (Monotropa Uniflora)[edit]

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]
Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 391.
  • Pale, mournful flower, that hidest in shade
    Mid dewy damps and murky glade,
    With moss and mould,
    Why dost thou hang thy ghastly head,
    So sad and cold?
  • Where the long, slant rays are beaming,
    Where the shadows cool lie dreaming,
    Pale the Indian pipes are gleaming—
    Laugh, O murmuring Spring!
  • I hear, I hear
    The twang of harps, the leap
    Of fairy feet and know the revel's ripe,
    While like a coral stripe
    The lizard cool doth creep,
    Monster, but monarch there, up the pale Indian Pipe.
  • Death in the wood,—
    In the death-pale lips apart;
    Death in a whiteness that curdled the blood,
    Now black to the very heart:
    The wonder by her was formed
    Who stands supreme in power;
    To show that life by the spirit comes
    She gave us a soulless flower!

Iris[edit]

  • The yellow flags * * * would stand
    Up to their chins in water.
    • Jean Ingelow, Song of the Night Watches, Watch I, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 275.
  • Born in the purple, born to joy and pleasance,
    Thou dost not toil nor spin,
    But makest glad and radiant with thy presence
    The meadow and the lin.
  • O flower-de-luce, bloom on, and let the river
    Linger to kiss thy feet!
    O flower of song, bloom on, and make forever
    The world more fair and sweet.
  • And nearer to the river's trembling edge
    There grew broad flag-flowers, purple, prankt with white;
    And starry river buds among the sedge;
    And floating water-lilies, broad and bright.
    • Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Question, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 275.

Jasmine (Jasminum)[edit]

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]
Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 403.
  • Jasmine is sweet, and has many loves.
  • Jas in the Arab language is despair,
    And Min the darkest meaning of a lie.
    Thus cried the Jessamine among the flowers,
    How justly doth a lie
    Draw on its head despair!
    Among the fragrant spirits of the bowers
    The boldest and the strongest still was I.
    Although so fair,
    Therefore from Heaven
    A stronger perfume unto me was given
    Than any blossom of the summer hours.
  • Among the flowers no perfume is like mine;
    That which is best in me comes from within.
    So those in this world who would rise and shine
    Should seek internal excellence to win.
    And though 'tis true that falsehood and despair
    Meet in my name, yet bear it still in mind
    That where they meet they perish. All is fair
    When they are gone and nought remains behind.
  • And the jasmine flower in her fair young breast,
    (O the faint, sweet smell of that jasmine flower!)
    And the one bird singing alone to his nest.
    And the one star over the tower.
  • It smelt so faint, and it smelt so sweet,
    It made me creep and it made me cold.
    Like the scent that steals from the crumbling sheet
    Where a mummy is half unroll'd.
  • Out in the lonely woods the jasmine burns
    Its fragrant lamps, and turns
    Into a royal court with green festoons
    The banks of dark lagoons.

Lilac (Syringa Vulgaris)[edit]

The purple clusters load the lilac-bushes.
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922)[edit]
Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 457.
  • The lilac spread
    Odorous essence.
  • Go down to Kew in lilac-time, in lilac-time, in lilac-time;
    Go down to Kew in lilac-time (it isn't far from London).
    And you shall wander hand in hand with love in summer's wonderland;
    Go down to Kew in lilac-time (it isn't far from London).
  • I am thinking of the lilac-trees,
    That shook their purple plumes,
    And when the sash was open,
    Shed fragrance through the room.
  • The purple clusters load the lilac-bushes.
  • When lilacs last in the door-yard bloom'd,
    And the great star early droop'd in the western sky in the night,
    I mourn'd—and yet shall mourn with ever-returning spring.
    • Walt Whitman, When Lilacs Last in the Door-Yard Bloom'd, I, Leaves of Grass.
  • With every leaf a miracle … and from this bush in the door-yard,
    With delicate-colour'd blossoms, and heart-shaped leaves of rich green
    A sprig, with its flower, I break.
    • Walt Whitman, When Lilacs Last in the Door-Yard Bloom'd, III, Leaves of Grass.

Lily (Lilium)[edit]

See Lilies.

Lily-of-the-Valley (Convallaria Majalis)[edit]

See Lily-of-the-Valley.

