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Language of Flowers

 The language and meaning of flowers
ABOUT THE CONTENTS OF THIS TEXT: The information or advice that I write on this Site have been taken from my own experience, or from my own knowledge/research. These texts are offered in the hope that it may be useful to you. Please use your discrimination and judgement in utilising  this material. If something rings true to you, fine! If something does not resonate, please, leave it alone!  
As soon as man was sufficiently civilized to have any appreciation of the Aesthetic, he became vividly aware of the beauty of Nature’s blossoms. There followed a symbolic and mystic attribution to these qualities and meanings. Beautiful and poetic thoughts were conveyed by the presentation of a sprig of blossom, and whole messages were communicated by bouquets in which each flower chosen betokened a significant idea. Not only love and happiness were the tenor of these floral missives ; coquetry, dalliance, prevarication, indifference and coolness ; rebuff, refusal, scorn, contempt and insult — all were expressed by a suitable chosen flower. 
Let us make it clear that there is a duality in floral tokens. A flower may indicate merely some sweet or lofty sentiment, or it may carry a verbal message. By combining flowers to form a bouquet, a longer message can be composed. The index of attributes given below makes it quite easy both to compose and interpret florigraphic “ documents ”.

In selecting flowers for such a purpose, great care should be exercised not to mistake the names ; if a florist is commissioned to make up and dispatch or deliver a posy or a bouquet, precise instructions should be written, with a warning not to substitute any other blossoms for the flowers selected. Misguided zeal in trying to secure artistic effects in a floral token may entirely wreck the scheme. 
Flowers and their Meanings 
African Marigold. — See Marigold, African. 
Almond, Flowering. — Hope. “ Your friendship is pleasant. ” 
Alyssum. — Vitue and worthiness. “ I admire your noble character. ” 
Anemone. — Estrangement. “ Your charms no longer appeal to me. ” 
Angelica. — Inspiration. “ Love of you is my inspiration. ” 
Apple Blossom. — Beauty and goodness. “ You are as good as you are beautiful. ” 
Arum, Wild. — Ardour. “ My heart burns with love for you. ” 
Aster. — Afterthoughts. “ I regret my impetuousness. Do not take me too seriously. ” 
Azalea. — Moderation. “ Be more moderate in your actions. ” 
Balm. — Fun. “ I did not really mean what I said. ” 
Balsam. — Impatience. “ I can hardly live till I see you again. ” 
Begonia. — Warning. “ We are being watched. ” 
Bell-flower. — Morning. “ Meet me to-morrow morning. ” 
Bindweed, Greater. — Persistence. “ I cannot accept your answer. ” 
Binweed , Lesser. — Humility. “  I abase myself and ask your forgiveness. ”  
Bittersweet. — Truth. “ My words are sincere. ” 
Blackthorn. — — Impatience. “ I can hardly live till I see you again. ” 
Bluebell. — Constancy. “ I am faithful. ” 
Bracken. — Enchantement. “ You fascinate me. ” 
Bramble. — Remorse. “ I was too hasty. Please forgive me. ” 
Briar, Sweet. — See Eglantine.  
Broom. — Devotion. “ I am ever yours. ” 
Bulrush. — Rashness. “ Pray be more discreet. ” 
Buttercup. — Radiance. “ What golden beauty is yours  ! ”  
Camelia. Loveliness. “ How radiantly lovely you are ! ” 
Camomile. — Fortitude. “ I admire your courage in adversity. Hope on. ” 
Campion, Meadow. — Poverty. “ Though poor and lowly, I dare to admire you. ” 
Campion , Red. —Encouragement. “ I should like to make your acquaintance. ” 
Campion, White. — Evening. “ Meet me at dusk. ” 
Candytuft. — Diffidence. “ You may speak ; but do not presume, for my heart is still whole. ” 
Canterbury Bell, Blue. — Faithfulness. “ Be not misled ; I love you. ” 
Canterbury Bell, White. — Acknowledgment. “ I received your gift, and treasure it dearly. ” 
Cape Jasmine. — See Jasmine, Cape. 
