The Victorian Language of Flowers (the Meaning of Flowers)


In Victorian times, certain flowers had specific meanings because the flower selection was limited and people used more symbols and gestures to communicate than words. But today, with so many flower choices, there are no rules – it’s the sentiment that gives the gift its meaning. Your florist can help you send the right message. Many people assign their own personal meanings – a flower or color that might remind them of a special event or moment in their lives. For those interested in the historic meanings of flowers, the Society of American Florists has compiled this list from a variety of different sources:

Alstroemeria aspiring
Amaryllis dramatic
Anemone fragile
Apple Blossom promise
Aster contentment
Azalea abundance
Baby’s Breath festivity
Bachelor’s Button anticipation
Begonia deep thoughts
Black-Eyed Susan encouragement
Camellia graciousness
Carnation
   pink gratitude
   red flashy
   striped refusal
   white remembrance
   yellow cheerful
Chrysanthemum
   bronze excitement
   white truth
   red sharing
   yellow secret admirer
Cosmos peaceful
Crocus foresight
Daffodil chivalry
Delphinium boldness
Daisy innocence
Freesia spirited
Forget-Me-Not remember me forever
Gardenia joy
Geranium comfort
Ginger proud
Gladiolus strength of character
Heather solitude
Hibiscus delicate beauty
Holly domestic happiness
Hyacinth sincerity
Hydrangea perseverance
Iris inspiration
Ivy fidelity
Jasmine grace and elegance
Larkspur beautiful spirit
Lavender distrust
Lilac first love
Lily
Calla regal
Casablanca celebration
Day enthusiasm
Stargazer ambition
Lisianthus calming
Magnolia dignity
Marigold desire for riches
Nasturtium patriotism
Orange Blossom fertility
Orchid delicate beauty
Pansy loving thoughts
Passion flower passion
Peony healing
Poppy consolation
Queen Anne’s Lace delicate femininity
Ranunculus radiant
Rhododendron beware
Rose
   pink friendship
   red passionate love
   red & white unity
   white purity
   yellow zealous
Snapdragon presumptuous
Star of Bethlehem hope
Stephanotis good luck
Statice success
Sunflower adoration
Sweetpea shyness
Tuberose pleasure
Tulip
   pink caring
   purple royalty
   red declaration of love
   white forgiveness
   yellow hopelessly in love
   Violet faithfulness
Wisteria steadfast
Yarrow good health
Zinnia thoughts of friends

About Lesley Lowry

I love flowers! I enjoy growing them, learning about them and I love creating bouquets of freshly cut flowers. In our climate where it's winter most of the time, the growing season is way too short, so I have started this blog to get my fix all winter! I encourage you to post regularly on this blog, especially if you're lucky enough to live in a warm climate and can grow flowers all year long. I intend to post a lot of interesting facts and fun stuff about flowers, as well as info on many varieties of flowers.
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24 Responses to The Victorian Language of Flowers (the Meaning of Flowers)

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