Whether they’re growing at the side of the road, in a vase on the table or taking over the garden, flowers are pretty much everywhere you look.
Whilst you may think you know everything there is to know about these picturesque plants, there are still some surprising flower facts you may well have overlooked.
1. Tulips make great salad ingredients
Several varieties of tulip have edible petals and make fantastic salad ingredients. Crisp, colourful and peppery; they’ll brighten up your light lunch and add an exotic twist to your evening meals.
2. Tulip bulbs can be substituted for onions in most recipes
However, it’s important to ensure that you only use fresh bulbs that haven’t been exposed to pesticides, otherwise your culinary adventures may not taste too good.
3. The largest flower in the world is also the…smelliest
Growing up to ten feet high and three feet wide, the Titan Arums produces the largest flower in the world. However, it’s never really become a household hit due to the fact that the flower smells like rotting flesh.
4. Thistles helped the Scots escape the Viking hoards
During the dark ages, the Scots found that patches of wild thistles were very effective at slowing Viking invaders down enough for locals to escape the rampaging hoards; who would have thought flowers could be so useful?
5. There are over 400,000 types of flowering plants in the world
However, as many are yet to be discovered, the true number may be even higher.
6. Saffron comes from crocus flowers
You’ve probably seen saffron on the supermarket shelves, but did you know this valuable product is actually harvested from crocuses?
7. Around 60% of fresh cut flowers in America come from California
The state also produces 99% of the country’s artichokes, 97% of kiwis and 95% of garlic.
8. Dandelions are packed with nutrients
Did you know that one cup of dandelion greens provides 7,000-13,000 I.U. of vitamin A? Not bad for a plant that many people think of as a weed.
9. Bamboos produce flowers
You may not think of bamboos as flowering plants, but they do produce flowers every few years. When they do, all flowers of the same species bloom at exactly the same time.
10. An estimated 198 million roses were produced for Valentine’s Day in the US in 2010.
And 75% of the 110 million stems sold were bought by men.