Common Flowers

"Common flowers" generally denotes blooms that are not particularly noteworthy and are easy to find growing almost anywhere, just like weeds. However, even common flowers have specific characteristics and histories that are distinctive, and set them apart as original or uncommon in some way.


The Cyclamen genus has 20 different species that are members of the Primulaceae or primrose family. Its common name is "sowbread," a reference to the European wild hogs that regard the plant's tubers as food. Cyclamen persicum is the parent of hybrid holiday cyclamen plants sold by florists and that are very popular as seasonal holiday gifts. They come in a host of colors including pink, mauve, purple and white, and their recurved petals and silvery-marbled leaves are particularly attractive points of interest. The cyclamen is native to the Mediterranean, and yet as a houseplant, it responds, somewhat uncommonly, to cooler growing conditions than you might reasonably expect. For example, cyclamen prefer daytime temperatures below 68 F and night-time temperatures around 50 to 55. Similarly, they have diverse natural habitats, from woodlands to rockery to meadows. Cyclamen thrive with lots of light, so an east facing is ideal while the plant is growing, and a south facing is best in the cold of winter. Cyclamen go dormant in the summer, when it is hot and dry. Water generously, but not to the point where the plant and especially the tubers are water logged.


Most gardeners regard wild forget-me-nots (Myosotis salvatica) as pleasant additions to the garden, with their traditional blue flowers. The alternative forms of forget-me-nots are cultivated pink and white flowers. The Scottish poet, William McGonagall immortalized this plant in the tragic tale of a knight and his lady who were strolling by the river when he stooped to pick some flowers for her, lost his balance and plunged into the waters. According to the legend, the knight called out "Forget me not" as he succumbed to his fate. Apparently the distraught maiden never did forget him, spending the remainder of her days in a nunnery. And that is how the forget-me-not got its uncommon name.


The happy little upturned faces of daisies (Bellis perennis) make the whole garden smile. It is little wonder that daisy chains and children's games revolve around these pretty and carefree flowers. Rather impressively, the name "daisy" comes from Chaucer who called it "day's eye." Look closely at a daisy and you will find that what appears at first glance to be a single flower, is actually a composition of tightly-packed petal and center florets. Bellis perennis provides a range of homeopathic remedies.

Keywords: Cyclamen persicum, forget-me-not, Bellis perennis

About this Author

Based in Northern California, Maureen Katemopoulos has been a freelance writer for more than 25 years. Her articles on travel, the arts, cuisine and history have appeared in publications such as "Stanislaus Magazine," "Orientations," "The Asia Magazine" and "The Peninsula Group Magazine." She holds a Baccalaureate degree in journalism from Stanford University.