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The Hidden Meaning of Flowers and How It Affects YOU

Important Information You Need to Know

Before texting, Facebook and Instagram were anywhere close to being conceptualized, Victorian-era people were able to communicate at a distance.  Seriously? They were telepathic? Well, probably some of them were, but...okay, that’s a whole different blog! No, they used the language of flowers – floriography – to convey messages and feelings. In fact, like texting, it became quite a craze, with specific flowers and flower colours taking the place of acronyms and emoticons.  Books were written on the subject.  Not a surprise, given that the Victorians were not exactly known for open and frank dialogue. They used the word “drumstick” to refer to a chicken leg  because the terms “leg” and “thigh” were not used in polite company. Oddly enough, prostitution was in its heyday, but again that’s a whole different blog.  (I wonder if they used telepathy or flowers to hook up with clients?)

So, being able to send messages that society deemed inappropriate to say out loud became pretty important if you wanted to let that cute girl know that you liked her. Often, little bouquets of carefully chosen flowers wrapped in doilies with special holders and called “tussie-mussies” were given. This was great fun to all involved, unless, of course you received a bouquet of withered flowers (meaning: “Rejected Love”). Ouch. Oh well, at least you were spared the “it’s not you, it’s me” speech.

 While much of the floral meanings concerned love and friendship, it wasn’t all warm and fuzzy. Imagine receiving a bouquet of monkshood, whose meaning could be “Beware” or, “A Deadly Foe is Near”. I guess it’s better than a threatening note wrapped around a brick and hurled through your living room window! And who knew (besides the Victorians) that an orange lily could mean “Hatred”? Yikes! Marigolds, also, in spite of their beauty and pleasant taste, can mean “Cruelty”, “Grief” or “Jealousy”.  So if you receive a bouquet of monkshood, orange lilies and marigolds, head for the hills! Some yellow flowers have lovely meanings, sort of. Dandelions are supposed to mean “Faithfulness” and “Happiness”. Uh-huh. I guarantee that if I received a bouquet of dandelions, I would be thinking “Cheap”, “Weeds” and “WTF”.

Azalea – Take Care of Yourself for Me                   

Pink Carnation – I’ll Never Forget You

Red Carnation – My Heart Aches for You

Solid Colour Carnation – Yes

Striped Carnation – No; Sorry I Can’t Be with You;

Wish I Could Be with You

White Carnation – Sweet and Lovely

Yellow Carnation – You have Disappointed Me;


Chrysanthemum – You’re a Wonderful Friend;

Cheerfulness; Rest

Daffodil – Unrequited Love;

You’re the Only One;

The Sun is Always Shining When I’m with You

Calla Lily – Beauty

Pale Pink Rose – Grace; Joy

Red Rose – Love; Respect

White Rose – Innocence; Secrecy

Single Rose in Full Bloom – I Love You; I Still Love You

Red and White Roses Together – Unity

Yellow Rose – Joy; Friendship

Tulip – Perfect Lover

Red Tulip – Believe Me; Declaration of Love

Variegated Tulip – Beautiful Eyes

Yellow Tulip – There’s Sunshine in Your Smile

But since we’re coming up on Valentine’s Day, let’s keep it sweet. Right here I will offer my apologies to those who are ‘single and looking’: I know this occasion must seem like some cruel conspiracy where everyone else is blissfully happy in a relationship with the best person (EVER!). And you’re not. But you can still treat yourself to some flowers and chocolate (and, they won’t judge you). If you are wondering what flowers you should get yourself – you definitely don’t want to send the wrong message, it could take weeks to settle a misunderstanding – I have compiled a short list of flowers and their meanings:

When you want to send a message, let us help you put a gift together that says everything you want to say. OMG Gift Baskets does more than  baskets, we  supply all of these flowers and more!

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