A Heraldic Primer: Flowers, Trees and Plants

The animal kingdom is not the only resource which was drawn upon for period armory. There are many forms of plant life which can be used as charges. These include flowers, trees and fruits/nuts. When a flower has a stem attached, it is termed slipped. When it has a stem and leaves attached, it is termed slipped and leaved. When the leaves of a rose have a different tincture than the flower, they are referred to as barbed and when the center of the rose is a different tincture, it is referred to as seeded.

A rose argent, barbed vert
and seeded gules
A thistle argent, slipped and
leaved vert
A Fleur-de-lys argent A trefoil argent

Note that the trefoil and the Fleur-de-lys are stylised representations of flowers.

Trees were also found in armory. Though many different species of trees were used in armory, for purposes of conflict checking, we use the basic shapes of the tree (oval, conical, palm, etc). When the roots of a tree are showing, the tree is termed eradicated and when they are not, it is called couped. When there are no leaves on the tree, it is termed blasted.

An oak tree eradicated An oak tree couped A pine tree coupted

The fruits from these plants are also the subject of armorial depiction, from humble acorn and garb (a sheaf of wheat), to the pomegranate (badge of Katherine of Aragon).

an acorn an apple a garb a pomegranate