Before sending a bouquet to the object of your affection, make sure you’re sending the right message with this guide to flower meanings.
By The Editors of Yankee Magazine
Feb 10 2020
Flower Meanings | Learn the Language of Flowers
Did you know the many kinds of flower meanings?
When you learn the language of flowers, you can be thoughtful, mysterious, and creative all at once when you share a nosegay that you’ve arranged according to the Victorian-era “language of flowers.” Suitors in that era would pick certain flowers according to their “flower dictionary” definitions, and the recipients might spend days decoding the floral message.
Today, you could give a theme bouquet as a special treat for a friend, family member, or romantic interest, along with leads for deciphering your meaning. For example, a friend facing a job interview could be the recipient of a posy made of chamomile (energy in adversity), hollyhock (ambition), and basil (good wishes). Or you could present tickets for a date to spice up a longtime relationship, and present a small bouquet of fern (fascination), hyacinth (sport, game, or play), and chickweed (rendezvous) alongside.
Best of all, many of the most meaningful flowers are blooms you can cultivate yourself or find in a vacant lot, so you can indulge often—and the arrangements are far more original than most anything you’d find at the florist. Here are 20 flower meanings from Kate Greenaway’s Language of Flowers (1885).
|Alyssum, sweet||Worth beyond beauty|
|Amaryllis||Pride, timidity, splendid beauty|
|Basil, sweet||Good wishes|
|Chamomile||Energy in adversity|
|Columbine (red)||Anxious and trembling|
|Honeysuckle||Generous and devoted affection|
|Hyacinth||Sport, game, play|
|Lilac (purple)||First emotions of love|
|Lily of the valley||Return of happiness|
|Periwinkle (blue)||Early friendship|
|Tulip (red)||Declaration of love|
|Tulip (variegated)||Beautiful eyes|
|Tulip (yellow)||Hopeless love|
|Zinnia||Thoughts of absent friends|
How many of these flower meanings did you know?
Excerpt from 1,001 Old-Time Household Hints—brought to you by Skyhorse Publishing and the editors of Yankee Magazine.
This post was first published in 2011 and has been updated.