Carnation, Pink. — Encouragement. “ Thank you for your charming token. ” 
Carnation, Red. — Passionate love. “ I must see you soon. ” 
Carnation, White. — Pure affection. “ Chaste love I offer. ” 
Cherry Blossom. — Increase. “ To the ripening of our friendship. ” 
Chrysanthemum, Bronze. — Frienship. “ Though I value your frienship, I cannot love you. ” 
Chrysanthemum, Red. — Reciprocal love. “ I love you. ” 
Chrysanthemum, White. — Truth. “ I believe in you. ” 
Chrysanthemum, Yellow. — Discouragement. “ My heart is given to another. ” 
Clarkia. — Pleasure. “ Your company and converse delight me. ” 
Clematis. — Intellectuality. “ I pay tribute to your brilliance and cleverness. ” 
Clover, Pink. — Injured dignity. “  Do not trifle with me. ” 
Clover, Red. — Petition. “ Will you be faithful to me though oceans part us ? ” 
Clover, White. — Promise. “ I will be true to you. ” 
Cockscomb. — Foppery. “ Your attentions are unwelcome. ” 
Columbine, Purple. — Resolve. “ I shall never give you up. ” 
Columbine, White. — Folly. “ It is mere foolishness to press your attentions. ” 
Convolvulus. — See Bindweed. 
Coreopsis. — Love at first sight. “ You have conquered me. ” 
Cornflower. — Delicacy. “ Be not over-impetuous ; my heart cannot be stormed. ” 
Cowslip. — Winsome beauty. “ You are as winsome as the flowers of Spring. ” 
Crocus, Spring. — Joy of youth. “ My heart beats with yours. ” 
Currant, Flowering. — Presumption. “ We have nothing in common. ” 
Cyclamen. — Indifference. “ Your protestations leave me unmoved. ”  
Daffodil.Refusal. “ I do not return your affections. ” 
Dhalia, Red. — Rebuff. “ You have mistaken my feelings. ” 
Dahlia, White. — Dismissal. “ Do not approach me. ” 
Dahlia, Yellow. — Distaste. “ Your attentions are distasteful. ” 
Daisy, Field. — Temporization. “ I will give you an answer in a few days. ” 
Daisy, Michaelmas. — Farewell. “ Do not write or speak to me ; I can never love you. ” 
Daisy, Moon. — Autumn love. “ Choose a lover of your own age ; youth and middle-age may not mate. ” 
Daisy, Ox-eye. — Hope. “ I might learn to love you. ” 
Dandelion. — Absurdity. “ Your pretentions are ridiculous. ” 
Deadly Nightshade. — Deception. “ I believe you to be false. ” 
Dead-nettle, Red. — Coldness. “ You have offended me. ” 
Dead-nettle, White. — Coldness. “ I do not care for you. ” 
Dog-rose. — Maidenly beauty. “ You are as fair and as innocent as this flower. ” 
Dog-violet. — Lad’s love. “ You are my first sweetheart. ” 
Eglantine.Poetry and fragance. “ These leaves in their sweet fragance remind me of yourself. ” 
Enchanter’s Nightshade. — Double dealing. “ Do not play fast and loose with me. ” 
Evening Primrose. — Mute devotion. “ Humbly, I adore you. ” 
Everlasting Flower. — Death of hope. “ At your wish I go away, to forget you never. ” 
Fern, Maidenhair. — Virginity. “ I am heart-whole ; you have a chance to win me. ” 
Flax, Blue. — Gratitude. “ You are very kind. ” 
Flax, Red. — Fervour. “ I deeply appreciate your kindness. ” 
Fool’s Parsley. — Folly. “ Do not be so silly ; we can be friends. ” 
Forget-me-not. — Remembrance. “ Think of me during my absence. ” 
Foxglove. — Shallowness. “ You are not really in love. ” 
Fushia. — Warning. “ Beware ; your lover is false. ”   
Gardenia.Sweetness. “Like unto this virgin flower are you. ” 
Geranium, Pink. — Doubdt. “ Explainyour actions. ” 
Geranium, Scarlet. — Duplicity. “ I do not trust you. ” 
Geranium, White. — Indecision. “ I have not made up my mind. ” 
Geranium, Wild. — See Herb Robert. 
Gladiolus. — Pain. “ Your words have wounded me. ” 
Golden Rod.— Indecision. “ My mind is not made up. ” 
Guelder Rose. — Autumn love. “ He who weds me must be a man in his first youth, not his second childhood. ”  
Harebell. — Resignation. “ I bow to your will, but still hope on. ” 
Hart’s-tongue Fern. — Gossip. “ Set a crub on your idle tongue. ” 
Hawthorn. — Hope. “ Despite your answer, I shall strive to win your love. ” 
Heartsease. — See Pansy. 
Heliotrope. — Devotion. “ You are my sun. ” 
Hemlock. — Scandal. “ I have been maligned and unjustly accused. ” 
Herb Paris. — Betrothal. “ Take this flower as a pledge. ” 
Herb Peter. — See Cowslip. 
