Monday is International Women”s Day and in many countries, it is the mimosa flower that men and women have given to their female friends and relatives in appreciation.
The tradition began in 1946 when feminists in Italy chose the mimosa as a rival flower to the traditional red rose of Valentine’s Day.
It was a cheap and widely available flower and so ideal for a country that had just emerged from the Second World War.
Sebora, in Italy’s Liguria region, now accounts for 90 percent of the mimosas sold worldwide.
The region, which is next to the Cote D’Azur in France, is called the “Flower Riveria” and much of the harvest goes to Poland and Russia, former Soviet states where International Women’s Day is widely observed.
In a non-pandemic year, the industry generates about five million euros in profit – this had risen by 20 percent in recent years thanks to thriving markets in Russia, Poland and France.
And when coupled together with Valentine’s Day the two events account for 15 percent of the industry’s turnover in Italy.