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flōs, ōris, m. [root fla-; Gr. ἐκ-φλαίνω, to stream forth; cf. φλασμός; Lat. flare, flamen, etc., v. flo], a blossom, flower.

I. Lit.: suaves flores, Lucr. 1, 8: juvat novos decerpere flores, id. 1, 928: novi, Hor. C. 4, 1, 32: recentes, id. ib. 3, 27, 44: verni, id. ib. 2, 11, 9: florum omnium varietas, Cic. de Sen. 15, 54: suavitas odorum, qui afflarentur e floribus, id. ib. 17, 59: laetissimi flores, id. Verr. 2, 4, 48, 107: ninguntque rosarum Floribus, Lucr. 2, 628: flores rosae, rosarum, Hor. C. 2, 3, 14; 3, 29, 3; 4, 10, 4: piabunt floribus et vino Genium, id. Ep. 2, 1, 144; cf.: fons Bandusiae, dulci digne mero non sine floribus, id. C. 3, 13, 2: nitidum caput impedire myrto Aut flore, id. ib. 1, 4, 10: recte necne crocum floresque perambulet Attae Fabula, si dubitem, etc., the stage strewed with flowers, id. Ep. 2, 1, 79: carduus florem purpureum mittit inter medios aculeos, puts forth, Plin. 20, 23, 99, 262; cf. id. 21, 6, 17, 31: legere, Ov. M. 4, 315.—

B. Transf.

1. The honey of flowers sucked out by the bees: rure levis verno flores apis ingerit alveo, Conpleat ut dulci sedula melle favos, Tib. 2, 1, 49; Verg. G. 4, 39; Plin. 11, 7, 7, 17.—

2. In gen., like the Gr. ἄνθος, for whatever forms either the best part or the highest part of a thing (mostly poet. and in postAug. prose).—

a. The flower of any thing, i. e. the prime or best part, also the best kind of any thing: postquam est honoratus frugum et floris Liberi, the bouquet or flavor of wine, Pac. ap. Non. 498, 12; so, vini (Bacchi), Plaut. Curc. 1, 2, 1; id. Cas. 3, 5, 16; Lucr. 3, 221.—The best kind of oil, Plin. 15, 6, 6, 23; of wax, id. 21, 14, 49, 84; of rosin, id. 14, 20, 25, 124; of salt, id. 13, 1, 2, 14; Cato, R. R. 88, 2; of meal, Plin. 18, 9, 20, 86 et saep.; of cream, Vitr. 8, 3; of the finest dish: cenae, Favorin. ap. Gell. 15, 8, 2.—

b. The highest part, the top, crown, head of a thing.—Of the froth of wine, Cato, R. R. 11, 2; Col. 12, 30; Plin. 14, 21, 27, 136.—The blisters, scales that are formed in smelting metals, id. 34, 11, 24, 107; the upper dust of marble or gypsum, Col. 12, 20, 8.—Poet. of the first downy hairs of the beard: nunc primum opacat flore lanugo genas, Pac. ap. Paul. ex Fest. s. v. genas, p. 94 Müll. N. cr.; Verg. A. 8, 160; Luc. 6, 562: ante genas dulces quam flos juvenilis inumbret, Claud. in Prob. Cons. Pan. 69.—Donec flammai fulserunt flore coorto, a tip or flash of flame, Lucr. 1, 900.—

3. In archit., carved flowers placed as ornaments on a Corinthian capital, Vitr. 4, 1, 12; on a cupola, id. 4, 8.

II. Trop., the flower, crown, ornament of any thing (class.; a favorite flg. of Cic.).

A. In gen.: ea tempestate flos poëtarum fuit (Plautus), Plaut. Cas. prol. 18: sic omnis fetus repressus, exustusque siti flos veteris ubertatis exaruit, Cic. Brut. 4, 16: (Ennius) flos delibatus populi ... qua (eloquentia) virum excellentem praeclare tum illi homines florem populi esse dixerunt, id. ib. 15, 58 sq. (cf. Enn. Ann. v. 309 ed. Vahl.): flos nobilitatis ac juventutis, id. Phil. 2, 15, 37; so, legatorum, id. Fl. 26, 61: versaris in optimorum civium vel flore vel robore, id. Or. 10, 34; cf.: quod floris, quod roboris in juventute fuerat, amiserant, Liv. 37, 12, 7: ex morbo velut renovatus flos juventae, id. 28, 35, 7; 26, 2, 6; Curt. 3, 5, 8: provincia Galliae ... ille flos Italiae, illud firmamentum imperii populi Romani, illud ornamentum dignitatis, Cic. Phil. 3, 5, 13: flos dignitatis, id. Balb. 6, 15; cf.: ego te, Crasse, cum vitae flore, tum mortis opportunitate, divino consilio et ortum et exstinctum esse arbitror, splendor, glory, id. de Or. 3, 3, 12: in ipso Graeciae flore, in the very flower, the most flourishing condition, id. N. D. 3, 33, 82: flos aetatis, the flower of one's age, the prime of life, Lucr. 3, 770; 5, 847; cf.: non venirem contra gratiam, non virtutis spe, sed aetatis flore collectam, Cic. Phil. 2, 2, 3.— Without aetas: Pa. Anni? Ch. Anni? Sedecim. Pa. Flos ipse, Ter. Eun. 2, 3, 28: viridissimo flore puella, Cat. 17, 14: in flore primo tantae indolis juvenis exstinctus est, Plin. Ep. 5, 9, 5: in flore virium se credens esse, Liv. 42, 15, 2: primus flos animi, youthful vigor, Stat. Ach. 1, 625; but also: flos animi, ripe age, Sen. Ep. 26: videmus Vergilium ea de causa hortorum dotes fugisse, et e tantis, quae retulit, flores modo rerum decerpsisse, i. e. the choicest, best, Plin. H. N. 14 praef. 7.—

2. Transf.: flos aetatis, maidenly or youthful innocence (of girls or boys), virginity: (virgo) cum castum amisit polluto corpore florem, Cat. 62, 46: Hasdrubal flore aetatis, uti ferunt, primo Hamilcari conciliatus, Liv. 21, 2, 3; cf. id. 21, 3, 4: florem aetatis (Caesaris) in Bithynia contaminatum, Suet. Caes. 49.—

B. In partic., of speech, a flower, embellishment, ornament: ut porro conspersa sit (oratio) quasi verborum sententiarumque floribus, etc., Cic. de Or. 3, 25, 96: flos aut lumen eloquentiae, id. Brut. 17, 66; cf.: nullus flos tamen neque lumen ullum (in M. Crassi oratione), id. ib. 66, 233: florem et colorem defuisse, id. ib. 87, 298: alia copia locuples, alia floribus laeta, Quint. 8, 3, 87: male audire ... nimiis floribus et ingenii affluentia, id. 12, 10, 13.