18 March

FLOWERY LANGUAGE OF THE VICTORIAN ERA

Learning the special symbolism of flowers became a popular pastime during the 1800s. Nearly all Victorian homes had, alongside the Bible, guidebooks for deciphering the “language,” although definitions shifted depending on the source. 

In the Victorian era, flowers were primarily used to deliver messages that couldn’t be spoken aloud. In a sort of silent dialogue, flowers could be used to answer “yes” or “no” questions. A “yes” answer came in the form of flowers handed over with the right hand; if the left hand was used, the answer was “no.”

Almanac.com

Symbolic Meanings of Herbs, Flowers and Other Plants
AbatinaFickleness
AcanthusThe fine art, artifice
AloeAffection, also grief
AmaryllisPride
AnemoneForsaken, sickness
AngelicaInspiration
Apple blossomPreference
ArborvitaeUnchanging friendship
AsterSymbol of Love, Daintiness
Bachelor’s buttonSingle blessedness
Sweet BasilGood wishes
Bay treeGlory
BegoniaBeware, dark thoughts
BelledonnaSilence
BittersweetTruth
Black-eyed SusanJustice
BluebellHumility, constancy
BorageBluntness, directness
Butterfly weedLet me go
Camellia, pinkLonging For You
Camellia, redYou’re a Flame in My Heart
Camellia, whiteYou’re Adorable
CandytuftIndifference
CarnationWomen, Love
– Red carnationAlas for my poor heart, my heart aches
– White carnationInnocence, pure love, women’s good luck gift
– Pink carnationI’ll never forget you
– StripedRefusal
– Yellow carnationDisdain, disappointment, rejection
ChamomilePatience in adversity
ChivesUsefulness
Chrysanthemum, redI love you
Chrysanthemum, yellowSlighted love
Chrysanthemum, whiteTruth
ClematisMental beauty
Clematis, evergreenPoverty
Clover, whiteThink of me
ColumbineFoolishness, folly
Columbine, purpleResolution
Columbine, redAnxious, trembling
CoreopsisAlways cheerful
CorianderHidden worth/merit
Crab blossomIll nature
Crocus, springYouthful gladness
CyclamenResignation, diffidence
DaffodilRegard, Unequalled Love
Dahlia, singleGood taste
DaisyInnocence, hope
DillPowerful against evil
EdelweissCourage, devotion
FennelFlattery
FernSincerity, humility; also, magic and bonds of love
Forget-me-notTrue love memories, do not forget me
GardeniaSecret love
Geranium, oak-leavedTrue friendship
GladiolusRemembrance
GoldenrodEncouragement, good fortune
HeliotropeEternal love, devotion
HibiscusDelicate beauty
HollyForesight
HollyhockAmbition
HoneysuckleBonds of love
HyacinthSport, game, play
– Blue HyacinthConstancy
– Purple HyacinthSorrow
– Yellow HyacinthJealousy
– White HyacinthLoveliness, prayers for someone
HydrangeaGratitude for being understood; frigidity and heartlessness
HyssopSacrifice, cleanliness
IrisA message
IvyFriendship, fidelity, marriage
Jasmine, whiteSweet love, amiability
Jasmine, yellowGrace and elegance
Lady’s SlipperCapricious beauty
LarkspurLightness, levity
LavenderDistrust 
Lemon balmSympathy
LilacJoy of youth
Lily, callaBeauty
Lily, dayChinese emblem for mother
Lily-of-the-valleySweetness, purity, pure love
Lotus FlowerPurity, enlightenment, self-regeneration, and rebirth
MagnoliaLove of nature
Marigold Despair, grief, jealousy
MarjoramJoy and happiness
MintVirtue
Morning gloryAffection
MyrtleGood luck and love in a marriage
NasturtiumPatriotism
OakStrength
OreganoSubstance
PansyThoughts
ParsleyFestivity
PeonyBashful, happy life
PineHumility
Poppy, redConsolation
RhododendronDanger, beware
Rose, redLove, I love you
Rose, dark crimsonMourning
Rose, pinkHappiness
Rose, whiteI’m worthy of you
Rose, yellowJealousy, decrease of love, infidelity
RosemaryRemembrance
RueGrace, clear vision
SageWisdom, immortality
Salvia, blueI think of you
Salvia, redForever mine
SavorySpice, interest
SnapdragonDeception, graciousness
SorrelAffection
SouthernwoodConstancy, jest
SpearmintWarmth of sentiment
SpeedwellFeminine fidelity
Sunflower, dwarfAdoration
Sunflower, tallHaughtiness
Sweet peaDelicate pleasures
Sweet WilliamGallantry
Sweet woodruffHumility
TansyHostile thoughts, declaring war
TarragonLasting interest
ThymeCourage, strength
Tulip, redPassion, declaration of love
Tulip, yellowSunshine in your smile
ValerianReadiness
VioletLoyalty, devotion, faithfulness, modesty
WallflowerFaithfulness in adversity
WillowSadness
YarrowEverlasting love
ZinniaThoughts of absent friends
Almanac.com

A Mother’s Prayer

Aloe my darling.
Willow have you gone?
Bellledonna here without you.
Red carnations all day long.

But when I wake in the morning
I drink chamomile tea
Edelweiss out my window
Is there to remind me.

Heliotrope and honeysuckle,
and a pink carnation, too.
And with this white hyacinth
Is a mother’s prayer for you.

-Anonymous

Image by Pezibear from Pixabay.