NATURES BEAUTY - LILY

Easter is upon us, and no flower is more associated with the celebration of Jesus Christ’s resurrection than the lily. Traditional lore says white lilies emerged where drops of Christ’s sweat fell to the earth in his final hours on the cross. The ancient Greeks believed lilies came from the breast milk of Hera, the queen of the gods. In Roman mythology, Venus, the goddess of beauty, was jealous of the flower’s white loveliness. A European legend says if you approach an expectant mother holding a lily….

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NATURES BEAUTY - SQUASH

Is squash a vegetable or a fruit? You would probably call a zucchini squash a vegetable, but you would most likely call a pumpkin a fruit. The definitive answer, from a botanical view, is squash are fruits because they contain the seeds of the plant.  Squash are some of the oldest cultivated crops on earth, believed to have originated in Mexico and Central America more than 10,000 years ago. The word squash comes from the Narragansett Native American word askutasquash, which means…..

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NATURES BEAUTY - CINNAMON

One of the best-loved spices of cooks and food lovers alike is cinnamon. Made from the inner bark of the Cinnamomum tree, cinnamon has been around since the days of ancient Egypt, where it was used to embalm mummies. The tree is native to the Caribbean, South America and Southeast Asia. Indonesia and China produce three-quarters of the world’s supply of cinnamon today.

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NATURES BEAUTY - CHRYSANTHEMUMS

There are more than 100 different chrysanthemum cultivars in the United States, according to the National Chrysanthemum Society. Chrysanthemums look as though they have a lot of petals, but in reality the individual petal is actually a small floret. There are two types of florets: ray and disk. The ray florets are what we consider to be the petals; the disk florets create the plant’s center buttons. Chrysanthemums are classified into nine categories according to the type and arrangement of their disk and ray florets. These classifications are incurved, reflexed, intermediate, late flowering anemones, singles, pompons, sprays/spiders/spoons/quills, charms and cascades. Clustered together, they make a marvelous mum.


Mums have been touted as health promoting. In the past, the plant has been used to treat angina, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, fever, cold and dizziness. In combination with other herbs, chrysanthemum is also used to treat prostate cancer, but more evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of chrysanthemum for these uses.


Although mums are seemingly more prevalent in the fall, it’s better to plant

smaller spring mums so their root systems can grow and strengthen during the year and survive the winter. For best results with your mum, plant it in full sun. With whimsical names such as Fireflash, Coral Charm, Honeyglow, Blushing Bride, Lavender Pixie, Western Voodoo and Muted Sunshine – there’s even a mum named for Yoko Ono – chrysanthemums have a lot to say. Let them speak loud and clear in your garden or on a sunny windowsill to brighten up your autumn days.


Sources:


TANYA TYLER

Tanya Tyler is the Editor of Health & Wellness Magazine

more articles by Tanya Tyler

Fall has arrived, and with it – in uplifting yellow, serene violet, rousing red, meditative bronze and expressive white – come the mums. Chrysanthemums are hardy perennials that effortlessly add a benevolent pop of color in the fall gardening landscape. They are available in a wide variety of colors, shapes and sizes. The mums I bought this year were sold by a local high school’s cheerleading squad. It was a beautiful, easy way for them to make some money, and I get to enjoy little balls of flowers that remind me of sunshine.


Mums are type of daisy. The plant gets its name from the Greek words for gold (chrys) and flower (anthemon). Mums were culti- vated in China more than 600 years ago, first grown as an herb associated with the power of life; they are still enjoyed as a tea. When they arrived in Japan from China in the 5th century, chrysanthemums became very important in Japanese culture. They were incorporated into traditional Japanese arts such as porcelain, lacquerware and kimonos. Festivals are held when the flowers bloom; Chrysanthemum Day is celebrated on the ninth day of the ninth month. The Imperial Seal of Japan is a chrysanthemum and the monarchy reigns from the Chrysanthemum Throne. The emperor sometimes bestowed the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum on worthy individuals. In the romantic language of flowers, chrysanthemums symbolize fidelity, optimism, joy and long life. Mayor Richard J. Daley named the chrysanthemum the official flower of Chicago.