The Different Meaning of Flowers
Throughout history, men have given flowers to their wives, girlfriends, or other important women in their lives. Even today, it is normal for a guy to buy his lady some flowers. They are beautiful (both women and flowers), there’s no doubt about it. But did you know that each flower has its meaning and purpose? Giving flowers to someone can mean all kinds of things based on the type you pick.
So, let’s take a look at the meaning of flowers and what they represent.
The History of Flower Meanings
People have used flowers for thousands of years to send a different message. Floriography or language of flowers is a way to communicate using different types of flowers, colors, and arrangements. They have been an essential part of European, Asian, and African cultures, and they were quite popular as heraldic symbols as well.
During the Victorian era, there was a sudden peak in interest for floriography. The roots of this curious phenomenon went back to Ottoman Turkey. Namely, in Constantinople, people have been obsessed with tulips at the beginning of the 18th century.
Now, each culture had a different interpretation and symbolism surrounding plants and flowers. That is why it might be challenging to find a single meaning behind a particular flower. For example, there are places where pomegranate symbolizes health and wealth. On the other hand, in ancient Greece, it was often considered a symbol of eternal life and fertility, and it was associated with Persephone and her trip to the underworld.
That is why you should be careful when picking flowers. It might seem bright and beautiful to you, but there may be a more profound meaning hidden underneath the petals.
The first thing to look at when determining the meaning of roses is their color. Naturally, there are many different interpretations, but some are quite universal.
A red rose is a flower that symbolizes love. We’ve seen it in lots of movies — red roses are almost a safe bet. Similarly, a white one will represent innocence and purity, while a blue one means mystery.
Furthermore, yellow roses symbolize friendship, oranges ones stand for love and passion, while a black flower symbolizes death. In Christianity, roses are associated with the Virgin Mary. Rose is also a national flower of England.
We all know about sunflowers and how they reposition themselves to follow the sun. The most common meaning of sunflower is worship, adoration, and loyalty. Why is that, you might ask? In Greek mythology, there is a story about Helios and Clytie. Clytie was a water nymph, and she loved Helios, who was the personification of the sun.
However, despite her love and adoration, Helios left her for Leucothoe. Desperate, she told her father, Orchamus, about it, and he buried her alive in the sand (yes, Greek mythology can be cruel). She tried to take his new love away from him, but that only made him more determined. As a result, she sat in the field, naked, following him across the sky, until she turned to heliotrope or sunflower.
The most common interpretation of tulips is perfect or deep, pure love. Moreover, tulips are the first flowers to bloom in the spring, which is why they often represent rebirth. Some believe that red tulips grow on the place where blood hits the ground, symbolizing eternal love. In the Victorian era, many people often associated these flowers with charity as well.
Similarly to roses, each color can have a different meaning. For example, a pink tulip means happiness and confidence, purple is royalty, yellow is cheerfulness, and white is the flower of forgiveness.
In Celtic legends, whenever an infant dies, God sprinkles the earth with daisies to cheer up the parents. In Norse mythology, daisy was a sacred flower of Freya. She was a goddess of beauty and fertility, and her flower represents motherhood, childbirth, and new beginnings.
Furthermore, Romans believed that daisies represented chastity and purity. They are often a symbol of one true love. Finally, in England, daisies were referred to as “day’s eye” since they close their petals during the night.
Carnation most commonly represents love and fascination. It is the most used flower during wedding ceremonies in China. As you can probably guess already, each color of carnation can have a different meaning.
For example, white carnation is a sign of good luck and pure love. However, purple carnations represent capriciousness (in France), and it is traditionally a flower for funerals.
The most common association with lilies is motherhood and rebirth. The story begins with Zeus and how he tried to persuade Hera to feed Hercules. Naturally, Hera refused since she wasn’t his mother. During the night, Zeus snuck up to her with the baby to drink milk. When Hera woke up, she pushed them away. Then, each drop of milk that ended on the ground grew into lilies.
Lilies can also be a sign of purity, virtue, prosperity, confidence, pride, thankfulness, and love.