Americans choose flower delivery for a wide variety of reasons, including birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, celebrations, and even “just because.” For special occasions, the occasion itself is part of the message when you send a floral arrangement, whether you’re saying Happy Birthday, Happy Valentine’s Day, Happy Graduation, or something else. For those “just because” floral gifts, most people choose to let the beauty of the arrangement speak for itself.
However, did you know that many of the most popular flowers sent today were formerly ascribed individual meanings? Historically, people from many cultures used flowers to send messages and portray meaning far beyond the beauty of the flower itself.
The practice of using flowers to send a symbolic message has been around for centuries in many countries. For example, the ancient Greeks and Romans utilized floral symbolism in their works of art, plays, and stories, as did the Egyptians, Chinese, and many other cultures in the years since. Most notably, people in the Victorian era published guides for understanding the secret language of flowers and sent flowers in specific colors (especially carnations) to respond negatively or in the affirmative to essential questions of love, friendship, and more.
Many of these Victorian flower symbols persisted well into the 21st century, while others have changed over time. The next time you want to send an arrangement that’s just a little more meaningful, consult our list of popular flowers and the message they send:
1. Amaryllis—these showy blooms signify pride and splendid beauty.
2. Aster—a popular flower for the expression of love, asters also represent daintiness.
3. Calla lily—these blooms are popular wedding flowers, as they signify innocence and beauty.
4. Carnation—a popular Victorian flower, a carnation in red symbolizes love, while yellow stands for rejection. Striped carnations signify refusal, and white means innocence and love.
5. Chrysanthemum—a traditional funeral flower, the chrysanthemum can also signify joy and long life.
6. Daffodil—the daffodil represents the season of renewal and rebirth, as well as eternal life.
7. Daisy—daisies signify purity, innocence, and cheerfulness.
8. Gardenia—a gardenia can tell a receiver a tale about their loveliness or even represent secret love.
9. Gladiolas—the tall blooms represent remembrance and strength of character.
10. Hydrangea—while hydrangeas express heartfelt emotion, they can also represent heartlessness.
11. Iris—the delicate iris in its traditional purple coloring represents eloquence and wisdom.
12. Lilac—these fragrant blooms represent youth, innocence, and confidence.
13. Lily—a traditional sympathy flower, white lilies represent purity while pink or orange signifies passion.
14. Orchid—traditional expressions of love and sympathy, orchids can also express pride and exotic beauty.
15. Peony—while sometimes used to express bashfulness, peonies are more often chosen to represent happiness, marriage, and prosperity.
16. Rose—in general, roses express love. However, while red roses express deep love, pink roses signify sweet love, yellow platonic love, and white, innocent love.
17. Sunflower—this proud flower stands for pure thoughts and dedicated love.
18. Tulip—the tulip can be a declaration of love and represents fame.
Let Flower Works Help You Send a Unique Message
Whether you want to express your love, friendship, or simply tell a loved one how beautiful they are to you, the flowers you choose can help you craft a unique message. The florists at Flower Works can assist you with building a floral expression of your message—along with a heartfelt note to explain why you chose each. To select your floral message, stop into our flower shop in Marquette, MI, call ahead, or even order online for same-day delivery.