The Language of Flowers

by Charlotte.Barnes on January 28, 2013

The Turks in the 17th century seemed to develop flower meanings, as a way for the concubine women who could not read or write to communicate with each other.

During the Victorian era, the meaning and language of flowers became increasingly well-known. In a time when expressing such deep or affection emotions was not considered ‘proper’ behaviour, the notion of using flowers to communicate became very popular. Victorian women especially picked up the silent language that allowed them to communicate feelings and meanings that the strict propriety of the era would not allow.

Typically, the flowers were sent in the form of nosegays or ‘tussie-mussies’ (sometimes also known as a ‘tussy mussy’). Small bouquets became a popular fashion accessory during the Victorian era and so it was not uncommon to see them worn as accessories or hair ornaments. Typically, tussie-mussies include floral symbolism from the language of flowers, and therefore may be used to send a message to the recipient in secret.

Today flowers have become more associated with gestures or significant events in one’s life – weddings and funerals, or occasions such as Valentine’s and Mother’s Day. The ancient art of floriography is now used in a less direct but equally meaningful way, giving us flowers we now associate with certain celebration. By experimenting with what message you can create you can then impress your loved one with your flower knowledge while sending them a beautiful fresh flower gift.


Here are just a few of the most common meanings associated with your favourite flowers:

  • Red roses – I love you
  • Pink roses – I care about you
  • Yellow roses – Friendship
  • White lilies – Purity
  • Daffodil – Chivalry
  • Daisy – Innocence
  • Orchid – Beauty
  • Sunflower – Loyalty
  • Orange tulip – Fascination

As for your special occasions, there are a number of flowers associated with each one:

  • Valentine’s Day – red roses, red tulips, white orchids
  • Mother’s Day – Pink or white chrysanthemums, pink tulips, peach or cream roses
  • Halloween – Orange roses, red germini, bat orchids
  • Christmas – Poinsettia, holly, mistletoe, white roses

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Charlotte Barnes

Post category: Flowers, Knowledge, Lilies, Occasions, Orchids, Other Flowers, Roses  

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