Not only did people in the Victorian Era give meanings to flowers, but they also defined colors. One of the flowers today is a perfect example of that.
Here are a three flowers and many meanings:
This lovely flower grows on evergreen bushes, and it was considered one of the most sought after and flattering of flowers. It meant “my destiny is in your hands” and was an expression of love and feminine beauty.
When I saw how many meanings the carnation could have, I had to include them all.
I remember in high school at Valentine’s Day, one of the school organizations sold carnations as a fund raiser. Students bought flowers to give to their friends or significant others. I’m fairly certain that the club wouldn’t have made much money if people knew what the Victorians thought about the pretty blossoms, especially the striped ones that sold so well.
- pink: I will never forget you
- red: my heart breaks (It can also mean a “strong avowal of love“—perhaps a bit confusing with a broken heart, but with the right combination of flowers, a smart Victorian could make an avowal of love heartbreaking, especially if the loved one was far away. 😉 )
- striped: I cannot be with you
- white: sweet and lovely
- yellow: disdain, rejection
Quite possibly, a bouquet with pink, red, and striped carnations could mean, “My heart breaks with the love I have for you, because I cannot be with you. I’ll never forget you.”
A different bouquet of striped and yellow would be the ultimate rejection letter.
White, red, and pink might mean a strong avowal of love for a sweet and lovely person you can never get off your mind.
Choose carefully, people! 😉
The plant grows tall and has an abundance of lovely white or blue bell-shaped blossoms. A bloom or two in a Victorian girl’s hair was a sweet decoration. It means constancy or faith, quite often with a religious connotation.
Source: A Victorian Flower Dictionary: The Language of Flowers Companion by Mandy Kirkby. Ballantine Books, 2011.
Since I’m working on too many things at once (what else is new?) and I was late figuring out my list, I’ll be late adding images. Sorry. I want to be sure I get the right ones with the right copyright licensing. I know too many author friends who’ve been sued for copyright infringement for using images they thought were OK.
Join me tomorrow for flowers that start with D. 🙂