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THE SOUTHERN GARDENER
ZESTY ZINNIAS

It’s hard to resist the charms of this cheery summer flower

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According to the book, Floriography, in the Victorian era zinnias symbolized “lasting friendship.” The Victorians believed zinnias were easy to grow and they re-seeded (the very same reasons we love them). If the Victorians gifted zinnias to a friend taking a trip, the giver wanted to let the friend know he or she would be missed and on the giver’s mind.

Zinnias continue to be one of the most popular summer flowers. It is hard to imagine a more cheery blossom. This non-native plant is a true annual hailing from Mexico and adjacent areas. When most gardeners refer to zinnias, they are usually referring to the common zinnia, Z. elegans. There are, however, actually thirteen species and hundreds of cultivars and hybrids.