The ‘Zinnia’ is named after the botanist J.G.Zinn (1727-59). It is any species of the genus Zinnia of the family Asteraceae. The common zinnia of gardens (Z. elegans), called also youth-and-old-age, is a rather coarse, easily cultivated annual, popular as a cut flower for its warm colours—ranging from white and yellow to red and purple.
The large, showy flowers of various colours symbolise different human emotions, generally fond remembrance of absent friends. A magenta zinnia shows lasting affection for one’s beloved, while a bright scarlet zinnia is a sign of devotion. The white flower suggests goodness of heart and mind and a yellow zinnia personifies daily remembrance of a loved one. A bouquet of mixed zinnia shows concern and thoughts of absent friends, remembering fond moments and bygone days of happiness. It is a small token of nature with varied meaning underlying its bright colour surfaces.
Scientifically, Zinnias are classified in the division Magnoliophyta of the class Magnoliopsida and the order Asterales.