Language of Flowers

 

 

 The Victorians used flowers as a symbol to express their feelings.

All flowers have a meaning, though different books give conflicting meanings.  Recently I have read The Language of Flowers  by Vanessa Diffenbaugh.  She has done a lot or research for her book and found the same difficulties with discrepancies of the definitions.  Ms. Diffenbaugh, using many floral dictionaries, came up with the definitions that best fit the science of each flower and/or the meanings that occurred most often in the dictionaries.  I have updated my list of meanings.

     

A

 

Abutilon - Meditation

Acacia - Secret love

Acanthis – Secret love

Acorn - Nordic symbol of life and immortality

Agapanthus – Love letter

Allium – Prosperity

Allspice - Compassion

Almond Blossoms – Indiscretion

Aloe – Grief

Alstroemeria – Devotion

Alyssum – Worth beyond beauty

Amaranth - Immortality

Amaryllis - Pride; Timidity

Ambrosia - Love returned

Anemone – Forsaken

Angelica – Inspiration

Aniseed - Restoration of youth

Arbutis - Only love

Apple – Temptation

Apple Blossom – Preference

Aster – Patience

Azalea - fragile passion

 


B


Baby's Breath - Everlasting Love

Bachelor Button – Single blessedness

Basil – Hate

Bay Leaf – I change but in death

Begonia – Beware

Bellflower - Gratitude

Bells Of Ireland - Good luck

Bird Of Paradise – Magnificence

Bittersweet – Truth

Blackberry – Envy

Black-eyed Susan - Justice

Bluebell - Humility; constancy

Bougainvillea – Passion

Bouvardia – Enthusiasm

Broom - Humility

Borage - Courage

Bouquet of withered flowers - Rejected love

Burnet - A merry heart

Buttercup - Cheerfulness 



C

Cabbage - Profit

Cactus – Ardent love

Calendula – Joy

Calla Lilly - Modesty

Camellia – My destiny is in your hands

Candytuft – Indifference

Canterberry Bells - Constancy

Carnation (in general) Bonds of affection; health and energy; fascination; woman love

    *Pink - I'll never forget you

   *Purple - Capriciousness; whimsical; changeable 

   *Red My heart breaks

   *Solid color-Yes

   *Striped- No; refusal; sorry I can't be with you; wish I could be with you

   *White-Sweet and lovely; innocence; pure love; woman's good luck gift

   *Yellow - Rejection; disdain

Cattail - Peace; prosperity

Celandine – Joys to come

Chamomile – Energy in adversity

Cherry Blossom – Impermanence

Chervil – Sincerity

Chestnut – Do me justice

Chicory - Frugality

Chrysanthemum (in general) - Cheerfulness; You're a wonderful friend

    * Red - I love

    * White- Truth

    * Yellow-Slighted love

Cinquefoil – Beloved daughter

Clematis – Poverty

Clove – I have loved you and you have not known it

Cockscomb – Affectation

Columbine - Desertion       

Coreopsis - Always cheerful

Coriander – Hidden worth

Corn – Riches

Cosmos – Joy in love and life

Cowslip – Pensiveness

Crab Apple Blossoms – Ill-tempered

Cranberry – Cure for heartache

Crocus – Youthful gladness

Current – Thy frown will kill me

Cyclamen - Resignation and goodbye

Clover Good luck 

Cypress - Mourning



D

Daffodil – New beginnings

Dahlia – Dignity

Daisy – Innocence

Daisy Gerbera - Cheerfulness

Dandelion – Rustic oracle

Daphne – I would not have your otherwise

Daylily – Coquetry

Delphinium – Levity

Dianthus – Make hast

Dittany – Childbirth

Dogwood – Love undiminished by adversity

Dragon Plant – You are near a snare

  

