Last Updated on February 17, 2022 by Cristina
If you had to guess the official french flower you’d probably think of the lavender fields in Provance, but you’d be far from the truth. Fleur de Lis, or iris as we know it, is the national flower of this romantic country, and it’s just as majestic as it sounds.
But the french flowers don’t stop here; there are a few more unique types that you can grow almost anywhere in the world. Just think of the poppy flowers or Christmas poinsettia; they’re native french blooms!
You can’t fail to learn the French art of growing and gifting flowers. They pay attention to the meaning of each blossom and keep a particular bouquet-making tradition. Sounds interesting? Let’s learn to express our feelings with a french flower.
France’s National Flower
The national flower of France has been a topic of interest for a while. Fleur the Lys translates to English as the flower of the lily. This can easily trick you into thinking that the lily is the national flower. However, this was a type of mistake that prolonged for years.
To understand, you need to know a few terms. So how do you say flower in French? ‘Fleur’ means flower, and ‘de’ is of, or belonging to.
Namely, Louis VII nurtured a special affection for the irises. In 1137, during his coronation, he wore a coat with irises which quickly got the name the flower of Louis, or Fleur de Loys.
Shortly after, people started mispronouncing the name and ended up in today’s version as Fleur de Lys.
The sweet Iris, scientific name Iris pallida, is a paler iris with dark purple zebra stripes. It has 3 petals that are connected to several legends. The first one claims that the petals represent the holy trinity. For others, they symbolize purity, innocence, and freedom. In Greek, iris means rainbow, which can refer to the over 200 kinds of this french flower. The royal coat of arms also features the iris.
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Beautiful French Flower Names, Meaning, And Use
Besides the majestic lily, there are a few other french flowers worth mentioning.
Lilies are well represented in the French gardens, but worldwide too. They require sunny spots with well-draining soil and bloom once a season. You need to plant their rhizomes in the fall or early spring and enjoy beautiful cut flowers in the middle of the summer.
The aromatic lavender is a flowering shrub that takes pride in its versatility. It’s used in cooking, as a medicinal herb, and aromatherapy. It’s drought-tolerant and needs full sun to thrive. It flowers in summer when you can harvest the tiny blooms and dry them for further use.
We can’t forget gerbera and roses. The French rose is not only the trademark of french lovers but also used in cosmetology as a fragrance.
Cornflowers are the flower of remembrance for the french. This wildflower blooms even in the poorer conditions. It signifies resilience, innocence, hope, and freedom.
The French Flowers Etiquette
When it comes to gifting flowers, french people rarely give potted houseplants. This is mainly because French city apartments are too small to fit houseplants. French people buy cut flowers as a gift and for themselves to bring some color into their homes. So what is a typical French flower?
There are a few rules french like to follow when planting, buying, and gifting flowers. First, they avoid all white or yellow bouquets. White flowers are reserved for weddings, while yellow flowers signify disloyalty. This includes white lilies, white and yellow roses, or gerbera daisies and daffodils. Next, they never gift purple carnations and chrysanthemums. These are both used as flowers for tombs and funerals.
Roses are an excellent gift for a hostess or a centerpiece at your dinner table. But avoid red, as they symbolize passionate love.
Flowers have such a deep meaning in France that people craft realistically looking beaded flowers to bring some everlasting joy into their homes.
You might wonder how to make French beaded flower? This ancient craft is so popular that you can find free tutorials and patterns with simple research.
Make Your Own French Garden
Most native french flowers are easy to grow in the US, but you have to check which ones suit your USDA hardiness zone.
Irises thrive in USDA zones 5 to 9 and need at least 6 hours of sunlight. They’re grown from rhizomes, a bulb that stores energy for the plant to survive the winter. Plant them in late fall before the first frost, and the foliage will come up in spring.
You can expect the irises to bloom in mid to late summer. However, remember that irises bloom once a season, so plant several rhizomes every 2 weeks to ensure you get a lovely blooming garden well into fall. Some rare types called remontants might rebloom.
Lilies grow best in zones 6 to 9 and are also planted from bulbs. You can plant them from early fall or spring. Depending on when you plant them, they can bloom from spring to summer. They also bless your garden with majestic flowers once a season.
If you don’t have a garden, consider planting lavender in a small pot to keep on your kitchen counter or window. It’s fragrant, and you can bake perfect lavender cookies. Lavender needs a warm environment similar to zones 7 to 11, dry soil, and around 8 hours of sunlight.
Suppose you’re in for a challenge, plant lilacs. They symbolize tranquility and appreciation. These incredibly aromatic flowers will have your garden smell heavenly for a short time in spring. The ideal zones are 4 to 7, with at least 6 hours of sunlight.
Other french plants that are easy to grow and produce colorful bloom include pansies, Gourdon flowers, nasturtium, jasmine, Castile, and marigolds.
Bottom Line: Which French Flowers To Add To Your Garden
France is home to one of the largest flower markets, which speaks volumes about the flower culture here. The french flowers are not humdrum; they’re majestic, statement-making, and fragrant.
Starting with the lavender fields of Provance to the royal coat of arms featuring the Fleur de Lys, the french flower is weaved in every segment of the daily life of residents.
The tiny Parisian apartments are not enough to fit many household plants. But Parisians nurture the habit of strolling to the flower market. That’s why the most famous french flowers are those with lasting blooms.
How do you say flower in French?
Flower in French is called 'fleur'. The easiest way to remember it with Fleur de Lys, the official flower of the country. A plant is 'plante', while a bouquet of flowers is 'bouquet de fleurs'.
How to make French beaded flower?
The easiest way to learn to make beaded flowers is with a video tutorial. All you need are beads, a bendable wire that they can go through, and pliers to twist and cut the wire.
What is a typical French flower?
You can often find french flower arrangements with roses, lilies, gerbera daisies, and peonies. The lily is voted the most popular flower in France, along with tulips and roses.
Mary is a passionate gardener who loves spending her days getting her hands dirty and nurturing her plants. She‘s an avid reader of gardening magazines and is always looking for new ways to make her garden thrive. When not outside tending to her plants, Mary can be found inside reading up on the latest gardening trends, comparing notes with fellow gardeners, and finding the perfect pottery planter for her next planting project.