The Language of Flowers

Recently I read a novel called The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffebaugh. This book had an appealing take on flowers and their intended significance, delving into the old meanings that were used in the Victorian era to send a message from the heart.

It is interesting to see that flowers were given meanings for a reason, not just randomly. They would look at the nature of the plant, how it looked, how it grew etc, for example something like 'Ivy' means Fidelity – and looking at how it grows, it sticks like glue to its surroundings! I should know as I am trying to peel it off the side of my house at present!

In the background of the story the character is a florist, and clients come in and ask her to create bouquets or wedding arrangements that actually have a meaning to them, or help them make a change in their lives. Below I have listed some of the flowers and her meanings from the book.

Might be interesting to see the meaning of your wedding flowers, or what you display in your office…. Why not ask your florist to add a few things in that create a bouquet that is not only beautiful but also contains a personal message. 


Dictionary of Flowers (from The Language of Flowers book)

A
Abutilon (Abutilon) . . . Meditation
Acacia (Acacia) . . . Secret love
Allium (Allium) . . . Prosperity
Alstroemeria (Alstroemeria) . . .Devotion
Alyssum (Lobularia maritima) . . . Worth beyond beauty
Angelica (Angelica pachycarpa) . . .Inspiration
Aster (Aster) . . . Patience
Azalea (Rhododendron) . . . Fragile and ephemeral passion

B
Baby’s breath (Gypsophila paniculata) . . .Everlasting love
Bachelor’s button (Centaurea cyanus) . . .Single blessedness
Begonia (Begonia) . . . Caution
Bells of Ireland (Moluccella laevis) . . .Good luck
Bird of paradise (Strelitzia reginae) . . .Magnificence
Bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) . . .Constancy
Bougainvillea (Bougainvillea spectabilis) . . . Passion
Bouvardia (Bouvardia) . . . Enthusiasm
Broom (Cytisus) . . . Humility

C
Cactus (Opuntia) . . . Ardent love
Calla lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica) . . .Modesty
Camellia (Camellia) . . . My destiny is in your hands
Canterbury bells (Campanula medium) . . . Gratitude
Carnation, pink (Dianthus caryophyllus) . . . I will never forget you
Carnation, red (Dianthus caryophyllus) . . . My heart breaks
Carnation, striped (Dianthus caryophyllus) . . . I cannot be with you
Carnation, white (Dianthus caryophyllus) . . . Sweet and lovely
Carnation, yellow (Dianthus caryophyllus) . . . Disdain
Celandine (Chelidonium majus) . . . Joys to come
Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) . . . Energy in adversity
Chervil (Anthriscus) . . . Sincerity
Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum) . . .Truth
Cinquefoil (Potentilla) . . . Beloved daughter
Clematis (Clematis) . . . Poverty
Clove (Syzygium aromaticum) . . . I have loved you and you have not known it
Clover, white (Trifolium) . . . Think of me
Coreopsis (Coreopsis) . . . Always cheerful
Cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus) . . . Joy in love and life
Cranberry (Vaccinium) . . . Cure for heartache
Crocus (Crocus) . . . Youthful gladness
Cyclamen (Cyclamen) . . . Timid hope
Cypress (Cupressus) . . . Mourning

D
Daffodil (Narcissus) . . . New beginnings
Dahlia (Dahlia) . . . Dignity
Daisy (Bellis) . . . Innocence
Daisy, Gerber (Gerbera) . . .Cheerfulness
Dandelion (Taraxacum) . . . Rustic oracle
Daphne (Daphne) . . . I would not have you otherwise
Daylily (Hemerocallis) . . . Coquetry
Delphinium (Delphinium) . . . Levity
Dianthus (Dianthus) . . . Make haste
Dittany (Dictamnus albus) . . .Childbirth
Dogwood (Cornus) . . . Love undiminished by adversity
Dragon plant (Dracaena) . . . You are near a snare

E
Edelweiss (Leontopodium alpinum) . . .Noble courage
Elder (Sambucus) . . . Compassion
Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus) . . . Protection
Euphorbia (Euphorbia) . . . Persistence
Evening primrose (Oenothera biennis) . . .Inconstancy
Everlasting pea (Lathyrus latifolius) . . .Lasting pleasure

