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December Birth Flower: Holly

by Stefan Karatzas 19 Jun 2023
December Birth Flower - Holly and Narcissus Flowers

December Birth Flower: Learn About Holly and Narcissus Holly, an evergreen shrub with red berries, is a popular holiday decoration. 

If December is your birth month, you're in for a treat! Holly and Narcissus flowers are the two most significant blooms of this special time of year. Delight in their captivating beauty and learn about their hidden stories.

Discover how they serve as symbolic reminders of persistence, ambition, and triumph as you read about the unique histories behind these two December birth month flowers.

December Birth Flowers – Holly and Narcissus 

The Holly shrubs, popular for their red berries and evergreen leaves, are often incorporated in holiday decors such as wreaths and centerpieces.

The Narcissus is a bulb mostly preferred for indoor planting to produce beautiful white flowers in time for the holidays. Symbolizes what is pure and unconditional.

THE HOLLY

Holly plant shown in bud form.

The Holly plant, belonging to the Ilex genus of the Aquifoliaceae family, comprises over 400 species, including trees over 50 feet tall and featuring glossy green leaves with serrated edges.

Native to North America, Europe, North Africa, Japan, and China, this evergreen plant is a highlight for many during cold winters outdoors. Note the plant bears red, white, yellow, black, or pink berries, which only grow if the male and female varieties are planted together.

MEANINGS AND SYMBOLISM HOLLY

  • Holly is commonly used in Christianity to represent Jesus's crown of thorns and his blood.

  • In ancient Rome, Holly was given during Saturnalia to protect against evil spirits.

  • Druids in Great Britain decorated their homes with Holly to symbolize renewal and life during the winter solstice.

  • Holly was associated with the Holly King in Pagan and Celtic traditions, who was believed to rule the Earth between the summer and winter solstices.

  • Holly has been seen as symbolizing hope, wealth, fertility, happiness, peace, protection, and defense.

  • Planting Holly next to a house was believed to ward off evil spirits to protect against lightning strikes.

HISTORY OF THE HOLLY

  • Holly has been a staple in Christmas decor for centuries.

  • The Duke of Argyll rerouted a road in the 1800s to protect an old holly tree.

  • American Holly was declared Delaware's state tree in 1939.

  • Holly wood has been used to make chess boards, chess pieces, and horse whips.

  • American and English Holly are the top species used for holiday decor.

  • Planting Holly near the house was believed to offer protection against evil spirits and lightning strikes.

HOLLY IN THE GARDEN: PLANTING AND CARE GUIDE 

Holly plants are best seeded during spring and fall months, preferring full sunlight with well-draining and slightly acidic soil. These shrubs work well as hedges, perennial borders, or foundation plantings. Trim larger varieties in the late fall or early spring to maintain a preferred size.

Holly helps to feed many birds who choose to stay in colder climates during the winter when other food sources become scarce. It's important to note that Holly is not safe for humans and many animals.

The Narcissus (Paperwhite)

Narcissus Flower Example Photo

The Narcissus, also known as Paperwhite, belongs to the Amaryllidaceae family and includes various types of flowers, such as the popular daffodil birth flower.

These spring-blooming flowers are native to the Mediterranean region and have been naturalized in North America, Asia, and Europe. With a paperwhite bulb, you can enjoy multiple fragrant white blooms of up to a dozen flowers.

NARCISSUS MEANINGS AND SYMBOLISM

  • Narcissus flowers grew where Narcissus perished

  • The paperwhite flower represents purity, faithfulness, and respect

  • In Victorian times, giving a narcissus meant you were the only one.

  • Paperwhite bouquets express pure or unconditional love

NARCISSUS IN HISTORY

The Narcissus Paperwhites, the oldest and globally distributed genus, are among the most popular flowering bulbs worldwide.

They can bloom mid-winter and are associated with the Chinese Lunar New Year. Firstly used in making perfumes due to their strong fragrance, paperwhites are poisonous, with the bulb being the most toxic.

GROWING NARCISSUS FLOWERS

Growing Paperwhites and Narcissus indoors during winter. Use soilless potting mix and well-draining pots to avoid over-saturation. Keep roots hydrated but not overly wet. Alternatively, place bulbs in a glass bowl filled with small rocks in shallow water.

To promote root growth, place in a cool, dark area for a few weeks before relocating to a well-lit area. Move the plant to an area with filtered light when flower stems begin to bloom for longer-lasting blooms.

In conclusion, December has two special birth month flowers. Both Holly and Narcissus are significant symbols of this festive season, each one reflecting its distinct purpose. Whether it's the strength to overcome difficulties or humbly accepting pureness from nature, both of these plants offer messages of hope, ambition, and triumph that make them perfect for decorations of all types this holiday season.

Now that you understand the meanings and symbolism associated with the December birth flower, why not explore further gifts straight from Mother Nature? James Cress Florist is here to help with their wide selection of happy birthday flowers for same-day flower delivery. Embrace a complex yet meaningful gift today while supporting our local florists!

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