The 6 Beautiful Flowers from Greek Mythology

by Robert Canning on March 25, 2022

Everything has a foretold story of its origin. For example, some of the flowers in your garden may have originated from Greek myths. Read on as we take a look at some of our favourite flowers and the Greek mythology they have originated from.

Roses in Greek Mythology

Have you ever thought about why the rose is known as the "love flower"? Thus, if the letters of the word 'rose' are jumbled together, you get 'Eros,' the name of the God of love. 

According to legend, Chloris, the flower goddess, came across a dead nymph while walking through the woods. She transformed it into such a beautiful flower that the gods named her the Queen of Flowers. Aphrodite, the goddess of love, was so taken with it that she named it Eros after her son. 

According to Greek mythology, the red rose is associated with devotion. To warn Adonis of an impending assassination attempt, Aphrodite is said to have dashed through a bush of white roses. Its thorns pricked her ankles, stealing the colour from the petals. 

Aphrodite arrived too late to save Adonis, who had been killed by a wild boar. Anemones sprouted from the combination of his blood and her tears. 

Sunflowers in Greek Mythology 

Yellow sunflowers evoke feelings of adoration and loyalty, but they also conjure up images of a heinous betrayal story. 

Clytie, the Greek mythological water nymph, adored Apollo. He adored her until he met mortal Princess Leucothoe. In retaliation for their relationship, Leucothoe's father buried her alive (told you it was brutal). 

When Apollo discovered this, he became enraged and despised Clytie. She sat naked for nine days, staring at Apollo, to express her despair. He ignored her for ten days, and on the tenth, she morphed into a sunflower, her face tracing the path of her departed lover across the sky. 

Orchids  in Greek Mythology

Orchis is Latin for testicles, so you can probably guess where this is going. Orchis was the son of a satyr and a nymph in Greek mythology. Orchis attempted to rape a priestess at a Bacchus feast. As a punishment, wild beasts ravaged him, and an orchid grew where his body parts fell. 

The Mediterranean 'orchis italica,' or naked man orchid, has a distinctly phallic shape... 

Hyacinths  in Greek Mythology

In this bloodthirsty floral legend, Apollo reappears as a sidekick to Hyacinthus, a dashing Spartan prince. 

The athletic god, Hyacinthus, had chosen Apollo over Zephryus, the god of the west wind. In a jealous rage, he blew the heavy disc at his crush's head, killing him. Apollo was so moved by his lover's soul that he transformed it into a hyacinth. 

Because hyacinths are not native to Greece, the hyacinth in the story was almost certainly an iris or larkspur. 

Daffodils in Greek Mythology

The narcissus is the subject of one of the most well-known floral legends (daffodil). Narcissus, a handsome Greek youth who was enchanted by his own reflection in a river and died staring at himself, inspired the name of this springtime classic. 

Some say he drowned because he was so preoccupied with his appearance. Daffodils sprouted where he died, their necks bending toward the water like his. 

Lilies in Greek Mythology

The lily is associated with purity, womanhood, and familial love, according to this Greek legend. 

Zeus had an affair with a mortal princess named Alceme, giving birth to Hercules. He sedated his wife, the goddess Hera, and placed Hercules on her breast to nurse his newborn son with heavenly milk. She screamed, threw the baby up in the air, and sprayed milk into the air. The drops that fell to the ground, on the other hand, grew into white lilies.


Now, would you look at that? It seems that these flowers have grown to become even more beautiful as we learn their origin stories. Now that you know more about them, think of them as great conversation pieces as you offer flowers to a special someone!

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