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Secret Meanings of Flowers You Need to Know About

Say it with flowers! In the olden days, some suitors declared their affection through the language of flowers and not words. The young lover sent his beloved a bouquet of red roses, tulips, or carnations. If the lady sent her gentleman friend a bouquet of lilacs in response, she was communicating to him her shared affection. Isn’t that romantic? If she sent him ivy on the other hand, it was an invitation to be “just friends.” That’s a lovely way to communicate disinterest without hurting someone’s feelings. I wish more people nowadays knew about this, instead of giving the “cold shoulder” treatment.

Today, most of the meanings behind various flowers are long forgotten or disregarded. We show up at the flower shop and pick the bouquet that looks the prettiest, without thinking about the message we’re sending. You would benefit from a few tips about which flowers to buy for different occasions. You may even be able to have a conversation with someone based only on flowers!


Overall meaning: love. Roses are always a declaration of affection, even if it’s just friendship. This is why red roses are so popular on anniversaries and Valentine’s Day. Depending on the colour, you can convey different meanings.


Red – passionate love
Pink – admiration/appreciation
Red & white – unity
White – purity
Orange – fascination
Yellow – friendship


Overall meaning: declaration of love. Sending a bouquet of tulips is great option for dudes who are trying to figure out what flowers to send the woman they’re interested in. They’re not as flashy as roses, but have a deep symbolic meaning.


Pink – caring
Purple – royalty
Red – declaration of love
White – forgiveness
Yellow – hopelessly in love


Overall meaning: pride and beauty. You might want to watch out for yellow and striped carnations if you’re going to be sending these flowers, because they represent something you probably don’t want to convey.


Pink – gratitude
Red – admiration
White – remembrance
Striped – refusal
Yellow – disappointment


Overall meaning: fidelity, joy, and long life.


White – truth, loyalty
Red – love, sharing
Yellow – secret admirer


Overall meaning: majesty, innocence, purity. The lily is always a delicate way to express these themes, and as such, are usually used as part of a bouquet with other flowers.


Calla – magnificence
Casablanca – celebration
Day – enthusiasm
Stargazer – ambition


Overall meaning: exotic beauty. The orchid is one of the most delicate flowers because it requires stem reinforcements up and a controlled environment. Send orchids to make a statement about the mystery of delicate, strong beauty.


Purple – royalty, respect
Pink – innocence, femininity, joy
Red – courage, strength, passion
White – elegance, beauty, humility
Yellow – new beginnings, joy, friendship

More Meanings

First love
Chivalry, new beginnings
Innocence, youth, motherhood
Sincerity, constancy, playfulness
Queen Anne’s Lace
Delicate femininity, sanctuary
Adoration, joy

Credit: About Flowers and The Flower Expert

Remember that a man or someone else giving you flowers might not know the meaning behind them 😉