Floriography, or ‘the language of flowers’, has a long, romantic history that dates back before the Victoria times. Within the art of floriography, every flower carries its own special meaning or symbolism, and this can also be influenced by its variety and colour. Flower symbolism has been referred to in many historic texts. Shakespeare, refers to the word ‘flower’ over 100 times in his texts. In the Victorian times, the language of flowers was a silent dialogue — an unspoken way to converse with friends, lovers, or would-be-suitors your true feelings. In this blog post, we are going to look at the language of flowers and the meaning given to them, how you can easily convey what you truly would like to say without saying a word.
The Language of Flowers
The unspoken meaning of flowers
If you have received a bouquet of flowers from a colleague, friend or loved one recently you may have thought ‘how lovely’ and thanked them for their kind gesture. But did you ever stop to think if the flowers they had chosen in the bouquet had a hidden meaning?
History is full of examples of women sending flowers to friends, loved ones, and enemies with hidden messages. In 1810 French publishers decided to put together, in one place, a flower dictionary that would detail the different floral languages that had been used over the years.
How do flowers get their meanings? Some of the meanings come directly from Greek mythology and the flower’s name. Such as ‘Narcissus’, whose common name is Daffodil, would correspond with the meaning of egotism (narcissist). The colours, medical properties, and even generalised superstitions lead to the creation of the language of flowers.
Understanding this language can enable you to send more than just a beautiful flower arrangement. You can choose your flowers to portray the exact message you want to send. For example, red roses have long been associated with love. The ultimate, timeless symbol of romance, red roses symbolise passion, affection and desire. The name Rose is an anagram of the Greek god of love Eros. A single red rose conveys love at first sight, perfect beauty, whilst a dozen red roses show the recipient that you think of them all for the full twelve months a year. What do you think 150 red roses shows your loved one?
The rose is a very symbolic flower in the language of flowers. Whatever the colour it symbolises a deep connection, and sincere feelings of affection. Then by choosing your colour you begin to add more meaning to the gesture. So, for example, a yellow rose signifies a deep connection and the yellow colour portrays joy and friendship. On the other hand, a white rose signifies purity, sincerity, new beginnings and can signify a new depth of love.
A rose is a rose, you say? Think again! In Victorian England, there were over 20 different meanings assigned to the many colours and varieties of everyone’s favourite flower. Even the presentation of a botanical gift had significance! The intentional positioning of a ribbon, the state of the bouquet itself, even, all conveyed a particular message.
To add yet another layer to your bouquet or arrangement the number of roses you choose also portrays a message. For example, if you give 3 roses to your loved one, this can signify a life of three, and a request for a baby to enter the relationship. 5 roses represent admiration, 8 roses for support to a dear loved one, and of course 12 roses for each month you will keep your receiver close to your thoughts!
What flowers to send to your loved ones?
Have you ever played the game where you take a petal off a flower one by one saying the phrase; ‘He loves me, he loves me not? This Victorian game was very popular with daisies and is played to see if a person likes you or not. A daisy carries many meanings, symbolising new beginnings, sincerity, purity and true love. So if you receive a bouquet of daisies from someone they are showing you that they are able to keep a secret, support you on your new beginning and offer you pure support through their love.
The beautiful sunflower is a symbol of summer. Known to thrive in the summer sunshine and turn towards the sun throughout the day. Sunflowers have a variety of meanings, one of the flower meanings is a symbol of unconditional admiration. But most commonly, they signify loyalty, strength and positivity, but they can also mean congratulations and good luck. Making a beautiful sunflower bouquet a perfect gift to send to someone to show your support for their achievements, from starting a new job to graduating. Our beautiful sunflower bouquet is one of our all-time favourites!
In Victorian floriography, if you received a sweet-smelling lily, it was a signal that you were loved. Lilies and especially white lilies were also used to express sympathy during times of sorrow. Today, lilies are still used as a flower with the meaning of peace, devotion and purity. For this reason, lilies are very popular in Qatar during the month of Ramadan.
Gardenia, a popular plant in Qatar, made even more popular by its beautiful scented off white flowers, carries a simple universal message of ‘You are adorable’. Making the plant a perfect gift to give to your friends, family or work colleague. Like most white flowers it also symbolises, purity, honestly and new beginnings.
Multi-petalled Ranunculus, available in many colours in our shops throughout the winter and spring, symbolise charm and enchantment. A perfect flower to send to a new friend or potential love interest.
Finally, everyone’s favourite flower; Peonies, symbolise protection, luck, a happy marriage, romance and honour among others. Blousy peonies are always a stunning sight. In the language of flowers red and pink peonies symbolise love, happiness, health and prosperity – pretty much everything you might wish for in a marriage, which is why peonies are so popular for a bridal bouquet. For a full list of all flowers and their meanings visit the All Florists website.