F
Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) . . .Strength
Fern (Polypodiophyta) . . . Sincerity
Fern, maidenhair (Adiantum capillusveneris) . . . Secrecy
Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) . . .Warmth
Flax (Linum usitatissimum) . . . I feel your kindness
Forget-me-not (Myosotis) . . . Forget me not
Forsythia (Forsythia) . . . Anticipation
Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) . . .Insincerity
Freesia (Freesia) . . . Lasting friendship
Fuchsia (Fuchsia) . . . Humble love

G
Gardenia (Gardenia) . . . Refinement
Gentian (Gentiana) . . . Intrinsic worth
Geranium, oak-leaf (Pelargonium) . . .True friendship
Ginger (Zingiber) . . . Strength
Gladiolus (Gladiolus) . . . You pierce my heart

H
Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) . . .Hope
Hazel (Corylus) . . . Reconciliation
Heather (Calluna vulgaris) . . .Protection
Helenium (Helenium) . . . Tears
Heliotrope (Heliotropium) . . . Devoted affection
Hibiscus (Hibiscus) . . . Delicate beauty
Holly (Ilex) . . . Foresight
Hollyhock (Alcea) . . . Ambition
Honesty (Lunaria annua) . . . Honesty
Honeysuckle (Lonicera) . . . Devotion
Hyacinth, blue (Hyacinthus orientalis) . . .Constancy
Hyacinth, purple (Hyacinthus orientalis) . . . Please forgive me
Hyacinth, white (Hyacinthus orientalis) . . . Beauty
Hydrangea (Hydrangea) . . . Dispassion

I
Ice plant (Carpobrotus chilensis) . . . Your looks freeze me
Impatiens (Impatiens) . . . Impatience
Iris (Iris) . . . Message
Ivy (Hedera helix) . . . Fidelity

J
Jacob’s ladder (Polemonium) . . . Come down
Jasmine, Carolina (Gelsemium sempervirens) . . . Separation
Jasmine, Indian (Jasminum multiflorum) . . . Attachment
Jasmine, white (Jasminum officinale) . . . Amiability
Jonquil (Narcissus jonquilla) . . . Desire

L
Laburnum (Laburnum anagyroides) . . .Pensive beauty
Lady’s slipper (Cypripedium) . . .Capricious beauty
Lantana (Lantana) . . . Rigor
Larch (Larix decidua) . . . Audacity
Larkspur (Consolida) . . . Lightness
Laurel (Laurus nobilis) . . . Glory and success
Lavender (Lavandula) . . . Mistrust
Lemon (Citrus limon) . . . Zest
Lemon blossom (Citrus limon) . . .Discretion
Liatris (Liatris) . . . I will try again
Lilac (Syringa) . . . First emotions of love
Lily (Lilum) . . . Majesty
Lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis) . . .Return of happiness
Linden tree (Tilia) . . . Conjugal love
Lisianthus (Eustoma) . . . Appreciation
Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) . . . Purity
Lungwort (Pulmonaria) . . . You are my life
Lupine (Lupinus) . . . Imagination

M
Magnolia (Magnolia) . . . Dignity
Marigold (Calendula) . . . Grief
Marjoram (Origanum) . . . Blushes
Marsh marigold (Caltha palustris) . . .Desire for riches
Mignonette (Reseda odorata) . . . Your qualities surpass your charms
Mimosa (Mimosa) . . . Sensitivity
Mistletoe (Viscum) . . . I surmount all obstacles
Moss (Bryopsida) . . . Maternal love
Mullein (Verbascum) . . . Take courage
Myrtle (Myrtus) . . . Love

N
Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus) . . .Patriotism

O
Olive (Olea europaea) . . . Peace
Orange (Citrus sinensis) . . . Generosity
Orange blossom (Citrus sinensis) . . . Your purity equals your loveliness
Orchid (Orchidaceae) . . . Refined beauty
Oregano (Origanum vulgare) . . . Joy

