You know the old saying, April showers bring May flowers? Well, what about April flowers? Sure, May’s got lilies of the valley and tulips —but April’s birth flower is the Sweet Pea.
The Sweet Pea brings to mind a number of connotations, of, well, sweetness, romance, and the fresh start that is symbolized by Spring. Here’s a little more about the crown jewel of April—a springtime flower with a very unique past.
What is April’s Birth Flower? A Little Sweet Pea Background
Sweet peas hail from the Mediterranean: Southern Italy, Sicily, and the Aegean Island to be exact. The delicate flower was first documented in 1695 by Francisco Cupani–who passed the seeds along to a Dutch botanist.
Later, Henry Eckford, a Scottish horticulturist, brought the plants to Scotland. Eckford gets most of the credit for developing and hybridizing the peas, taking the sweet pea from an obscure wildflower to one of the most recognized flowers of the Victorian era.
For his achievement, Eckford even received a Victoria Medal of Honor by the Royal Horticultural Society. As a point of reference, there are now over 250 varieties of sweet pea flowers. They come in red, white, violet, and varying shades of pink. Some are streaked or slightly marked with contrasting colors, and in rare cases, you’ll even find a yellow bloom.
The sweet pea’s other claim to fame is its central role in the genetic studies conducted by Gregor Mendel. One could even say our high school biology knowledge of dominant and recessive genes can be chalked up to the humble sweet pea.
April’s birth flower is thought to represent gratitude and pleasure and is often given as a token of appreciation. These days the flowers make their appearance during weddings, prom season, and beyond—they’re a popular choice for corsages and boutonnieres.
Caring for April’s Birth Flower
Although sweet peas can be found all over the world, the plants are fussier than one might imagine. According to a sweet pea expert (it’s a real thing!), the plants should be cut during a relatively cool period—think early in the morning or in the evening. Parsons says you should cut when there are three or more flowers open, then transfer them to water right away.
Because the petals are so delicate, extra care is needed to ensure your sweet pea Bouq doesn’t shed its petals. Additionally, you’ll want to make sure the petals stay dry. Water can weigh down the flowers and cause damage.
Sweet peas are an early spring bloom, so keep in mind they like things cooler. Keep them away from heat for best results. If properly cared for, April’s birth month flower can last for up to five days, cut.
So, Can You… Eat Sweet Peas?
Unfortunately, the sweet pea is perhaps the worst place to indulge your sweet tooth. While the flower does technically belong to the legume family, like its snow and snap counterparts, don’t expect to see these guys on the shelf at Trader Joe’s. Consuming the plant in large quantities may prove toxic, so we’d advise not pushing your luck here.
Famous April Birthdays
Since we’re talking April birth month flowers, here are just a few of the famous faces born in April:
- Kristen Stewart, April 9
- Emma Watson, April 15
- Chance the Rapper, April 16
- Kourtney Kardashian, April 18
- Channing Tatum, April 26
- Michelle Pfeiffer, April 29
- Kirsten Dunst, April 30
Freshen Up Your Home for Spring
At The Bouqs Co., we ship farm-fresh birthday flowers just about anywhere. Show some appreciation for your favorite April baby or give your home a little springtime romance. You might not be able to eat these peas, but they sure look pretty! If you want to learn about other spring flowers, you can continue reading about May’s delicate bloom, the lily of the valley, or one of our underappreciated favorites, the snapdragon.Shop All