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Flowers and Holiday Traditions Around the World: Winter and Christmas Flowers and Greenery

We don't usually think of Christmas as a time for flowers, after all, Christmas marks the beginning of winter—what flowers are there at Christmas? But on second thought, I'm sure many plants & flowers come to mind, many of them with historical associations with Christmas or the Winter Solstice. Most of these are considered Christmas flowers or plants because they are evergreens or bloom in the winter, showing the hope of spring at the darkest time of year.


Some species of mistletoe are evergreens. They are parasitic plants that grow on trees such as oak or apple. They have beautiful green leaves and white or yellowish berries. A sacred plant for both the Norse and the Celts, mistletoe has been adopted into the Christmas decorating tradition. Kissing under the mistletoe is a custom dating back at least to the early 17th century. The man is supposed to pluck a berry when he kisses a woman under the mistletoe and when all the berries are gone, no more kissing takes place.


The Christmas colours of green and red are derived from the colours of the European holly plant, with its spiky green leaves and bright red berries. The custom of decorating with holly probably goes back to the Roman festival of Saturnalia, a precursor to Christmas.

Christmas Trees

The decoration of Christmas trees goes back to Roman times and was introduced into England from Germany soon after Queen Victoria's marriage to Prince Albert. Evergreen branches are also used to decorate homes, and give off that wonderful Christmasy scent.


Is a plant known for its bright festive display of colour right around Christmastime. There is a Mexican legend that a young girl walking to Christmas mass was upset because she had no appropriate offering. She was told that even a humble gift was acceptable if given with the proper spirit. So she picked some weeds from the side of the road. When she took them to the church, they burst into colour�a Christmas miracle.


Actually the holiday flower is a hippeastrum, though popularly called an amaryllis (a related flower native to Africa). It is grown from a bulb and blooms around Christmas time. They come in a variety of sizes and colours.

Order some flowers for your Christmas holiday.