By Natalia Grytsan, PhD in biology
In order for your bouquet to convey the right meaning of your romantic flower-coded message to your special one, you need to know a few unshakable rules of the symbolic language of flowers. Knowing the symbolic language of flowers for romantic messages is very important because sometimes the external beauty of the flowers does not correspond to their internal symbolic meaning.
Without a doubt, flowers are the best gift for your Valentine, girlfriend’s birthday, special date or your long-loved wife. After all, what can better tell about a romantic feeling than delicate, weightless, almost transparent petals of fresh flowers? But how to choose the right flowers for your loved one? How to avoid an unintentional bitter surprise?
All basics you need to know about the symbolic language of flowers for romantic messages are here. Let’s start.
Delightful in beauty and aroma, roses have a huge variety of colours. And each one is charming in its own way. These stunning queens of the garden are brought to a person to express sincere love and respect.
The coral rose is especially striking in its beauty. Its buds are sharp, beautifully shaped, amazing coral-orange colour and sophisticated aroma.
- Red rose: true love and boundless passion.
- Rosebuds of any colour: beauty, purity, love, and youth. The rosebud indicates the beginning of a relationship. It’s a sign of a deep affection, which in the future will grow into a stronger feeling – love.
- White rose: silence or innocence, wistfulness, virtue, purity, secrecy, reverence and humility. “Will you ever be mine?”
- Cream roses symbolize charm and thoughtfulness and are the perfect way to tell someone they are on your mind.
- Hot pink rose can convey gratitude, appreciation, and recognition. “Thank you for being with me.”
- Yellow rose: In fact, yellow roses are one of the only roses that have no romantic meaning behind them. Yellow rose is a symbol of joy, care and affection. Yellow is the colour of the sun. Therefore, to apologize or in order to make peace with loved ones, it is enough to present yellow roses with sincere feelings.
- Light pink rose: desire, passion, gentleness, youth, energy, and joy of life.
- Coral or orange rose: desire and passion.
- Lavender or violet rose: love at first sight. The lavender rose is often a sign of enchantment. Those who have been enraptured by feelings of love and adoration have used lavender roses to express their romantic feelings and intentions. The colour purple also has a traditional association with royalty.
- Blue rose means mystery. This beauty was obtained due to the work of breeders. And if you want to give your loved one something special, unreal, magnificent? Do you want to strike, touch, surprise, and evoke a reciprocal feeling? Do you want to pamper with luxury, show imagination, and say a lot using the language of flowers? Then the blue rose is your perfect choice. Sometimes, it is given to a person to emphasize their
- Red and white roses together: united.
- Red and yellow roses together: joy, happiness and excitement.
- Thornless rose: love at first sight.
One rose given to a person means that person is the only one and the best. One piece is often given to young girls to express a man’s affection.
One hundred and one roses are given to express admiration, adoration and boundless love. A bouquet of one hundred and one roses is best suited for confessing love, offering a hand and heart, and also in gratitude for the birth of a son or daughter.
If in doubt choose classic red roses, it’s your safest bet.
Delicate and romantic, tulips symbolize endless happiness, but acquired additional meaning, depending on the colour.
- Red tulips: passion, undying and perfect love.
- Pink tulips: caring, good wishes, friendship, joyful occasions, and confidence.
- Purple tulips: nobility, royalty, rebirth, and spring.
- White tulips: forgiveness, remembrance, worthiness, and sincerity. White flowers are a symbol of admiration and strong feelings.
- Yellow tulips: cheerful thoughts, sunshine, and hope. Yellow tulips give a compliment: “Your smile is like a sunbeam!”
- Orange tulips: understanding, appreciation, and truest love.
- Multi-coloured tulips: Tulips of variegated colours are an admiration for the beloved’s radiant eyes.
A bouquet of red or pink tulips means: “I don’t know how to tell you about my love!”
This beautiful, delicate, charming and admirably aromatic flower is a symbol of purity and openness. In the language of flowers, hyacinth symbolizes swiftness, rebirth, tenderness, the joy of meeting, affection, and admiration.
- White hyacinth is a delicate, charming flower that symbolizes admiration, joy, lifelong affection, and purity of intentions. If a girl gets a white hyacinth, it means that she is charming, tender, and adorable.
- Pink or red hyacinth is a flower that captivates, lures, and simultaneously attracts and repels. The red hyacinths express the desire to get to know each other better. It is customary to give pink or red hyacinths to those who are full of passion, optimism, and know how to make life brighter.
- Blue hyacinth symbolizes the colour of the sky, tranquility, constancy, and consistency. This flower speaks of the harmony of relationships, as well as inner harmony. Giving blue hyacinths to the one to whom you are going to be faithful.
- Yellow hyacinth means jealousy. Yellow hyacinths mean that you do not trust the person who is nearby, that you are a creepy owner, inclined to be constantly jealous of your soul mate for everyone. If you are not really experiencing all these emotions at the moment, you better refuse to buy such a gift!
