Valentine roseAs Valentine’s Day nears, you may be planning to select a floral arrangement or card to send to a loved one.  Consider the language of flowers when making your selections! 

Floriography, the technical term for the meaning of flowers, was coined in the Victorian era and became especially popular during this period when communication of feelings may not have been considered proper.  Today, florists, wedding and event planners consider flower origins, mythology and symbolism to personalize events for those special occasions other than Valentine’s Day, too.  

The red rose, the flower most often associated with Valentine’s Day, has Greek and Roman history which contributed to its traditional symbol of love.  But did you know, that in Roman times, the flower also symbolized “confidentiality?” A rose would be placed on the door of a room where confidential matters were discussed. Some attribute unique meanings to roses of other colors, such as humility and innocence with white roses and expressions of joy and friendship with yellow roses.

Red carnations may also symbolize love, pride and admiration, while pink carnations symbolize the love of a woman or mother.  However, be careful! Some believe yellow carnations convey disappointment and rejection, which if delivered for Valentine’s Day, could create misunderstandings in a promising relationship!  Daisies may be a better choice; they symbolize “loyal love.”

Specific flowers and colors of flowers may also be associated with birthday months, anniversaries and most importantly, remembrances of special occasions and individual memories.  Many florists’ websites provide information about the meaning of flowers and your favorite florist will more than likely be happy to help choose flowers and cards with special meaning for this Valentine’s Day, too. 

Submitted by: Ann Marie Ott, Master Gardener