Lotus (Zizyphus Lotus)[edit]

  • Oh! what are the brightest that e'er have blown
    To the lote-tree, springing by Alla's throne,
    Whose flowers have a soul in every leaf.
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]
Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 463.
  • Where drooping lotos-flowers, distilling balm,
    Dream by the drowsy streamlets sleep hath crown'd,
    While Care forgets to sigh, and Peace hath balsamed Pain.
  • The lotus flower is troubled
    At the sun's resplendent light;
    With sunken head and sadly
    She dreamily waits for the night.
  • Lotos, the name; divine, nectareous juice!
    • Homer, Odyssey, Book IX, line 106. Pope's translation.
  • Stone lotus cups, with petals dipped in sand.
  • They wove the lotus band to deck
    And fan with pensile wreath their neck.
  • A spring there is, whose silver waters show
    Clear as a glass the shining sands below:
    A flowering lotos spreads its arms above,
    Shades all the banks, and seems itself a grove.
  • The Lotos blooms below the barren peak:
    The Lotos blooms by every winding creek:
    All day the wind breathes low with mellower tone:
    Thro' every hollow cave and alley lone,
    Round and round the spicy downs the yellow Lotos-dust is blown.
  • In that dusk land of mystic dream
    Where dark Osiris sprung,
    It bloomed beside his sacred stream
    While yet the world was young;
    And every secret Nature told,
    Of golden wisdom's power,
    Is nestled still in every fold,
    Within the Lotos flower.

Love Lies Bleeding (Amaranthus caudatus)[edit]

This flower that first appeared as summer's guest
Preserves her beauty 'mid autumnal leaves
And to her mournful habits fondly cleaves.
  • Love lies bleeding in the bed whereover
    Roses lean with smiling mouths or pleading:
    Earth lies laughing where the sun's dart clove her:
    Love lies bleeding.
  • This flower that first appeared as summer's guest
    Preserves her beauty 'mid autumnal leaves
    And to her mournful habits fondly cleaves.
    • William Wordsworth, Love Lies Bleeding, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 484.

Magnolia[edit]

  • Fragrant o'er all the western groves
    The tall magnolia towers unshaded.
    • Maria Brooks, Written on Seeing Pharamond; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 487.
  • Majestic flower! How purely beautiful
    Thou art, as rising from thy bower of green,
    Those dark and glossy leaves so thick and full,
    Thou standest like a high-born forest queen
    Among thy maidens clustering round so fair,—
    I love to watch thy sculptured form unfolding,
    And look into thy depths, to image there
    A fairy cavern, and while thus beholding,
    And while thy breeze floats o'er thee, matchless flower,
    I breathe the perfume, delicate and strong,
    That comes like incense from thy petal-bower;
    My fancy roams those southern woods along,
    Beneath that glorious tree, where deep among
    The unsunned leaves thy large white flower-cups hung!
    • C. P. Cranch, Poem to the Magnolia Grandiflora; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 487.

Marigold (Tagetes)[edit]

The marigold abroad her leaves doth spread,
Because the sun's and her power is the same.
Open afresh your round of starry folds,
Ye ardent marigolds!
Dry up the moisture from your golden lips.
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922)[edit]
Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 494-495.
  • The marigold, whose courtier's face
    Echoes the sun, and doth unlace
    Her at his rise, at his full stop
    Packs and shuts up her gaudy shop.
  • The marigold abroad her leaves doth spread,
    Because the sun's and her power is the same.
  • No marigolds yet closed are,
    No shadows great appeare.
    • Herrick, Hespendes, To Daisies, Not to Shut so Soone.
  • Open afresh your round of starry folds,
    Ye ardent marigolds!
    Dry up the moisture from your golden lips.
  • The sun-observing marigold.
  • Nor shall the marigold unmentioned die,
    Which Acis once found out in Sicily;
    She Phoebus loves, and from him draws his hue,
    And ever keeps his golden beams in view.
    • Rapin, in his Latin Poem on Gardens, translated by Gardiner in 1706.
  • When with a serious musing I behold
    The graceful and obsequious marigold,
    How duly every morning she displays
    Her open breast, when Titan spreads his rays.

Marsh Marigold (Caltha Palustris)[edit]

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]
Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 495.
  • The seal and guerdon of wealth untold
    We clasp in the wild marsh marigold.
  • Fair is the marigold, for pottage meet.
    • John Gay, Shepherd's Week, Monday, line 46.
  • A little marsh-plant, yellow green,
    And prick'd at lip with tender red,
    Tread close, and either way you tread,
    Some faint black water jets between
    Lest you should bruise the curious head.

Moccasin Flower (Cypripedium)[edit]

  • With careless joy we thread the woodland ways
    And reach her broad domain.
    Thro' sense of strength and beauty, free as air.
    We feel our savage kin,
    And thus alone with conscious meaning wear
    The Indian's moccasin!
    • Elaine Goodale, Moccasin Flower, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 519..

