Did you know that flowers arrangements were once used to send secret messages? No, I'm not kidding. The language of flowers, which is also called floriography used to be quite popular, especially, during the Victorian era in the United States and Europe. However, floral arrangements had been used to communicate messages in Asia and the Middle East long before that.
In the United States the interest in the language of flowers during the Victorian era is attributed to Constantine Samuel Rafinesque. He wrote weekly about the language of flowers in a popular newspaper and this stirred up interest. The meanings assigned to flowers was based on myth, medical purpose, imagination, and traditions. That is the reason why there are various meanings assigned to each flower. During this time people would send floral arrangements to others to secretly profess their love, hate, and everything in between. During the Victorian era etiquette was very important and the social classes were distinct. Flirting had to be discreet and certain topics were taboo. You could use a flower arrangement to say something that you couldn’t say out loud.
Flowers could have many different meanings and people actually carried around dictionaries filled with the meanings assigned to certain flowers and plants. A common gift was a small bouquet of flowers wrapped in lace and tied together with satin. A proper Victorian lady was expected to understand the meaning behind a tussie mussie and be adept at creating one. One thing that’s interesting to think about is how red roses are still associated with love even in these modern times. However, floriography is not nearly as popular as it used to be, although, some people still use this old artform and way of communication.
- The meaning assigned to a red rose is love or respect.
- The meaning assigned to a pale pink rose grace or joy.
- The meaning assigned to a thornless rose is love at first sight.
- The meaning assigned to a white rose is innocence or secret.
- The meaning assigned to yellow rose is joy or friendship.
- The meaning assigned to dandelion is faithfulness or happiness.
- The meaning assigned to carnation is fascination or divine love.
- The meaning assigned to marigold is cruelty, grief, or jealousy.
- The meaning assigned to red tulip is “believe me” or is a declaration of love.
- The meaning assigned to orange lily is hatred.
- The meaning assigned to forget me nots is true love or memories.
I could go on! One thing that’s interesting to think about is how red roses are still associated with love even in these modern times. So, the next time you have something you need to say why don't you send flowers instead of a text message? It's a bit more elegant. What’s your favorite flower? Tell me in the comments. If you’re interested in learning more about the meaning assigned to certain flowers, you can go to this website http://thelanguageofflowers.com.