January’s Birth Flowers – the Carnation and Snowdrop

january's birth flowers carnation and snowdrop

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The primary birth month flower for January is the carnation, whilst the secondary flower is the pretty little snowdrop. 

Many of us know about birthstones for each month – January’s birthstone being the garnet – we don’t often think of jewellery when we think of birth flowers. But flower designs can make the most beautiful pieces of jewellery. January’s birth flowers – the carnation and the snowdrop – lend themselves to designs that make a thoughtful and unusual gift for a January birthday.

Birth month flowers are a lovely alternative to birthstones. You can read about the rest of the birth month flowers here.

The Carnation

The carnation was a native flower on hillsides in the Mediterranean, particularly Greece, but was exported and cultivated all over the world during the 1800’s.

With its pretty ruffles of petals and long stems and gentle perfume, it is a hugely popular cut flower and used in many bouquets. 

It  has been used in herbal remedies and essential oils. It was also used in place of the more expensive spice clove. 

The carnation symbolises love, remembrance, and a mother’s love

Christian’s believed that the first pink carnation grew in the place where Mother Mary’s tears fell, as Jesus carried his cross. Hence, pink carnations symbolise a mother’s love and are often given on Mother’s Day.

The colours of carnations were originally pink and peach, but as they began to be cultivated and different colours emerged, various meanings were associated with the different colours. This was made popular during the Victorian era where flower “language” became hugely widespread and most homes had a guidebook on the meaning of flowers.

The Meanings Associated with Different Coloured Carnations

Red – love and admiration

White – Pure love, innocence, remembrance

Pink – A mother’s love (perfect for Mother’s Day)

Yellow – Rejection, Disappointment

Variagated – Regret

The Snowdrop

The pure white appearance of the snowdrop gave it is Greek name,”Galanthus”,  translated this means “white milk”. Germans call the snowdrop “Schneeglocken” meaning “little snowbell”. 

The snowdrop is the first flower to appear in the garden in January after the bleak mid-winter, poking its head above the snow or damp, cold soil. The flower is a beautiful reminder that after the bleakness of winter, new beginnings and hope will always follow, given a little time.

The snowdrop symbolises compassion after death, hope, and innocence.  

A myth of an angel turning snowflakes into snowdrop flowers when Adam and Eve were banished from Eden, representing a symbol of hope.

To Sum Up …

We think that birth flowers will begin to be used in jewellery design more often, and January’s birth flowers, the carnation and the snowdrop, make a thoughtful and pretty gift.

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