Echoes of Paradise: the Garden and Flora in Islamic Art
The Role of Individual Plants and Flowers
‘Not all flowers and plants had their origins within the cultural context of the Islamic world.’
Alongside the tulip, the carnation was another flower employed to poetically recall Divine beauty and evoke spiritual contemplation. Consequently, it, too, occurs frequently in Islamic and particularly Ottoman art. Not all flowers and plants, however, had their origins within the cultural context of the Islamic world. The image of the vine stock abundant in grapes and with the associations of fertility and eternal life, represent a survival from Hellenistic times, while the lotus, an Eastern symbol of spiritual purity, was introduced to Islamic art by the Mongols in the 7th / 13th century.
Wall hanging

Hegira 11th century / AD 17th century
Ottoman
Royal Museum, National Museums of Scotland (NMS)
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
This Ottoman embroidery is decorated with a profusion of vibrant carnations, evoking the beauty of nature and that of its Creator.