H is for Heliotrope #AtoZChallenge

Posted 9th April 2015 by Tizzy Brown in Blog Fests & Hops / 🗨16 Comments

Today I’m continuing with the A-Z Blogging Challenge. This year I’m doing an A-Z of Colours. I’ll be doing a variety of posts, including haikus and poems, arts and crafts, fashion and beauty, recipes and more!    

For the letter ‘H’ I have chosen the colour Heliotrope. This is a bright purple colour named after the flowers of the heliotropium plant. The name comes from the Greek helios (sun) and trepein (to turn), as the plant is known for turning its leaves towards the sun throughout the day. This Pinterest board has some examples of this beautiful colour.

Keep reading to discover the symbolism behind this colour, meet the Heliotrope Flower Fairy and listen to a little ragtime music.

Symbolism

Heliotropium peruvianum

Like most shades of purple, heliotrope is associated with royalty, creativity, femininity and intuition. In the Victorian Language of Flowers, it meant devotion. The Victorians used the plant in their perfumes because of its sweet, sugary scent, reminiscent of cherry pie.

Heliotrope also symbolises light and divinity, since Helios is both the Greek word for sun and the name of the Greek sun god. If you are interested to learn more about the mythology, Zalka at The Multicoloured Diary tells the tale of Klytia and the sun god in her A-Z post from last year.

Complementary colour: Yellow

Plants and flowers: Heliotrope, lavender, hydrangeas, Gladiolus ‘Gates of Paradise’, Purple Allium, Viola, Geranium pratense “Summer Skies”, Rosa ‘Rhapsody in Blue’, purple tulips, pansies, Clematis ‘Crystal Fountain’, wisteria, fuchsia.

Animals: Purple-crowned fairy wrens, Plumbeous Water Redstart birds, Lilac Breasted Roller bird, Costa’s Hummingbird, some starfish, Brazilian Pinkbloom Tarantula, Violet Snail, some beetles, some fish (including seahorses), certain types of coral eg. purple gorgonian, some tree frogs,

Foods: Blueberry macarons, some sweets eg M&Ms, blueberry icecream.

The Heliotrope Flower Fairy

In my quest to find out more about the colour heliotrope, I discovered this lovely illustration from a book by Cicely Mary Barker called ‘Flower Fairies of the Garden’. Apparently Barker began painting fairies in the early 1920s. They had started to become a popular theme in art and literature following the publication of The Coming of the Fairies by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Peter Pan by J.M Barrie.
From Cicely Mary Barker’s ‘Flower Fairies of the Garden’ (London & Glasgow: Blackie & Son, 1944).
Isn’t it sweet? I also found a piece of music called the Heliotrope Bouquet, by Scott Joplin and Louis Chauvin, which was composed in 1907! Have a listen:

What do you think of the flower fairy picture and the ragtime piece? Had you heard of the colour heliotrope before? What do you associate it with?


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16 responses to “H is for Heliotrope #AtoZChallenge

  1. I LOVE the heliotrope fairy! While I've heard the word heliotrope before, I didn't actually know it was a flower or a color before reading this… so thanks!

  2. I LOVE the heliotrope fairy! While I’ve heard the word heliotrope before, I didn’t actually know it was a flower or a color before reading this… so thanks!

  3. I don't think I've really heard of heliotrope before today! I definitely never knew it was a purple colour – I normally don't like purple, but this one is so bright and cheery. I think I'm going to have to try and work it into my WIP somehow ;). Also, loved the music!

  4. Rachel Pattinson

    I don’t think I’ve really heard of heliotrope before today! I definitely never knew it was a purple colour – I normally don’t like purple, but this one is so bright and cheery. I think I’m going to have to try and work it into my WIP somehow ;). Also, loved the music!

  5. Stephen Tremp

    We have some purple in our yard. But we really need to plant more colorful plants, especially in the front.

  6. Jennifer S. Pitts

    I love the color purple and have heard of many names for it, but never this one. I'm going to pass it on to my son who's studying for his SAT's.

  7. Jennifer S. Pitts

    I love the color purple and have heard of many names for it, but never this one. I’m going to pass it on to my son who’s studying for his SAT’s.

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