Glossary of Flowers: O


Some plants have become perennially entrenched in our memories, and often in the annals of literature, with certain images and associations. An instance of this is the oak-tree strong, hardy and reliable, this tree of the beech family is an emblem of unchanging durable mettle. The timber of oak of the Quercus genus is invaluable in shipbuilding.

Interestingly, the oak, tree has a historic significance-after the Battle of Worchester, when Cromwell’s troopers were & hunting down the dethroned monarch’s son, Charles II, the letter had found safe refuge in the branches of an oak-which came to be later called the Royal Oak. In fact, in commemoration of this historic event of 1651, every 29th of May is annually celebrated as the Oak Apple Day in England. This old tradition of wearing an oak twig or leaf or an oak apple is a way of celebrating the Restoration of Charles II in 1660. In the middle ages, oak boughs were carried in wedding ceremonies as symbols of fertility. In the language of flower-symbolism due to the historic associations, the oak flower stands for warm hospitality.

In the world of dreams, and the possible explanations of things seen in dreams-a green oak signifies a long and happy life, while a withered oak predicts poverty in old age. Thriving oaks promise male children who will win distinction. Oaks bearing acorns mean wealth and riches while a blasted oak symbolized death.



Olive is a tree (scientifically termed Olea europaea) cultivated round the Mediterranean for its oily fruit. The fruit, the oil are indispensable ingredients in the Mediterranean cuisine. According to archaeological findings, the olive is believed to have been cultivated from its wild form for over five thousand years. Olive groves existed in Egypt and ancient create, and the civilization which spring up, essentially revolved around this significant tree and its by products.

The virtues of the olive-tree can be simply enumerated it provided a wonderful, much better and varied diet for the population, as well as supplied the much-needed lamp-oil, bringing people from the darkness of ignorance into the light of knowledge. The olive was the most important, and valued tree in both Roman and Christian writings. Jesus Christ is said to have spent his last night in the Garden of Gestemane beneath an olive tree, and anointment with olive oil is symbolic to a large part of Christendom. In the international sphere, the olive is taken to be the worldwide symbol of peace. This is possible due to the fact that in early harvesting, many years passed between the panting of the seed and the gathering of the final fruit, and no man who did not wish for a long and peaceful life would plant an olive grove.Often the dove carrying an olive branch in its beak is associated with this peace symbolism.

Legend says that the dove with the olive branch or leaf was the messenger who brought it to Noah aboard the Ask, so that Noah would be able to gauge the level of the flood water – the dove with olive brought hope that the flood was receding, drawing to an end, and the trees could be seen above the sinking water-level. A German tradition further elaborates upon this legend –that the olive leaf brought by the dove in the Noah’s Ask tale, actually came from the olive tree which had spring upon the grave of Adam.

In these turbulent times of modem civilization, with its terrible weapons’ galore and greedy impatient power- grasping authorities, the olive as the tranquil scene gesture of peace has become even more important, and much – needed balm in our lives.