Written By: Dyanne Weiss
Flowers tell a lot about personality and sense of style. Some convey adventure, whereas others convey innocence. What flowers one chooses – whether for oneself or someone special – can say a lot.
Throughout history, flowers have had cryptic meaning. The language of flowers, or floriography, was popular in the 19th Century, but the symbolic use of flower types is in the Bible, Shakespeare (Hamlet), and countless other works. Knowing the message the flowers convey is as important as giving flowers to loved ones or choosing an arrangement for oneself. Every flower has a different significance.
So, what message are the flowers selected to buy or grow sending? The real meaning is really up to the giver and receiver. But, some right away say something about personality and preferences:
Daisies are refreshing and unpretentious. They are simple, patient, sunny and optimistic. Gerbera daisies, which come in a wide array of vibrant shades, are cheery. These bold flowers are often used to convey thanks, birthday wishes or congratulatory messages.
Gardenias are interesting in that different cultures attribute different messages to them. Some say they exude an air of mystery, sultriness and an Asian flair. Others say they symbolize joy, purity, sweetness and secret love. One interesting fact about gardenias is that they are actually part of the coffee plant family, but it is unlikely that a vase of gardenias says “Starbucks.”
Irises impart a sense of ease and serenity, like the Van Gogh painting of them. Used in bouquets and gardens worldwide, irises express courage, admiration, wisdom, hope and a deep sense of spirituality. The scent is used a lot in perfumes.
Lilies are complex because there are so many kinds. They generally give a sense of poise and refinement. Calla Lilies are graceful and filled with dignity. Easter lilies are symbolic of the Virgin Mary. Stargazer lilies show ambition and confidence. The great thing about lilies is that add depth to any arrangement with their graceful presence and pretty shades.
Orchids are delicate and exotic. They are carefully cultivated and suggest an air of refinement. In Victorian times, they were displayed like treasures. Now, their long-lasting blooms convey beauty, thoughtfulness, luxury and strength.
Poppy flowers are vibrant, creative, unconventional and even a bit quirky. They have a slight connotation in the West with drugs (opium and the road to the Emerald City). But, as an element in an arrangement they show a creative spirit and expressiveness.
Roses, the most popular flower in the world, are commonly used in the West as a romantic symbol of love, warmth and femininity. However, different colors of roses send different messages A table set for two with a vase of full-blown red roses right away sets a romantic tone. Yellow roses, on the other hand, say get well or offer a sunny tone of friendship and cheer. White roses, a traditional bridal flower, represent innocence, virtue and spirituality.
Violets are tasteful and quietly elegant. They say someone is sensitive and complex. Deep purple shades show confidence, power and a royal air. White violets say candor and happiness. Blue violets indicate constancy.