Herb Robert. — Steadfast devotion. “ I am your slave. ” 
Hollyhock. — Ambition. “ With you as my wife, I could achieve great things. ” 
Honesty. — Frankness. “ I have told you all. ” 
Honeysuckle. — Plighted troth. “This is a token of my love. ” 
Hyacinth, Blue. — Devotion. “ I will give my life to your service. ”  
Hyacinth, White. — Admiration. “ I admire you. ” 
Hydrangea. — Changeableness. “ Why are you so fickle ? ” 
Iris, Purple.Ardour. “ You have set my heart a-glow. ” 
Ivy.Bonds. “ I desire you for my bride. ” 
Jasmine.Elegance. “ How dainty and elegant you are ! ”     
Jasmine, Cape. — Spring. “ Better times are in store for us. ” 
Jonquil. — Appeal. “ Deign to answer my petition ; may I hope for your love ? ” 
Laburnum. — Neglect. “ Why have you forsaken me ? ” 
Larkspur. — Trifling. “ Why trifle with my emotions ? Give me a definitive answer. ” 
Lavender. — Negation. “ I like you very much, but this, I am sure, is not love. ” 
Lilac, Purple. — First love. “ You are my first love. ” 
Lilac, White. — Innocence. “  A tribute to your beauty and spirituality. ” 
Lily, Tiger. — Passion. “ My love knows no bounds. ” 
Lily, White. — Purity. “ I kiss the hem of your garnment. ” 
Lily-of-the-valley. — Maidenly modesty. “ Friendship is sweet ; talk to me not of love. ” 
Lobelia, Blue. — Dislike. “ Like you I do not ; I love you I could not. ” 
Lobelia, White. — Rebuff. “ Your attentions are entirely misdirected. 
London Pride. — Flirtation. “ Forgive me if I caused you heartache ; you can be nothing to me. ” 
Loosestrife, Purple. — Forgiveness. “ Take this flower as a peace offering. ” 
Loosestrife, Yellow. — Peace. “ I am sorry ; let us forget our quarrel. ” 
Lords and Ladies. — See Arum, Wild. 
Love-in-a-mist. — Uncertainty. “ Your message is ambiguous ; what do you mean ? ” 
Love-in-idleness. — See Pansy. 
Love-lies-bleeding. — Broken heart. “ Since you refuse me, life is empty. ” 
Lupin. — Over-boldness. “ Who goes softly goes far. ” 
Magnolia. — Fortitude. “ Be not discouraged, better days are coming. ” 
Maidenhair Fern. — See Fern, Maidenhair. 
Marigold, African. — Boorishness. “ Refinement appeals to me. ” 
Marigold, French. —  Jealousy. “ You are unreasonably jealous. ” 
Marguerite. — See Daisy, Ox-eye. 
Marjoram. — Maidenly modesty. “ Your ardour brings blushes to my cheeks. ” 
May. — See Hawthorn. 
Meadow-sweet. — Uselessness. “ I look for a lover who is something more than merely decorative. ” 
Michaelmas Daisy. — See Daisy, Michaelmas. 
Mignonette. — Dull virtues. “ A worthy gem, perhaps ; but in an unattractive setting. ” 
Mimosa. — Sensitiveness. “ You are too brusque ”. 
Mint. — Homeliness. “ Look for a wife of your own age and taste. ” 
Mistletoe. — Kisses. “ I send you a thousand kisses. ” 
Mock Orange. — Cancelled wedding. “ Your disillusioned bride-to-be has changed her mind, but not her degree. ” 
Moneywort. — Fidelity. “ Ever faithful. ” 
Moon Daisy. — See Daisy, Moon. 
Musk. — Over-adornment. “ Why not let your natural charm and beauty tell its own story ? ” 
Myrtle. — Fragrance. “ Be my sweetheart. ” 
Narcissus.Self-love. “ You love no one better than yourself. ” 
Nasturtium. — Artifice. “ Beauty unadorned I seek. ” 
Nettle. — See Dead-nettle. 
Nightshade, Deadly. — See Deadly Nightshade. 
Nightshade, Enchanter’s. — See Enchanter’s Nightshade. 
Nightshade, Woody. — See Bittersweet. 
Oak Leaves. — Courage. “ Do not despair ; love will find a way. ” 
Old Man’s Beard. — See Traveller’s Joy. 
Oleander. — Warning. “ A false friend has betrayed our secret. ” 
Orange Blossom. — Purity. “ It is unlucky to use these flowers except at a wedding. ” 
Orchid. — Luxury. “ I will make life sweet for you. ” 
Ox-eye Daisy. — See Daisy, Ox-eye. 
