Lessons from Flowers #5 : The Wall Flower

“But the stars, the soft stars! When they glitter above us, I gaze on their beams with a feeling divine; For, as true friends in sorrow more tenderly love us, The darker the heaven, the brighter they shine. ” – Mrs. Welby, Wall Flower; Language Fidelity and Misfortune, The Rural Wreath: or Life Among the Flowers, edited by Laura Greenwood.

Tis the season of everything holiday and family. A time when we adore the scents of cinnamon sticks, all-spice, vanilla and warm baked goods fresh from the oven. Keeping this in mind for December the flower lesson comes from a tall, clustering of blossoms with a fragrance none other than clove; the Giroflée / Wall Flower.

The Wall Flower arrives from the Greek word “cheir”, which means “hand”. Dating back to the Middle Ages; the Greek meaning refers to the ancient and still very present custom of carrying flowers together; the bouquet. In Latin the Wall Flower is the Erysimum; which speaks to the resonance of fidelity between two lovers.

And for us living in the modern day and time; it is no surprise where the name comes from, since the Wall Flower is known for clinging to vertical surfaces and growing wildly on the “frays” of a garden. This energy aligns synonymously with being shy, quiet and an observer.

A little secret perhaps you did not know is that the Wall Flower is part of the Brassica family, making her a sister to many common vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and radishes.

flower from the Brassica family

Now, for some myths and legends, it is said that troubadours and knights often carried Wall Flowers in their caps to remind them of their lovers and wives back home. In addition, it is also said that they carried them simply to remind them of the feminine ideal; body; being and spirit. During the Victorian times the wallflower was exclusively used to represent faithfulness and given between lovers and dear confidents.

The fragrance is a sweet, intoxicating clove scent that speaks to the holiday cheer but also a metaphor for warmer times with family perhaps even by a fire. Honoring the simple joys and happiness in life that being with loved ones can offer. The scent of clove invokes a sense of calm and contentment. All these sentiments speak to the Wall Flower and its divine lessons it has for us.

When it comes to color, warmer tones are the highlight. Ranging from golden yellows to orange and red; think the colors of the changing autumn and winter trees. At times they even blossom in the shades of pink and purple with tinges of browns.

Faithfulness to ourselves first, and second our lovers, friends and family is what the Wallflower can teach us. That when you stray from yourself, you might find yourself in you a bit of a mess but in that darkness if you come back to you, your faith, your honor, your inner happiness no matter how small it might be; you will find your path again in light and it will shine even brighter than before.