The Language of Flowers: Bouquet Stories

Cut flower arrangement

Whether it be a budding, new relationship bouquet of clematis, rose, and dill, or a get-out-of-the-doghouse one of narcissus and daisy; flowers speak a language of their own and all flowers have their own language.

Some Flower History

Lady Mary Wortley Montague, wife of the British ambassador to Constantinople, introduced the language of flowers [floriography] to the European aristrocrats during the early 18th century. Symbolic meanings were attached to flowers, and by arranging them in a bouquet or ‘tussie-mussie’, a message was conveyed.   “Le Language des Fleurs” by Madame Charlotte de la Tour (Louise Cortambert), was the first book written on floriography and is still a great reference. 

If the meaning wasn’t a secret, cards attached to the arrangement translated the message.

The Guide

Below is a guide to some popular flower varieties, but be aware that interpretations often change from place to place. Go here for a more complete list of flower meanings.

Azalea = Temperance

Basil = Love / Hate

Camellia = Excellence

Carnation = Divine love

Chrysanthemum = Longevity

Clematis = Mental Beauty

Dahlia = Instability

Daisy = Innocence

Dill = Irresistiblility

Forget-me-not = Remembrance

Geranium = Meloncholy

Gladiolus = Generosity

Iris = Good News

Hydrangea = Boastfulness

Jasmine = Seperation

Lavender = Distrust

Lilac = New love

Lily = Majesty

Marigold = Grief

Mock Orange = Deception

Narcissus = Egotism

Orange Blossom = Chastity

Pansy = Fond Memories

Parsley = Festivity

Rose [red] = Love / Beauty

Rose [pink] = Happiness / Joy

Rose [yellow] = Infidelity / Friendship

Rose [white] =Purity / Silence

Rosemary = Rememberance

Sweet William = Gallantry

Thyme = Courage

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Published by Wellness Garden Design

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