Flower Shop and Gifts
Flowers are the universally loved and cherished by people of all cultures, genders, livelihoods, and ages. They are the definition of beauty in many cultures and societies. The flower symbolizes a number of things though the most common association is with love, fertility, and reproduction. This makes sense considering that a flower is the sexual organ for this type of plant.
The origin and evolution of these alluring specimens has discouraged scientists for thousands of years with even Darwin proclaiming their origin “an abominable mystery” though he surrounded himself with these beauties. These same beauties cover almost every landmass and consist of much of the food consumed by animals. Their evolution has been an incredible success, but the fossil record showed even more diversity in form as opposed to a few primitive forerunners which has vexed many educated minds even today.
While new fossils are being discovered every day the best clues are being revealed by studying the plants DNA. It turns out that flowering plants are closest related to plants with seeds such as pine trees and gingkos, but all plants are surprising similar at this level of magnification. While there is still no consensus on their origin, many have put the date at 146 million years ago with some of the oldest lineages still alive today as water lilies and star anise which are still popular among florists and can often be found at a flower shop.
All flowers are structurally very similar, but variations in each shape and color can produce some wildly different results. They all have pedals that surround their sexual organs, either male or female, which eventually evolved into large flashy shows designed to attract pollinators. While Goethe, the author of Faust, observed that a petal is nothing more than a mutated leaf way back in 1790 it wasn’t until recently that this idea has been proven and begun to be accepted. Mutations in the genes produce these beautiful creatures, but what does this have to with the emotional response that is elicited among humans?
While the origins of the flower and their beauty may be a mystery it is apparent that they are appreciated around the world. A flower can be given as gift of friendship, love, regret, loss, companionship, hope, and many more emotional feelings. Flowers and gifts are easy to find at the local florist and though these gifts don’t last forever they are always cherished. It may be their short lifespan and delicacy that makes them so precious and desirable. They have been the basis for monetary transactions and even experienced their own tulip bubble complete with catastrophic burst.
Selling flower arrangements and growing flowers is not for everyone though and has an interesting impact on environments both local and abroad. For example, it may seem more economical to grow flowers locally rather than importing them in, but in colder areas it is actually more cost efficient to ship flowers from warmer locales. This doesn’t mean it is necessarily okay to purchase flowers from abroad because a flower is mostly water so shipping them depletes and pollutes a water supply far from the flowers destination. Florist sustainability is an important issue due to the massive market that these beauties control, and the often short thinking procedures used to grow them.