Floriography - the language of flowers

the language of flowers

The language of flowers also known as floriography, can be traced back to the early Chinese dynasties. However, it wasn’t until the   18th Century when Lady Mary Wortley Montague, wife of the British ambassador to Constantinople introduced the “Secret     language of Flowers” to Europe that the language of flowers flourished between couples. European lovers embraced this book and thus, the tradition of sending secret messages through flowers began. The floristry industry grew in this period as the demand for more flowers especially exotic flowers grew.
The secret meaning of flowers has been forgotten over time but here are few hidden meanings of some flowers for when a text message isn’t enough.

In days gone by lovers would communicate with the secret language of flowers. Red roses for passion, jasmine for grace or a pink camellia for longing are just a few secret meanings that could be communicated between lovers.

Sending flowers must be one of the most special ways to brighten up someone’s day.  Its made extra special if the flower meanings send a message too.  There is more to just giving or receiving flowers as every flower lover knows but even the experts can’t agree on the real meaning of many blooms. Here are a general guide for a few of the more traditional ones.


Note: Cats are highly alergic to lillies, if your recipient has a cat please choose another flower.

AcaciaBeauty in retirement; friendship; Concealed love; Chaste love
AlliumUnity; Humility; Patience
AlstroemeriaWealth; Prosperity; Fortune
Amaryllis/HippeastrumPride; Splendid Beauty: Timidity
AmbrosiaYour Love is reciprocated
AnemoneForsaken; Expectations
Aster/CallistephusSymbol of love; Daintiness; Afterthought
Baby's Breath/GypsophiliaPure of heart; Innocence
Bachelor's Button/Centaurea CyanusHope in love; Felicity; Delicacy; Single blessedness
Bells of Ireland/Molluculla BalmGood Luck
Bluebell/Scilita NutansHumility; Everlasting love
CaladiumGreat joy and delight
CamelliaGratitude; Perfection
Camellia (blue)You're a flame in my heart
Camellia (Pink)Longing for you
Camellia (Red)Unpretending excellence
Camellia (White)You're adorable; Perfected loveliness
Carnation/Dianthus CaryophyllusFascination; Womanly love; Devoted love
Carnation/Dianthus Caryophyllus (Pink)I'll never forget you; Woman's love
Carnation/Dianthus Caryophyllus (Purple)Capriciousness
Carnation/Dianthus Caryophyllus (Red)My Heart aches for you; Admiration
Carnation/Dianthus Caryophyllus (Striped)Sorry I can't be with you; No; Refusal; Wish I could be with you
Carnation/Dianthus Caryophyllus (White)Innocence; Sweet and lovely; Pure Love; Woman's good luck gift; You're adorable.
Carnation/Dianthus Caryophyllus (Yellow)Rejection; You have disappointed me
Cheerfulness; You're a wonderful friend; Rest; Loveliness; Abundance; Wealth.
Chrysanthemum (Red)I love
Chrysanthemum (White)Truth
Chrysanthemum (Yellow)Slighted love
CrocusYouthfulness gladness; cheerfulness
CyclamenResignation; Goodbye
DaffodilYou're the only one; Regard; Unrequited love, The sun shines when I'm with you
DahliaDignity; Elegance; Good Taste; Instability
DaisyInnocence; Loyal love; I'll never tell; purity; Gentleness; Romance
DelphiniumFlight of fancy; Ardent attachment
FernSecret bond of love; Fascination; Sincerity; Magic
Fleur De Lis/Milled de fleurFlame; Burning
Forget-Me-Not/MyosotisFaithful love; Undying hope; memories; Do not Forget; True love
FreesiaInnocence; Trust; Friendship
GardeniaPurity; Sweet love; You're lovely; Secret love; Refinement
GeraniumFolly; Stupidity
GladiolusStrength of Character; Sincerity; Generosity; Natural Grace
GloxiniaLove at first sight
Heather/EricaAdmiration; Solitude
Heather/Erica (White)Protection; Wishes will come true
HibiscusDelicate beauty
HollyForesight; Domestic happiness; Defence
HyacinthGave; Sports; Rashness
Hyacinth (Blue)Constancy
