Floriography, or the language of flowers, has been around since Victorian times. When it was socially unacceptable to profess one’s feelings verbally, people came up with a way to do it using flowers and plants. Today, people have largely forgotten the meanings behind most flowers (one that everyone seems to remember, however, is that a red rose means love), and the hundreds of floriography references available online and in-print can have wildly different definitions. For example, a yellow rose can mean everything from joy, friendship, and forgiveness to jealousy and infidelity!

In my work, I use a variety of sources to find the best meanings for the flowers and plants that I work with for each event, and I supply a list of meanings once an event has passed. Here is a selection of flowers and plants that I use regularly for their beauty and scents, along with their meanings:

Mouseover each image to see that flower’s meaning.

Stock by Emily Stryker; Ranunculus by Kristen Taylor, used under a Creative Commons license; All other images from Wikimedia Commons

Selected floriography links for additional reference:

Flower Meanings: A British site with older and newer flowers and meanings

Language of Flowers: An American site with older and newer flowers and meanings

Kate Greenaway’s Language of Flowers: Kate Greenaway’s illustrated book, published in 1900, available for free on Open Library

Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s Language of Flowers Flower dictionary reference from Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s novel The Language of Flowers