If flowers talked, what would they say?

All a flower preaches is emotion.

The Flora is celebrating its love for flowers. And, what could be better than exploring their history? While we consider flowers as a symbol of love, peace, and positivity, in the 19th century they had a language foreign to our tongue.

Flowers could express sadness, silence, and grief as well as love, respect, and faithfulness. They could even act as an accusation of infidelity. Although books about the meaning of various plants and flowers were published during the Victorian Era, it is believed that the language of flowers dates back even further. The tradition of expressing with flowers began in Persia and later gained popularity in England. During the Victorian Era when expression of feelings in public was forbidden, people would arrange flowers in small, hand-held bouquets and give as gifts.

Floriography – The secret language of flowers gained much acceptance among the elite. During the first decade of the 19th century, many books were published claiming to unravel the language of various flowers. The meanings were based on traditional myths, customs, medicinal uses, etc.  These books were collectively known as ‘floriography’. 

Floriography dictionaries, however, were not identical. The meanings of flowers were mostly the outcomes of active imaginations of those writing them. Hence, the regional difference in the dictionaries was clearly evident. One good example would be a yellow rose. It is believed to be a symbol of friendship. However, in Texas, it is believed to be the symbol of undying love.

Let’s find out what were the meanings and significance of various flowers.

White Rose – Also known as Rose Alba, white rose symbolizes loyalty, purity, and innocence. They are found in various nuances from pure white to shades of ivory. 

In the Roman Era, a white rose was associated with Goddess Aphrodite. It is said and believed that it turned red after she pricked herself and the blood trickled down the petals. In Christianity, it is attributed to the Virgin Mary, the Mystical Rose of Heaven, and signifies joy and purity. During the 15th century, it was used to swear secrecy in England. 

Red Rose – A red rose is considered a universal symbol of love. When expressing heartfelt emotions, giving a red rose is a perfect way to express that you are in love!

Red roses in all shades signify the feeling of romantic love. A burgundy rose is often used to signify the feeling of unrequited love; the love not returned. Red roses are also a beautiful way of expressing love and respect for the one who has passed.

Yellow Roses – While yellow roses represent deep friendship, they were also considered as the symbol of infidelity in the 19th century. So, be careful while picking roses to gift. 

Carnation – A carnation represents pride and beauty. Meanings of carnation vary as per their colours. A light red carnation is used to express admiration while a dark red expresses deep love and affection. White carnations are gifted to wish luck and pink to express gratitude.

Lily – in ancient Egypt, Greek and Roman brides were given crowns of lilies. A crown of lilies signified a pure and fruitful life. It was the symbol of chastity and was associated with the Virgin Mary. According to Buddhist beliefs, a lily represents compassion, mercy as well as the aggressive traits of females. 

Hydrangeas – Hydrangeas have deep but mixed meanings. Some of its meanings include honest emotions, gratitude, abundance and prosperity, and understanding between two people. Surprisingly, gifting hydrangeas can also signify heartlessness, boasting, and even disinterest in a romantic relationship. So, it is always better to pair these with other flowers to ensure that you are conveying the right meaning.

Tulip – A tulip is a historical symbol of love according to a legend from Turkish lore. It was born from the droplets of his blood when he died after a woman he loved was killed. Whereas, in the Ottoman Empire, it was a symbol of power and wealth. 

Chrysanthemum – A chrysanthemum has been known to symbolize the sun and the orderly unfolding of its petals represents perfection. People gift these flowers to express their loyalty and friendship. However, be careful while choosing a chrysanthemum since the red and white chrysanthemums are symbols of love and devotion, while the yellow chrysanthemum signifies sorrow or neglected love.


According to the ancient Greeks, orchids are a symbol of fertility. So, these can be perfect for people soon becoming parents. Apart from that, an orchid symbolizes love, beauty, thoughtfulness, refinement, and charm. Pair it with other flowers to convey exactly how you feel. Sunflower

A sunflower is gifted to express loyalty and admiration. However, a sunflower has a few other meanings. While it stands for good fortune and vitality in China, it represents fortune and harvest in India and native America. It also signifies longevity. Hence, gifting sunflowers can never go wrong.

A simple gift of flowers can mean a lot. So, express your feelings to your friends and loved ones with bouquets of assorted flowers from The Flora. 

Pro tip: Send them a note with the significance of each flower along with the bouquet. Let them know how you feel.

The Flora is a fresh flower company. We deliver flowers and bouquets all across Bengaluru. You can order flowers for various occasions, and also check out interesting flower subscription packages.

Author: Bhawika Jethwani