The Hidden Meaning Of Flowers

The History Of The Meaning Of Flowers


During the reign of Queen Victoria of England (which lasted from 1837-1901 -- known as the Victoria era) the “hidden meaning of flowers” was as important as the way people were dressed. Unique messages were sent by the recognizable scent of a particular flower, plant or the grouping of a bouquet of flowers.

Each flower, or a specific arrangement of flowers, had a hidden, silent meaning and could “convey” a message without words. Often, they demonstrated true feelings that dare not be spoken aloud in public. Even the way a bouquet was presented conveyed a message and had a meaning. For instance…

An upright bouquet of flowers represented a positive message, while the opposite presentation (an upside down bouquet) conveyed negative message. Furthermore, a flower presented in a person’s right hand could indicate “yes,” or when presented with the left hand, “no”.

Dictionaries were written to explain this secret language to everyone. When every flower has a meaning, you’d better know what you’re doing, especially since it was mostly lovers who used this hidden language of flowers. You’d hate to send the wrong message to your lover, right?

People in this era knew that roses symbolized love, but each variety and color of rose has its own meaning. The lily was generally interpreted as a symbol of beauty, but again many diverse varieties of lilies conveyed many diverse meanings.

People in the Victorian age really needed to know the meaning of flowers so they sent the appropriate message to their lovers (and anyone else for that matter). Imagine some of the mixed message nightmares – especially if the recipient and the sender had two different versions of the “floral language dictionary.”

In this era flowers were revered so highly they were used to adorn women’s hair and clothing. They were even used to decorate the lapel of a man’s suit. Knowing the meaning of flowers was important – the flower you wore in your hair on your lapel had meaning, and “said” something about you (wearing a flower also made you smell like a flower too… another desirable characteristic for the people of the Victorian era).

Looking for more information on the meaning of flowers?

Check out my "A-Z dictionary" of flowers and their meanings!

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