Symbolism of Flora


Chloris is the goddess of flowers in Greek mythology. In Roman mythology, she is known as Flora,
and in Hebrew it is a transliteration of Flora, פלורה, or Zimchia, צמחייה, vegetation.


Ernst and Johanna Lehner (1960): "Throughout human history flowers, plants and trees became so interwoven with man's daily life that they developed into symbols for human expressions and sentiments, his passions and affections, his beliefs and religions, his fears and superstitions. Early humans discovered the medicinal, nutritious properties of plants, the beauty and frarance of their leaves, flowers and blossoms as floral symbols to gods and deities, and representations for seasons and monthes of the year".*
Tree-worship and tree-symbolim were common amongst the ancient Semitic peoples.
William Robertson Smith (1846 – 1894): "The sacred trees of the Semites include every prominent species of natural wood-the pines and cedars of the Lebanon, the evergreen oaks of the palestinian hills, the tamarisks o the syrian jungles, the acacias of the Arabian wadies and so forth".
The flower represented to the Oriental all the mysterious phnomena connected with birth, reproduction, and fecundity.

In the Bible, the Tree of Life was located at the centre of the Garden of Eden, the birth-place of Man, where divine order ruled over all living beings. Contrasting with it was the“Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil,” with its forbidden fruits, which ultimately induced the fall of Man.

Acanthus syriacus, Syrian bear's breech,  Kotsitz Suri,קוציץ סורי,חרול,charûl, شوك آف الدب
Akanthos, (Greek) άκανθος, thorn plant from acantha, ακανϑα, thorn, thistle; "ake," a sharp point; Septuagint akantha.
The symbolism and meaning associated with the Acanthus is that of enduring life, and the plant is traditionally displayed at funerary celebrations. According to Cooper (1987), acanthus represents life, immortality, horns of the lunar crescent, veneration of the arts in Mediterranean countries. As acanthus appeared first in the Greek monumental art, often on burial urns in association with the death and morning, a definite relationship between the plant and the tomb is to be existed. It is a well-known story of Vitruvius’ acanthus related to the female and funerary, and phrases in Greek mythology indicate a sepulchral significance of the plant (Vitruvius's (Marcus Vitruvius Pollio born c. 80–70 BCE, died after c. 15 BCE) 'On Architecture' (book IV).)


Adonis microcarpa,Small pheasant's eye, Red Chamomile,Dmumit, حنون البس ,דמומית קטנת-פרי
Adonis microcarpa, Small pheasant's eye, Red Chamomile, Dmumit, حنون البس ,דמומית קטנת-פרי
The mortal youth, Adonis, was famous in Greek mythology for his stunning and almost other-worldly physical beauty.
Adonis died when he was attacked by a wild boar that was sent by Artemis, who was jealous of his hunting skills. A different version of the myth has it that the boar was sent by Ares, as he was the lover of Aphrodite. When he died, Aphrodite poured nectar over his blood, and the flower anemone emerged.


Amygdalus communis, Prunus amygdalus, Common Almond,
Amygdalus communis, Prunus amygdalus, Common Almond, . The Hebrew word: שקד, shaked, Aramaic: שקדא, skeda, signifies "the waker", as it is the first tree to wake to life in winter. The menorah of the tabernacle: Exodus 25:34 And on the lampstand there are to be four cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms. And in Numeri 25 we read that the chiefs of the tribes had almond rods. The rod is always used as a symbol of authority.


Artemisia arborescens,Tree Wormwood,שיבה ,לענה שיחנית,  أرتميزيا
Artemisia arborescens,Tree Wormwood,שיבה ,לענה שיחנית, أرتميزيا. Wormwood is used in Hebrew metaphorically to denote the moral bitterness of distress and trouble (Deut. xxix 17; Jer.ix, 14; xxiii, 15; Prov. v,4; Lam.iii,15,19; Amos v,7).


Cedrus libani, Cedar of Lebanon, Erez Helevanon, ארז הלבנון, Arz أرز
Cedrus libani, Cedar of Lebanon, Erez Helevanon, ארז הלבנון, Arz أرز
In the Bible the cedar-tree is referred to as a symbol of height.
The Scriptures by Ezekiel (31:1-18) illustrate beautifully how these lofty kings of the forest were used by prophet orators to symbolize and typify worldly might, power, and glory. It symbolized strenght, grandeur, might, majesty, dignity, lofty stature, and wide expansion. The prince of trees with a delightful spicy, woody fragrance.