Morning-Glory (Ipomoea)[edit]

  • Wondrous interlacement!
    Holding fast to threads by green and silky rings,
    With the dawn it spreads its white and purple wings;
    Generous in its bloom, and sheltering while it clings,
    Sturdy morning-glory.
    • Helen Hunt Jackson, Morning-Glory; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 530.
  • The morning-glory's blossoming
    Will soon be coming round
    We see their rows of heart-shaped leaves
    Upspringing from the ground.
    • Maria White Lowell, Morning-Glory; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 530.

Myrtle (Myrtus Communis)[edit]

  • Nor myrtle—which means chiefly love: and love
    Is something awful which one dare not touch
    So early o' mornings.
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]
Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 541.
  • The myrtle (ensign of supreme command,
    Consigned by Venus to Melissa's hand)
    Not less capricious than a reigning fair,
    Oft favors, oft rejects a lover's prayer;
    In myrtle shades oft sings the happy swain,
    In myrtle shades despairing ghosts complain.
  • Dark-green and gemm'd with flowers of snow,
    With close uncrowded branches spread
    Not proudly high, nor meanly low,
    A graceful myrtle rear'd its head.
  • While the myrtle, now idly entwin'd with his crown,
    Like the wreath of Harmodius, shall cover his sword.

Narcissus[edit]

See Daffodils.

Orchid (Orchis)[edit]

In the marsh pink orchid's faces,
With their coy and dainty graces,
Lure us to their hiding places ,
Laugh, O murmuring Spring!
  • In the marsh pink orchid's faces,
    With their coy and dainty graces,
    Lure us to their hiding places ,
    Laugh, O murmuring Spring!
    • Sarah F. Davis, Summer Song, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 574.
  • Around the pillars of the palm-tree bower
    The orchids cling, in rose and purple spheres;
    Shield-broad the lily floats; the aloe flower
    Foredates its hundred years.
    • Bayard Taylor, Canopus, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 574.

Pansy (Viola Tricolor)[edit]

See Pansies.

Passion flower (Passiflora)[edit]

Art thou a type of beauty, or of power,
Of sweet enjoyment, or disastrous sin?
For each thy name denoteth, Passion flower!
  • Art thou a type of beauty, or of power,
    Of sweet enjoyment, or disastrous sin?
    For each thy name denoteth, Passion flower!
    O no! thy pure corolla's depth within
    We trace a holier symbol; yea, a sign
    'Twixt God and man; a record of that hour
    When the expiatory act divine
    Cancelled that curse which was our mortal dower.
    It is the Cross!
    • Sir Aubrey De Vere, A Song of Faith, Devout Exercises and Sonnets, "The Passion Flower"; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 581.
  • Her heart was a passion-flower, bearing within it the crown of thorns and the cross of Christ.
    • Jeremy Taylor, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 397.

Pink (Dianthus)[edit]

  • You take a pink,
    You dig about its roots and water it,
    And so improve it to a garden-pink,
    But will not change it to a heliotrope.
  • And I will pu' the pink, the emblem o' my dear,
    For she's the pink o' womankind, and blooms without a peer.
    • Robert Burns, O Luve Will Venture In; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 597.
  • The beauteous pink I would not slight.
    Pride of the gardener's leisure.
    • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, The Floweret Wondrous Fair, Stanza 8. John S. Dwight's translation; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 597.

Poppy (Popaver)[edit]

See Poppies.

Primrose (Primula)[edit]

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]
Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 633.
  • Ring-ting! I wish I were a primrose,
    A bright yellow primrose blowing in the spring!
    The stooping boughs above me,
    The wandering bee to love me,
    The fern and moss to creep across,
    And the elm-tree for our king!
  • The primrose banks how fair!
  • "I could have brought you some primroses, but I do not like to mix violets with anything."
    "They say primroses make a capital salad," said Lord St. Jerome.
  • Her modest looks the cottage might adorn,
    Sweet as the primrose peeps beneath the thorn.
  • Why doe ye weep, sweet babes? Can tears
    Speak griefe in you,
    Who were but borne
    Just as the modest morne
    Teemed her refreshing dew?
  • A tuft of evening primroses,
    O'er which the mind may hover till it dozes;
    O'er which it well might take a pleasant sleep,
    But that 'tis ever startled by the leap
    Of buds into ripe flowers.
  • Bountiful Primroses,
    With outspread heart that needs the rough leaves' care.
  • Mild offspring of a dark and sullen sire!
    Whose modest form, so delicately fine,
    Was nursed in whirling storms,
    And cradled in the winds.
    Thee when young spring first question'd winter's sway,
    And dared the sturdy blusterer to the fight,
    Thee on his bank he threw
    To mark his victory.
  • A primrose by a river's brim,
    A yellow primrose was to him,
    And it was nothing more.
  • Primroses, the Spring may love them;
    Summer knows but little of them.
  • The Primrose for a veil had spread
    The largest of her upright leaves;
    And thus for purposes benign,
    A simple flower deceives.

