This is the third part on flowers of Japan! This time it’s alittle different, with names from Violet Evergarden 『ヴァイオレット・エヴァーガーデン』. Below you find links to the first two parts.

Violet (菫 – Sumire)

The Japanese especially loved violets in the past, and named them ‘sumire’ after their shape. In fact, the flower looks like an ink (sumi) container. Violets are popular because it’s found almost anywhere; moreover, there are more varieties in Japan than in any other country. Since the meaning of violet is sincerity, love, bliss, they are in demand as gifts. It’s a nice way to let friends and family know that you care about them, and to share a promise with your beloved. Violets are found in many Japanese poems and poetry.

Luculia (ルクリア – Luculia)

A bush from the Assam province in India, Luculia has pink or white flowers and blooms in fall. A variety known as Assam nioizakura (アッサムニオイザクラ) is popular in Japan for its sweet scent; moreover, some compare it to the scent of cherry blossoms, others to that of jasmine. The most popular variety, however, is more similar to gardenia. Luculia cultivation needs very special care. You can find a paper-ish version as an origami.

Cattleya (カトレア – Katorea)

Originating from southern America, this flower belongs to the orchids family. It takes its name from William Cattley, a British merchant and horticulturist. And it was the British who brought cattleya in Japan during the Meiji period. The color of the flowers ranges from white to deep purple. There are about forty varieties of cattleya; the most popular in Japan is the hinoderan (ひのでらん). This flowers are principally used for ornamental purpose and are associated with the allure of aging, especially for women.

Iris (菖蒲 – Ayame)

Considered to be the symbol of May and found in the hana karuta (花かるた) game, iris blooms in late spring or mid summer. Since the Edo period, iris is also a symbol for Children’s Day; in fact, in the past the main celebration was a mock duel where children used irises insted of swords. Iris is a famous motif for paintings and fabrics. Iris has an origami version too. Moreover, Ayame is a fairly common feminine name in Japan.

Bougainvillea (ブーゲンビリア – Būgenbiria)

A flower originating from Brazil, in Japan bougainvillea can be found in Okinawa. It’s a popular flower to be used in gardens for its vivid colors; there are five Japanese varieties, whose colors range from white, to pale pink, to orange and violet. Bougainvillea means allure and passion. Last but not least. The Bougainville Campaign is a series of battles the Allies and Japan fought in the Pacific during WWII.

From the same series:

5 flowers of Japan (parte 1)
5 flowers of Japan (parte 2)

Cover photo: Joe Shlabotnik Violets via photopin (license)

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