Since the early 1990s, Baby’s Breath has always been the florist’s most-loved filler flowers for nearly every bouquets and flower arrangement. But despite being easily spotted in every bouquet, this white, delicate little flower holds more power in its meaning than what it seems. Initially, these flowers were found in Africa, Australia, and Eurasia. Later, when it became popular, people have planted them a lot that now they are grown in many different parts of the world, reaching about 150 species in the genus. They are primarily used in floral arrangements, bouquets for gifts, dried flowers, wedding decorations, clothes’ decorations, and many more.
In this article, we will take you through 8 facts about Baby’s Breath, from the etymological meaning of its flowers, what it symbolizes, the uses and the benefits, and some curious facts you should know about! Why eight facts, though? We decided to put up the number 8 that often associated with the symbol of ‘infinite’ to match the symbolism of this beautiful and delicate flower!
1. The symbol of long-lasting love, innocence, and pureness
True love is often associated with undying feelings, dedication for staying beside our loved ones, innocence in the bareness of expressing our passion, and purity in the deep affection. Baby’s breath is the symbolism of all those feelings. No wonder this flower is used in many wedding ceremonies, be it for the bride’s hand bouquet or those little accents on corsages. Baby’s breath symbolizes everlasting and undying love, representing familial love, platonic love, or romantic bonds. The white in baby’s breath colour is associated with pureness and freedom from outside corruption, even said to represent the Holy Spirit’s power in the Christian faith. It also represents innocence with its pure colour. Those are the factors that make Baby’s Breath flowers widely loved by everyone, especially those well-versed in flowers’ language.
2. The name derives from ‘gypsum’
This delicate flower belongs to the Gypsophila family and also known by the same name. This name is derived from the Greek word “gypsos”, also known as “gypsum”, a mineral that makes soil thick and heavy for other plants. Meanwhile, the word “phila” came from the Greek word “phillios”, which means ‘loving’. Gypsophila family thrive on soil that contains lots of gypsum, hence the name.
Back then in Great Britain, it was called “Soapwort”. This light lacy flower’s popularity has boomed that it became a staple flower during the Victorian era and primarily used for bouquets, gifts, and decorations in corsages.
3. More than just white in colours
Although Baby’s Breath is famous for its white-coloured petals, it has more diversity in colour. There is pink-tinted baby’s breath that is often used to congratulate the birth of infant girls or even be used as a message of affection to a crush. There are also the butter yellow-coloured Baby’s Breath that represents the light and joy you can add to wedding decorations or have them brighten up your flower’s arrangements. There are several artificial colours florist often uses to decorate Baby’s Breath too.
4. Can be used in medication
A few species of Gypsophila can be used for medicinal purpose. Through research, Baby’s Breath contains the compounds to boost the medication for leukaemia, but herbal specialists rarely use it. The flower’s root can be eaten after baked slowly for long periods to reduce the toxic saponins that makes it too bitter when eaten.
5. One of the most used flowers in floristry
Surely everyone will have ever noticed Baby’s Breath flowers at some point in their life as these flowers are very commonly used in flower arrangements and flower bouquets. Everyone loves their delicate blooms, and it always fits for any decoration. The Baby’s Breath most widely used type is the common Gypsophila, G. paniculata, while G. elegans is often used as a cut flower.
6. Can be used for photography, reagents, and detergent
Aside from being a beautiful decoration and meaningful gifts of love, this flower also has several other uses in daily life. It contains lots of saponins that can be used for benefits in many purposes, from the production of photographic films to hemolytic laboratory reagents. It also has detergent qualities that can be used for soap and shampoo. Some species of Baby’s Breath are proven to be hyperaccumulators of boron chemical element that can be used to absorb the element of polluted soils.
7. Can be used to add flavour, aroma and crispness to foods
This symbol of long-lasting love sure gives another endless benefit for human’s lives! One of the species of this flower, G. rokejeka, is often used to make dessert halva. The said flower is also used in cheese, liqueur, and ice cream ingredients because it can provide flavour, crispness, and aroma to foods.
8. A true long-lasting flower
Baby’s breath is the symbol of eternal love. Thus the plants indeed have to live up to their title. They have proven to be long-lasting flowers compared with the other blooms. When we want to make a dried flower arrangement, Baby’s Breath flowers are also the easiest to dry. That versatility makes this flower used mainly in fresh flowers arrangements or permanent arrangements.
Apart from that, these lacy and light flowers are perennial and available all year round to the point you can feel that they always eternally there and everywhere. Their new plants can bloom up each year from the same root system. One plant can produce over ten thousand seeds, and able germinate in a matter of days. It can even handle a wide variety of temperatures and moistures, resisting drought and heat. They will be able to bloom sturdy and vigorously once it has been established over time.
Does it amaze you how these tiny flowers, delicate in appearance, can hold so much strength, meaning, and benefits in life? Nature indeed has given many miraculous wonders in this world, one of them including Baby’s Breath flowers!