Olive Grove Design


The Language of the Flowers

Did you know that each variety of flower signifies a unique meaning? 

In Victorian times, the "Language of the Flowers" was used to convey messages. Each different flower represented a sentiment to its recipient... for better or for worse!

The Victorian library of flowers offered a wide range of expressions, allowing for two lovers to communicate throughout their courtship. A young man might send his beau a purple pansy ("You occupy my thoughts"). His sweetheart might send back a double aster ("I share your sentiments,")... or, perhaps instead, a yellow carnation: "No!"

The Language of the Flowers could also be used to convey sentiments appropriate to particular situations. For example, you might wish to send marigolds ("Despair or Grief") to a funeral... or sage ("Long Life and Health) to a sick friend.

You can thank the Language of the Flowers for our romantic attachment to long-stemmed red roses... but there were many other ways to express different types of love! Take a peek at just a few:

  • Gloxinia: Love at First Sight
  • Lilac: First Emotions of Love
  • Yellow Acacia: Secret Love
  • Tulips: Declaration of Love
  • Yellow Tulip: Hopeless Love
  • Primrose: Young Love
  • Honeysuckle: Devoted Affection

Other varieties conveyed less amorous sentiments:

  • Yellow Sweetbriar: A Decrease of Love
  • Buttercup: Childishness
  • Carolina Syringa: Disappointment 
  • Birdsfoot Trefoil: Revenge
  • Oleander: Beware
  • Cobaea: Gossip
  • Butterfly Weed: Let Me Go
  • Meadow Saffron: Happy Days are Past

Isn't it beautiful to think of an entire language conveyed with flowers? We love the idea of added symbolism behind these beautiful blooms.

Would you incorporate a nod to the Language of the Flowers in your wedding arrangements? We love the rich tradition behind this language, and always enjoy the opportunity to bring it into a modern aesthetic. 

Whether you're seeking ranunculus ("You are radiant—I am dazzled by you!") or stephanotis ("marital bliss")... we would love to craft a distinctive floral design for your special day. Inquire below to begin the design process!


Sarah Erickson