Language of Flowers: Plant Symbolism and Meaning

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There is a new language around the block you need to learn about. A fairly easy yet interesting modern language to learn about today is Floriography or simply – the language of flowers.

Yes, flowers have a meaningful and symbolic language too! Every flower of shape, size, and color has a special secret behind it. Reading through this article will help guide you on what flower colors and types are for what occasions and the meaning and symbolism of each flower!

What is Floriography?

Floriography is a fancy word for the language of flowers. It is a collection of the various meanings and symbolisms of flowers depending on color and type.

Many cultures and traditions of different countries and groups also dictate the meaning and symbolism of flowers and plants. In the collection of Floriography, flowers are regarded with a more optimistic sense with the modern language now bearing a few grim meanings about some flowers. 

Although there is no one meaning for a specific flower, Floriography is a collection of flowers that can mean more than just one idea!

Victorian Flower Language

The flower language or Floriography dates back thousands of years ago through many cultural traditions. It only came to fame when the British folk made it a viral trend during the Victorian era – flowers were a symbolism of social class such as nobility or even royalty.

flower meanings

Why Is The Language of Flowers Significant?

Getting to know the language of flowers is just like learning the ABCs – back to the basics and the principles. You learn the value and importance of each flower and what it means today. 

Although not incorporated into most school teachings or courses, you can definitely enjoy understanding and learning about the floral language. Start by learning about your favorite flowers and then let your imagination take you to the rarest flowers of the world!

The History of Floral Meanings

The history of flower meanings and symbolism dates back to the times of the Aztecs or even way before that – one thing for certain is that no one knows for sure when it was founded!

Early Aztecs and South American tribes used flowers to symbolize their Gods. Flowers were held with such high regard and respect that only high priests and priestesses were allowed to glance at them! 

During ancient Asian times, many cultural traditions were also associated with gods and kings. In Indian cultures, Hindu gods were symbolized by flowers such as the lotus. Chinese, Japanese, and Korean traditions also regarded flowers as the royal symbol of kings and nobility.

Flower Meanings by Color

Flowers of the world come not only in many shapes and sizes but also in colors! No doubt that It’s the floral colors that really make these beauties the star of the show on any occasion.

The fascinating thing about flower symbolism is that the colors of flowers have a more specific meaning than just the type of flower alone. Some associate colors with emotion or even events!

Blue Flowers

Blue flowers often reflect the peace and tranquility of life. Calming as the oceans and seas, blue blossoms oftentimes release relaxing and renewed energy.

Red Flowers

Every flower lover already knows that red flowers are symbolic of passion, love, and desire. Did you know that these kinds of flowers could mean something else? Red blossoms can also symbolize unwavering strength or in the Christian faith, the blood of Christ.

Yellow Flowers

A color most popularly associated with the sun, it radiates happiness, joy, and friendship. Yellow flowers are no different! In fact, such colored blossoms can also portray new beginnings or a fresh start.

Green Flowers

Although not your typical floral color, there are a few plants with true green flowers. To name a few plants with green flowers there is the Magnolia, Hydrangea, and Peace Lily. These kinds of flowers are symbolic of rebirth, renewal, good health and fortune, and youthfulness.

Orange Flowers

Orange is another floral color closely associated with yellow symbolic meanings! A positive meaning for orange flowers includes enthusiasm and excitement. Meanwhile, some grim meanings these blossoms portray are caution, danger, and beware!

Pink Flowers

Popularly regarded as the feminine color of the world. Women are portrayed as graceful, gentle, and elegant people and pink flowers are of the same sort too! Oftentimes, these pink flowers also mean love and beauty. Pink orchids, lilies and dahlias symbolize proud and glorious femininity.

Purple Flowers

Purple or violet has long been associated with the color of royalty, nobility, and wisdom. Purple flowers also portray these meanings. Want to know what else such flowers symbolize? These blossoms also are held as symbols of wisdom, pride, and intelligence.

White Flowers

White flowers are truly pristine and graceful to look upon and are often symbolic of purity and innocence. Popularized by the Floriography, white flowers also represent sympathy and simplicity.

Dark Flowers

Similar to green flowers, dark-colored flowers are not very common. In fact, such flowers are not only black because some appear as dark brown or red! Some flowers with dark-colored petals include Hollyhock, Iris, Rose, Tulip, and Petunia! 

These kinds of flowers are symbolic of rarity, mystery, farewell, and even death! 