P
Pansy (Viola) . . . Think of me
Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) . . .Festivity
Passionflower (Passiflora) . . . Faith
Peach (Prunus persica) . . . Your charms are unequaled
Peach blossom (Prunus persica) . . . I am your captive
Pear (Pyrus) . . . Affection
Pear blossom (Pyrus) . . . Comfort
Peony (Paeonia) . . . Anger
Peppermint (Mentha) . . . Warmth of feeling
Periwinkle (Vinca minor) . . . Tender recollections
Petunia (Petunia) . . . Your presence soothes me
Phlox (Phlox) . . . Our souls are united
Pineapple (Ananas comosus) . . . You are perfect
Pink (Dianthus) . . . Pure love
Plum (Prunus domestica) . . . Keep your promises
Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) . . . Be of good cheer
Polyanthus (Primula) . . . Confidence
Pomegranate blossom (Punica granatum) . . . Mature elegance
Poppy (Papaver) . . . Fantastic extravagance
Primrose (Primula) . . . Childhood
Protea (Protea) . . . Courage
Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) . . . Strength and health

Q
Queen Anne’s lace (Ammi majus) . . . Fantasy
Quince (Cydonia oblonga) . . .Temptation

R
Ranunculus (Ranunculus asiaticus) . . .You are radiant with charms
Rhododendron (Rhododendron) . . .Beware
Rhubarb (Rheum) . . . Advice
Rose, burgundy (Rosa) . . . Unconscious beauty
Rose, moss (Rosa) . . . Confession of love
Rose, orange (Rosa) . . . Fascination
Rose, pale peach (Rosa) . . . Modesty
Rose, pink (Rosa) . . . Grace
Rose, purple (Rosa) . . . Enchantment
Rose, red (Rosa) . . . Love
Rose, white (Rosa) . . . A heart unacquainted with love
Rose, yellow (Rosa) . . . Infidelity
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) . . . Remembrance

S
Saffron (Crocus sativus) . . . Beware of excess
Sage (Salvia officinalis) . . . Good health and long life
Saint-John’s-wort (Hypericum perforatum) . . . Superstition
Saxifraga (Saxifraga) . . . Affection
Scabiosa (Scabiosa) . . . Unfortunate love
Scarlet Pimpernel (Anagallis arvensis) . . . Change
Snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus) . . .Presumption
Snowdrop (Galanthus) . . . Consolation and hope
Sorrel (Rumex acetosa) . . . Parental affection
Speedwell (Veronica) . . . Fidelity
Spirea (Spiraea) . . . Victory
Stephanotis (Stephanotis floribunda) . . .Happiness in marriage
Stock (Malcolmia maritima) . . . You will always be beautiful to me
Stonecrop (Sedum) . . . Tranquility
Strawberry (Fragaria) . . . Perfection
Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) . . . False riches
Sweet briar (Rosa rubiginosa) . . .Simplicity
Sweet pea (Lathyrus odoratus) . . .Delicate pleasures
Sweet William (Dianthus barbatus) . . .Gallantry

T
Thrift (Armeria) . . . Sympathy
Thyme (Thymus) . . . Activity
Trachelium (Trachelium) . . . Neglected beauty
Trillium (Trillium) . . . Modest beauty
Trumpet vine (Campsis radicans) . . .Fame
Tuberose (Polianthes tuberosa) . . .Dangerous pleasures
Tulip (Tulipa) . . . Declaration of love

V
Verbena (Verbena) . . . Pray for me
Vetch (Vicia) . . . I cling to thee
Violet (Viola) . . . Modest worth

W
Wallflower (Cheiranthus) . . . Fidelity in adversity
Water lily (Nymphaea) . . . Purity of heart
Waxflower (Hoya) . . . Susceptibility
White Monte Casino (Aster) . . .Patience
Willow herb (Epilobium) . . . Pretension
Wisteria (Wisteria) . . . Welcome
Witch hazel (Hamamelis) . . . A spell

Y
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) . . . Cure for a broken heart

Z
Zinnia (Zinnia) . . . I mourn your absence 

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