Don't Send the Wrong Flowers this V-Day | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Don't Send the Wrong Flowers this V-Day

Here's a primer on the language of flowers to help you out

Did you know many flowers represent different emotions, moods and ideas? 

This Valentines Day, instead of going for the bigger bouquet, go for the flower that says what you mean. 
The history of sending flowers to a loved one on Valentine’s Day is linked to a young priest named Valentine during the third century in Rome, according to proflowers. Emperor Claudius II passed a decree that soldiers could not marry. Valentine did not like this and conducted marriages illegally. When caught he was sentenced to death. During his time in jail he fell in love with a jailer’s daughter and sent her flowers and letters. He did this until his execution on February 14, 270 AD. It wasn't until 496 AD that Pope Gelasius declared Feb. 14 a day to honor Valentine, who by that time had become a saint.

Today, we continue to honor St. Valentine by sending flowers and other gifts to a special someone.

During the 1800s flowers became a common language used to represent different human qualities. According the Farmer’s Almanac, nearly all Victorian homes had guidebooks that were used for deciphering the definitions of flowers. These guides associate the following plants with human qualities: peonies as bashful, rosemary as remembrance, tulips as passion.
The traditional rose given on Valentine's Day has a complex association between meaning and color. The colors are associated with these meanings:
  • Dark red rose: beauty, eternal love
  • White rose: purity, innocence, reverence, silence
  • Pink rose: grace, happiness and gentleness
  • Yellow rose: joy, friendship, the promise of a new beginning
  • Lavender rose: love at first sight
  • Coral rose: friendship, modesty, sympathy

Carnations also have a complex array of symbols associated with color:
  • White carnation: innocence, pure love, women’s good luck
  • Pink carnation: I’ll never forget you
  • Yellow carnation: Disappointment, rejection (be careful with this one!)

Many other flowers have meanings; a morning glory symbolizes affection, a white jasmine is sweet love and a honeysuckle is a bond of love.

Sometimes it is difficult to say what you mean, and it takes more than words. Don’t underestimate the power of the flower.

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