Ficus carica, Common fig, Edible fig, Fig, פיקוס התאנה, بلس , تين عادي
Ficus carica, Common fig, Edible fig, Fig, פיקוס התאנה, بلس , تين عادي,
The fig is a symbol of long life throughout the world.


Laurus nobilis, True Laurel, Sweet Bay, نبات الغار ,ער אציל
Laurus nobilis, True Laurel, Sweet Bay, نبات الغار ,ער אציל, a symbolic plant in the ancient Olympic Games. A laurel became a symbol of respect, wisdom, victory, glory, and fame, hence the term laureate. The term `bacca-laureate` (meaning, `Laurel berries`, the ancient symbol of victory) signified the completion of a bachelor degree. Baccalaureate from Medieval Latin baccalaureātus (influenced by bacca, berry, and lauretus, crowned with laurel), from baccalārius, bachelor. Baccalauréat is France's national secondary-school (lycée) diploma.


Lilium candidum, Madonna Lily, צחור   שושן,لسوسن الأبيض
Lilium candidum, Madonna Lily, צחור שושן,لسوسن الأبيض. The Israelites regarded the lily as the choicest among flowers and used it as a source of perfume. In ancient Hebrew poetry, the lily was always a favorite simile as a symbol of purity. The white lily is found eight times in the Song of Solomon, it is the most mentioned flower in the Bible. The prophet Hosea (8th century BCE) described the lily as the flower symbol of Israel: "I will be like the dew to Israel; He will blossom like the lily, and he will take root like the cedars of Lebanon...." (Hosea 14:5).
in Cabbalistic literature The lily is seen as a symbol of purity and in Christian tradition is devoted to the Virgin Mary. The archangel Gabriel is the angel of the Annunciation, in which he appears before the Virgin Mary. His attribute is a Lily held in the hand.


Matricaria aurea, Golden Chamomile, Hebrew: בבונג זהוב, Arabic: البابونج الذهبي
Matricaria aurea, Golden Chamomile from Latin matrix, the womb; mater, mother; caries, decay; because of its one-time medical use in affections of the uterus. Chamomile, Matricaria is also a symbol of modesty coupled with strenght, such that, according to one proverb, no virgin may pass it without making a curtsy.


Myrtus communis, Common Myrtle, ريحان, Rayhan, הדס מצוי
Myrtus communis, Common Myrtle, ريحان, Rayhan, הדס מצוי, Myrtle, a symbolic plant in the ancient Olympic Games.
Garlands of honour were made from the aromatic branches of myrtle, symbolizing beauty and love.It is one of the best known Bible plants. In the Old Testament the myrtle is referred to in four passages (Isaiah 41:19; Isaiah 55:13; Zechariah 1:8-10; and Nehemiah 8:15), and was regarded as a symbol of joy.


Olea europaea, Olivetree, זית אירופי,  زيتون
Olea europaea, Olivetree, זית אירופי , زيتون, a sacred tree, a symbolic plant in the ancient Olympic Games.
The Olive wreath also known as kotinos (Greek: κότινος), was the prize for the winner at the ancient Olympic Games. It was the symbol of winning, compromising, peace, and of victory. The Olive was a symbol of peace, glory, wisdom, fertility, pureness, freshness, beauty and health. An olive branch is still the symbol of peace, probably because it brings to mind Noah's Ark.
The Emblem of the State of Israel shows a menorah surrounded by an olive branch on each side, and the writing "ישראל" (Hebrew for Israel) below it.
The flag of the United Nation Organization is a white UN emblem (a polar azimuthal equidistant projection world map surrounded by two olive branches) on a blue background. It may be in the spirit of peace that olive branches appear on the flag of the United Nation Organization.


