Valentine’s Day is on the horizon and one gift that will never ever fail you is flowers. Flowers can never be the wrong size or color and no one ever sees them and says “Oh, I love them but I’m dieting!”
Flowers never send the wrong message. But what message to do different flowers send?
Different blossoms have different meanings assigned to them by various cultural and folkloric traditions and some genuses have an over-arching meaning but different associations according to their color.
Red roses are the Valentines Day favorite and never fail to conjure the spirit of romantic love, whether in a huge bouquet or a single stem. But yellow roses, in Victorian times, signified jealousy while orange is the color to send to convey fiery passion.
Daisies are certainly never an unwelcome sight but if passion is what you’re after, know that the daisy tends to symbolize innocence. Blue violets symbolize fidelity; they are identified with one of the greatest love affairs ever, that of Napoleon and Josephine, the latter of whom doted on violets and wore them on her wedding dress. The long, elegant gladiolus mean strength of character and sincerity, which may not sound romantic but are pretty good qualities to feel are still abundant in a long term relationship. There’s probably a reason you don’t see a lot of poppies given as bouquets: though they have represented fertility and magic they are more generally associated with death and sleep. Not so romantic. Similarly, a striped carnation means refusal or sorrow and having to say no.
Carnations in general, however, have good connotations, especially deep red, which mean deep love, and pink which means a lasting bond; in China carnations symbolize betrothal or marriage. White tulips mean forgiveness, while yellow means hopelessly in love and multi-colored means you have beautiful eyes. Yellow chrysanthemums are a no-go, meaning ‘slighted love,’; stick to red or white which mean love and loyal love respectively.
If you wanted a personalized a bouquet you could send your sweetie’s birth flower, the flower of the state they’re from (New Yorker’s have it the easiest; their state flower is the rose) or if you really want to get fancy the flowers of their national heritage (this is iffy: those orchids are sure the impress a lady fromVenezuela, but you have to know your Canadian sweetheart pretty well to judge whether she’ll be thrilled to get a bouquet of maple leaves).
So there are some example of flower meanings but to the person getting them they’ll all mean you remembered and you cared: flowers also have a certain amount of instant karma. Kisses are sure to come to you automatically.
Triple points, by the way, if you if you send them to the beloved at work or in some other public venue where everyone can see what a gorgeous bouquet your sweetheart just got and coo over how lucky he or she is. It’s good to get flowers. And it’s also pretty spiffy to be seen getting flowers.
Image by miggslives.