Lavender flower is well known for its pleasant scent and elegant appearance. More than that, this flower also represents various meanings, from love and devotion, to serenity and spirituality.
Lavender meaning and symbolism that have been existed since the ancient civilization are the main reason why this flower is included on the list of popular flowers of all time.
A. About Lavender
Lavender is classified under the genus Lavanula. It is firstly cultivated in Europe and some regions in the Mediterranean area.
However, the newest varieties of this flower, including hybrids, can also be found in different countries, from northern to eastern Africa to southwest Asia.
Lavender flowers grow in the shape of a small bush with the height of 40-60 centimeters. They are composed by multiple small florets in pale purple color.
The plant itself is a perennial, thus, in the suitable growing conditions, it can bear flowers up to 30 years regardless the season. Lavender plant has deep, branched root as well as the short and thick stem.
B. Types and Varieties of Lavender Flowers
There are at least 47 species and varieties of lavender flowers that are cultivated around the globe. However, there are three varieties of lavender that are considered more popular than the others.
They are spike lavender (Lavandula spica), English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), and Spanish or French lavender (Lavandula dentate).
Spike lavender is known for having tufted leaves. This feature is different from English variety that has narrow-edged leaves like most common types of lavender.
Meanwhile, Spanish or French lavenders have slightly pointed leaves. They are usually used as the main composition to create fragrance or perfume.
C. Lavender’s Healing Properties and Other Uses
The most important property of lavender flower is its fragrance. To reserve lavender’s fragrance, the flower is dried, extracted, and processed into essential oils, cologne, soap, or perfumes.
Personal products made of lavender have been proven to produce calming and relaxing scent.
Lavender essential oils, in particular, have the ability to relieve cramps, heal wounds, as well as reduce neuralgia and migraine. This ability is due to the substances contained by the flower: linalol and linalacetate (linalyl acetate).
Those substances are responsible for the flower’s strong and special scent that is rich in healing properties.
D. Lavender Meaning: Color and Etymology
There are different versions that explain the origin and history of the lavender name. One version believes that the name ‘lavender’ is derived from the Latin words ‘livere’ or ‘lividus’ which mean bluish color.
This version relates the flower name to its appearance that has bluish and pale purple shade.
Meanwhile, another version states that the origin of the lavender name comes from an Old English word ‘lavage’ and ‘lavra’. It is also derived from a Latin verb which means ‘to wash’ and ‘bathing’ respectively.
This name is given to the flower because people often use it to wash clothes in the ancient civilization of Roman and European. Because of its relaxing scent, lavender is also used for bathing during that period.
Moreover, lavender color expresses its own meaning and symbolism as well. Although its varieties have slightly different shades, lavender flower only comes in one main color: purple.
While this color makes the flower beautiful in nature, it also expresses the sense of royalty and nobility.
Additionally, lavender color gives a meaning of spirituality. Because of this, the flower is often used in some spiritual or religious rituals. The purple color of lavender also represents the seventh chakra to be used during yoga or meditation.
E. Other Meanings of Lavender Flowers
Lavender flower meaning goes deeper than its color and etymological background. Other meanings that this purple flower conveys include the sense of tranquility, serenity, purity, as well as devotion and caution.
Many people believe that lavender flower expresses quietness and tranquility. For that reason, this flower is usually chosen as the main companion in a meditation session.
Also, it is often used as a room decoration by those who want to experience a quiet time with their emotions and thoughts.
In line with its therapeutic property, lavender flower expresses the meaning of serenity. Lavender is usually used as flower decoration to provide a calming and peaceful atmosphere in a house. Moreover, it is also extracted into aromatherapy oils or scents.
Lavender is often associated with the sense of purity as it expresses the innocent state of the soul. In some cultures, the flower is included in cultural events and ceremonies to cleanse one’s soul or celebrate one’s purity state.
Another meaning of lavender is related to the message of loyalty and devotion. You can use this flower as a present for your loved ones to express love and devotion towards them.
Because of this meaning, lavender is often included in floral arrangements for wedding bouquets.
In the past, the lavender flower is given to the men or soldiers who go to war as a symbol of caution or protection. Besides expressing cautiousness, the flower also sends the message to be careful all the time.
F. Lavender Symbolism and Secret Message
Lavender symbolism has been discussed since ancient times. In the ancient Greece civilization, the flower is considered as one of the sacred flowers that symbolize the holy state of shrines and temples.
Meanwhile, in ancient Rome, lavender symbolizes luxury that only people from high social status can buy and grow the flowers.
In addition to its symbolism in different cultures, lavender expresses some secret messages. For instance, the flowers secretly define royalty, refinement, and higher social class.
In the past, they were used to decorate the kings’ rooms or the queens’ parlors. Therefore, when you use them as home decoration, you can also get the implication of royalty impression.
Based on the above explanation, it can be concluded that lavender meaning is not only limited to the sense of calm and relaxation. In fact, the flowers can symbolize many things, so they can be used on various occasions.
Whether you include them in floral arrangements or put them inside as home decoration, lavender flowers will always treat you with their timeless elegance and lasting beauty.