E

Edelweiss – Noble courage

Elder – Compassion

Eucalyptus - Protection 

Euphorbia – Persistence

Evening Primrose – Inconstancy

Everlasting Pea – Lasting pleasure



F

Fennel - Strength

Fern – Sincerity

Forget-Me-Not - True love

Fern (Magic) - Fascination; confidence and shelter

Fern (Maidenhair) - Secrecy

Feverfew – Warmth

Fig - Argument

Fir - Time

Flax – I feel your kindness

Forget-me-not – Forget me not

Forsythia - Anticipation 

Foxglove – Insincerity

Freesia – Lasting friendship

Fuchsia – Humble love



G

Gardenia - Refinement

Garland of roses - Reward of virtue

Garlic - Courage; strength

Gentian – Intrinsic worth

Geranuim – True friendship

   *Scented – Preference

   *Scarlett – Stupidity

   *Wild – Steadfast piety

Ginger - Strength

Gladiolus – You pierce my heart

Goldenrod – Careful encouragement

Grass - Submission

 

H

Hawthorn – Hope

Hazel – Reconciliation

Heath - Solitude

Heather (lavender) - Admiration; solitude

Heather (white) - Protection; wishes will come true

Helenium – Tears

Heliotrope – Devoted affection

Hibiscus - Delicate beauty

Holly – Foresight

Hollyhock – Ambition

Honesty - Honesty

Honeysuckle – Devotion

Hyacinth

   *Blue – Constancy

   *Purple - I'm sorry; please forgive me; sorrow

   *Red or Pink - Play

   *White - Beauty

   *Yellow – Jealousy

Hydrangea – Dispassion

Hyssop - Wards away evil spirits 



I


Ice plant – Your looks freeze me

Impatiens - Impatience

Iris - Message

Ivy - Fidelity and friendship

Ivy - sprig of white tendrils - Anxious to please; affection 



J

 

Jacob’s Ladder – Come down

Jasmine (Carolina) - Separation

Jasmine (Indian)  - Attachment

Jasmine (White) - Amiability

Jonquil - Desire

Juniper - Protection 

 

L


Laburnum – Pensive beauty

Lady’s Slipper – Capricious beauty

Lantana – Rigor

Larch - Audacity

Larkspur – Lightness

Laurel – Glory and success

Lavender - Mistrust

Lemon - Zest

Lemon Balm - Brings love

Lemon Blossom - Discretion

Lemon verbena - Attracts opposite sex

Lettuce – Coldheartedness

Liatrus – I will try again

Lichen – Dejection

Lilac – First emotions of love

Lily - Majesty

   *Calia) - Beauty

   *Day - Coquetry

   *Eucharis- Maiden charms

   *Orange- Hatred

   *Tiger - Wealth; pride

   *White - Virginity; purity; majesty; it's heavenly to be with you

   *Yellow - I'm walking on air; false and gay

Lily of the valley - Return to happiness

Linden Tree – Conjugal love

Lisianthus – Appreciation

Lobelia – Malevolence

Lotus – Purity

Love-in-a-mist – Perplexity

Love-lies-bleeding – Hopeless but not helpless

Lungwort – You are my life

Lupine - Imagination



M

Magnolia - Dignity

Marigold – Grief

Marjoram – Blushes 

Marsh Marigold – Desire for riches

Meadow Saffron – My best days are past

Meadowsweet – Uselessness

Michaelmas Daisy – Farewell

Mignonette - Your qualities surpass your charms

Mimosa - Sensitivity

Mint - Protection from illness; warmth of feeling Marjoram (sweet) - Joy and happiness

Mistletoe – I surmount all obstacles

Mock Orange - Counterfeit

Monkshood – Chivalry

Morning Glory - Coquetry

Moss - Maternal love

Mullein – Take courage

Mustard – I am hurt

Myrtle - Love 

N

Narcissus – Self love

Nasturtium – Impetuous love

Nettle – Cruelty

 

