Azucena Flower: Meaning, Symbolism, and Colors
Azucena is the Spanish name for English Madonna Lily. The scientific name of Azucena or Madonna Lily is Lilium Candidum. Azucena belongs to the genus Lilium and the family Liliaceae. Plants belonging to the Lilium genus are referred to as true lilies. The key characteristics of these flowering plants include herbaceous growth, bulb-like formations and large flowers.
Every flower comes with its own identity. The Azucena is not an exception. Azucena flower meaning is interesting. The name Lilium is derived from Latin Li – meaning white- and lium – meaning flower.
The name Candidum translates to dazzling white or shining, which is apt for the pristine Madonna Lily. This flower is a hermaphrodite, meaning it contains both male and female reproductive parts.
True to its genus characteristics, the Azucena is a bulbous plant with origins in the Middle East and Balkan countries. Regions of origin include Turkey, Israel and Lebanon. Balkan regions of the plant origin include Romania, North Macedonia, Bosnia, Albania, Croatia, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Serbia and Kosovo.
The plant grows well in moderate to full sun. Azucena plants thrive in soil that is moisture-retentive and well-draining. The flowers of the plant are large, fragrant and of a beautiful white.
Azucena has been known in history for about 3, 000 years, which could mean that it is the most ancient flower in the class of lilies.
As a herbaceous plant, Azucena is a non-woody plant. It has a long stem with leaves that are dark green and glossy. The flower resembles the shape of a trumpet and comes with 6 petals. Azucena plants are well-known for attracting butterflies. The flowers bloom during the period between late spring and early summer.
Azucena is a perennial plant, meaning it belongs to the class of plants that live for over 2 years unlike biennial and annual plants, which have a shorter lifespan.
What Do Azucena Flowers Symbolize?
The Azucena has traveled through generations and civilizations. The stories behind Azucena flower meaning therefore, are several.
People in the Balkan regions referred to Azucena as “Zambak”, which in Persian language means “lily”. A geographic variety of the Azucena is “Sultan Zambak”. The word “Sultan” is from the Turkish Muslim vocabulary, and means power, strength or authority. In essence, the variants of the name Azucena translate to something that is classic and pure.
The Hebrew word for Azucena is “shoshan”, which means a “beautiful flower”. The origin of the Hebrew word is believed to have been from “shesh”, which means six. This is connected to this flowering plant as Azucena has 6 petals. The flower is so shaped that there are 3 petals on the outer-front, and 3 on the inner. The outer petals are referred to as sepals.
The whole flower structure is a 2-part formation with 6 pointed ends, which is the root of the geometric shape hexagram. Hexagram is believed to be made up of 2 triangles- one representing a fiery male – and the other a watery female triangle.
The combination of these two triangles is a representation of the two sexes. In Azucena, this combination results in the 3 sepals and 3 inner petals. This association is significant given that the flower is a hermaphrodite.
Azucena flower meaning has an association with the Bible too. The Azucena finds a mention in the Bible, in relation to King Solomon. The Azucena is the only flower that is mentioned the most in the Holy Book.
As a symbol of purity, the Azucena is used by Christians to honor Virgin Mary. The ancient Church readily accepted the use of the Azucena for Virgin Mary as it indicated virtue and chastity.
What Do Various Colors of the Azucena Flower Mean?
The splendid white is the only known color of the Azucena. This white-petaled flower may sometimes have a pale green center. The anthers of the flower are yellow. These plants usually grow up to a height of 4 to 5 feet.
The Madonna lily serves as a great border plant, especially if you have annuals and other bulbous plants in your garden. The dazzling white of the flower forms a beautiful contrast with other flowers in your garden.
Interesting Facts and Characteristics of the Azucena Flower
Did you know that the Azucena can be toxic to cats? Find more interesting facts about this beautiful flower here:
· The beauty of Azucena may give the impression of a hard-to-maintain plant. But Madonna lily plants are one of the easiest plants to grow.
Azucena plants have been grown for thousands of years because they are easy to grow and maintain. They do not need any specific soil or pH. They grow well in full sun and partial sun. They can survive in light shade as well.
· Azucena works great for rock gardens and butterfly gardens. The large shape and the brilliant white of the flowers make them a great choice for landscapes demanding prominent highlights.
· Madonna Lily has been used extensively in medicinal treatments since ancient times. The plant has been used to address ulcers, coughs, burns and age-related diseases.
· Avoid storing Azucena plant seeds. Plant them as soon as you buy them. Azucena plant bulbs do not have the tunic, a natural covering that features in other bulbous plants. As a result, Azucena plant seeds can dry out fast when stored.
· In ancient Israel, the Azucena was the most favorite among flowers. The fragrant flower with its sweet smell was used to make perfumes.
· Azucena flower meaning is not limited to civilizations and religions. They found space and meaning in poems too. Ancient Hebrew poets used the Azucena often to express purity.
· The Azucena was part of several ancient civilizations, including the Egyptian and the Assyrian. These flowers were used in Jerusalem’s Salomon Temple.
· Prophet Hosea who lived in the 8th century BCE described the Azucena as Israel’s flower symbol.
· Studies state that the Madonna Lily is rich in phytochemicals. Phytochemicals have various health benefits, including reduced risk of heart diseases, diabetes, cancer and neurodegeneration.
Presence of these active plant compounds increases the plant’s therapeutic potential. More studies are underway to reach conclusive facts regarding the medical potential of the plant.
Best Time to Gift Someone Azucena Flowers
Given the depth of Azucena flower meaning, it is no wonder that the flower is a classic favorite. As a flower that denotes purity, innocence, kindness and virtue, there is no occasion that does not deserve the Azucena.
· Fresh cut Azucena flowers for birthdays, baptism and weddings. As flowers representing chastity, innocence, and simple beauty, the Azucena is the best for such occasions.
· New birth celebrations. As a symbol of purity, the Azucena is the perfect gift to welcome a new baby.
· Expressing your love. Whether you are declaring your undying love to your girlfriend or your lasting affection for your spouse, the Azucena expresses the purity of your love in the best way.
· The dazzling white of the Azucena serves as the best color for inspiration. This flower is a perfect choice for occasions where you want to wish the recipient great success.
· Housewarming functions. As a flower that stands for purity and truth, the Azucena expresses perfection and divinity on such occasions.
· Religious and spiritual events. The Azucena is a natural favorite given its association with Virgin Mary. The purity and chastity associated with the flower and the profundity of the color white make it a great choice for such occasions.
· Wishing get-well-soon. White is a color of cleanliness. The Azucena can be gifted to wish strength and a body free of diseases.
The Azucena is an epitome of beauty and simplicity. This flower has captured the hearts of people since ancient times and continues to do so. The unique and interesting Azucena flower meaning and symbolism make the flower even more special.