Pansy, Purple. Souvenirs. “ The thoughts of happy days spent together are my greatest treasure. ” 
Pansy, White. — Thoughts of love. “ You are ever in my thoughts. ” 
Pansy, Yellow. — Remembrance. “ Though you are absent, I never cease to think of you. ” 
Passion-flower. — Consecration. “ Others have a prior claim upon me. ”  
Pea. — See Sweet-pea. 
Peony. — Contrition. “ I beg forgiveness for by brusqueness. ” 
Periwinkle. — First love. “ My heart was whole until I saw you. ” 
Petunia. — Proximity. “ I like you near me. ” 
Phlox, Pink. — Friendship. “ I think we might be friends. ” 
Phlox, White. — Interest. “ Tell me something about yourself. ” 
Pimpernel. — Meeting. “ When and where can we meet ? “  
Pink, Clove. — Fragance. “ How lovely you are ! ” 
Poppy, Red. — Moderation. “ My heart cannot be stormed ; you must lay siege to it and be patient. ” 
Poppy, White. — Temporization. “ I have not made up my mind. ” 
Primrose. — Dawning love. “ I might learn to love you. ”  
Rose, Christmas. — Anxiety. “ Put an end to my suspense, for pity’s sake. ” 
Rose, Dog. — See Dog-rose. 
Rose, Guelder. — See Guelder Rose. 
Rose, Moss. — Shy love. “ Let me look at you from afar. ” 
Rose, Red. — Love. “ I love you ”. 
Rose, White. — Refusal. “ I love you not. ” 
Rose, Yellow. — Misplaced affection. “ I love another. ” 
Rosemary. — Remembrance. “ Never will your memory fade. ” 
Saxifrage. — Humility. “ Only smile at me and my reward will be great. ” 
Scabious. — Lucklessness. “ You are mistaken ; I do not care for you. ” 
Snapdragon. — Refusal. “ You are nothing to me. ” 
Snowdrop. — Renewed addresses. “ I make another bid for your love. ” 
Sunflower. — Ostentation. “ Things that glitter do not impress me. ” 
Sweetbriar.  See Eglantine. 
Sweet-pea. — Tenderness. “ Your memory is very sweet. ” 
Sweet-william. — Coquetry. “ I was only teasing you. ” 
Syringa. — See Mock Orange. 
Thrift. — Interest. “ Tell me more about yourself. ” 
Thyme. — Domestic virtue. “ I need a wife as capable as you. ” 
Traveller’s Joy. — Middle-aged love. “ Though not a young lover, any love is sincere. ” 
Trumpet-flower. — Flame of fire. “ My heart burns for you. ” 
Tuberose. — Wounding. “ I have fluttered near the flame and have singed my wings. ” 
Tulip. — Avowal. “ By this token I declare my passion. ”  
Verbena. — Enthralment. “ You have cast a spell over me. ” 
Veronica. — True love. “ Nothing shall part us. ” 
Violet. — Modesty. “ Pure and sweet art thou. ” 
Violet, Dog. — See Dog-violet. 
Wallflower. — Constancy. “ Through sunshine and storm I am true to you. ” 
Wind-flower. — See Anemone. 
Wormwood. — Parting. “ The best of friends must part. ” 
Vocabulary   of   Florigraphy 
Absurdity. — Dandelion. 
Acknowledgment. —  White Canterbury Bell 
Acquaintance. — Pelargonium. 
Admiration. — White Hyacinth. 
Affection. — Gilliflower. 
Afterthoughts. — Aster. 
Ambition. — Hollyhock. 
Anger. — Fumitory. 
Animosity. — Basil. 
Anxiety. — Christmas Rose. 
Appeal. — Jonquil. 
Ardour. — Arum, Faxinella, Purple Iris. 
Artifice. — Nasturtium. 
Autumn Love. — Moon Daisy, Guelder Rose. 
Avowal. — Tulip. 
Beauty. — Apple Blossom. 
Betrothal. — Herb Paris. 
Boorishness.African Marigold. 
Broken Heart. — Love-lies-bleeding. 
Calumny. — Madder. 
Cancelled Wedding.Mock Orange. 
Changeableness. — Hydrangea. 
Cockscomb.Monkey Musk. 
Coldness.White Dead-nettle. 
Consecration.Passion Flower. 
Constancy.Hyacinth, Wall flower. 
Coolness.Red Dead-nettle. 
Courage.Oak Leaves. 
Dawning Love.Primrose. 
Death of Hope. — Everlasting Flower. 