O

Oats – The witching soul of music

Oleander – Beware

Olive - Peace

Orange -  Generosity

Orange Blossom – Your purity equals your lovliness

Orange Mock - Deceit

Orchid – Refined beauty

Oregano - Joy 



P

Palm leaves - Victory and success

Pansy – Festivity

Passionflower - Faith

Peach  - Your charms are unequalled

Peach Blossom – I am your captive

Pear – Affection

Pear Blossom - Comfort

Peony – Anger

Peppermint – Warmth of feeling

Periwinkle – Tender recollections

Persimmon – Bury me amid nature’s beauty

Petunia - Your presence soothes me

Phlox – Our souls are united

Pine - Hope; pity

Pineapple – You are perfect

Pink – Pure love

Plum – Keep your promises

Poinsettia – Be of good cheer

Pomegranate – Foolishness

Pomegranate Blossoms – Mature elegance

Poplar (black) - Courage

Poppy (general) – Fantastic extravagance  

   *Red -Pleasure; consolation

   *White - Consolation; sleep

   * Yellow - Wealth; success

Potato – Benevolence

Potato Vine – You are delicious

Prickly Pear - Satire

Primrose - Confidence

Primrose(evening) - Inconstancy 

Protea – Courage

Purple Coneflower – Strength and health

 

Q

 

Queen Anne’s Lace – Fantasy

Quince - Temptation



R

 

Ranunculus – You are radiant with charms

Raspberry – Remorse

Redbud – Betrayal

Rhododendron – Beware

Rhubarb - Advise

Rose (general) - Love ; I love you

   *Red - Love

   *White – A heart unacquainted with love

   *Pink - Grace

   *Yellow - Infidelity

   *Black -Death

   *Red & White - Together; unity

   *Thornless - Love at first sight

   *Single, full bloom - I love you; I still love you

Rose bud - Beauty and youth ; a heart innocent of love

   *Red - Pure and lovely

   *White - Girlhood

   *Moss - Confessions of love

Roses(Bouquet of full bloom) – Gratitude

Roses( Garland or crown of) - Beware of virtue; reward of merit; crown ; symbol of superior merit

Roses ( musk cluster) – Charming

Rose(tea) - I'll always remember

Rose(cabbage) - Ambassador of love

Rose(Christmas) - Tranquilize my anxiety; anxiety

Rose(damask) - Brilliant complexion

Rose(dark crimson) – Mourning

Rose(hibiscus) - Delicate beauty

Rose leaf - You may hope

Rosemary - Remembrance 



S

Saffron – Beware of excess

Sage - Long life & good health

Saint John’s Wort - Superstition

Salvia -(blue) I think of you

Saxifrage – Affection

Scabiosa – Unfortunate love

Scarlett Pimpernel – Change

Smilax - Loveliness

Snapdragon – Presumption

Snowdrop – Consolation & hope

Sorrel – Parental affection

Speedwell – Fidelity

Spiderflower - Elope with me

Spirea – Victory

Star of Bethlehem – Purity

Starwort - Welcome

Stephanotis - Happiness in marriage 

Stock – You will always be beautiful to me

Stonecrop - Tranquility

Strawberry - Perfection

Sunflower – False riches

Sweetpea – Delicate pleasures

Sweet William - Gallantry

 

T

 

Tansy – I declare war against you

Thistle – Misanthropy

Thrift - Sympathy

Thyme – Activity

Trachelium – Neglected beauty

Trillium – Modest beauty

Trumpet Vine – Fame

Tuberose – Dangerous pleasure

Tulip(general) - Fame, charity; perfect lover

   *Red - Believe me; declaration of love 

   *Varegated - Beautiful eyes

   *Yellow - Hopeless love 

Turnip - Charity



V

 

Verbena – Pray for me

Vetch – I cling to thee

Violet - Modesty; calms tempers; induces sleep

   *Blue - Watchfulness; faithfulness; I'll always be true

   *White - Let's take a chance on happiness

Viscaria - Will you dance with me? 



W

 

Wallflower – Fidelity in adversity

Water Lily – Purity of heart

Waxflower – Susceptibility

Wheat – Prosperity

White Aster – Patience

Willow Herb – Pretention

Winter Cherry – Deception

Witch Hazel – A spell

Woodruff - Sweet humility 



Y

Yarrow – Cure for a broken heart 



Z

Zinnia – I mourn your absence

   *Magenta - Lasting affection

   *Mixed - Thinking of an absent friend

   *Scarlet - Constancy

   * Zinnia(white) - Goodness

   * Zinnia(yellow) - Daily remembrance

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

                                                        

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