For thousands of years, humans have cultivated, planted and lovely tended to flowers. What the evolutionary payoff for that? Well, a very good one indeed. According to a lengthy scientific study, see reference below, flowers evolved just like dogs adapting to please us – at the top of the food chain.

Here is a summary of the research findings.

Research Findings
A team of researchers explored the link between flowers and life satisfaction in a 10-month study of participants’ behavioral and emotional responses to receiving flowers. The results show that flowers are a natural and healthful moderator of moods.
  • Flowers have an immediate impact on happiness. All study participants expressed “true” or “excited” smiles upon receiving flowers, demonstrating extraordinary delight and gratitude. This reaction was universal, occurring in all age groups.
  • Flowers have a long-term positive effect on moods. Specifically, study participants reported feeling less depressed, anxious and agitated after receiving flowers, and demonstrated a higher sense of enjoyment and life satisfaction.
  • Flowers make intimate connections. The presence of flowers led to increased contact with family and friends.
“Common sense tells us that flowers make us happy,” said Dr. Haviland-Jones. “Now, science shows that not only do flowers make us happier than we know, they have strong positive effects on our emotional well being.”

Content source: The Health Benefits of Flowers

Image source:

Research source: The Emotional Impact of Flowers Study was published in the April 2005 issue of Evolutionary Psychology. Haviland-Jones, J., Rosario, H.H., Wilson, P., McGuire, T.R. (2005). An environmental approach to positive emotion: Flowers. Evolutionary Psychology, 3, 104-132.