Flowers & Their Meanings

flower wreath

In the 1600's, a language of flowers developed in Constantinople and in the poetry of Persia. Charles II introduced the Persian poetry to Europe, and Lady Mary Wortley Montagu brought the flower language from Turkey to England in 1716. It spread to France and became a handbook of 800 floral messages known as the Book Le Langage des Fleurs. Lovers exchanged messages as they gave each other selected flowers or bouquets. A full red rose meant beauty. Red and white mean unity. Crocus said "abuse not", while a white rosebud warns that one is too young for love. Yellow roses were for jealousy, yellow iris for passion, filbert for reconciliation and ivy for marriage. The message would grow in complexity with combinations. A full rose placed over two buds meant secrecy. Remove the thorns from a rosebud and you say "I fear no longer." Remove the leaves also and your message becomes "There is nothing to hope or fear." Want to say "Your unconscious sweetness has fascinated me"? Then offer a Lilly of the Valley and Ferns.

Flower

Traditional Meaning

Aster:

Talisman of love

Begonia:

A fanciful nature

Carnation, red:

Admiration

Carnation, white:

Pure and ardent love

Chrysanthemum, red:

I love you

Chrysanthemum, white:

Truth

Daffodil:

Regard

Daisy:

Innocence, gentleness

Forget-me-not:

True love

Globe amaranth:

Unfading love

Hibiscus:

Delicate beauty

Jasmine, white:

Amiability

Jasmine, yellow:

Modesty

Larkspur:

An open heart

Pansy:

Thoughtful recollection

Primrose:

Young love

Rose, pink:

Perfect happiness

Rose, white:

Charm and innocence

Rose, red:

Love and desire

Rose, white and red:

Unity

Rosebud:

Beauty and youth

Tuberose:

Dangerous pleasure

Tulip:

You are the perfect lover

Verbena:

May you get your wish

Violet:

Modesty and simplicity

 

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Updated Jan. 4, 2003

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