What is the meaning of the flower colour?
The main reason we give flowers is to communicate an emotion, like ‘I love you’ or ‘you are in my thoughts’ and further our connections with one another. No matter the occasion or the message you’re trying to convey, flowers are an easy yet meaningful gift to give to someone.
Think of the last time you received flowers, remember the joy you felt when you were presented with a beautiful fresh flower bouquet! There is no chance you could be annoyed or even feel down when you received a beautiful flower arrangement at your door. Flowers have the ability to turn our days around and bring a little more happiness into our lives.
Aside from the type of flower you choose, the color of the flower also holds great meaning. If you’re looking to convey a certain message to someone, the colors below can help guide you to the perfect flower choice.
- Red: Love, passion, affection, respect, courage and beauty.
- White: Purity, innocence, humility, peace, and youthfulness.
- Yellow: Friendship, joy, delight, happiness and new beginnings.
- Pink: Admiration, grace, joy, kindness, elegance and sweetness.
- Peach: Appreciation, sincerity, modesty and gratitude.
- Purple: Charm, love at first sight, admiration, spirituality, wonder and enchantment.
- Orange: Desire, enthusiasm, congratulation and fascination.
You may decide on your flowers first or the colour first, either way combining the two can ensure you conveys the right message.
Flowers for all occasions
A simple bouquet to show your loved ones that you are thinking of them or that you have an appreciation for them can go a long way. Sending flowers to friends and family whilst they are going through a tough time can you show them that you are ‘with them’. Some of the best flowers to use that have the flower language of appreciation; that you are there for them are;
- Pink roses: Roses signify gratitude and appreciation and the colour pink signifies admiration, kindness and love.
- Hydrangeas: Hydrangea signify gratitude and understanding making them a perfect flower to send to someone to show how much you think of them.
- Lavender: Lavender with its heavenly scent signify admiration, coupled with the purple colour which also means admiration and wisdom. A perfect flower to give that can be dried and last for years to come.
Sending flowers to a dear friend can be a great way to show how much they mean to you. Some of the best flowers to send to a friend that convey how much they mean to you are;
- Yellow roses: Yellow roses are a perfect flower for friendship. Signifying friendship, joy and gladness a beautiful bouquet of yellow roses is a perfect gift to give to a friend next time you meet up.
- Alstroemeria: Alstroemeria signify friendship, support, devotion and mutual support. Perfect to show that you hold the friendship in high regard and that you are with them in thought if not in person.
- Sunflowers: Sunflowers signify loyalty, admiration and happiness. What could be better than receiving a beautiful bouquet of bright happy sunflowers delivered to your door?
Over the years flowers have long been used to portray sympathy to a loved one who is going through a tough time or who has recently lost someone close to them. Generally, white flowers are best for this occasion. But there are other flowers that have the flower language of sympathy that can help you to portray the correct message;
- White Star Gazer Lilies: Lilies, especially the white stargazer variety, are one of the most popular flowers used around the world for sympathy. With their strong heady scent, these flowers also represent purity and innocence.
- White Roses: The colour white is known to portray peace, humility and purity but white roses also symbolise reverence and unity, making them the perfect flower choice to send to someone offer your condolences.
- Poppies: Poppies have long been used as a sign of remembrance and peace and are used in the UK to signify remembrance Sunday.
In contrast, if you are sending flowers to congratulate your friends, colleague and family then we have made some recommendations below. Whether it be for a birthday, graduation or a new baby, congratulations flower arrangements are a popular choice. Here are some of the best flowers to use to say congratulations;
- Pink stargazer lilies: Pink stargazer lilies are great to send to someone who has made a big accomplishment, such as graduating or getting a job offer, as they symbolize prosperity, abundance and success.
- Daffodils: Daffodils are some of the first flowers to bloom once winter ends and spring begins. Full of hope for warmer weather they are known to represent rebirth and new beginnings. These bright and cheerful flowers are great to send to new parents to congratulate them on their new addition to the family or to someone in their new home.
- Orange roses: A bouquet of orange roses symbolises congratulations and enthusiasm. That would be a great gift for a graduation.
- Orchids: Orchids are linked to love, beauty, strength and integrity in floriography. Making them a perfect choice to send to your Mother or Father for their special day. Choose between a plant or a cut flower, both would be ideal.
- Moss: Although not technically a flower has the meaning of maternal love and kindness.
- Red Tulips: Red tulips signify a declaration of love. A love and bond that is born to last forever.
Whatever the flower message you would like to send to the received send there is the right flower with the right flower language for all messages. If you would like some more inspiration contact our professional florists for more inspiration. Call or WhatsApp us on +974 3398 7658 or visit our shops to see the flowers for yourself!