Floriography- The language of flowers

Floriography, or the language of flowers, stems from the coded messages of the Victorian era that facilitated the exchange of feelings among the simply unpoetic or those who were forbidden to verbally communicate their passions or those who were forbidden to verbally communicate their passions.

As every flower lover knows, flowers have a language of their own. Every sentiment is expressed in one form or another by these fragile blooms, and as a leading psychologist states . . . .

 “FLOWERS ARE A PERFECT REPLICA OF HUMAN LIFE”

(Planting>Growth>Bloom>Withering)

Studies show that mastering a foreign language can not only boost your brain power but also provide you with insight on how the world thinks. Unfortunately, not everyone can learn with the same facility. But there’s one second language we all know how to speak fluently, albeit with slight variations. Colorful and often emotional, it’s called the Language of Flowers.

People have been using flowers to express emotions and convey messages for thousands of years. The custom first began in the Middle East in the 17th century, and became popular in the West during the Victorian era. The Victorians, with their strict social customs, turned to flowers to help them say what they couldn’t say out loud

Colour & meanings

  • Pink represents unconditional love, happiness, pure innocence, and femininity
  • Red represents passion and desire so deep it could cut you like a rose’s thorn
  • White represents purity, spirituality, perfection, and sympathy
  • Blue represents peace, tranquillity, prosperity, friendship, and immortality
  • Violet represents grace, refinement, elegance, royalty, and beauty
  • Green represents rebirth, renewal, good fortune, good health, and the promise of new beginnings
  • Yellow represents joy, happiness, energy, pride, and friendship
  • Orange represents enthusiasm, excitement, exuberance and a bold passion for life

Common flower varieties and their Language

ROSES,Roses are probably the flower most imbued with meaning–and that meaning is, of course, Love. Cleopatra’s first romantic encounter with Antony took place atop a one-inch carpet of roses. In the name of a good party, the Romans sprinkled dinner guests with rose water, rubbed their bodies with rose oil, and covered floors with rose petals. Roses have always been a top pick for flower aficionados. However, depending on the colour, we can say that different coloured roses may be applied to a number of different occasions. For example, white roses signify purity and are often used as wedding flowers, or the classic red which screams “I’m absolutely mad about you”. Generally speaking, giving someone a rose conveys that you admire them, are grateful for them, and thoroughly enjoy their lovely company.

Red Rose
Yellow rose

Carnations, symbolizes pride and beauty. A red carnation symbolizes love, pride and admiration; a pink carnation symbolizes the love of a woman or a mother; a purple carnation symbolizes capriciousness; while a white carnation symbolizes innocence and pure love. As with all flowers, however, the colours can make all the difference. While these flowers generally give off warm and happy sentiments, the purple variety is reserved for losing a loved one.

Different colours of Carnations

LILY: Symbolizes purity and refined beauty. White lily symbolizes modesty, orange lily symbolizes passion, yellow lily symbolizes gaiety, lilies are widely celebrated as the staple bouquet for couples celebrating their the 30th anniversary. The white lilies of the valley in particular are reserved for the 2nd wedding anniversary. Primary elements integral to this flower are purity and refined beauty.

White Lily

PEONIES:  are the champion of compassion and happy marriages. The embodiment of riches, good fortune, and honour, these flowers are celebrated for their beauty. With their lush, full, rounded bloom, peonies embody romance and prosperity and are regarded as an omen of good fortune and a happy marriage.

Pink Peonies

SUNFLOWERS: ever the bright and sunny bearer of good news, bring about feelings of adoration, longevity, and dedication. The popular flower, with its golden and sun-kissed aesthetic, is a popular choice to give to loved ones you’d like to impart feelings of cheerfulness, safety, and protection to. Whether the bouquet is meant to be given to friends or a lover during a grey rainy day, one thing’s for certain: Sunflowers have the innate ability to erase the dread and gloom inside your heart.

Sun like flowers

TULIPS: The meaning of tulips is generally perfect love. Like many flowers, different colors of tulips also often carry their own significance. Red tulips are most strongly associated with true love, while purple symbolizes royalty. The meaning of yellow tulips has evolved somewhat, from once representing hopeless love to now being a common expression for cheerful thoughts and sunshine. White tulips are used to claim worthiness or to send a message of forgiveness. Variegated tulips, once among the most popular varieties due to their striking color patterns, represent beautiful eyes.

Magical Tulips

CHRYSANTHEMUM: Chrysanthemum signifies an expression of sympathy, they are typically looked at as a flower that signifies respect and honor. if you receive a red chrysanthemum from someone, it is a symbol of love. A yellow chrysanthemum blossom on the other hand signifies neglected love or sorrow. A white chrysanthemum is a symbol of loyalty and devoted love. In general, chrysanthemums are believed to represent happiness, love, longevity and joy.

In the decades that followed floriography’s Victorian golden era, several books about the art-form started sprouting. Floriography dictionaries – beautiful books with illustrations of flowers and all of their benefits and characteristics listed neatly. Each flower was dutifully catalogued. Artists, poets, and writers alike added this information to their work.

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2 Comments on “Floriography- The language of flowers”

  1. Hi Adan thanks for the article.Its very informative. Its been years since i saw some carnations….they are very colourful. They are my favourite!

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