Flower Symbolism

One thing’s for sure – flowers can have more than just one meaning. Some meanings for flowers stand out such as the Rose – the iconic symbol of love. Below is a quick list of flowers and their meanings:

Flowers That MeanFlower Names
AffectionAloe, Ivy, Daffodil, Carnation, Daisy, Honeysuckle, Marigold, Morning Glory, Zinnia
AmbitionHollyhock, Narcissus, Trillium
AngerPeony and Petunia
BeautyCalla Lily, Hibiscus, Amaryllis, Bougainvillaea, Pink Carnation, Cherry Blossom, Daisy, Poinsettia, Bleeding Heart, Azalea
BewareOleander, Rhododendron, Crocus
Bonds of LoveHoneysuckle, Carnation, Bindweed, Gillyflower, Ivy, Magnolia, Pink Verbena, Dahlia
CourageEdelweiss, Borage, Rose
ChangeCarnation, Delphinium, Tulip, Daffodil, Pansy
DangerRhododendron, Rose
DeathAnthurium, Lily, Chrysanthemum
DistrustLavender and Oleander
FaithIris, Violet, Birds of Paradise, Carnation, Daisy, Dandelion, Passionflower
FamilyClematis and Vervain
FemininityOrchid, Pink lilies, Pink dahlias
FertilityLotus, Poppy, Rose, Lily
ForgivenessTulips, Daffodil
FortuneGoldenrod, Peruvian Lily, Alstroemeria, Holly, Jade Plant, Lily of the Valley, Osmanthus
FreedomFreesias, Yellow Rose
FriendshipIvy, Zinnia, Freesia, Chrysanthemum, Acacia, Bleeding Heart
FoolishnessColumbine
GloryBay tree, Daphne, Morning Glory
GratitudeHydrangea, Globe flower, Dianthus, Bell flower, Blue bell
GraceRue, Jasmine, Calendula, Orchid, Marigold, Rose
GrowthTulip, Daffodil, Lilac, Delphinium, Holly
GriefAloe, Marigold, Harebell, Poppy
HappinessHolly, Pink Rose, White Violets, Yellow Chrysanthemum, Several Daffodils, Dandelion, Hibiscus, Lily-of-the-Valley, Osmanthus, Primrose, Pink Tulip, Lupine
HarmonyPentas and Cosmos
HealingJasmine, Lavender, Calendula, Passionflower, Rose, Carnation, Geranium, Yarrow, Foxglove
HealthGreen Orchid, Carnation, Coneflower, Blue Iris, Marigold, Peony, Starwort, Yarrow, Bee Balm
HopeIris, Tulip, Daisy, Anemone, Chrysanthemum, Daffodil, Forget-me-not, Hawthorn, Blue Iris, Snowdrop, Star of Bethlehem, Violet
HumilityBluebell, Lily of the Valley, Harebell, Lilac, Poppy, White Rose, Buttercup
IndifferenceCandytuft, Senvy, Water Lily
IntelligencePurple Iris, Clematis
InspirationAngelica, Peppermint Geranium, Witch Hazel
JealousyMarigold, Yellow Rose, Yellow Hyacinth, Calendula, 
JusticeBlack-eyed Susan, Coneflower, Gloriosa Daisy, 
KindnessBluebell, Flax, Marjoram
LifePeony, Plumeria, Cherry Blossom, Chrysanthemum, Daffodil, Holly, Orchid, Yucca, Poinsettia
LonelinessSingle stem Daffodil or Carnation, Yellow Chrysanthemum, Lavender, Red Primrose, Weeping Willow
LossWhite Lily
LoveAster, White Carnation, Daisy, Gardenia, Honeysuckle, Red Rose or Tulip, Mimosa, Dogwood
LoyaltyDaisy, Aster, Lavender, Pansy, Sunflower, Purple Violet
LuckWhite Carnation, Myrtle, Four-leafed Clover, Bells of Ireland, Camellia, Gardenia, Heather, Bee Balm
MemoriesForget-me-not, Zinnia, Daisy, Lilac, Periwinkle, Sweet Pea
MysteryBlue Poppy or Rose, 
New BeginningsWhite Rose, Calathea, Iris, Lily, Tulip, Daffodil, Daisy, Cherry Blossom
PassionRed roses, Yellow iris
PeaceWhite Rose, Cattail, Geranium, Hibiscus, White Poppy
PerseveranceDandelion, Magnolia
PrideAmaryllis, Tiger Lily, Red Carnation, Day Lily, White Lilac, Red Rose, Sunflower 
ProsperityPeony, Peruvian Lily, Allium, Alstroemeria, Yellow Lily, African Marigold, Osmanthus, Begonia
ProtectionCarnation, Chrysanthemum, Hawthorn, Heather, Holly, Lily of the Valley, Osmanthus, Rhododendron, Willow
PurityWhite Lily, Rose, Carnation, Hyacinth, White Iris, Poppy or Violet, Lily of the Valley, Daisy, Edelweiss, Gardenia, Gerbera, Lotus, Star of Bethlehem, Water Lily
RebirthLotus, Poppy, Daffodil, Holly
RegretHyacinth, Blue bell, Purple Verdena
RemembranceRosemary, White or Yellow Rose, Poppy, Forget-me-not, Gladioli, Myrtle, Periwinkle, Yellow Zinnia, Dahlia
Royalty (or Nobility)Lavender, Iris, Magnolia, Chrysanthemum, Thistle, Phlox
SadnessPurple Hyacinth, Willow, Lavender, Red Primrose, Dead Leaves
SacrificeHyssop, Birch
ShamePeony, Deep Red Rose
StrengthOak, Gladiolus, Allium, Anemone, Snapdragon, White Carnation, Columbine, Purple or Yellow Coneflower, Fig, Orchid
TimePlumeria, Amaranth
ThoughtfulnessFreesia, Orchid, Cream Rose, Almond
TruthBittersweet, White Chrysanthemum, Anemone, White and Red Roses, Sunflower
VictoryGladiolus, Nasturtium, Palm
YouthfulnessCrocus, White or Yellow Lilac, Silene, Blue Violet, Foxglove, Buttercup
WelcomeAster, Hawthorn, Yellow Roses, Starwort, Stonecrop, Wisteria
WealthTiger Lily, Peruvian Lily, Alstroemeria, Chrysanthemum, Daisy, Day Lily, Jasmine, Red or Yellow Poppy, Begonia
WisdomSage, Blue or Purple Iris, Lavender, Columbine, Blue Salvia, Water Lily

