Today I’m bringing the seventh installment in my study into Floriography — the cryptological communication through flower use or arrangement.
Past posts can be read by clicking these links–
Floriography history & A and B flowers
Floriography C and D flowers
Floriography F and G flowers
Floriography H, I, and J flowers
Floriography L and M flowers
Floriography N, O, and P flowers
Rose ~ Today there are over 100 species of roses in a vast array of colors in multiple hues, with the meanings attached varied and myriad. In times past, particularly the Victorian Era when the Language of Flowers became popular, there weren’t as many choices available. Nevertheless, the rose was then, as now, a favored flower to give and receive, and hence steeped in meaning.
- Red Rose – Reigns as the ultimate symbol of passionate affection, deep love, sensuality, supreme respect, and romance.
- Pink Rose – Joy, thankfulness, grace, gratitude. Pink roses are the go-to color for general feelings of thanks, cheer, and even romance. It was a favorite of the Victorians, who depicted it everywhere from wallpaper to upholstery to greeting cards.
- White Rose – Eternal love, innocence, secrecy and silence. White roses are suited to reverent occasions, a fitting way to honor a friend or loved one, convey respect, pay homage to new starts and hope for the future. Historically, the white rose symbolized innocence and purity, hence how it became associated with weddings and bridal bouquets.
- Yellow Rose – Joy, friendship. Because of its long association with the sun and its life-giving warmth, yellow is the age-old color for warm feelings of friendship and optimism. The color yellow represents joy, wisdom and power. While any yellow flower may be appropriate for this message, the yellow rose in particular has an optimistic and serendipitous character.
- Dark Crimson Rose – A sign of mourning.
Ranunculus ~ I am dazzled by your charms, you are charming and attractive. These flowers are chosen to express how taken the giver is by the recipient’s charms. They also represent simple radiance and attraction. According to a Persian myth, a young prince with a lovely voice enjoyed taking long walks in the open country and singing to the nymphs that roamed those regions. He fell madly in love with one nymph, but was unable to express his feelings. Withered by disappointment, the prince died, after which his body transformed into the shape of small, delicately-petaled flowers which were then given his name.
Rosemary ~ Remembrance, commitment, fidelity. For centuries Rosemary flowers have been included in funeral wreaths as a symbol of remembrance and in wedding bouquets as a symbol for fidelity.
Sunflower ~ According to Greek legend, Clytie, a tree nymph, fell madly in love with Apollo. Apollo, however, was uninterested in the nymph, and so she spent her days staring into the sun. In time, her body began to transform into the slender green stem, her hair into the golden petals, and her head into the broad face of a sunflower. After being fully transformed, she still turned to the sun whenever it was at its brightest. Victorian flower language ascribed a meaning of gratitude and adoration to the dwarf Sunflower, whereas the tall variety meant haughtiness and pride.
Sweet Pea ~ Farewell, departure; blissful pleasure, thank you for a lovely time. Fragrant and dainty, these blossoms are often considered symbols of delicate or blissful pleasures and good fortune. They are also occasionally associated with bittersweet farewells, and are sometimes given to new brides by her parents.
Here are Sweet Peas on tiptoe for a flight,
With wings of gentle flush o’er delicate white,
And taper fingers catching at all things
To bind them all about with tiny rings.
~John Keats c.1817
Stock ~ Lasting beauty, you will always be beautiful to me. The stock flower is most commonly said to represent a contented and happy life, however, they are also thought to mean undying affection and love, as well as lasting beauty. Because of these symbols, stock flowers are often given as emblems of love, contentment, and the wish for the recipient to be as happy and beautiful tomorrow as they are today.
Stephanotis ~ Happiness in marriage. The stephanotis flower – better known as the Madagascar jasmine or the bridal veil – are well loved for their rich, heady fragrance and graceful appearance. In Victorian times, the stephanotis flower was considered the ultimate symbol for marital bliss.