Many of us can recognize the flags from countries around the world and even maybe national birds or mammals such as the Bald eagle which is recognized by the United States. Could you however name the national trees or flowers around the world. Below is a selection of official flower and tree emblems spanning six continents.
Carnations come in over 300 varieties with many colors being created by man. They most likely originated in the Mediterranean and their natural color is a purple-pink. Often used as tuxedo decorations, they are also popular in Mother's Day bouquets. They are also used in the manufacture of some alcoholic beverages.Although the national flower of Spain, it is Colombia which produces the most in the world.
The blooming of cherry blossoms signal the arrival of spring. Called Sakura in Japan, cherry blossoms can best be viewed in places like the Golden Pavilion in Kyoto or Nara Park which adds the benefit of seeing deer as well. Cherry blossoms don't last long so travel planning is a must and if one doesn't have the means to travel to Asia, there are many other places which are home to the beautiful trees like Macon, Georgia which is know as the cherry blossom capital of the world.
Canada definitely makes it known that they honor the maple as it is emblazoned on their flag. Maples consist of well over a hundred species mostly restricted to the northern hemisphere. They provide beautiful color during the fall season along with providing us with maple syrup and baseball bats.
It may have taken Australia 200 years to officially name the golden wattle a national symbol, but it now has its own celebration day known as "National Wattle Day." Just as Australians love to travel so too does the golden wattle as it has become naturalized throughout the world including in Africa, Europe, and Asia. Uses include its tannin, floral arrangements, honey making, and in perfumes.
Yes that cork in your wine bottle is actually made from the bark of a tree. The cork oak is actually an evergreen and therefore retains its leaves. Once a tree reaches 25 years old its bark can be harvested for cork making. When done correctly, the tree is unharmed in the process and can be harvested again approximately ten years later.
Held sacred, the Banyan tree was named for the Indian traders or Banias who used the trees for their shade. Despite being enormous and beautiful, almost every piece of the tree can be of use many of which have medicinal qualities. Older trees can reach unbelievable diameters that extend as far as 2 football fields.
Ancient Egyptians knew they had found something special in chamomile and people have been using it to heal or soothe countless ailments ever since. Once used in Egypt for the mummification process it now is placed in lotions, drops, and of course the famous tea in order to relieve pain or discomfort.
Blooming in spring, the calla lilly symbolizes rebirth, purity, and youth. It is for this reason it is often used in weddings as well during Easter to symbolize the resurrection of Jesus.
Unmistakable trees, the baobab have come to be synonymous with Madagascar. You can however find species growing in Africa and Western Australia. There massive trunks act almost as a natural zoo since it houses bats, reptiles, insects, and birds. They also attract large animals like elephants who try to get at its contained water. So large are their trunks, that they have been used as outback pubs, jail cells, and even post offices.
Silver Fern-New Zealand
You would be hard pressed to visit New Zealand and not see the silver fern being used as a symbol. It is proudly displayed on its coat of arms, rail operators, airlines, sports teams, and on its citizens via tattoos. There was even a referendum recently whch almost had its national flag replaced with a new one depicting a silver fern.
A now endangered evergreen, the monkey puzzle tree gets its name from it supposedly being confusing to climb should a monkey try to do so. One will never really know since Chile lacks monkeys. Individual trees usually produce either female or male cones of which their seeds are edible to man.
Specifically it is Siebold's Magnolia which is a national symbol for North Korea. Ironically it is viewed as a sign of peace by its citizens and is abundant and highly cultivated. Surprising is the fact that there are two flowers named after Kim Jong-un's father and grandfather and still it is the magnolia which stands as its national flower.
Symbolizing diversity, strength, and beauty it is no wonder America has chosen the oak as its national tree. So too has England, Germany, and France chosen the oak as a national symbol. Of course the oak is known for its acorns which are loved by squirrels, birds, deer, and even fictional ice age saber-toothed squirrels. Cattle must be wary however as young acorns have proven to be toxic to them.
A main ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine, it is no wonder why it is revered by not only Greece but all around the world. Successful Olympians were given a crown made of its leaves as well as its oil being used to keep the original Olympic games alight. Somewhat surprising is the fact that only 10% of olives harvested remain whole whereas the rest are destined to become olive oil.
A stubborn and extremely prickly weed, the thistle like all things Scottish is a thing of legends. Some say the thistle is highly honored as it alerted the Scottish of an approaching Viking attack when its spines found its way into the bare footed enemy soldiers. It is safe to say that even Thor himself could not remain quiet with a thistle embedded in his foot.
Astonishingly the tulip is not officially recognized as the national flower of the Netherlands however it may as well be. All one needs to do is pay the country a visit in spring to see why. One of the best places to see the splendor of tulips in Holland is in the Garden of Europe. Officially named Keukenhof, one of the world's largest gardens plants millions of flower bulbs annually. One must plan carefully however as the gardens are only open for a brief 2 month period and best pay a visit mid April to see the unofficial national flower in all its glory.
With all the incredible flower species in the world it is surprising that England chose a fictitious flower to be its national symbol. It was created when Henry VII joined two royal families together, the White Rose of York and the Red Rose of Lancaster. This would end the War of the Roses. So although the Tudor Rose is imaginary it is still highly symbolic and worthy of its status as a national symbol.
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