- Purple hyacinth says please forgive me. It means a sincere regret or a sad parting or the end of the relationship.
Lily is a flower of divine beauty, nobility, hope and purity. The white lily will express admiration and gratitude for the fact that you can be close to this amazing woman. Pink lilies say: “Pay attention to me!” Yellow lilies are a symbol of joy and some frivolity.
- White lily: Purity
- Pink lily is a symbol of youth and tenderness.
- Scarlet lily: Lofty aspirations
- Yellow lilies symbolize thankfulness and desire for enjoyment.
- Tiger lilies represent wealth and pride (in the worst way). Not a good choice for a romantic gift.
- Orange lily: Desire, passion; hatred
Also, lilies symbolize love between two women and hold masculine qualities as the Greeks held the lily as a symbol of high eroticism and sexuality
Orchid is a refined beauty. The most highly coveted of ornamental plants the delicate, exotic and graceful orchid represents love, luxury, beauty and strength. Since ancient times, the orchid has been held in high regard. It symbolizes fertility, refinement, thoughtfulness, and charm.
In world culture, many legends, myths and superstitions are associated with orchids and some of them have survived millennia.
Although orchids have a reputation for being symbols of fertility and elegance, different coloured orchids have a diverse range of symbolisms.
- White orchids symbolize innocence and purity, as well as elegance and reverence.
- Pink orchids symbolize femininity, grace, and joy. They can also symbolize innocence and femininity.
- Yellow orchids symbolize friendship and new beginnings. They make great gifts for a friend to celebrate an accomplishment.
- Purple orchids symbolize admiration, respect, dignity, and royalty. They are traditionally given as a sign of respect.
- Orange orchids symbolize pride, enthusiasm, and boldness.
- Blue Orchids come in every colour but true blue. However, there are blue tinted orchids which represent rarity.
- Red orchids symbolize passion and desire, but can also symbolize strength and courage.
- Green orchids are thought to bring good fortune and blessings. They represent good health, nature and longevity.
Since olden times, this exquisite flower has meant trust, loyalty, wisdom and sincerity. In some countries, irises also symbolize good news.
Iris traces a heritage through Greek mythology. In Greek, the name “Iris” translates as “rainbow.” There’s another Greek word, “eiris” that means “messenger.” Like a rainbow, iris has a host of meanings. It can represent faith, hope, courage, wisdom, and admiration.
Specific iris symbolism depends on the flower colour:
- Blue irises symbolize faith, royalty, and hope. Iris is one of the few flowers that naturally and profusely produce blue hues. That’s why blue irises are the most used colour in mixed-flower bouquets. “You are my queen!”
- Purple irises symbolize royalty and wisdom. Purple is another famed iris colour and because of the close resemblance of purple to blue, it also symbolizes royalty.
- Yellow irises: While other yellow flowers generally have a negative meaning, yellow irises symbolize passion, pride and hope.
- Orange irises symbolize harmony, inspiration, sociability, contentment, and intelligence.
- White irises are ideal for bridal bouquets not only because they are elegant-looking, but also because these blooms signify purity or a pure heart just like most white flowers.
These flowers are a great gift for a sister, mom or best friend. In the language of flowers, irises say: “Our friendship means a lot to me” or “I really appreciate our trusting relationship.” It is a symbol of protection, support and respect.
On the other hand, iris is a spiritually symbolic flower. Iris usually symbolizes a trinity, a divine link between the Heaven and Earth Realms, psychic abilities and intuition, divine truth, hope, and rebirth.
Chrysanthemums are especially revered in the Asian Far East. So, in Japan there is even a chrysanthemum festival, which traditionally takes place in the fall. The chrysanthemum is considered a royal flower, a symbol of well-being and happiness, cheerfulness and openness, longevity and fidelity, joy and optimism. Some colours have acquired additional meanings over time. So, having presented white chrysanthemums, you say: “Trust me!” And yellow flowers will become a sign of gratitude: “Thank you for being there!”
Various colours symbolize other important meanings as well.
- Red chrysanthemums symbolize love and deep passion.
- Yellow chrysanthemums symbolize neglected love or sorrow.
- White chrysanthemum is a symbol of loyalty and devoted love.
- Violet chrysanthemums symbolize a wish to get well.
In many cultures, the chrysanthemum is the symbol of a long and happy life.
Gerbera is one of the flirtiest flowers around. In the language of the villages, it means smile, flirtation and at the same time, mystery and lack of agreement. Gerbera is as unpredictable and contradictory as the woman herself. This is a flower-mood, a gift that can be presented to a colleague, girlfriend, and beloved woman. Feel free to choose gerberas if you want to share a joyful mood with someone or make a compliment.
