Be careful giving
flowers. The choice of bouquet on Valentine's
Day could convey more than you
Presenting your lover with primroses suggests the opening of one's
heart and the dawning of true love, but offer snapdragons and the
message is plain: "go away!"
kind of floral code, known as "florigraphy," was especially
popular among the romantics of Victorian England about a hundred years
ago. Each flower and tree had a meaning all its own. Presenting sprigs
or blooms from a given plant was a shorthand way of saying "it was love
at first sight!" (thornless roses) or "I am your slave forever" (wild
Remnants of this botanical language linger in
our culture. The daisy is
still a symbol of purity and Forget-me-nots remain faithful.
Which interpretations linger in our subconscious
we can't be sure.
(What does a marigold suggest?) So, take care in choosing flowers.
Here's what they could be saying:
"I am faithful"
pink. "I'll never forget you."
red. "My heart aches for you."
yellow. "You have disappointed
"I will not return your
primrose. "Humbly, I adore you."
"Take heed, your beloved is
scarlet. "I do not trust you."
"I thank God you are restored to
"This is a token of my love."
"Please answer me soon. Dare I
hope you love me?"
"I can only ever be your friend."
purple. "You are my first love."
white. "A tribute to your beauty
white. "I kiss your fingertips."
tiger. "My passion burns like a
"Your jealousy is without
"You love none but yourself."
"I shall make your life a sweet
"I am pledged to another."
"My heart was mine until we
basketful. "Take the treasures of
bridal. "Happy love."
red. "I love you."
"Your memory is a lingering
"My heart is aflame for
"Pure and sweet art thou."
"I cling to thee."
"Where there is love there can be
Still Life in Lavender
Langage des Fleurs by Madame de
la Tour, 1872.
by Claire Nahmad, Running Press, 1994
Langage des Fleurs