 Phoenix dactylifera, Date Palm, Tamr תמר מצוי , تمر
Phoenix dactylifera, Date Palm, Tamr תמר מצוי , تمر, a symbolic plant in the ancient Olympic Games. The fruiting branches of date-palm (Phoenix) were also offered to Olympic victors.
In the Second Temple Period, the palm was a symbol of victory: "They came to the fort in Jerusalem with praise and with date fronds and with lyres and with harps," the Book of Maccabees, following a Jewish victory over the Greeks. The fronds (=the leaf or leaflike part of a palm) are reminders of the Jewish people's 40-year wandering in the desert - Date palms also appeared on Jewish victory coins of that period.
The palm groves of Ein Gedi. In the Bible, the Dead Sea oasis, is sometimes referred to as Hazazon Tamar—tamar is Hebrew for date palm, a large number of which still grow around the modern-day kibbutz and nature preserve. There’s also a reference to “the vineyards of Ein Gedi” in the Song of Songs.

Punica granatum, Pomegranate,رمّان, Rumman,רימון מצוי
Punica granatum, Pomegranate,, رمّان, Rumman,רימון מצוי one of the common fruit-trees here: Deuteronomy 8:8: "a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey." It is frequently mentioned in the Song of Solomon (Cant Joel 4:3 Joel 4:13 , etc.). The skirt of the high priest's blue robe and ephod was adorned with the representation of pomegranates, alternating with golden bells ( Exodus 28:33 Exodus 28:34 ), as also were the "chapiters upon the two pillars" ( 1 Kings 7:18-20 ) → "He made pomegranates in two rows encircling each network to decorate the capitals on top of the pillars. He did the same for each capital. The capitals on top of the pillars in the portico were in the shape of lilies, four cubits high. On the capitals of both pillars, above the bowl-shaped part next to the network, were the two hundred pomegranates in rows all around".
Solomon compares the temple of his bride to a piece of the pomegranate and her whole person to an orchard of them: Song of Songs 4:3 → "Your lips are like a scarlet ribbon; your mouth is lovely. Your temples behind your veil are like the halves of a pomegranate". Song of Songs 4:13 → "Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates with choice fruits, with henna and nard".
Jewish tradition teaches that the pomegranate is a symbol of righteousness because it is said to have 613 seeds, which corresponds with the 613 mitzvot, or commandments, of the Torah. For this reason and others, it is customary to eat pomegranates on Rosh Hashanah. Moreover, the pomegranate represents fruitfulness, knowledge, learning, and wisdom.

Quercus calliprinos, Kermes Oak, Palestine oak, אלון מצוי, بلوط، سنديان دائم الخضره
Quercus calliprinos, Kermes Oak, Palestine oak, אלון מצוי, بلوط، سنديان دائم الخضره
The hard wood, combined with the great age that some oaks can achieve, caused oaks to be associated with both strength and eternal life in many societies.
In the Bible, oaks were associated with power, strength, or longevity in the sense of long life. The ancient Hebrews considered the oak sacred because it was under an oak that Abraham gave hospitality to God and two of his angels, who were disguised as travellers (Genesis 18). This is one of 60 references to oak in the Bible.
The great trees of Mamre are Quercus calliprinos, called Palestinian oaks. Some Bibles translate oak as terebinth; however, the oak and terebinth are different trees.
Oak was the symbol of strength and sturdiness in all religions and mythologies in the Northern Hemisphere

Salix alba, White willow, Swallow tailed willow, Hebrew: ערבה לבנה, Arabic: الصفصاف الأبيض
Salix alba, White willow, Swallow tailed willow, Hebrew: ערבה לבנה, Arabic: الصفصاف الأبيض,
The willow is referred to in all poetry as the emblematical tree of tears and sorrowful associations, and its leaves are described as being of a mournful hue.
Psalm 137:2 ;"We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof".
My Willow Tree (Chuck Jackson): "They say that once a tear has fallen, The willow cries eternally, Cry not for me, my willow tree".

 Vitis vinifera, Common Grape Vine, Grapevine,كرمة نبيذية ,גפן היין,Vitaceae, גפניים
Vitis vinifera, Common Grape Vine, Grapevine,كرمة نبيذية ,גפן היין ,
symbol of peace and plenty. Together with the olive and fig trees, it is mentioned as an image of beauty, wealth, and prosperity → Micah 4:4 : "Everyone will sit under their own vine and under their own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid", whilst a fruitful vine is associated with domestic happiness → Psalm 128:3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table.


*1 Lehner, Ernst and Lehner Johanna. Folklore and Symbolism of Flowers, Plants and Trees, New York: Dover Publictions, Inc. 2003