Understanding the Language of Flowers

Flowers are used to express a lot of sentiments. You give them to people as a sign of love, celebration, or sympathy. If you’ve sent a bouquet to someone, you’ve probably chosen flowers you think they like or look beautiful together. However, if you were alive in the Victorian age, every flower would have a precise meaning.

When Queen Victoria ruled England, young men and women exchanged messages by sending flowers. In a way, it was the very early version of texting lingo—a way to communicate messages without the adults understanding them. Flowers meant anything from “I love you” to disgust and hatred. Take a look at what some favorite flowers today would have said back then—and what their meanings are today!

Alstroemeria: Devotion and loyalty. Today, this flower symbolizes prosperity and fortune.

Azalea: Temperance, modesty.

Calla Lilly: You are a magnificent beauty.

Canterbury Bells: Constancy and faithfulness.

Carnation: The color varies the message. Red and pink mean declarations of love, white means endearment, and yellow is a firm no. Yellow carnations would have been sent to an overzealous suitor. Today, all carnations represent pride and beauty.

Caspia: Consistency, faithfulness.

Chrysanthemum: Love. The Chinese variety represents cheerfulness.

Daisy: Innocence.

Delphinium: Haughtiness. Today, though, it represents lightness and levity.

Hydrangea: You are heartless. The meaning has changed to its opposite—now, it represents heartfelt emotions.

Lily of the Valley: Return of happiness.

Marigold: Depending on the variety, the marigold could mean despair, grief, or jealousy.

Peony: Pink peonies mean happiness, while red means love.

Ranunculus: I am dazzled by your charms.

Rose: Red roses mean love, while pink stand for friendship.

Stephanotis: Marital bliss. This flower is still often used today in wedding bouquets.

Sweet Pea: Delicate pleasures.

Tulip: Love and fame.

Verbena: Enchantment tempered with sensibility.

When you’re putting together a bouquet or flower arrangement for a friend or loved one, you can think about what the flowers say. Looking into the language of flowers can also lead you to see varieties of flowers you may not have considered for your arrangement. Decide what you want your bouquet to say, and contact us to put it together.

Contact For Floral Arrangements 603.889.9903