Flower (usually some form of the kindred roots צוּוֹ and נָצִוֹ, to glitter, and hence to blossom; Sept. and N.T. ἄνθος), a generic term, not designating any particular species. — Flowers grow in great variety and abundance in Palestine, and from the month of January to May the groves and meadows are adorned with the blossoms of different species of wild plants. Travellers have noticed different species of anemone, ranunculus, crocus, tulip, narcissus, hyacinth, lily, violet, aster, pink, iris, asphodel, daffodil, crowfoot, wind-flower, willow-herb, hyssop, dragon-wort, periwinkle, squill, the spiked veronica, white clover, and a flower resembling the hollyhock, and several others, which, by their variety and multitude, perfume the air, and yield a very lovely prospect. The rose of Sharon, which is not properly a rose, but a cistus, white or red, grows abundantly; also the rose of Jericho, though not properly so, grows spontaneously, particularly near the Dead Sea and the Jordan. The celebrated henna plant abounds in several places. With the jasmine, as well as with the vine, the people ornament the alleys and the arbors of their gardens. Burckhardt noticed the pretty red flower of the nomen plant, which abounds in all the valleys of Sinai, and is also seen among the most barren granitic rocks of the mountains (see Tyas, Flowers of Holy Land, Lond. n. d.). SEE PALESTINE.
Flowers in the Bible are not treated from a scientific point of view. Very few species are mentioned; and, although their beauty is once or twice alluded to in descriptive passages (sometimes under the general terms— "grass," Mt 6:34; Song 2:12; Song 5:13), they are seldom introduced, except in the single pathetic analogy which they afford to the transitory life and glory of mankind (Job 14:2; Ps 103:15; Isa 28:1; Isa 40:6; Jas 1:10; 1Pe 1:24). SEE BOTANY. The ancient Egyptians were exceedingly fond of flowers, and they are often represented on the monuments (see Wilkinson, 1:19, 37, 57, 78, 141, 257, etc.). Gardens גִּנַּוֹת, פִּרדֵס, גִּנַּים, παράδεισοι) were in use among Orients from the earliest times (Ge 13:10); De 11:12, etc.); but, although they were planted with flowers and fragrant herbs (Song 6:2; Song 4:16), often chosen for their beauty and rarity (Isa 17:10), yet they appear to have been chiefly cultivated for useful and culinary purposes (Jer 29:5; Song 6:11; Song 4:13; De 8:8, etc.). SEE GARDEN.