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Ten Flowers And Plants That Thrive In Winter

Shake off the winter blues with bloomin' color

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1. Snowdrops / Via

(Galanthus nivalis) "The first printed British reference to 'snowdrop' flowers can be found in the Gerarde's 'Great Herbal', published in 1597. There he called them 'Timely Flowering Bulbous Violets' which he says may perhaps be the 'Gillowflower or winter-flowering Violet Alba' mentioned by Greek naturalist Theophrastus (c250 BC) in his 'Enquiry into Plants' first published in Latin translation c1490." The Magick of Snowdrops

2. Nepalese Paper Plant / Via

(Daphne bholua, Jacqueline Postill) "Daphne, Greek name for the bay or laurel tree, named after the nymph who was transformed into the tree by the gods to save her from the persuit of Apollo. Bholua is derived from bhulu swa, the name of the plant in the Nepalese (the plant orginates from the Himlayas)." Alitura

3. Japanese Andromeda / Via

(Pieris japonica) "Its common name, Andromeda, was in Greek myth the name of a princess of Ethiopia who was chained to a sea wall, threatened by a Kraken until saved from sure doom by Perseus. The pendulous chains of Pieris flowers evoke the chains of the captive princess. The alternate name Fetterbush also alludes to her bondage in chains." Paghat's Garden

4. Hellebores, Lenten Rose / Via

(Helleborus) "Believed to come from the Greek ‘ellos/hellos’, ‘fawn’ and ‘bora’, ‘food’, thus, food for a fawn. An alternative is that the first syllable is from 'hele' meaning to take away so that the name 'take way food' refers to the emetic nature of the plant." The Poison Garden

5. Leatherleaf Mahonia / Via

(Mahonia bealei) "Named for the 19th century American horticulturist Bernard McMahon, known as Thomas Jefferson’s 'garden mentor'. The species name Bealei honors William James Beal (1833-1924) an American botanist who taught at the Michigan Agricultural College, or it honors Thomas Chay Beale, consul from Portugal to Shanghai before 1860. He grew plants collected by the great botanical spy Robert Fortune, responsible for smuggling tea seeds/plants out of China. Botanists also can’t agree on history." Eat The Weeds

6. Winter Jasmine / Via

(Jasminum nudiflorum) "Winter-flowering jasmine is such a common and ordinary plant that you would not think that it had a glamorous history, but it does. It was collected by the great plant hunter Robert Fortune on a three-year trip in China in 1843.

As the Horticultural Society's (now the RHS) Collector for China, his was a journey fraught with the kind of adventures that would make Indiana Jones's escapades seem humdrum, involving fighting brigands and pirates, and disguising himself as a local with a shaven head and ponytail." Daily Mail

7. Winter Aconite / Via

(Eranthis hyemalis) "The origin of the common name Winter Aconite and the fact that the entire plant is poisonous has its origin in Greek and Roman mythology. According to the myth, Medea attempted to murder Theseus by tainting his wine with the poisonous saliva of Cerberus, the three-headed dog that guarded the underworld.

Hercules dragged Cerberus out from the underworld, and the light of day upset Cerberus. While barking his protest, his poison saliva fell on the path around him. The saliva hardened into stones in the soil, and from those stones, Winter Aconite grew. The Greeks called the flowers aconite, from the word 'akone' meaning 'whetstone'." University of Illinois

8. Winter Pansies / Via

"According to Jerry Goodspeed, Utah State University Extension horticulturist, pansies are related to violas which are believed to have been cultivated in Greece in the 4th Century B.C. The pansy, as we know it, began in Iver, Buckinghamshire, England, in the 1800s. Lord Gambier and his gardener William Thompson crossed various violas and then selected plants with fascinating color combinations and large blossoms. By the 1850s many different strains of pansies were available in Europe." Dennis Hinkamp

9. Jelena Witch Hazel / Via

(Hamamelis x intermedia 'Jelena') "Although the common name conjures up images of woodland sorcery, it was likely derived from witch hazel's resemblance to the wych elm (Ulmus glabra) and hazel shrub (Corylus avellana); both familiar plants to English colonists who first encountered Hamamelis virginiana in America." Friends of the Highline

10. Bergenia / Via

(Bergenia cordifolia) "The majority of bergenias in cultivation have arisen through deliberate hybridisation, and the mix of species and hybrids caused much confusion for years. Dr Peter Yeo, during his tenure as the Garden’s taxonomist, undertook to sort out the complexities of this genus in cultivation, and our collection results from his research.

The name Bergenia was given to the genus in honour of the German botanist and physician Karl August von Bergen (1704-1759)." Cambridge University

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