Slavic National Symbols: Our National Flowers

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Slavic countries are full of wondrous flora and fauna, with some species even being exclusively endemic to specific regions. Having this in mind, it should come to no surprise that many Slav nations have embraced various native flowers as their official national symbols. So which are the Slavic national flowers and what cultural significance to they bear?

Belarus – cornflower

Delicate and deep blue in color, the cornflower is the one of the national symbols of Belarussians and can be found in legends, literature and other aspects of local folklore. It’s often mistaken for the Linum Grandiflorum (a similar small blue flower, also known as flax), which belongs to a whole different species.

Bosnia and Herzegovina – lily

The Bosnian national flower is a species of lilies native to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Often dubbed as Bosnian Lily or simply Golden Lily, it was also the official heraldic symbol before the Bosnian coat of arms changed in 1992. In other words, Bosnians had a pretty good reason to opt for the overused fleur de lis as their heraldic flower.

Bulgaria – rose

Bulgaria is famous across the globe for its rose fields, rose fairs and rose oil. The Bulgarian rose’s fragrant thorny shrub also happens to be the country’s unofficial national flower as an irreplaceable ethnic symbol.

Croatia – iris

There’s a special type of iris flowers that are endemic to the northwestern Croatian lands and small parts of Slovenia. Apart from being one of Croatia’s national symbols, the iris is also called perunika and it’s on the list of protected plants in Croatia.

Czech Republic – none

Some say Czechs perceive the lime tree as their official flora, whereas others believe it’s the rose, but the Czech Republic still hasn’t picked a specific flower as its national symbol.

Macedonia – poppy

Ever wondered if Macedonians had a special flower they’re particularly fond of? They do and it’s the poppy. Its diverse applications were first introduced to Macedonia during the 19th century while the country was under Ottoman rule.

Montenegro – none

No specific flower has been embraced by Montenegrin people as their official or unofficial national symbol.

Poland – corn poppy

Through the centuries a type of poppy known as corn poppy or red poppy has played a huge role in Polish culture, history and cuisine. It’s only natural that this iconic flower is one of the national symbols of Poland along with the alder birch tree.

Russia – chamomile

Albeit not being unique to the Russian land, the chamomile is the Russian national flower and you can spot it all over the country. A fun fact is that the flower grew more and more popular, spreading over hill and dale, just like the borders of Russia, and now it’s one of the most common flowers used in pharmaceuticals.

Serbia – none

Although Serbs don’t have a national flower, the oak tree and the plum are considered cultural symbols of Serbia.

Slovakia – tilia and rose

Some people say the rose is the unofficial symbol of Slovakia, but according to most, the real unofficial flower is the one blooming during the spring on tilia trees, which are also known as linden or small-lived lime trees.

Slovenia – carnation

The people of Slovenia are famous for their cultivation of red carnation flowers and as such, the carnation flower has become a cultural and unofficial symbol of key importance for Slovenians. The heart-shaped linden is another unofficial ethnic symbol of this nation.

Ukraine – sunflower

Sunflower plants are quite common all over the planet due to the widespread applications of sunflower seed oil and edible sunflower seeds. It symbolizes prosperity, has been part of Ukrainian kitchenware decorations for decades and also happens to correspond to one of the colors on the Ukrainian flag.

What do you think?

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