Flower Meanings

Because spring has sprung with a vengeance in my neck of the woods, I thought I’d work a little springtime magic and post some magical meanings for flowers. I love poring over old Victorian books that talk about flower meanings and I find it fascinating that everyone knew the meanings and would send flowers accordingly. That and the fact that they expressed much more through symbols and gestures back then. Can you imagine not being able to tell someone how much you love them because of strict moral codes? But, still, the gesture in itself holds a powerful meaning to this day. “I cared enough to pick these up for you, because i wanted to see you smile.”

You could also send a friend a single flower (or a miniature spray) or even a potted plant and attach a pretty little handmade card with the meaning on it!

Begonias — Beware. Kind of a straightforward, unbecoming meaning for a flower, and try as I might, I could not find a reason why this pretty little flower could be construed as a warning. (can any horticulturalists help out with this one?)

Carnations — There are many meanings of carnations, but the most widely accepted are fascination, distinction, and love.


Daffodil is the symbol of new beginnings, rebirth, and bravery. It is usually the first bloomer in spring, because it is genetically constructed to withstand a bit colder temperatures than most flowers.

Daisy – innocence. Daisies, whose name means “the day’s eye,” being so plentiful in meadows, were often worn as headdresses by young maidens, hence their strong attachments to youthful innocence. daisy-chainsphoto credit

Gardenia – Their white flowers convey a sense of purity, their sweet smell a particular loveliness not found in every flower.

Gladiolus – Strength of Character. It is said that the Gladiolus was the flower of the Roman gladiators. The gladiolus is named for the shape of its leaves, its “gladius,” or sword.

Holly – Different religions and groups of people the world over correlate Holly with Domestic Happiness. Romans would decorate their whole doorways with it to keep their households protected. They attributed the powers of protection to the god Bacchus, who would protect their houses from lightning (Zeus) if they filled their houses with friends, parties and happiness.

Hydrangea – Perseverance in Heartfelt Apology. It is said that this Japan-originated flower was sent, in apology, by a Japanese emperor to the family of a girl he loved. His only recorded apology, ever.

hydrangeasphoto credit

Iris – An iris use to have the ancient stigma as a serious warning to be heeded. Iris’ were planted along graves in ancient Greece and Rome to guide the dead to the afterlife. It is also thought of as a symbol of regal stature and royalty.

Jasmine – Worn throughout southern Asia and of course, the Hawaiian Islands, Jasmine is a symbol of grace, elegance, and amiability.

Lavender – This pretty perfumed flower gained the meaning of distrust by the facts that in ancient times, asps used to make lavender their retreats, so caution was always given around the plants.

Casablanca Lily – With its big, bright, welcoming blooms, the Casablanca Lily is the perfect flower for a meaning of celebration.

Rose – there are so many rose meanings, I will pick my favorite: Yellow. It’s meaning is zealousness, cheerful optimism and pure friendship.

yellow-rosephoto credit

Tulips – As with many flowers, each colored tulip has a different meaning. Yellow are the best to send a friendly message. For passionate love, pure red.

Sweetpeas are usually given by an extremely shy sender, to express intentions or a crush. How adorable!

sweetpeascan’t remember where I found this!

A flower may remind someone of a particular time in their life, or a certain emotion. Take a few extra minutes to find out a friends favorite color, then surprise them the next time you see them with a bloom the same hue; make some new happy memories of your own!

What is your favorite flower?

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