Hyacinth (Purple)Please forgive me; Sorrow
Hyacinth (Red/Pink)Play
Hyacinth (White)Loveliness; I'll pray for you
Hyacinth (yellow)Jealousy
HydrangeaThank you for understanding; Frigidity; Heartlessness
IrisFaith; Wisdom; Valour; Promise; My Compliments; Hope; Message
IvyWedded love; Fidelity; Friendship; Affection
Jonquil/NarcissusAffection returned; sympathy; Desire; Love me
Lilac (purple)/SyringaFirst emotion of love
Lilac (white)/SyringaYouthful Innocence; Purity; Modesty; Virginity; Majesty
Lily (Day)/HermerocallisCoquetry, Flirtatious
Lily (Eucharis)Maiden Charms
Lily (Oriental/Tiger)Wealth; Pride; prosperity
Lily Calla/ZantedeschiaBeauty
Lily of the ValleySweetness; Humility; Return of happiness
MagnoliaLove of nature; Nobility; Dignity
Marigold/TagatesGrief; Cruelty; Jealousy; Sacred affection; Despair
Mimosa, bloom/ AcaciaConcealed love; Sensitivity
Monkshood/AconitumChivalry; Beware; A Deadly foe is near
MossMaternal love; Charity
Myrtle/VincaDuty; Affection; Home; Love; Discipline; Instruction
NarcissusStay as sweet as you are; Egotism; Formality
NasturtiumPatriotism; conquest; Victory in battle
November Lily/Longiflorum liliumPure; Modest
OleanderCaution; Beauty; Grace
Orange BlossomPurity; Innocence; Eternal love; Marriage; Fruitfulness; Loveliness
OrchidLove; Beauty; Refinement; Beautiful Lady; Flower of magnificence
Orchid (Cattaleya)Mature charm
PaeonyBashfulness; Happy Marriage; Prosperity
Palm LeavesVictory; Success
Pansy/ViolaThoughtful reflection; Merriment
Paper Daisy/XeranthemumEternity; Immortality
PetuniaResentment; Anger; Your presence soothes me
PineHope; Pity
PoinsettiaBe a good cheer
Poppy/PapaverEternal sleep; Imagination; Oblivion
Poppy/Papaver (Red)Pleasure
Poppy/Papaver (White)Consolation
Poppy/Papaver (Yellow)Wealth; Success
Primrose (Evening)/LamarckianaInconstancy
Primrose/PrimulaI can't live without you
Queen Anne's LaceHaven
RanunculusRadiant; Charming
Rose (Assorted Colours)You're everything to me
Rose (Deep Pink)Thank you
Rose (Light pink)Admiration
Rose (Long stemmed)I will remember you always
Rose (Mature Blooms)Gratitude
Rose (Orange)Enthusiasm; Desire
Rose (Peach/Coral)Enthusiasm; Desire
Rose (Pink)Perfect happiness; Gentility; Grace; Please believe me
Rose (Red & White)Unity
Rose (Red)Love; I Love You; Respect; Courage
Rose (Short Stemmed)Sweetheart; Girlhood
Rose (Single Full Bloom)I love you; I still love you
Rose (Single Red)Simplicity; I love you
Rose (White)Innocence; Purity; Heavenly; Secrecy; Silence; Charm
Rose (Yellow)Friendship; Joy and happiness; Jealousy; Trying to care; Gladness
RosebudBeauty; youth; A heart Innocent of love
Rosebud (Red)Pure; Lovely
Rosebud (white)Girlhood
Snapdragon/AntirrhinumGracious Lady; Deception; Presumption
Spider FlowerElope with me
StaticeSympathy: Remembrance
StephanotisHappiness in marriage; Desire to travel; come to me
Stock/MatthiolaLasting beauty; Bonds of affection; Promptness; You'll always be beautiful to me
Sunflower/HellianthusAdoration; Pride; Sunshine
Sweet Pea/LathyrusDelicate pleasures; Goodbye; Blissful pleasure; Departure; Thank you for a lovely time
Sweet William/Dianthus BarbatusGrant me one smile; Gallantry
TulipPerfect lover; Fame; Love; Passion
Tulip (Red)Believe me; Declaration of love
Tulip (Variegated)Beautiful eyes
Tulip (Yellow)There is sunshine in your smile; Hopeless love
VerbenaWill you get your wish?
Violet (blue)I'll always be true; Watchfulness
Violet (White)Let's take a chance on happiness
Violet/ViolaModesty; Faithfulness; Virtue
Wallflower ErysimumFidelity in adversity
Water LilyPurity of heart
ZinniaThoughts of absent friends
Zinnia (Magenta)Lasting affection
Zinnia (Mixed)Thinking/In memory of an absent friend
Zinnia (Scarlet)Constancy
Zinnia (White)Goodness
Zinnia (Yellow)Daily remembrance
Gerbera (Red)Unconscious in love
Gerbera (White)Truth, Innocence
Gerbera (Yellow)I’ll try harder to win you
Gerbera (Orange)You’re the sunshine of my life