7 Surprising Fall Flower Facts and Folklore Stories

Updated: Sep. 19, 2023

There's more to fall flowers than you know. Uncover the surprising stories and flower facts behind your favorite seasonal blooms.

Unusual Flower Name

Istock518463656 fall flower factsBAUHAUS1000/ISTOCK
Find out how this fall flower got a unique nickname.

This one of our fall flower facts might freak you out if you don’t like arachnids. Coreopsis, a native North American flower introduced to Europe in 1699, gets its nickname (tickseed) from the shape of its seeds. Some believe the seeds resemble ticks. Don’t worry, these pretty flowers don’t bite!

Discover 10 things you need to know about chrysanthemums.

Battlefield Medicine

monarch butterfly flowersCourtesy Lisa Watkins
Monarch butterfly on marigolds

Marigolds were used during World War I and the Civil War to treat and dress wounds on the battlefields.

Grow these late summer and fall flowers for hummingbirds.

Protection From Storms

There are over 250 different kinds of sedum that are native to many different regions. This plant’s history dates back to the Romans, who grew sedum on rooftops as a lightning deterrent.

Secret Seed Sharing

A French botanist obtained anemone from abroad in the early 1600s, but he refused to share or sell the plants or their seeds. After 10 years of this, a fellow botanist stopped by his garden and “accidentally” dropped his coat on the anemone growing there, picking up seeds in the process.

Check out the best fall flowers to grow (that aren’t mums).

She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not

pansy flowerCourtesy Caitlin Napper
Look at pansy petals to predict a love match

The Lore of Flowers by Neil Ewart says medieval knights used pansy petals to predict their love lives. A petal with seven lines signaled lasting love.

Can pansies survive frost and overwinter in the garden?

Autumn Crocus as a Cure

Autumn crocus has been used medicinally throughout history. During the Renaissance (between 1300 and 1700), people often wore autumn crocus bulbs around their necks to ward off the plague. In more recent times, the plant has been used to treat gout.

Discover the top 10 bulbs to plant in fall that you aren’t growing yet.

Asters in Mythology

fall flower factsCourtesy Sandra Belitza Vazquez
An American lady butterfly gathers nectar on purple asters.

There are two GrecoRoman myths about asters. In the first, the constellation Virgo sowed the Earth with stardust, which bloomed into asters. In the second, the goddess Astraea wept. Asters bloomed where her tears fell.

After you finish reading these fall flower facts, discover interesting daisy facts you probably didn’t know.

Text courtesy of Wildflower Folklore by Laura C. Martin.