Myrtle Flower: Its Meanings & Symbolism
The myrtle flower has a rich history as a flower of love and marriage. It has played a role in both Greek mythology and in royal weddings, and continues its love connection today. This star-shaped flower is typically white and adorns the branches of an evergreen shrub native to Europe and North Africa.
What Does the Myrtle Flower Mean?
The myrtle flower meaning is similar across culture cultures and across the centuries. It typically means:
- Good Luck in Love in Marriage
- Marital Fidelity
- Good Luck
Etymological Meaning of the Myrtle Flower
The common name myrtle comes from the ancient Greek word myrtos, meaning a sprig of the myrtle tree. This flower belongs to the plant family myrtaceae in the genus of myrtus. There are only two species of the myrtle flower. There are several others plants, such a crape myrtle, that carry the name but they are not true myrtle.
Symbolism of the Myrtle Flower
The myrtle flower symbolizes love:
- Greek Mythology: According to ancient Greek mythology, Venus, the goddess of love visited the Isle of Cytheraea but was ashamed to show herself because she was naked. To hide her nakedness, Venus hid behind the myrtle tree. She later adopted the tree as her favorite and it became known as sacred to Venus. It was thought to inspire lasting love.
- Ancient Greeks: The ancient Greeks so revered the myrtle tree that they planted them around their temples and places of worship.
- Victorian England: In 1858, Queen Victoria’s daughter (also named Victoria) carried the first sprig of myrtle from her mother’s garden as she walked down the aisle to be wed. Since that time, each royal bride has carried a cutting from the bush to bring good luck and prosperity in the royal marriage.
Myrtle Flower Color Meanings
The myrtle flower is typically white and embodies both the symbolism for the myrtle flower and the color meaning of white flowers. White flowers can mean:
Meaningful Botanical Characteristics of the Myrtle Flower
The myrtle flower is used primarily as an ornamental flower, but is also used in perfumes and cosmetics as fragrance. The leaves have been used as an herbal treatment for whooping cough, TB, bronchitis, bladder conditions and diarrhea, but Web MD warns that consuming myrtle oil can cause asthma-like symptoms, lung and breathing problems, vomiting, low blood pressure and blood circulation problems. There is not enough evidence to support the use of myrtle as a remedy for any condition, says Web MD.
Special Occasions for the Myrtle Flowers
Myrtle flowers are appropriate for weddings, communions and christenings as they are a symbol for both fidelity and love and for chastity. When added to other flowers they can be used for nearly any occasion to wish the recipient luck and prosperity.
The Myrtle Flower’s Message Is…
The myrtle flower’s message is primarily one of love, making it a favorite for bridal bouquets and wedding arrangements. Although they are not the official birth flower of any particular month, they are also suitable or birthday bouquets.