Floriography: Language Of Flowers Dictionary

Welcome to Our Online Flower Language Dictionary.

What is Floriography & Flower Language?

  • It is the symbolic language of flowers; by using a flower alone or in unison with other flowers, Floriography uses the beauty of the blooms to convey your message and emotions to the recipient.  

Your message can be simple and cheerful, such as a small bouquet of yellow daisies (meaning innocence, loyal love and friendship), mixed with hydrangea (gratitude for being understanding) and yellow lilies (happy, cheerful and alive).

Or the meaning could be a solid arrangement of glorious red roses that proclaims to one and all that you send them with love and passion!

Floriography adds a new dimension sending flowers. It is fun to compose your floral message using different blooms to speak from your heart.

Sending the Right Message With Flowers

Like any other language, you have to know the intricacies of the meaning of the individual flower. Colours within the flower type can mean different things. ( A white hyacinth means loveliness while a yellow one means jealousy).

Arum lilies signify a funeral and say goodby, while the Asiatic or oriental lilies range in meaning from purity (white lily) to friendship or happiness (yellow). As an example, you wouldn’t send an arum lily as a gift to a new mother.

Nothing says love better than the red rose! It has instant recognition even in today’s society. Valentine’s day (14th February) sees a plethora of roses sent to lucky recipients and the most popular colour is always the red rose.

Most people are just happy to receive flowers, it is such a personal and popular gift. 

There are so many combinations of flowers that you can choose to use. From large, showy bouquets, to artistic arrangements that need next to no care. A single flower is like a special thought, and a dainty posy is pretty and perfect. 

From large exotic orchids and flowers to dainty lily of the valley or miniature roses, there are plenty of floral tributes to get your message across.

The overall message one gets from receiving flowers as a gift is that you are special, and someone loves you. In the language of flowers, they are a lovely way to lift someone’s spirits and show them you care.

Flower Colour Meaning: What Do I Pick?

Most people have certain colours that they like above all others. Knowing this, you can arrange a gift of flowers in the colour of your recipients choice which will be perceived to be both personal and thoughtful.

Red Flowers:

For passion, love and affection, include red flowers which also convey desire and respect. Red symbolises romance, and the master flower here is the Red Rose! Red flowers are the perfect gift for someone you love dearly. Red carnations, tulips, Dahlia and Lilies are great examples of red flowers with deep meaning. 

Pink Flowers: 

While the meaning of pink flowers can often have different meanings depending on the culture, they generally represent grace, innocence and joy. In Western cultures, they signify femininity and playfulness. Ideal as a gift for a friend, a woman, or a young girl. Pink roses, alstroemeria, chrysanthemum, and pink lilies are beautiful and graceful. 

Yellow Flowers:

Their sunny colour helps to cheer up a friend, will make your mother smile, and brings joy and a smile while brightening up a home. Yellow signifies friendship, happiness and lightheartedness. Yellow spreads the warmth of joy. They are the perfect gift for a close friend, for men, or for family.  Daffodils, calla lilies, roses, and carnations are warm and engaging flowers whose meaning cannot be missed. And of course, the sunflower is a stand out for bloom size and impact.

White Flowers: 

Purity, humility and innocence – the stylish white flowers convey the message of the pure of heart. The white rose shines as the hero flower amongst all others. They can be used for weddings, funerals, birthdays, and to welcome a baby. Be aware that in your Asian friend’s culture, white flowers symbolise death and mourning, so choose another colour. For most people, White roses, Lisianthus, Chrysanthemum, fragrant Stock and lilies are all contenders that send a message of purity and respect. 

Blue or purple flowers:

Blue or purple flowers are in the minority, but they are treasured and rare flowers. The Iris is the leader of the blue brigade, and the flower symbolises wisdom, hope and trust. They also symbolise royalty, victory and power. Hydrangeas, agapanthus, delphinium, and hyacinths are all beautiful blue or purple flowers that add a depth of meaning to a floral display.

Flower Language Meaning: What Flowers Work for What Occasion?

There are so many flowers to choose from, with many flowers having similar or complementary meanings, so you will be overcome with choice. The simple fact is to choose the ones you or your recipient will love. 

If your mother likes yellow roses and purple iris, then send those flowers as you know she loves them. This colour combo is perfect as the yellow roses mean eternal friendship and the iris depicts wisdom, hope and trust.

Bright flowers in tones of orange, red, and yellow with a touch of purple are cheerful and energising. They are perfect to celebrate a victory, brighten someone’s day, and add a modern look to a bouquet.  

A white bouquet is often given as funeral or wedding flowers and they convey sincerity and pureness of the heart. They are ideal for celebrations whether sad or happy.

Pastel coloured floral combinations are soothing colours – perfect for someone who isn’t feeling well and are ideal for a young girls birthday.  

Whereas pinks are sweet for a baby girl, and blues and yellow flowers are awesome gifts for baby boys. 

Colour is a personal choice, but if you know the recipient’s preference, you can make your gift even more special and meaningful.

The idea of the language of flowers is not to get caught up so much as to which flower is supposedly best but to go with the flower or combination of flowers that directs your focus to the message you want to send. 

Choosing the flowers should be as much fun as receiving them, so pick your favourites to send the personal message you want to convey.

The History of Flower Language

Many cultures have used flowers to extend a heartfelt message to either an individual or to a group of people. 

The language of Floriography is extensive – there is a flower for every sentiment that you could imagine. For example, the simple Bluebell means humility, while the pink Carnation means I’ll never forget you.

Whereas the Cyclamen plant bears the defeated meaning of resignation, diffidence and goodbye. 

The language of flowers has been recognized for centuries and in many different cultures throughout Europe and Asia. But the practice goes back even further in time. 

The use of flowers to send messages has its roots in Persia and Turkey, at the time of the 15 century where flowers replaced words, allowing people to express forbidden or socially unacceptable feelings.

The Turkish people have a language called “Selam” or “Salaam” which is their way of involving flowers and other objects to convey what they cannot say. In ancient times clever harem women used this language to send a message to their lovers outside the harem.  

However, it was during the 1800s that the language of flowers become extremely popular by the Victorians.

The Victorians used flowers to deliver a message that couldn’t be spoken aloud. The strict moral code of conduct of the times restricted the spoken word and public displays of affection were frowned upon, so secret lovers and alliances were sent in the form of floral tributes. 

It was like sending morse code, only using flowers instead of coded clicks. 

Using this subtle dialect, you could answer yes or no by using the flowers in a coded response. If you wanted to agree, your acceptance (yes) was conveyed in the form of flowers handed over with the right hand, or if you wanted to refuse the suiter, you would use your left hand.

It was all very secretive and titillating which no doubt added to the fervour of the courting couple. 

To complicate your flower meaning, even the way the flowers were presented and the way the ribbons were tied all added substance to the message. And if you received a wilted bouquet the symbolism was pretty clear – the romance was over!