It’s Springtime! Here’s the Hidden Meanings Behind Your Favorite Flowers
After what feels like a lifetime, it seems like the sun is finally here to stay! This past winter was long and brutal, so what better way to welcome in the warmth than to bask amongst the flowers? Everything seems to be in bloom, from the gorgeous super blooms popping up along Southern California to the increased pollen count that I’m sure everyone is feeling, flowers are everywhere! And I’m sure everyone has a favorite flower as well, but did you know that your favorite bud may have a hidden meaning behind it? The Victorians sure did, and really gave Floriography it’s metaphorical, and literal, roots.
Floriography is the pseudo-scientific meanings in the use of flowers and their arrangements. While this practice has been around for thousands of years, the Victorian era saw a massive soar in it. Everyone was obsessed with reading between the leaves of the bouquets they would give and receive, meticulously tying together messages in the bound stems. Many of the flowers that people love today may not have such savory meanings back in the early 19th century, while others may surprise you on what meanings they conveyed! Let’s start with one of the most popular, and most complex ones: The Rose
Depending on the color, the rose can symbolize and represent many things.
White: A single, white rose represents appreciation for a long-lasting relationship that doesn’t necessarily have to be platonic. A bouquet of white roses symbolizes purity and innocence.
Pale Pink: Whether in a bouquet or by itself, pale pink roses represent motherly love, making them the perfect Mother’s Day gift!
Standard Pink: These medium-toned roses symbolize young love, and are often used to celebrate new relationships since they don’t carry the heavy intensity of a red rose.
Red Rose: The most popular and well known shade, this flower stands for a deep, passionate and fiery love.
Orange Rose: A bright, fun color for any flower, this type of rose celebrates the success of someone’s life or career, and is often used to congratulate a big accomplishment, like graduation!
Yellow Rose: While the yellow rose is also platonic, it’s more a fun and cheery, meant to celebrate immense appreciation for a pal.
Tulips were first bred by Turkish botanists some time in the 16th century, and were regarded as “symbols of paradise on earth” (SOURCE). When floriography boomed in the Victorian era, it became a symbol of charity. Overall, the Tulip represents abundance, prosperity, and indulgence, along with perfect, enduring love.
Peonies have an interesting dichotomy; according to Chinese folklore and culture, the peony embodies wealth, prosperity, and immense beauty. But the Victorians were not fond of the peony! They regarded it as an angry flower, representative of bashfulness and shame. However, nowadays peonies are seen as the perfect flower for romance, particularly between two strangers. How far it’s come!
The history of these flowers is my personal favorite; back in the Victorian era, women would gift a bouquet of violets to their secret lovers as a symbol of their sapphic desire. The idea came to fruition in 600 B.C from the Greek poet, Sapphos, who would describe in her writings how her and her girlfriend would wear a garland of violets as a proclamation of their love. Swoon!
We’ll conclude our list of flora with what’s considered to be the absolutely perfect flower to celebrate spring: the daffodil! These lovely blossoms represent renewal and vitality; after a long and brutal winter, these flowers are the greatest way to proclaim triumph after surviving the elements. They also are connected to self-reflection, creativity, and inspiration; all great and wonderful sentiments to welcome in the springtime atmosphere and get the best out of the season!
Now, go on out there and give your friends and loved ones a bouquet that truly expresses your feelings, they’ll greatly appreciate it!