It is quite nice to have a tiny bouquet of daisies on your desk. Or to have a long bouquet of now completely dried lavenders near your bed, or that one single rose you gifted to yourself on your way back home. With their lovely fragrances and the pretty petals adorning them, flowers sure are nice to have around at least for some of us. But did you know that flowers actually talk to you? While not all of us can understand them, flowers always tell us their stories when they are around.
Flowers have been used as a means of communication for quite a long while now. Among friends, among lovers, it could be even among the worst enemies, flowers helped people convey the messages that are only meant for the other, significant person to understand for centuries. Some words could not be spoken out loud, some of them just needed the extra privacy between two people. Some of them celebrated one's coming to earth, while some of them laid down together with someone to send them to their last journey. Each flower got adorned with its own story as it bloomed and became its own little world, spreading its stories as it was handed around.
Learning the special symbolism of flowers became a popular activity during the 1800s. Nearly all Victorian homes had, alongside the Bible, guidebooks for deciphering the “language,” although definitions changed depending on the source. Following the protocol of Victorian-era etiquette, flowers were primarily used to deliver messages. In a sort of silent dialogue, flowers could also be used to answer “yes” or “no” questions. Handing the flowers to someone with your right hand meant "yes" while handing them with your left hand meant "no".
There are thousands and thousands of flowers colouring the face of earth, with almost each known one carrying a message on its petals from a culture. It would be quite hard to list all of them but here are some flowers and what they are trying to tell us:
Calla lily: Beauty
Carnation: Fascination, female love, mother’s love
Chamomile: Patience in adversity
Cyclamen: Resignation, Diffidence, Goodbye
Daisy: Innocence, Loyal love, I’ll never tell
Forget-me-not: True love memories, Do not forget me
Gardenia: You’re lovely, Secret love
Geranium: Folly, Stupidity
Hibiscus: Delicate beauty
Hydrangea: Gratitude for being understood; Frigidity and heartlessness
Iris: Faith, trust, Wisdom, Hope, Valor
Lotus Flower: Purity, Enlightenment, Self-regeneration, and Rebirth
Rhododendron: Danger, beware
Some flowers' colours are also important when expressing your thoughts. Roses, poppies, lilies and many more can mean so many things based on their colour alone. For example, while pink carnations mean "I will never forget you", red ones mean that you are yearning for the other person. White ones are the sweet and lovely while the purple carnations convey capriciousness. Yellow carnations on the other hand are for expressing romantic rejection.
Unsurprisingly, the colour of the rose plays a huge role. Red roses symbolize love and desire, but roses come in a variety of colours and each has their own meaning.
White rose: purity, innocence, reverence, a new beginning, a fresh start.
Red rose: love, I love you
Deep, dark crimson rose: mourning
Pink rose: grace, happiness, gentleness
Yellow rose: jealousy, infidelity
Orange rose: desire and enthusiasm
Lavender rose: love at first sight
Coral rose: friendship, modesty, sympathy