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Floriography: Choose Your Flowers Carefully


Developed by the Victorians into an art form, “floriography” was commonly used to convey secret messages that etiquette of the times deemed unacceptable to share openly. Bouquets were prepared and each flower included represented a message that the sender wanted to convey to the receiver.


While not all sources agree on what these meanings are, in the Victoria’s Dictionary of Flowers Vanessa Diffenbaugh attributesmeanings to these flowers.


Allium Prosperity

Almond Blossom Indiscretion

Alstroemeria Devotion

Alyssum Worth Beyond Beauty

Amaryllis Pride

Anemone Forsaken

Aster Patience

Azalea Fragile

Baby’s Breath Everlasting Love

Bachelors’ Button Single Blessedness

Bells of Ireland Goof Luck

Black-Eyed Susan Justice

Bluebell Constancy

Calla Lily Modesty

Camellia My Destiny is in your Hands

Candytuft Indifference

Carnation, Pink I will never Forget You

Carnation, Red My Heart Breaks

Carnation, White Sweet and Lovely

Chrysanthemum Truth

Coreopsis Always Cheerful

Cosmos Joy in Love and Life

Cyclamen Timid Hope

Daffodil New Beginnings

Dahlia Dignity

Daisy Innocence

Daisy, Gerbera Cheerfulness

Daylily Coquetry

Dianthus Make Haste

Forget-Me-Not Forget Me Not

Freesia Lasting Friendship

Fuchsia Humble Love

Gardenia Refinement

Heliotrope Devoted Affection

Hollyhock Ambition

Hyacinth, Blue Constancy

Hyacinth, Purple Please Forgive Me

Hyacinth, White Beauty

Hydrangea Dispassion

Impatiens Impatience

Iris Message

Ivy Fidelity

Jasmine, White Amiability

Jonquil Desire

Larkspur Lightness

Lilac First Emotions of Love

Lily Majesty

Lily of the Valley Return of Happiness

Love Lies Bleeding Hopeless but not Helpless

Magnolia Dignity

Marigold Grief

Morning Glory Coquetry

Narcissus Self Love

Nasturtium Impetuous Love

Orange Blossom Your Purity Equals your Loveliness

Orchid Refined Beauty

Pansy Think of Me

Peony Anger

Periwinkle Tender Recollections

Petunia Your Presence Soothes Me

Phlox Our Souls are United

Pinks Pure Love

Poppy Fantastic Extravagance

Queen Anne’s Lace Fantasy

Ranunculus You are Radiant with Charms

Rose, Moss Confession of Love

Rose, Orange Fascination

Rose, Pale Peach Modesty

Rose, Pink Grace

Rose, Purple Enchantment

Rose, Red Love

Rose, White A Heart Unacquainted with Love

Rose, Yellow Infidelity

Snapdragon Presumption

Speedwell Fidelity

Stock You will Always be Beautiful to Me

Sunflower False Riches

Sweet Pea Delicate Pleasures

Sweet William Gallantry

Tulip Declaration of Love

Verbena Pray for Me

Violet Modest Worth

Water Lily Purity of Heart

Wisteria Welcome

Yarrow Care for a Broken Heart

Zinnia I Mourn your Absence


When choosing flowers to send this Valentine’s Day, choose carefully. Choose those flowers that convey your feelings to the recipient. Since floriography has become an obscure art, it would be helpful to provide a key too.


Happy Valentine’s Day!

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