The Rugby World Cup is well under way and we thought we’d bring you a little bit about each of the competing countries – all with a floral twist. So, here’s a list of countries with a national flower that are competing in the tournament in New Zealand.
In Argentina the ceibo is the national flower. It’s a South American Tree that grows between 8 and 10 metres high. It has red flowers and was declared the national flower of Argentina in 1942.
The golden wattle is a member of the acacia family and the national emblem of Australia. It has bright yellow flowers that are highly scented and often used in perfume production. It is mainly found in Australia itself.
While Canada doesn’t have an official national flower, there is, of course, the maple leaf, which is on the country’s flag. The maple is also known as the Acer and most species grow to between 10 and 45 metres in height.
The rose is the national emblem of England and has been since the War of the Roses (1455-1485). There are many types of rose in a variety of colours and they are often a symbol of love and romance.
The tagimoucia flower is found in the mountains of Taveuni on the shores of a huge lake. There is a legend to go with the flowers that says they appeared on a vine from the tears of an upset child.
The shamrock is a very recognisable symbol for Ireland. Interestingly, it is a registered trademark of the government of Ireland.
Italy, like France, is another of the European countries that doesn’t have a national flower. While, one of the most popular flowers is iris, which is the flower of the city of Florence.
The sakura is often known as cherry blossom. These beautiful trees play a large part in Japanese culture and school years often coincide with their blooming season.
The kowhai are small, woody legume trees. The Maori used to heat the bark with hot stones and used it to treat wounds and back pain.
The dog rose is a type of rose native to Europe. It produces rose hips, which are very high in vitamin C and antioxidants.
The national flower of Russia is camomile, a simple, beautiful daisy-like flower that is most widely known as an ingredient in some teas.
Teulia, also known as red ginger, is the national flower of Samoa. These showy flowers are found in hotter climates but can also be grown indoors as houseplants. They also make lovely cut flowers.
The thistle is Scotland’s national flower. It’s a prickly plant with purple flowers. It is said the thistle was chosen because a Norse invader stood on one and cried out in pain, alerting Scottish armies to an impending invasion.
Protea are also called sugarbushes. Most protea occur south of the Limpopo river. They tend to grow in the Cape Florastic region, which is home to many diverse plants.
Every year in Tonga there is the week-long Heilala Festival, during which the national flower is celebrated. There is dancing, food, drinks and parties throughout the week.
The rose is also the emblem of the USA. It has been associated with the United States for a while but was only made the official national flower in 1986.
In Wales the daffodil is the national symbol. The leek is also a national emblem and, as the Welsh words for each are very similar, it is likely that one came around because of a misunderstanding.
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