Flowers: Understanding their Meaning and Significance to Special Occasions

Published: 16th February 2006
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Flowers have taken on various meanings throughout time, and for as long as people have existed. However, it is believed that during the Victorian era, flowers were used not only as decoration, but also to convey a strong, and commonly understood meaning. Colour, shape, and scent were all used as part of the overall message that was conveyed. In addition, the art of growing, arranging, and preserving flowers was thought to refine a woman. Hence, Victorians developed fluorography, or the study of flowers. In 1818, Mme. Charlotte de la Tour compiled the various meanings of flowers and published Le Language des Fleurs. Later, in 1879, Miss Corruthers, a Victorian lady of Inverness, wrote an entire book on fluorography. These two books are used as the standard sources for flower symbolism in England and the United States. The love of flowers and the interest in the meanings of flowers did not end during that period. Instead, it continues to this day, and the significance of flowers is still quite influential.

Because flowers carry many meanings, it is important to realize the message that they hold and to use them accordingly.

Listed below are the most common flowers and their respective meaning to help you choose the perfect flowers for any occasion. Although the symbolic meaning of a flower is important, it is crucial to keep in mind the recipient and their flower preference. In addition, it is often helpful to include a small note to express your feelings, especially if the individuals flower preference has a negative connotation.

Flowers and their Respective Meanings:

Aster - Symbol of Love, Daintiness

Azalea - First Love

Camellia Pink - Longing For You

Camellia Red - You're a Flame in My Heart

Camellia White - You're Adorable

Carnation Red - 'My heart aches for you'

Carnation Pink - 'I'll never forget you'

Carnation White - Sweet and Lovely

Carnation Pink - I'll Never Forget You

Carnation Striped - Sorry I Can't Be with You

Carnation Yellow - You Have Disappointed Me, Rejection

Chrysanthemum Red - 'I Love You'

Chrysanthemum White - Truth

Chrysanthemum Yellow - Slighted Love

Daffodil Yellow - Respect or Joy

Daisy - Innocence, Loyal Love

Dogwood - Love Undiminished by Adversity

Fern Maidenhair - Secret Bond of Love

Forget-Me-Not - True Love, Memories

Gardenia - You're Lovely, Secret Love

Ivy - Wedded Love, Fidelity

Jonquil - Love Me, Affection Returned, Desire

Lavender - Devoted Love

Lily White - Youth or Beauty

Lily Tiger - Prosperity

Lily Purple - Beginning of Love

Lotus Flower - Any Estranged Love

Moss - Maternal Love, Charity

Orange Blossom - Eternal Love, Marriage and Fruitfulness

Orchid - Love, Beauty, Refinement

Peony - Bashful Love

Primrose - Happy Love

Poppy - Hopeless Love

Rose Red - 'I Love You' or Passion

Rose Pink - Happiness

Rose Yellow - Friendship

Rose White Innocence or Purity

Rose White - Innocence and Purity, I am Worthy of You

Rosebud Red - Pure and Lovely

Spider Flower - Elope with Me

Sunflower - Yellow Adoration

Tulip General - Perfect Lover

Tulip Red - Love

Tulip Yellow - 'Sunshine of my life'

Tulip Variegated - Beautiful Eyes

Zinnia - Absent Love

Sometimes, a single flower does not convey the message you desire. In this case, a beautiful display of one type of flower or a bouquet of multiple flower types can be ideal.

Birthdays—Selecting the Ideal Floral Arrangement:

Creating the perfect birthday arrangement for a friend or loved one can be difficult. However, by selecting the traditional flower associated with the individual's birthday month, the bouquet can be tailored to suit their needs. Because each flower is selected according to its most prolific flowering time, you are receiving the most beautiful flowers for the season, at a reasonable price. The following are examples of the types of bouquets that can be created for a loved ones birthday:

January Carnations / Snowdrops

February Violets / Primroses

March Daffodil / Jonquils / Violets

April Sweet Peas / Daisies

May Lilies of the Valley / Hawthorn / Lilies

June Roses / Honeysuckle

July Larkspur / Delphinium / Water Lily

August Poppies / Gladiolus

September Aster / Morning Glories

October Calendula / Marigold / Cosmos

November Chrysanthemum

December Narcissus / Poinsettia / Holly

As discussed above, flowers carry many meanings; birthday flowers are no different. For example, daffodils are regularly regarded as a symbol of rebirth as they are so often associated with springtime. Carnations generally carry connotations of love, fascination, and distinction. In addition, Lilies typically symbolize purity of heart because people instantly connect lilies with the colour white – signifying innocence and sweetness.

Although flowers are most often associated with Valentine's Day and birthdays, a flower bouquet can be a thoughtful and well-appreciated gift for any occasion. It can also be used to say "I'm sorry" or to brighten up the lives of a loved one who is sick. The effect that flowers have on our lives is astounding; it creates a sense of well-being and happiness and can be used for any occasion.

Online florists, can help you select flowers for birthday months. You can send flowers using their same day flower delivery service to UK and other European destinations. You can also use their next day flower service to send flowers to loved ones to countries outside Europe.

Clinton Porter is a search engine optimisation consultant with Nvisage ( for Flowers4 Online flower shops and florists ( specialists in Wedding and bridal flowers, Funeral and sympathy flowers. Order and send fresh flowers online for same day and next day delivery.

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