Tuscany, one of the twenty regions of Italy, is famous all over the world thanks also to its capital: Florence, known as the cradle of Renaissance. Nevertheless, not everybody knows that the capital also has another very distinctive element, and that this element is in fact a specific flower.
It is a yellow flower that blossoms in many tuscan fields, which brightens all gardens and lends a joyfull atmosphere. We are talking about the Sunflower.
The etymology of the name of the sunflower, symbol of Tuscany, has Greek origins and its meaning makes reference to the fact that it follows the sun. The myth says that a nymph called Clizia was madly in love with Apollo, the god of sun, and that she was used to spend every day looking at his chariot in the sky. However, Apollo was not in love with the nymph. That is why, after the ninth day, he decided to transform Clizia in the flower that we all know. From that moment on, the nymph continued to stare at her true and only love, the Sun.
When the little flowers within the sunflower disk mature, they become seeds ( although the correct term in this case would be fruit ). The natural habitat of sunflowers are big areas close to gardens, abandoned fields, country roads and escarpments. The seeds, first unpeeled and then toasted, are commonly used in salads, snacks, but they are also used as animal feed. With the sunflowers it is also possible to produce oil, with a composition very ressemblant to the olive oil one. It is also important to note that a very famous artist helped this particular flower to become worldwide famous. The painter was Vincent Van Gogh. He painted many versions of the sunflowers between 1888 and 1889, these paintings are now situated in the main galleries of the planet.
The sunflower is the flower symbol of love, sometimes unreciprocated love ( like Clizia with Apollo), but it is for sure that it is the perfect choice if you want to donate happiness and positivity to one special person.
The second flower that is inextricably linked to the Tuscan region, and most of all to its capital Florence, cradle of Renaissance, is the Lilium.
The lilium had been the flower emblem of Florence since XI century, therefore more than 1000 years. According to reports chavaliers and knights of the First Crusade were already proud of the symbol, as they had it engraved on their armors. The colors representing the city were the same, red and white, but they were the opposite, as once the lilium was white, on a red background. Around 1252 the lilium was also engraved on the first florin ever produced, which was the pecuniary value of the time. The connection between the city of Florence with the flower is told in many legends, but the more likely to be valid is the one that says that the lilium, icon of purity, used to grow in abundance in the surrounding areas of the city.
Nowadays, the lilium is used mainly as a decorative flower thanks to its parfume and to its natural elegance, which is given by its solid and straight stem. There are several types of liliums and they are mainly divided by the Country of origin. The lilium has also many healthy qualities and properties. Its petals are collected and used to create ointments to cure eczemas, burns and lesions.
The lilium parfume is intense and has relaxing properties. It can be place within the house and also within the office because it has a natural covering fragrance, which makes it very useful in case of domestic animals or common areas with high density of people.