After at least a month of dreary weather and plenty of rain showers, it's finally time for that all to pay off with beautiful flowers. In 1886, the proverb "March winds and April showers bring forth May flowers," was first recorded—however, today it's better known as April Showers Bring May Flowers. In honor of the month of May, we've curated some of our favorite flower tattoos from talented artists around the world, as well as interesting facts about each botanical variation.
Subgenera: Hulthemia, Hesperrhodos, Platyrhodon and Rosa
Symbolism: Love (red), Innocence (white), Death (black)
Origin: According to fossil evidence, roses date back 35 million years
Subgenera: Clusianae, Orithyia, Tulipa, Eriostemones
Etymology: The word tulip comes from the Ottoman Turkish Tulipa, which means gauze or muslin, and the flower was given this name because it resembled the Muslim turban.
Origin: Cultivation of tulips began in 10th century Persia.
Genera: Cardiocrinum, Notholirion, Nomocharis, Fritillaria
Misconception: Many flowers are given the lily name, however, not all are true lillies. For example, water lillies, calla lillies and lily of the vallies are not part of the lily family.
Fun Fact: Only white and tiger lilies have a scent, all other lillies are odorless.
Species: There are at least 38 known species of peonies, with 30 classified as herbaceous and eight classified as woody.
Cultivation: Ancient Chinese texts make many mentions to peonies, even when it came to cuisine. Famed Chinese philosopher Confucius was once quoted saying,"I eat nothing without its sauce. I enjoy it very much, because of its flavor."
Tattooing: Peonies are a popular motif in Japanese tattooing, symbolizing risk-taking and courage.
Etymology: The proper name for daffodils is Narcissus, which is connected to the Greek myth of Narcissus, who originated the term narcissism.
Symbolism: In the West, the flower symbolizes narcissism. However, in the East it symbolizes wealth and good fortune.
Philanthropy: In many countries, the daffodil is synonymous with cancer causes, such as the American and Canadian Cancer Societies.
Etymology: The word Iris is Greek for rainbow and not only serves the flower, but the goddess as well.
Subgenera: Iris, Limniris, Xiphium, Nepalensis, Scorpiris, Hermodactyloides
Environmental: In many places, yellow irises are grown in reedbed setups to purifying bodies of water.
Habitat: With the exception of three species found in South America, all sunflowers originate from North and Central America.
Growth: Sunflowers typically grow between six to 10 feet, taking between 70 to 100 days to go from seeds to their full foliage.
Species: While most recognize the helianthus annuus, there are actually 70 unique species of sunflowers.
Etymology: The proper term for carnations is dianthus caryophyllus, which in Ancient Greek translates to divine flower.
Habitat: Carnations originate from the Mediterranean and wild variations can be found in Greece, Croatia, Italy and Spain.
Symbolism: Red carnations are used to symbolism socialism and the labor movement.
Etymology: The proper term for daisy is bellis perennis, which means pretty everlasting in Latin.
Health: Daisies have chemicals that can constrict body tissue and were once used by surgeons in Ancient Rome.
Habitat: These flowers are typically found in Northern, Western and Central Europe.
Variations: There are over 28,000 species of orchids, distributed between 763 genera. There are four times as many orchid species as there are mammals.
Origin: Through genetic sequencing, it's believed that orchids go back 76-84 million years.
Habitat: Orchids typically grow in tropical climates, but species have also been found on the Arctic Circle.
Species: Despite their colorful and fragrant flowers, this plant belongs in the olive family.
Habitat: Lilacs originate from the Balkan Peninsula and grow on rocky hills.
Symbolism: In Greece, Lebanon and Cyprus, they're associated with Easter.
Species: Like Lilacs, Gardenias are in a surprising family and are closely related to the coffee plant.
Habitat: These flowers are most often found in Africa and Madagascar.
Popular Culture: Hattie McDaniel was remembered for wearing this flower in her hair when she accepted the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress—becoming the first person of color to win an Oscar.
Health: One species of poppy, papaver somniferum, is the source of the narcotic drug opium.
Currency: In 2004, Canada issued 25 cent coins with poppies on them, becoming the first country to issue colored circulation coins.
Symbolism: Because of their associate with opium, poppies often symbolize sleep and death—as referenced in "The Wizard of Oz."