Safflower (Carthamus)[edit]

  • And the saffron flower
    Clear as a flame of sacrifice breaks out.
    • Jean Ingelow, The Doom, Book II, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 690.

Sloe (Prunus Spinosa)[edit]

  • From the white-blossomed sloe, my dear Chloe requested,
    A sprig her fair breast to adorn.
    No! by Heav'n, I exclaim'd, may I perish,
    If ever I plant in that bosom a thorn.
    • John O'Keefe, The Thorn, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 721.

Snowdrop (Galanthus)[edit]

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]
Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 723.
  • At the head of Flora's dance;
    Simple Snow-drop, then in thee
    All thy sister-train I see;
    Every brilliant bud that blows,
    From the blue-bell to the rose;
    All the beauties that appear,
    On the bosom of the Year,
    All that wreathe the locks of Spring,
    Summer's ardent breath perfume,
    Or on the lap of Autumn bloom,
    All to thee their tribute bring.
  • Nor will I then thy modest grace forget,
    Chaste Snow-drop, venturous harbinger of Spring,
    And pensive monitor of fleeting years!
  • Lone Flower, hemmed in with snows and white as they
    But hardier far, once more I see thee bend
    Thy forehead, as if fearful to offend,
    Like an unbidden guest. Though day by day,
    Storms, sallying from the mountain tops, waylay
    The rising sun, and on the plains descend;
    Yet art thou welcome, welcome as a friend
    Whose zeal outruns his promise!

Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus)[edit]

See Sunflowers.

Sweet pea (Lathyrus Odoratus)[edit]

  • The pea is but a wanton witch
    In too much haste to wed,
    And clasps her rings on every hand.
    • Thomas Hood, Flowers; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 591.
  • Here are sweet peas, on tiptoe for a flight;
    With wings of gentle flush o'er delicate white,
    And taper fingers catching at all things,
    To bind them all about with tiny rings.
    • John Keats, I Stood Tiptoe Upon a Little Hill; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 591.

Thistle (Cnicus)[edit]

  • Up wi' the flowers o' Scotland,
    The emblems o' the free,
    Their guardians for a thousand years,
    Their guardians still we'll be.
    A foe had better brave the de'il
    Within his reeky cell,
    Than our thistle's purple bonnet,
    Or bonny heather bell.
    • Thomas Hood, The Flowers of Scotland; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 787.
  • When on the breath of Autumn's breeze,
    From pastures dry and brown,
    Goes floating, like an idle thought,
    The fair, white thistle-down;
    O, then what joy to walk at will,
    Upon the golden harvest-hill!
    • Mary Howitt, Corn-Fields; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 787.

Tuberose (Polianthes Tuberosa)[edit]

  • The tuberose, with her silvery light,
    That in the gardens of Malay
    Is call'd the Mistress of the Night,
    So like a bride, scented and bright;
    She comes out when the sun's away.
    • Thomas Moore, Lalla Rookh (1817), Light of the Harem, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 822.

Tulip (Tulipa)[edit]

See Tulips.

Water-Lily (Nymphaeaceae)[edit]

The slender water-lily
Peeps dreamingly out of the lake;
The moon, oppress'd with love's sorrow,
Looks tenderly down for her sake.
Now folds the lily all her sweetness up,
And slips into the bosom of the lake.
  • Summer night,
    blossoming in the pond,
    water-lilies and stars
  • Those virgin lilies, all the night
    Bathing their beauties in the lake,
    That they may rise more fresh and bright,
    When their beloved sun's awake.
  • The water-lily starts and slides
    Upon the level in little puffs of wind,
    Tho' anchor'd to the bottom.
  • Now folds the lily all her sweetness up,
    And slips into the bosom of the lake;
    So fold thyself, my dearest, thou, and slip
    Into my bosom, and be lost in me.
  • Rapaciously we gathered flowery spoils
    From land and water; lilies of each hue, ,
    Golden and white, that float upon the waves,
    And court the wind.
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922)[edit]
Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 863.
  • What loved little islands, twice seen in their lakes :
    Can the wild water-lily restore.
  • The slender water-lily
    Peeps dreamingly out of the lake;
    The moon, oppress'd with love's sorrow,
    Looks tenderly down for her sake.
  • Broad water-lilies lay tremulously.
    And starry river-buds glimmered by,
    And around them the soft stream did glide and dance
    With a motion of sweet sound and radiance.
  • Swan flocks of lilies shoreward lying,
    In sweetness, not in music, dying.

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