Continuing on with a study in Floriography — the cryptological communication through flower use or arrangement. For the first post covering A and B flowers, as well as a short history on the “language of flowers”, click HERE.
There’s fennel for you, and columbines: there’s rue
for you; and here’s some for me: we may call it
herb-grace o’ Sundays: O you must wear your rue with
a difference. There’s a daisy: I would give you
some violets, but they withered all when my father
died: they say he made a good end,–
~ Hamlet, Act 4, Scene 5
Calla Lily ~ Magnificent and overwhelming beauty. While white naturally says purity and innocence, pink has a connotation of admiration and appreciation. Lavender and light blue to convey a sense of grace and refined beauty to the recipient.
Camellia ~ Varied depending on the color: pink symbolized longing; red for passion and desire; combining red and pink expressed romantic love; white meant “you’re adorable”.
Chrysanthemum ~ Lasting friendship and non-romantic affection. Strictly a flower of friendship and well-wishing for people in need of rest, most colors equal choices to share a message, except for deep red Chrysanthemums indicative of passion which were not commonly chosen. All Chrysanthemums share a common Greek source for their name: the words chrysos, meaning gold, and anthemon, meaning flower, were combined to reflect the beauty and value of this blossom.
Columbine ~ Desertion and folly is general message; red for extreme anxiety; a purple bloom means “resolved to win”. The columbine flower means different things to different cultures, the Victorians fondest of the purple flower.
Carnation ~ Meaning depended on the circumstances and the color, commonalities being love of some sort. White for innocent and pure love, yellow for a firm rejection, pink to say “I’ll never forget you”, and red for an aching heart. The Victorians were more specific: a solid color was a “yes” answer, a striped carnation signified “I’m sorry but I can’t be with you.”
Dogwood Flower ~ A bachelor would offer a Dogwood flower sprig to a woman he felt affection towards and waited for a response. If the flower was returned, he was out of luck. A woman keeping the flower signaled an interest or mutual attraction. The flower was also a symbol of reliability and durability during that era due to the strength of the wood. Most Dogwood flowers are pure white (symbolic of purity) with rusty red spots around the edges of all four petals. Pink and dark red Dogwood flowers carry more love and passion symbolism, especially in the Victorian tradition of signaling love with the gift of a bloom from this tree.
Daffodil ~ Respect; regard; the sun shines when I’m with you. Daffodils belong to the genus narcissus, and while people typically refer to large, yellow narcissus as daffodils and the smaller, paler versions as jonquils, they all belong to the genus narcissus and carry the common name of daffodil. The daffodil flower’s message is uplifting and energizing, making it the perfect flower to celebrate new beginnings or simply express your desire to revive an old relationship.
Delphinium ~ An open heart, ardent attachment, boldness, lightness, and levity; Openness to new emotions and feelings, in a romantic sense.
Daisy ~ Innocence; loyal love; purity and modesty; faith. Chanting “He loves me, He loves me not” as they plucked the petals from a daisy was how Victorian girls discovered whether their suitors were true or not. Northern girls once believed that if they closed their eyes and picked a handful of daisies, the number they held would foretell how many years it would be before they married.