“Blossom by blossom the spring begins.” Algernon Charles Swinburne
Branches and blossoms of trees differ from the Language of Flowers, though some varieties may appear in it. Trees have their own language, blossoms are a great way to start that journey. Often before flowers bloom, branches start the show and can be brought inside for the grand finale. It’s a nice way to say hi to your tree or your neighbor’s tree. Pick branches as they are just displaying their blooms. Always include unopened buds among the blooming ones, as they represent life’s continuous journey. Check for critters before bringing into your home.
Almonds, (Prunus dulcis) when they are just flowering offer hope, giddiness, heedlessness. As the blossoms extend, they promise thoughtfulness, and a lover’s charm. They are a tree of divination, wisdom, abiding love and friendship.
Apple (Malus pumila) blossoms, the second popular of spring bloomers display brilliant shades of white to pink. The blossoms symbolize beauty, love, healing, and immortality. Pink blossoms accentuate all of those emotions. White is a symbol of fertility. Celtic bedchambers were decorated with blossoms for fertility and as a tribute to beauty.
Blossoms produced a constant fragrant adding oxygen to the ozone and attracting pollinators. Use them as incense, perfume, or herb-candles for hand-fasting. Their slight and intense scent is uplifting and a true sign of spring.
Sir James Frazer reports on a folktale where in April a figure of a straw-man is placed in the oldest apple tree. When it finished blooming, he was cast into the water and floated away to honor the natural cycle.
Blossoms and branches are a symbol of May Day baskets or bouquets celebrating spring. In Celtic practices branches were carried by shamans and poets as symbols of their office known as Craobh Ciuil, meaning Branch of Reason. In the English language, the Silver Bough allowed visitations to other realms. Its bare blossoms and fruit were in the shape of bells and made music when shaken. The music lured humans into an enchanted sleep or offered safe passage to the Otherworld before the appointed hour of death. These same boughs opened the doorways into the Fey’s land offering shelter while traveling. The trees themselves represent peace-loving.
Cherries (Prunus avium) are one of the most famous of spring bloomers. Cherry blossoms have a unique cleft at the tip of their petals. Their long stems attach to the branch from a single bud. The blossoms mean power, feminine and spiritual beauty and sexuality. From Japan they mean the transience of life and China feminine beauty. A single blossom is education, endurance, and the celebration of new beginnings. Their short bloom time is a reminder of the fleeting beauty of youth. White can mean deception.
Hawthorn branches of the English Hawthorn (Crataegus laevigata) bloom with white flowers. All parts were used in witchcraft and meant caution or hostility. As a tree there are many meanings; hope, love and marriage, protection and overcome harshness. Woven branches made wreaths and flowers for baskets on May Day.
Magnolia (Genus Magnolia) trees are spectacular and remarkable. A planetary tree for its age and ability to adapt through the earth’s climate and geological changes. This tree dates back to 20 million years. It uniquely adapted its flower from pollination by beetles to present day bees. This behavior has led to one of its meanings of endurance, eternity, and long life. Its long relationship with the earth has contributed to many meanings by multiple cultures in Asia and the Americans. The meaning beautiful woman may have originated from the southern states. The Chinese have cultivated the magnolia known as the Jade Orchid, Magnolia denudata, for thousands of years. Meaning certainly when used in the beginning of a sentiment. The flowers are symbols of purity and nobility. Called Hanakotoba in the Japanese system of messaging magnolia flowers represent the sublime, natural, and love for nature.
Fragrant blooms in many colors are describe as follows; white for purity and perfection; pink for youth, innocence, and joy; green or yellow for joy, health, luck, & good fortune and purple that sends out vibrations for achieving wishes of luck and health.
In America, the flower is the messenger of spring’s arrival. Victorians used the flowers to symbolized dignity, nobility, poise, and pride. The strength of its bloom indicates self-respect and self-esteem. Their durability, strength of character, and bearing, make them a desired flower for wedding bouquets. Their long life gave them yet another association of working with the life force and were sent in bouquets to celebrate births.
Quince (Chaenomeles) shrubs are found in Asia and the Americans. Branches means rebirth. Quince blossoms come in wonderful colors of peach to orange or hot pink. he blooms mean temptation, represents a choice or abundance a symbol of love or sincerity.
Peach (Prunus persica) trees represents longevity and are a sacred tree of immortality. In Taoist mythology the sacred peach tree grew in the garden of Hsi wang mu. Peach blossom petals are in shades of pale pink with a deep magenta center. They have short stems with two flowers sprouting from the same branch. The petals are an indication of intense love. The blossoms bring luck, or I am yours or you hold me captive.
Plum (Prunus domestica) trees indicate genius and keeping your promise. The first blooms of snowy white signals the end of winter. Butterflies are associated with plums indicative of beauty and long-life. The blossoms grow out from the branch and is absent of stems. Blossoms mean strong personality and the individual is unafraid of difficulties. Each single blossom means I am yours; you hold me captive.
Say thanks to the tree and the elementals caring for the branches and blossoms you pick or buy.