We often tend to be impressed when we discover that someone can speak several different languages. From French to Arabic, there are lots of beautiful languages to learn. However, many will agree that no language is quite as beautiful as that of flowers, known as floriography. For those that haven’t heard of floriography before, you are probably thinking we’ve lost our minds, but floriography is actually a method of coded communication that uses numerous different flowers and floral arrangements. It has been used since the Victorian period. It allows people to express their feelings in words that cannot be spoken. It is a truly stunning means of expression.
When you consider the fact that meaning has been attributed to all different kinds of flowers for thousands of years, it is not hard to see where the basis of this language or rather communication stems from. It is not hard to see how this language works either. All you have to do is select the flowers that convey the meaning you wish to depict. You can, of course, choose one flower or several. When you send flowers to someone, it will carry a great depth of meaning and thus convey your message without you having to say a word.
Floriography is something we have seen used a lot in literature, and even in recent times too. In fact, only five years ago – in 2009, Vanessa Diffenbaugh published ‘The Language of Flowers’, which is a novel centered on floriography. It is actually one of New York Times’ best sellers. She also published her own flower dictionary. If you rewind the clock further you will see the language of flowers used in many famous authors’ works, including Charlotte and Emily Bronte, Jane Austen and William Shakespeare. In fact, Shakespeare used the word flower over 100 times in his sonnets and plays. In The Winter’s Tale, princess Perdita wishes she could make garlands for her friends from primroses, daffodils, and violets. In Hamlet, Ophelia explains the meanings of violets, daisies, rues, columbines, fennel, rosemary, and pansies.
For one to be able to use to floriography, all you need to do is know about the meanings of different flowers. So, to give you a head start, we’ve put together some of the most common ones below…
• Alyssum – Worth beyond beauty
• Yellow Iris – Passion
• Daisy – Loyal love, innocence and gentleness
• Striped Carnation – Refusal, Sorry I can’t be with you, No
• Calla Lily – Magnificent beauty
• Red Rose – I love you
• Magnolia – Worth beyond nature
• Bird of Paradise – Faithfulness
• Tiger Lily – Pride, Wealth
• Lilac (Purple) – First emotion of love
• Geranium – Stupidity
• Arbutus – Thee only do I love
• Heather – Good luck
• Viscaria – Will you dance with me?
• Pink Rose – Perfect happiness
• Violet – Modesty, Faithfulness
• Pink Carnation – I will never forget you
• Love in a Mist – You puzzle me
• Tall Sunflower – Pride, False riches
• White Dried Rose – Death is preferable to loss of virtue
• Single Cherry Blossom – Education
• Bittersweet – Truth
• Lily of the Valley – Return of happiness, Humility
• Chrysanthemum – You are a wonderful friend
• Tea Ross – I will remember always
• Sweet Pea – Blissful pleasure, Departure, Goodbye
• Marigold – Despair, Jealousy, Grief
• Buttercup – Childishness
• White Violet – Let’s take a chance
This only touches the surface of the different flowers and their language!