Architectural Ornament in Plant Forms
As for flowers, the rose has symbolized perfection in many cultures. The architectural ornament called a rosette is a flower with a varied number of petals that resembles other flowers. The rosette was used singly and in series. Bosses in the form of rosettes, also called paterae were used to cover bolts, nails, and awkward or unsightly joinery. In such cases its symbolism would not have mattered. As with the lily, which was turned into a trefoil and a quatrefoil, its decorative possibilities were more important than its meaning.
Flowers were sometimes exaggerated as is the case with this band of outsized posies on the tower of the Queen Anne house at 2007 Franklin Street, the location of the San Francisco Architectural Heritage Foundation. These are generic flowers; their purpose was to enliven the band’s surface in the same way that an ornate belt adorns a garment.
Ornament made by sawing flat boards was another way of creating abstract patterns that could be applied to building walls as shown below.