It’s October – time for another birth flower! October’s birth flower is the cosmos. If you’ve ever wanted to look into the depths of the universe, why not stare at the cosmos’s pretty petals? This beautiful bloom has a history that’s out of this world, so let’s take off and take a look!
Cosmos are native to Mexico. They thrive in a warm and dry environment, and they’re a member of the Aster family (hello, September’s birth flower!). After Spain conquered Mexico in the 1500s, the conquerors brought back loads of cosmos flowers to Spain, where they were understandably a big hit. The wife of England’s ambassador to Spain took hundreds of cosmos seeds back to the UK in the late 18th century. Half a decade later, the cosmos flower made it back to North America; specifically, the United States.
In Mexico, Spanish priests were growing cosmos in their garden. Through their observation of the flower’s perfectly placed petals, they dubbed it “cosmos,” which is the Greek word for harmony or ordered universe.
When the plant was introduced to Britain in 1799, it had little success due to its inability to thrive in the colder environment. It took a century to remedy this issue and create cosmos with brighter colours, fancier petals, and even double blossoms. The “Cosmos Sensation” was introduced in 1930 to glowing reviews and significantly raised popularity. It had huge blossoms and many gorgeous colours, such as crimson and white.
Cosmos flowers generally symbolise order and harmony, due to their symmetrical and orderly petals. However, cosmos can also mean balance, peace, love, joy and beauty, among other things. There are around 40 species of the flower.
They also have medicinal properties, including use as an anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antibacterial. They can even strengthen bones! They contain butein and quercetin, which makes them amazing herbal remedies.
Cosmos are not only named after an orderly universe, with their medicinal qualities and joyful beauty, they help create a more orderly universe. So the next time your life feels a little off-kilter, try looking at a cosmos flower for some harmonious inspiration!