Do you speak flower?


(Photo credit:  R. Normandeau)

It’s Valentine’s Day, and that may mean you’re either giving or receiving flowers…and I’m sure more than a few marriage proposals and weddings are happening around the world today as well. What do the flowers in all those beautiful bouquets signify?

The Language of Flowers (floriography) is a folklore tradition that became popular during the Victorian era.  As part of the ritual of courtship, flowers were used by lovers to bear messages, reveal secrets, or to express emotion and depth of feeling. Matching the appropriate flower to the desired sentiment was critical – a mistake could be disastrous for a budding relationship! (Check out the “ones to avoid” here – just scroll down to the bottom of the list).  Adding to the uncertainty is the fact that none of the many floriography “dictionaries” were truly inclusive, so it was easy to find several different meanings for any one flower.  Superstition and lack of universality aside, many couples and their florists still consider the Language of Flowers when choosing flowers for weddings, anniversaries, and other romantic occasions.

My bridal bouquet was a combination of dark red roses, English ivy, and white gypsophilia. I admit I wasn’t following the Language of Flowers when I decided on red roses – they’re a personal favourite, and they fit with our wedding’s colour scheme. But…if you take a look at this compilation of flowers and their meanings, you’ll see that I made a great choice! 🙂

What is your Valentine’s Day bouquet saying to you – or to your loved one? If you’re married (and had flowers at your wedding), what did you select for your bouquets and floral decorations? Were you thinking about the Language of Flowers when you chose your blooms?

Robinson Rose painted daisy FP


  1. My spouse is coming home tonight from a business trip. I haven’t bought any flowers yet. Usually I buy spring flowers – Narcissus or Tulips. Our first Valentine’s (some 28 years ago) I bought her daisies that had been dyed blue – a mistake I have not repeated.

    • I keep seeing Gerberas in the florists’ shops that are dyed the craziest colours – the other day, I saw some that were the most unearthly green you could imagine. Depending on the style of bouquet, I suppose they could work, but I’m with you…naturally coloured flowers are best, and spring blooms are perfect for Valentine’s Day!

  2. My sister inlaw has a flower shop so I’m not hooked on any one flower, I pretty much love everything she makes, but my wedding bouquet was pink tulips. I just picked out a bunch of stuff from a cooler at a florist in Texas near the Hotel we were staying at. They did an amazing job and I loved it. According to the list, I’m a good lover ? That’s fun…LOL

    • I think tulips are such a wonderful choice for wedding bouquets – and, judging by the Language of Flowers, pink is obviously the colour to go with! 😉

      Had my hubby and I tied the knot in the spring, tulips would have definitely been a consideration…but, then again, I’ve always been partial to roses, so maybe I would have selected them anyway.

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