The Language of Plants

Throughout the ages, people have attributed certain meanings and characteristics to flowers and plants. Often these have been used to send messages, usually to a loved one, but also to send warnings and even "hate mail". There are often several different meanings associated with one flower but I am mainly going to use the meanings I found in two places.

The first is from a short list that was clipped out of a book or magazine by my mother many, many years ago. It is yellowed with age and there is just a portion of the page so I have no idea where it came from; it was tucked into a small notebook I found among her effects.

Acacia  -  Concealed Love

    

Hyacinth  -  Jealousy

Amaranth  -  Immortality

    

Iris  -  Message

Ambrosia  -  Love Returned

    

Ivy  -  Friendship

Anemone  -  Expectation

    

Jonquil  -  Return My Affection

Apple Blossom  -  Preference

    

Lady's-Slipper  -  Capricious Beauty

Bachelor's-Button  -  Hope in Love

    

Larkspur  -  Fickleness

Buttercup  -  Richness

    

Lavender  -  Distrust

Calla Lily  -  Feminine Beauty

    

Lilac  -  First Emotion of Love

Camellia  -  Pity

    

Lily  -  Purity, Modesty

Carnation, Yellow  -  Disdain

    

Maidenhair  -  Discretion

China Aster  -  I'll Think of It

    

Magnolia  -  Peerless and Proud

China Pink  -  Aversion

    

Marigold  -  Cruelty

Chrysanthemum, Rose  - In Love

    

Morning-Glory  -  Coquetry

Chrysanthemum, White  -  Truth

    

Orange Blossom  -  Marriage

Cornflower  -  Delicacy

    

Pansy  -  Think of Me

Daffodil  -  Chivalry

    

Sweet Pea  -  Departure

Dahlia  -  Forever Thine

    

Peony  -  Anger

Daisy, White  -  Innocence

    

Pink  -  Pure Affection

Dandelion  -  Coquetry

    

Poppy  -  Consolation of Sleep

Forget-Me-Not  -  True Love

    

Primrose  -  Early Youth

Foxglove  -  Insincerity

    

Rose  -  Beauty

Gladiolus  -  Ready Armed

    

Shamrock  -  Loyalty

Goldenrod  -  Encouragement

    

Snapdragon  -  Presumption

Hawthorn  -  Hope

    

Sumac  -  Splendor

Heliotrope  -  Devotion

    

Tulip  -  Declaration od Love

Heather  -  Loneliness

    

Verbena  -  Sensibility

Honeysuckle  -  Bond of Love

    

Woodbine  -  Fraternal Love

 

Now, just to confuse the issue, here is another collection - a little more modern than the previous one. If you are planning to send any floral messages to people you had better make sure they are using the same language set you are. Again, this was a page torn from a small booklet so I'm afraid I can't give credit to whoever compiled this one either.

Almond  -  Hope

  

Red Tulip  -  Love declaration

Apple Blossom  -  Temptation

  

Red Rose  -  Love

Blue Hyacinth  -  Constancy

  

Red Poppy  -  Solace

Bluebell  -  Gratitude

  

Red Geranium  -  Comfort

Camellia  -  Excellence

  

Red Carnation  -  Forgiving

Daffodil  -  Consideration

  

Rhododendron  -  Danger

Dahlia  -  Splendor

  

Rosebud  -  Young love

Daisy  -  Innocence

  

Rosemary  -  Memory

Fennel  -  Flattery

  

Satin Flower  -  Honesty

Flowering Sage  -  Energy

  

Snapdragon  -  Refusal

French Marigold  -  Jealousy

  

Snowdrop  -  Solace and hope

Fuchsia  -  Grace

  

Striped Carnation  -  Refusal

Giant Bellflower  -  Constancy

  

Sunflower  -  Arrogance

Heather  -  Solitude

  

Violet  -  Modesty

Honesuckle  -  Generous affection

  

Virgin's Bower  -  Spiritual beauty

Ivy  -  Friendship

  

Wallflower  -  Affection

Jasmine  -  Kindness

  

Water Lily  -  Purity of heart

Larkspur  -  Unfaithfulness

  

White Lily  -  Purity

Lavender  -  Mistrust

  

White Chrysanthemum  -  Truth

Lilac  -  First love

  

White Rose  -  Worthy

Lily of the Valley  -  Return of luck

  

White Carnation  -  Disdain

Magnolia  -  Love of nature

  

White Poppy  -  Sleep

Mint  -  Wisdom

  

Wild Hyacinth  -  Constancy

Myrtle  -  Love

  

Windflower  -  Forgetfulness

Narcissus  -  Self-interest

  

Yellow Tulip  -  Impossible love

Pansy  -  Thoughts

  

Yellow Lily  -  Falsehood

Purple Hyacinth  -  Pain

  

Yellow Chrysanthemum  -  Diminished love

Red Chrysanthemum  -  I love you

  

Yellow Rose  -  Jealousy

 

The months of the year on the western calendar have also been assigned floral symbols. These flowers are often included in bouquets and floral arrangements given on birthdays and anniversaries.

January  -  Carnation

    

July  -  Larkspur

February  -  Violet

    

August  -  Gladiolus

March  -  Jonquil

    

September  -  Aster

April  -  Sweet Pea

    

October  -  Calendula

May  -  Lily of the Valley

    

November  -  Chrysanthemum

June  -  Rose

    

December  -  Narcissus

 

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