Flower Talk - The Earliest Emojis

You may have heard about a little thing called The Victorian Language of Flowers - you may have read the dictionary written on my shop walls, or perhaps you just know that red roses mean love and Forget-Me-Not's mean, well, forget me not. 


The "language" of flowers dates back to early Victorian times when flowers were given or worn as a symbol of a hidden meaning. We all know that red roses mean 'love' (as we're all reminded for weeks around Feb 14) but the language is so complex and often the same flower in a different colour can mean something completely different. For example, orange roses mean 'fascination' but peach means 'modesty', pink is 'grace', purple is 'enchantment' and yellow is, believe it or not, 'infidelity'. 


Even though much of this language has been lost over time, we do hold on to some meanings and still use them as symbols to this day. For example (and very fitting for ANZAC Day tomorrow), rosemary means 'remembrance' and is often worn on the lapel of Veterans and families of soldiers, made into wreaths or simply lain in bunches by a cenotaph. 


In more recent times, the language has been used to create customised, meaningful bouquets for a wedding. Kate Middleton carried a sweet little bouquet packed full of sentiment on her wedding day. Containing Lily of the Valley (return of happiness), hyacinth (constancy of love), Sweet William (gallantry, and also the name of her husband!), ivy (fidelity) and myrtle (love). The myrtle also had a deeper connection - it was from a plant that Queen Victoria planted in 1845. It was used in her daughter’s wedding in 1858 and later generations have also used it as a symbol of the sanctity of a royal wedding. Queen Elizabeth used Myrtle in her wedding bouquet in 1947. 


Although wedding flowers in modern times are chosen more for their look or colour, it is interesting to look at the meanings of some popular blooms, and perhaps use this as a guide when choosing your own wedding flowers.

  • Anemone - abandonment
  • Anthurium - attraction
  • Aster - beginnings
  • Bouvardia - enthusiasm
  • Camellia - excellence
  • Chrysanthemum - hope
  • Daffodil - chivalry 
  • Daisy - innocence
  • Delphinium - swiftness
  • Freesia - lasting friendship
  • Gypsophila (Baby's Breath) - everlasting love
  • Hyacinth - constancy of love
  • Hydrangea - boastful
  • Jasmine - good luck
  • Lavender - distrust
  • Lily - virtue
  • Lisianthus - appreciation
  • Orchid - refined beauty
  • Peony - anger
  • Protea - courage
  • Ranunculus - charm
  • Sunflower - false riches
  • Stephanotis - happiness in marriage
  • Sweet Pea - delicate pleasure
  • Tulip - hopeless love
  • White Rose - purity
  • Yellow Rose - infidelity, jealousy 
  • Zinnia - absence

If you're planning a wedding, and have no idea where to start to look for ideas for your bouquet, perhaps a little research into the language of flowers can kick start your inspiration! I've been lucky enough to make one bouquet for a bride very much into the language as I am, who requested specific blooms that held special meaning to her & her husband. You can't get much more unique than that :)

 White Carnations (sweet & lovely) Baby's Breath (everlasting love) lisianthus (appreciation) succulents (cacti-ardent love) and as a surprise for the bride - stephanotis (happiness in marriage). Bouquet by Flowers by Rhi   

White Carnations (sweet & lovely) Baby's Breath (everlasting love) lisianthus (appreciation) succulents (cacti-ardent love) and as a surprise for the bride - stephanotis (happiness in marriage). Bouquet by Flowers by Rhi   


Rhi x