Being a vast land with very varied climatic conditions, Iran is one of the largest producers of ornamental flowers in the world. Iran’s soil is home to almost any type of flower and plant in various regions of the country. The national flower of Iran, and also the most popular flower world-wide, is the red rose.
Another flower, the inverted tulip, is the emblem of the country. It is unique to Iran and only grows in the Zagros Mountains.
Flowers are a big part of Iranian culture. The rose for example, is used to make rosewater, which in the past, was sprinkled on guests while the flowers themselves constituted an ingredient for flavouring desserts.
Iran is probably the most intense flower giving nation: Since ancient times they have had a custom of giving flowers for various occasions. The tradition continues nowadays. Some of the most popular occasions for giving and receiving flowers are Nowruz (Iranian New Year), birthdays, weddings, engagement parties, Valentines day and Mother and Father’s days. People of all ages buy flowers in Iran, and every colours has a different meaning: red for example symbolises love while yellow flowers are a symbol of dislike.
Moreover, flowers and flower bouquets are essential elements in the official proposal ceremony in Iran today: In a traditional proposal known as khaste-gari, the man and his family go to the woman’s house, usually with an expensive bouquet of flowers and a box of sweets. People spend lots of money on flowers, especially for engagements and weddings: floral decorations of bridal cars and the bride’s wedding bouquet is an ever thriving business for florists. While for engagements, big compositions of flowers with presents inside such as rings, chocolates and jewels are favourites among Iranians.
One of the most expensive flowers on the market is the Cymbidium Orchid due to its importation. Iran’s flower industry was estimated to be worth $24 million in the last Iranian year. The provinces of Tehran, Markazi, Mazandaran, Khuzestan, Alborz and Isfahan are the top cultivators of flowers and ornamental plants. Regarding exports, Russia as well as Central Asian and Persian Gulf countries are the main customers of Iranian flowers and ornamental plants.