Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Say It With Flowers

The giving of flowers can help lift a person's spirits when they are feeling down or they can symbolize the love shared between couples or help bring a smile to one who is sick.  This practice has been going on for centuries between couples in love or between members of the family or between good friends.  I have fond memories as a child of staying at my Grandparent's apartment in the city and walking to the corner store with Grandma to get fresh produce and coming home with a new potted Geranium to give to Mom and it's a practice I've tried to be faithful to well into my adulthood especially since the meaning of comfort seemed to really fit.  My parents divorced when I was five years old and comfort was definitely something my mother needed in those early years after my father broke his vows and left.  

Here is a partial list of flowers and their meanings taken from the website “About Flowers” – I focused on those with positive meanings and you can visit their site for the full list.  

Amaryllis                   dramatic
Anemone                    fragile
Apple Blossom           promise
Aster                          contentment
Azalea                        abundance
Baby's Breath            festivity
Bachelor Button         anticipation
Begonia                     deep thoughts
Camellia                    graciousness
Cosmos                     peaceful
Crocus                      foresight
Daffodil                    chivalry
Delphinium               boldness
Freesia                      spirited
Forget-Me-Not         remember me forever
Gardenia                   joy
Geranium                 comfort
Gladiolus                 strength of character
Hibiscus                   delicate beauty
Holly                        domestic happiness
Hyacinth                   sincerity
Hydrangea                perseverance
Iris                            inspiration
Ivy                            fidelity
Jasmine                     grace and elegance
Larkspur                    beautiful spirit
Lilac                         first love
Lisianthus                calming
Magnolia                 dignity
Marigold                  desire for riches
Nasturtium                patriotism
Orchid                      delicate beauty
Pansy                        loving thoughts
Passion flower          passion
Peony                        healing
Poppy                        consolation
Queen Anne's Lace   delicate femininity
Star of Bethlehem      hope
Stephanotis                good luck
Statice                         success
Sunflower                   adoration, loyalty, longevity
Wisteria                      steadfast
Yarrow                        good health
Zinnia                         thoughts of friends


Some flowers can have various meanings based on their color or particular variety. 

pink for gratitude, red for flashy, striped for refusal, white for remembrance, and yellow for cheerful.

bronze = excitement; white = truth; red for sharing and yellow for secret admirer

The Calla lily stands for regal; Casablanca for celebration; a Day Lily for enthusiasm; and the exotic Stargazer lily for ambition.

Pink for friendship; red for passionate love; red & white for unity; white for purity; yellow for zealous.

Pink = caring; purple = royalty; red = declaration of love; white = forgiveness; yellow = hopelessly in love; and violet for faithfulness 

Upon further reading, the website Meaning of Flowers, the number of flowers can have a meaning.  The site states that normally these following sentiments are done through the giving of roses:

Meaning of one flower – You are my everything
Meaning of two flowers – Let us travel away together
Meaning of three flowers – When will I see you again?
Meaning of four flowers – I look up to you and am grateful to you
Meaning of five flowers – I would do anything for you
Meaning of six flowers – I doubt your words
Meaning of seven flowers – I love you
Meaning of eight flowers – I will be faithful to you until death
Meaning of nine flowers – I want to be alone with you
Meaning of ten flowers – Will you marry me?
12 flowers – The perfect dozen, perfect love
36 flowers – Attachment to ones partner, 36 is one of the most romantic numbers there is.
99 flowers – Love you forever
365 flowers – Loving you every day of the year.

What about our native wildflowers?  There are many beautiful blooms out there if one just takes a walk in a state forest or park where flowers grow wild.  These are sometimes looked upon as weeds but in many cases have served as the source plants for the wide variety of cultivars and varieties plant growers have used to create our garden variety plants.  I’ve grown fond of letting some of the “weeds” have their way in the yard.  As a lover of Nature and wildlife, allowing native flowers to grow supports the animals and require far less care than the various cultivated plants.  I have a new mantra - “Go Native”.  As I research plants I know used to grow wild in my area, I hope to return some of them to my yard.  For the small stand of Goldenrod that now grow on the edge of my yard, I am pleased to see the great variety of butterflies and other insects that come to sip nectar from them.  Joe-pye Weed brings in the swallowtails and Monarchs and provide seeds for the Goldfinches in the fall and a haven of small insect life that feed the dragonflies.  There are a wild variety of interesting blooms out there – some that serve us by providing food or medicine, food for birds and insects or as host plants for the larvae of butterflies.  A small section of cliff abbuting three properties including mine has become a growing spot for a particular type of milkweed.  I've been amazed with the number of wasps and bees coming to nectar on the white flowers and those insects have served as great fun for my macro lens.  Take a look at those “weeds” and see just how interesting or useful and beautiful they can be - not only themselves but for the host of life that will make use of them.  Of course, the types of native wildflowers one finds in a particular location will vary.  However, here is a list of some native flowers and their meaning (resources: Living Art Originals and )

Bird of Paradise – freedom, good perspective, faithfulness (when woman gives to man)
Black-Eyed Susan encouragement
Buttercup – humility, neatness, childishness
Cattail – peace and prosperity
Dandelion – persistence and strong will
Daisy innocence
Ferns – magic, fascination, confidence
Goldenrod – caution or good fortune, encouragement
Honeysuckle – bond of love, devotion, generosity
Morning Glory – affection
Trillium – healing, joy of spring

So, if you are creating greeting cards using flowers as the subject or want to tell someone something in particular, say it with the right flower.


  1. LOVE this post. I was just getting ready to look up flowers and their meanings and here it all is laid out in my lap. Thank you! (Now if I could just find more info on a Trillium...)

  2. Hi Tracie... Trilliums grow locally in one particular area that I know of but haven't been able to get out to photo. I hear they are lovely to see in person. Glad you like my post - there is more information on the sites I assembled this information from - each month's flower, state flowers, etc.

  3. Another website with information on some flowers and other symbols....