Floral Traditions in Ethiopia - from Garden of Eden Flower Shop
Posted on May 01 2021
Welcome to our tour of flower traditions around the world! This month of May, we’re traveling to a country that doesn’t pop up on stories about flowers very often – Ethiopia! Ethiopia is storming into the worldwide cut flower industry as Chile and Ecuador have, since they have perfect growing conditions for
many flowers and they use completely organic practices. There are many flowers endemic to their diverse climate, and the most used for occasions such as Meskel (celebration of the discovery of the True Cross, September 27th ) and Enkutatash (New Year, on September 11th in 2021) is the Adey Abeba. A perfect, prolific, small yellow daisy, Adey Abeba only grows from September to November in Ethiopia. Because it’s used so much for Meskel celebrations, it’s also known as “Meskel Daisy”.
The hills of the country are dotted with such flower species as pyracantha (fire thorn), red-hot pokers, poinsettia, and jasmine. Weddings are an explosion of mixed floral, grasses, and reeds, and flowers such as gladiolus are waved joyously at the wedding party.
The national flower of Ethiopia is the calla lily, and is one of the most prominent flowers in funerals much like other countries around the world. It is also one of the biggest floral exports of Ethiopia along with ginger, jasmine, and pyracantha (berries and flowers).
Ethiopia boasts the only indigenous rose species in Africa, the rosa abyssinica – a five-petaled rose in creamy white with a yellow center that is a species of rosa canina, commonly known as a “dog rose”. Branches of this adorable, simple white rose adorn wedding headpieces, drape over funeral arrangements, and dominate gardens all over Ethiopia.
The Omo Valley, part of which lies on the border of Ethiopia, is possessed of many diverse tribes; what they all have in common is their prolific use of mud, leaves, and flowers for their special occasion headdresses. Strings of daisies, daffodils, jasmine… rolled petals of dahlias… purple balloon flower… and myriad more are attached to vine-base headpieces, along with pods, branches of leaves, and feathers. Nature is used for beautification, and is striking to see!
Next month, we’ll go back in time a bit, to Ancient Egypt – to discover the beginnings of floral traditions! Have a great May, and enjoy the nice weather!