During the Victorian era, flowers and pictures of flowers spoke a language all their own. Blossoms, buds, and herbal bouquets were sent to friends and lovers not only for their beauty and fragrance, but also to convey messages -- sometimes messages that the sender dared not speak in words.
At parties, sometimes the hostess would decorate with assortments of flowers and plants, from which the guests would select those that expressed their thoughts and feelings.
Below are some of the meanings listed in Victorian "flower dictionaries" (a flower displayed upside down would have the opposite meaning).
For more fun info on the language of flowers and also the "language of fans," visit our feature article on the subject!
Red Rose ~ Love, Passion
Pink Rose ~ Admiration
White Rose ~ Innocence, Purity, Humility
Yellow Rose ~ Platonic Love
Pansies ~ Thoughts of You, Thoughtfulness
Violets ~ Modesty
Forget-me-nots ~ Remember me, Faithfullness
Daisies ~ Innocence, I share your sentiments
Lily of the Valley ~ Return of Happiness
Red Poppies ~ Consolation
Dead leaves ~ Melancholy
Rosemary ~ Remembrance
Cedar ~ Strength
Sweet Basil ~ Best Wishes
Ivy ~ Fidelity, Marriage
Zinnia ~ Thoughts of absent friends