The Language of Flowers: What They Mean and How to Use Them

Flowers are a universal gift for any occasion, from birthdays to expressing love, congratulations on new beginnings, or even condolence gestures. However, the significance and importance of flowers go beyond their beauty and sentimental value.

They have been known since ancient times as messengers with hidden meanings that powerfully convey emotions without words. This system of coded meanings attributed to plants is called “The Language of Flowers” or floriography.

In this post, we’ll explore the origin and significance of different flowers, alongside how you can use them creatively in your daily life. 

Sit tight and read on!

The Language of Flowers - Feature Image

History and Significance

For centuries, people have used flowers symbolically as codes for communication when direct expressions were prohibited because it was considered improper back then. Floriography is thought to have originated from Persia and Turkey, more than six centuries ago. It gained popularity during the Victorian era as a way to communicate secret messages by exchanging bouquets or wearing them on clothes.

Each flower had its own distinct meaning depending on its species, color variation, or even petal count. This concealed meaning needed to be interpreted carefully, however, so the underlying sentiment would not be misunderstood.

This was an essential factor at the time when social etiquette mandated keeping everything under strict decorum. Therefore, it became increasingly popular among civil society ladies’ (and later spread globally).

Notably, many cultures adopted flower symbolism, often with slight variations based on the cultural beliefs of certain societies.

Common Flowers and Their Symbolism

Roses – The Unquestionable Symbol of Love/Romance/Gratitude

An excellent example is Rose which comes in vibrant hues representing diverse feelings. For instance, red roses signify passion toward someone you’re romantically interested in. On the other hand, yellow roses symbolize platonic admiration and friendship bonds.

If you want to show gratitude or say “thank you” to a dear one, one of the best ways to do so is to say it with pink roses in a beautiful arrangement. Orange roses are often associated with energy and enthusiasm, whereas white roses denote purity-related sentiments such as innocence or reverence.

Lilies – A Representation of Purity, Divinity 

Lilies are mainly flowers of the Christian religion and have a plethora of meanings associated with them in diverse contexts. The most popular interpretation, it symbolizes purity and innocence.

That’s essentially why they are widely used in weddings as bouquets for brides. The lily associates with new beginnings and pure dreams ahead. In churches, however, lilies are also commonly used in funeral wreaths to denote that the deceased passed but will reawaken into everlasting life.

Iris – Signifier of Wisdom and Passionate Ideas 

The Iris holds an ancient Greek mythological reference, symbolizing wisdom, strength, and courage. It’s thought to have been named after the goddess who delivered messages from Olympus to humans on Earth. Among Christian societies, however, they are commonly used as a symbol of hope and faith. Therefore, thoughtfulness is important when gifting irises may have varied meanings. 

Chrysanthemums – Symbolic Integrity and Permanence 

In China and Japan, chrysanthemum sculptures can be seen throughout their cultures– representing cheeriness, friendship, or a newborn. They are also globally recognized as among the best gifts for Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving, birthdays, and even funerals.

Creative Uses in Daily Life

Besides making great gifts for special occasions, here are other ways you can creatively use these magnificent creations of nature in everyday life.

  • Decorative Statement Pieces

Instead of empty vases on display add colorful fresh blooms scrunched together into water-filled transparent glass bottles. It’s an amazing way to uplift the aesthetics of your kitchen, living room, or any part of the house. Make sure to choose blossoms that complement the colors in your design, accentuating walls, flooring, and finishing to ensure a harmonious look.

  • For Stress Relief

Using and admiring flowers can help reduce stress levels too. Their beautiful petals and pleasant aromas have been used for decades in relaxation therapy.

  • Making A Personal Statement

Flowers are a perfect way to represent your individuality, just like tattoos. Besides displaying fresh blooms in your living room, you could also display personalized flower upholstery with uncommon patterns on your wall, floor mats, or curtains for a striking appeal and personal statement.

  • Gift Ideas Beyond Anything Usual

Instead of mundane regular gifts on special occasions, why not present an incredibly creative bouquet held together by pearls and jewels? This could make the recipient feel precious, influencing heartwarming emotions beyond what words could express.

As you can see, flowers are not just pretty little things that make us happy. Though they do indeed bring joy, they also possess a deeper symbolic meaning that goes beyond aesthetics. From showing sympathy to expressing love, and even apologizing, different types of flowers can communicate different messages.

They can be used for different purposes as well, including as gifts on certain special occasions or celebrations. The above few pointers will hopefully keep you informed and help you choose just the right flowers for the right reason –and season!