Deception.Deadly Nightshade, Fly-orchis. 
Denial.Pasque Flower. 
Devotion.Broom, Heliotrope, Herb Robert, Blue Hyacinth. 
Discouragement.Yellow Chrysanthemum. 
Dislike.Blue Lobelia. 
Dismissal.White Dahlia. 
Distate.Yellow Dahlia. 
Domestic Virtues.Thyme. 
Doubt.Fritillary, Pink Geranium. 
Dull Virtues.Mignonette. 
Duplicity.Enchanter’s Nightshade, Scarlet Geranium. 
Enchantment. — Bracken. 
Encouragement.Red Campion, Pink Carnation, Sweet-gale. 
Evening. — White Campion.  
Faithfulness. — Blue Canterbury Ball, Moneywort. 
Farewell.Michaelmas Daisy. 
Fervour.Red Flax. 
First Love. — Purple Lilac, Perinwinkle. 
Flame of Fire.Trumpet-flower. 
Flirtation.London Pride. 
Folly.White Columbine, Fool’s Parsley. 
Fortitude.Camomile, Magnolia. 
Fragance.Eglantine, Clove Pink, Myrtle. 
Frankness. — Honesty. 
Friendship.Bronze Chrysanthemum, Mullein, Pink Phlox. 
Fun. — Balm. 
Goodness.Good King Henry. 
Gossip.Hart’s-tongue Fern. 
Gratitude.Agrimony, Blue Flax. 
Hidden Worth.Coriander. 
Hindrance.Rest Harrow.  
Hope.Almond Blossom, Ox-eye Daisy, Hawthorn
Hot Temper.Barberry. 
Humility.Blindweed, Saxifrage. 
Increase. — Cherry Blossom. 
Indecision.White Geranium, Golden Rod. 
Injured Dignity.Pink Clover. 
Innocence.White Lilac. 
Interest.White Phlox, Thrift. 
Jealousy.French Marigold. 
Lad’s Love.Dog-violet. 
Love.Arbutus, Red Carnation, Chrysanthemum,  
   Coreopsis, Purple Lilac, Periwinkle, Primrose, Red Rose, Veronica. 
Luxury. — Orchid. 
Lying Tongues.Hellebore. 
Maidenly Beauty.Dog-rose, Marjoram. 
Middle-age.Colchicum, Traveller’s Joy. 
Misplaced Affections.Yellow Rose. 
Moderation.  Azalea, Red Poppy. 
Modesty.Lily of the Valley, Violet. 
Mute Devotion.Evening Primrose. 
Parting. — Wormwood. 
Passion.Red Salvia, Tiger Lily. 
Peace.Yellow Loosestrife. 
Persistence.Bindweed, Burdock. 
Petition.Red Clover, Eschscholtzia, Marshmallow. 
Plighted Troth.Honeysuckle. 
Poverty.Meadow Campion. 
Presumption.Flowering Currant. 
Promise.White Clover. 
Pure Affection.White Carnation. 
Purity. White Lily, Orange Blossom. 
Rebuff.Red Dahlia, White Lobelia. 
Refusal.Daffodil, White Rose, Snapdragon. 
Rejected Addresses.Tansy. 
Reluctant Lips.Toad-flax. 
Remembrance.Forget-me-not, Yellow Pansy, Rosemary. 
Renewed Addresses.Snowdrop. 
Resolve.Purple Columbine. 
Retribution.Bird’s-foot Trefoil. 
Shy Love.Moss Rose. 
Simplicity.Solomon’s Seal. 
Sisterly Affection.Cinquefoil. 
Souvenirs.Purple Pansy. 
Spring.Cape Jasmine. 
Temporization.Field Daisy, White Poppy. 
Thoughts of Love.White Pansy. 
True Love.Veronica. 
Truth.Bittersweet, White Chrysanthemum. 
Virginity.Maidenhair Fern. 
Warning.Fuchsia, Oleander. 
Winsome Beauty.Cowslip. 
Youth.Spring Crocus. 
The Lover’s Floral Clock  
The following are examples of floral messages, but by arrangement between the sender and the receiver, other flowers may be used in place of those given here. 
“ Meet me “ : Ivy 
“ To-night ” : White Campion. 
“ To-day ” : Pimpernel. 
“ To-morrow ” : Buttercup 
“ I will meet you ” : Ivy and White Clover. 
“ I cannot meet you ” : Ivy and Lavender. 
“ Make another appointment ” : Ivy and Red Clover. 
“ Meet me to-night at 7 o’clock ” : White Campion, Sweet-william. 
Submitted by Maryse Locke