Fragrant lush peonies are the national flower of China and have become increasingly popular in recent years. Probably, this is one of the most awaited gifts for a woman, since a peony is the promise of a happy marriage. Having presented a bouquet of peonies, you tell your beloved one: “I have nothing more to dream about! I am ready to give you the whole world!” At the same time, it is a symbol of shyness. That is why peonies so often flaunt in wedding and engagement bouquets.
Aster is a symbol of love, trust, daintiness, talisman of love.
The word “aster” comes from the Greek word for “star.” This is an easy translation to remember, as the flower’s petals are arranged in a star-like fashion. The aster flower carries a variety of meanings, but in general, the flower mainly represents love, wisdom, and faith. The aster flower comes in a variety of colours carrying different symbols.
- Purple asters symbolize wisdom and royalty and are the most popular colour.
- White asters symbolize purity and innocence.
- Red asters symbolize undying devotion.
- Pink asters symbolize sensitivity and love.
Renowned American poet, Robert Frost, is known for his poetic descriptions of rural life. In his famous poem “A Late Walk” he describes a solitary walk through a somber landscape. In the end, he refers to the aster flower as an emblem of hope.
- I end not far from my going forth
- By picking the faded blue
- Of the last remaining aster flower
- To carry again to you.
Warning before reading: striped and yellow carnations given on February 14 will indicate that you are disappointed and that you want to end the relationship. So, if you are in a hurry to confess a deep feeling, carnations are not your companions on this day!
There are several theories about how the carnation got its name but most believe that it comes from the word coronation because it was used in Greek ceremonial crowns.
Generally, the carnation means fascination, distinction, and love. However, this flower can symbolize quite different things:
- White carnations symbolize purity and luck. However, in the Netherlands, white carnations are worn to remember veterans and the country’s resistance to World War II.
- Light red carnations symbolize admiration.
- Red carnations symbolize love and affection. However, according to a Christian legend, carnations grew from the Virgin Mary’s tears as she watched Jesus carry the cross. This is how they became associated with motherly love. Also, in Russia and some other European countries red carnations are worn to remember and honour veterans of the Second World War. In some countries, red carnations are worn on May Day to symbolize socialism and the labour movement.
- Pink carnations symbolize gratitude.
- Purple carnations are the traditional funeral flower in France
In the love language carnations symbolize the following:
- Red carnation – Deep romantic love, passion
- Green carnation – Secret symbol of the followers of Oscar Wilde. This green fluffy ball is the most unusual of carnations. Flower cultivation began many centuries ago in the south of Europe and Asia; in the 16th century it was already very popular throughout.
- White carnation – Sweet and lovely, innocence, pure love, faithfulness
- Pink carnation – A woman’s love, a mother’s love
- Yellow carnation – Rejection, disdain, disappointment
- Purple carnation – Capriciousness, whimsical, changeable, unreliability
- Striped carnation – Refusal
- Solid colour carnation – Yes, affirmative
Commonly called the Peruvian lily or lily of the Incas, alstroemerias come in many shades of red, orange, purple, green, and white, flecked and striped and streaked with darker colours. They have an array of meanings depending on the colour. Generally, the beautiful blooms always connect to a similar meaning of friendship, love, strength and devotion. They’re often thought to represent mutual support and the ability to help each other through the trials and tribulations of life.
Being a symbol of devotion, alstroemeria can be a perfect gift to anyone you love and find to be an important part of your life. Peruvian lilies can say to a companion or loved one that you will always be there for them and that you trust in your lasting bond.
This flower is a symbol of support, which means this is a perfect gift for someone who is going through some rough moments in life. If this person needs your love and support to go through some difficulties, this is the flower you want to gift to that person if you want to make him or her feel better.
Until now, we have talked mainly about flowers that are given to women, but a woman can also express her admiration for a man by presenting a bouquet of amaryllis flowers, which is a symbol of true masculinity.
Another male flower is Anthurium. It will tell the owner that the woman who gave it considers him the most daring, brave and passionate.
An Anthurium bouquet is also suitable for a much emancipated woman who wants to be appreciated for her personality and individuality.
Flowers that are given to men
Flowers that are given to men have to be tall. The bouquet itself should be dominated by clear lines. For women, the opposite rule applies – convex rounded bouquets. Also, according to the rules of etiquette, a woman can give flowers to a man only if he is older or the birthday boy.
Before giving cyclamens to anyone, you have to know one important thing about these flowers – cyclamens do not symbolize happiness. The cyclamen is poisonous and it actually has a meaning that relates to death and the fact that all good things will eventually end. So this is a flower that you may use at a funeral to represent departure.
The cyclamen means the desire to forget, to leave and to end the relationship. Since ancient times, this flower has been a symbol of loneliness. Therefore, it is not recommended to bring it into the house, and even more so – to put it in the bedroom.
Give flowers to your loved ones for any special occasion or without one. Just because …