The Meaning of Flower Bouquets

Flowers are for all occasions and celebrations – which it’s used to bring color and meaning into many events and cultural traditions. These are no doubt the star of the show with their beautiful, stunning colors and sizes.

Condolence Bouquets

Condolence or funeral bouquets are a floral ensemble of Anthuriums, Lilies, or Chrysanthemums. It symbolizes prayers, farewell, and guidance for the souls of the departed. 

Graduation Bouquets

Graduation is a cause for celebration and floral bouquets are a standard for a new graduate. Although there is no standard or iconic flower for such an occasion, roses, peonies, carnations, and tulips are just some of the best flowers to add to an arrangement!

Mother’s Day Bouquets

Mother’s Day is another event of the year where floral arrangements are the number one gift idea for all moms. Bouquets for this special day require flowers symbolizing beauty, elegance, and gratitude. 

The official flower for celebrating Mother’s Day is the Carnation. You can also choose to add Hydrangeas, Tulips, Lilies, or Daisies if you want something unique!

Anniversary Bouquets

Another day for a cause of celebration, anniversaries are long awaited by lovely couples, friends, families, companies, and other social groups! It marks another year of strong bonds filled with pure love, perfect happiness, and gratitude. 

Like graduation bouquets, any flower can be used to commemorate such a milestone. Some flowers that will stand out in a bouquet to celebrate this include the Daisy, Aster, Rose, Lily, Carnation, or Dahlia.

Valentine’s Day Bouquets

You can already guess the best flower for this special day and it’s none other than a red, pink, or white rose. Most flower lovers are familiar with the fact that red roses symbolize love. In a year, approximately 250 million rose stems are sold on this alone!

So if you run out of luck to have red or pink roses, you can opt for Carnations, red Tulips, Lilies, or Sunflowers. These flowers will also do just the trick to express your loyal love and passion.

It’s also worth mentioning that yellow acacia and gardenia flowers represent a secret love.

Birthday Bouquets

Although it isn’t customary to have birthday bouquets, most people receive this lovely arrangement as a symbol of appreciation, gratitude, good fortune, and love. Any flower can be added to a birthday bouquet. 

Flowers that will stand out in this celebrational bouquet include Gerbera Daisies, Pansies, Roses, and Lilies.

Wedding Bouquets

Apart from the bride walking down the aisle, her wedding bouquet is another star of the show especially when it comes to the bouquet toss. A bride’s bouquet is usually an arrangement of her favorite flowers and the sentimental meaning it has for her. 

A very popular bridal bouquet today was that of Kate Middleton’s. She chose a beautiful arrangement of myrtle, lily-of-the-valley, sweet William, and hyacinth on her special day. Other beautiful yet trendy wedding flowers great for bridal bouquets include Anemones, Peonies, Sweet peas, Lilacs, and Dahlias.

Final words

We hope you find this list of flower meanings and plant symbolism helpful. Feel free to explore our blog for more specific flowering plants and their hidden meanings, as well as our full list of flowers. We believe flowers create a happy life.

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