The Language of Plants

Throughout the ages, people have attributed certain meanings and characteristics to flowers and plants. Often these have been used to send messages, usually to a loved one, but also to send warnings and even "hate mail". There are often several different meanings associated with one flower but I am mainly going to use the meanings I found in two places.

The first is from a short list that was clipped out of a book or magazine by my mother many, many years ago. It is yellowed with age and there is just a portion of the page so I have no idea where it came from; it was tucked into a small notebook I found among her effects.

Acacia  -  Concealed Love


Hyacinth  -  Jealousy

Amaranth  -  Immortality


Iris  -  Message

Ambrosia  -  Love Returned


Ivy  -  Friendship

Anemone  -  Expectation


Jonquil  -  Return My Affection

Apple Blossom  -  Preference


Lady's-Slipper  -  Capricious Beauty

Bachelor's-Button  -  Hope in Love


Larkspur  -  Fickleness

Buttercup  -  Richness


Lavender  -  Distrust

Calla Lily  -  Feminine Beauty


Lilac  -  First Emotion of Love

Camellia  -  Pity


Lily  -  Purity, Modesty

Carnation, Yellow  -  Disdain


Maidenhair  -  Discretion

China Aster  -  I'll Think of It


Magnolia  -  Peerless and Proud

China Pink  -  Aversion


Marigold  -  Cruelty

Chrysanthemum, Rose  - In Love


Morning-Glory  -  Coquetry

Chrysanthemum, White  -  Truth


Orange Blossom  -  Marriage

Cornflower  -  Delicacy


Pansy  -  Think of Me

Daffodil  -  Chivalry


Sweet Pea  -  Departure

Dahlia  -  Forever Thine


Peony  -  Anger

Daisy, White  -  Innocence


Pink  -  Pure Affection

Dandelion  -  Coquetry


Poppy  -  Consolation of Sleep

Forget-Me-Not  -  True Love


Primrose  -  Early Youth

Foxglove  -  Insincerity


Rose  -  Beauty

Gladiolus  -  Ready Armed


Shamrock  -  Loyalty

Goldenrod  -  Encouragement


Snapdragon  -  Presumption

Hawthorn  -  Hope


Sumac  -  Splendor

Heliotrope  -  Devotion


Tulip  -  Declaration od Love

Heather  -  Loneliness


Verbena  -  Sensibility

Honeysuckle  -  Bond of Love


Woodbine  -  Fraternal Love


Now, just to confuse the issue, here is another collection - a little more modern than the previous one. If you are planning to send any floral messages to people you had better make sure they are using the same language set you are. Again, this was a page torn from a small booklet so I'm afraid I can't give credit to whoever compiled this one either.

Almond  -  Hope


Red Tulip  -  Love declaration

Apple Blossom  -  Temptation


Red Rose  -  Love

Blue Hyacinth  -  Constancy


Red Poppy  -  Solace

Bluebell  -  Gratitude


Red Geranium  -  Comfort

Camellia  -  Excellence


Red Carnation  -  Forgiving

Daffodil  -  Consideration


Rhododendron  -  Danger

Dahlia  -  Splendor


Rosebud  -  Young love

Daisy  -  Innocence


Rosemary  -  Memory

Fennel  -  Flattery


Satin Flower  -  Honesty

Flowering Sage  -  Energy


Snapdragon  -  Refusal

French Marigold  -  Jealousy


Snowdrop  -  Solace and hope

Fuchsia  -  Grace


Striped Carnation  -  Refusal

Giant Bellflower  -  Constancy


Sunflower  -  Arrogance

Heather  -  Solitude


Violet  -  Modesty

Honesuckle  -  Generous affection


Virgin's Bower  -  Spiritual beauty

Ivy  -  Friendship


Wallflower  -  Affection

Jasmine  -  Kindness


Water Lily  -  Purity of heart

Larkspur  -  Unfaithfulness


White Lily  -  Purity

Lavender  -  Mistrust


White Chrysanthemum  -  Truth

Lilac  -  First love


White Rose  -  Worthy

Lily of the Valley  -  Return of luck


White Carnation  -  Disdain

Magnolia  -  Love of nature


White Poppy  -  Sleep

Mint  -  Wisdom


Wild Hyacinth  -  Constancy

Myrtle  -  Love


Windflower  -  Forgetfulness

Narcissus  -  Self-interest


Yellow Tulip  -  Impossible love

Pansy  -  Thoughts


Yellow Lily  -  Falsehood

Purple Hyacinth  -  Pain


Yellow Chrysanthemum  -  Diminished love

Red Chrysanthemum  -  I love you


Yellow Rose  -  Jealousy


The months of the year on the western calendar have also been assigned floral symbols. These flowers are often included in bouquets and floral arrangements given on birthdays and anniversaries.

January  -  Carnation


July  -  Larkspur

February  -  Violet


August  -  Gladiolus

March  -  Jonquil


September  -  Aster

April  -  Sweet Pea


October  -  Calendula

May  -  Lily of the Valley


November  -  Chrysanthemum

June  -  Rose


December  -  Narcissus


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