The laurel, “Laurus” in Latin, is spread along the northern areas of the Mediterranean costs, from Spain to Greece and Asia Minor.
Shrub shaped, the laurel can reach many sizes up to 10 meters high, with thin branches forming a dense pyramidal crown. This tree is one of the most famous evergreen plants.
The laurel symbolizes courage, strengthening of self-confidence and intuition. It leads to clairvoyance and attracts success.
- Much appreciated since ancient times, the laurel was used to preserve books and scrolls, and for making the triumphal wreath too.
- In the Greek-Roman mythology, the laurel was a sacred plant symbolizing wisdom and glory: laurel wreaths were used for the winners of the Pythian Games and the Delphic Games, and they were also the highest honor for a poet who became a “laureate poet”. Hence the figurative meaning as the symbol of victory, fame, triumph and honor.
- The laurel was known as the sacred plant to Apollo. According to the legend, Apollo felt in love with Daphne, and when he declared his love, he was rejected by her. The god didn’t accept the refusal and started chasing the nymph, who was tried to escape frightened. When Apollo reached Daphne, the nymph transformed herself into a laurel tree. For this reason the laurel become the favorite tree of Apollo, and from that day he started to wear on his head a laurel wreath.
The Roman people, in honor to Apollo, used to wear the laurel wreath during the events at the Capitol.