The Language of Flowers: What Different Flowers Symbolise

Popularized in the 19th Century as a means of communication, the language of flowers dates back to ancient times, having been used by the Egyptians,

Indians and Greeks. Traditionally used by lovers, each bouquet can communicate thought and feelings, or secrets between two people.


Legends of Flowers

Daisy: Believed to have grown from the tears of Mary Magdalene, these flowers were originally known as “the day’s eye”. They are often used in love divination, through the classic “he loves me, he loves me not” game.

Carnations: As this flower was believed to have grown on the graves of lovers, it has become associated with funerals. It is also associated with Mother’s Day, especially in the USA, being the favourite flower of the mother of Anna Jarvis, the creator of the tradition.

Lily: A symbol of purity and associated with maiden goddesses, in the Catholic tradition, it is also associated with the Virgin Mary.

Lily if the Valley: In Irish folk law, these flowers are ladders climbed by fairies to reach the reeds with which they plait cradles fo their babies.

Flowers of Love


Red Carnation: Intense love- “I cannot bear to be away from you”

Red Chrysanthemums: “I desire you”

Lavender: Reciprocation- “I love you too”

Red Rose: All embracing love- “I love you completely”

Wallflower: Consistency -“my love will be strong in good times and bad”


Flowers of Friendship

Acacia: Valued friendship

Brown Chrysanthemums: “Can we still be friends?”


Flowers of Warning and Rejection


Azalea: Take care- “we cannot be seen together”

Begonia: A secret affair

Striped Carnation: Breaking up- “I cannot see you again”

Yellow Carnations: Distain- “you are beneath me”

White Rose: Silence- “Don’t tell anyone about us”

Snapdragon: Rejection- “you mean nothing”

Almond Blossom: Unrequited feelings- “I don’t want you”

Yellow Chrysanthemum: Unrequited love- “I love another”


Flowers with a Message


Apple Blossom: “You’re beautiful”

Camellia: Be brave

Pansies: Good memories

Violets: Trust me

Yellow Rose: Jealousy