Today we will look at January's birth flower. the carnation.

During the plaque carnations were used by the Crusaders. They mixed it with wine t control fevers. Carnations were also used in older times to dye hair black, flavor beer, and flavor wine and ale.

In Christian legend carnations sprung from the tears Mary cried when she saw Jesus carrying the cross. In one Italian legend a girl fell in love with a knight. She gave the knight a white carnation when he went off to war. When he was mortally wounded it dyed the center of the flower red. The woman was given the flower and from it she found some seeds. The flowers that grew from the seeds all had red centers like the carnation with her lovers blood. In Korea ladies would put three carnation flowers in their hair. If the top one died first it would mean her last years would be difficult. The center flower was a sign of difficult early years. The bottom flower would mean her whole life would be difficult. In Greek myth Artemis tore out the eyes of a shepherd who scared off her quarry as she was hunted. She felt bad about it afterward so from his eyes sprang the carnation. The flowers were also used in Greece in ceremonial garlands and crowns.