Roses are red, violets are blue, we know the meaning of flowers and soon you will too!
You and your beloved will be one of thousands coming together to exchange gifts and express your love on the 14th February this year. Valentine's Day or Saint Valentine's Day originated as a Western Christian liturgical feast in celebration of one or more Saint Valentinus. The story goes that Saint Valentine of Rome was imprisoned for illegally performing marriages for soldiers who had been forbidden from marriage by Emperor Claudius II. He was sentenced to death and, it is alleged that, he fell in love with his jailer's daughter while in prison. Before he was put to death he wrote her a letter and signed it 'From your Valentine'. The association of the day with romantic love was later introduced by poet Geoffrey Chaucer in the 14th century and then grew to be an occasion for expressing love through giving flowers, confectionery and sending cards in 18th-century England. So what is the true meaning behind some of the flowers we exchange on the modern-day Valentine's Day?
Roses are the most common Valentine's Day gift of them all and said to be the favourite flower of Venus - the goddess of love. The rose has long been a strong symbol of beauty, passion and love. But did you know that there is different symbolism associated with the different colours of roses?
Red roses: Love and passion
Yellow roses: Friendship
White roses: True love and purity of the mind
Pink roses: Friendship or your sweetheart
Black roses: Farewell
Protea are symbolic of change and transformation and signify daring and resourcefulness. This standout bloom is also representative of diversity and courage. A beautiful bloom to use as a principle flower in a bouquet or as a single stem on its own. Give it to your fearless and independent partner.
Orchids are the symbol for exotic beauty and embody refinement, thoughtfulness and mature charm. The ancient Greeks believed that the orchid was a symbol of virility. It is also believed to symbolise femininity.
Peonies are symbolic of romance, prosperity and a happy marriage. They are the 12th anniversary flower and are an omen for good fortune.
Tulips are said to be a declaration of love and are symbolic of passion. Tulips were originally from Persia and Turkey and were brought to Europe in the 16th century. The English word 'tulip' originated from the Turkish word for gauze, which is the material that many turbans were made from. The flower resembled a turban like shape in full bloom, which is where the name comes from. The different colours of tulips carry different meanings e.g.: yellow symbolises cheerful thoughts, white conveys forgiveness, purple represents royalty and red is a declaration of love.
Dahlias are symbolic of staying graceful under pressure - especially by drawing on an inner strength. In the Victorian era people used the Dahlia to signify a lasting bond and commitment between two people.
Lilies are known for being symbolic of majesty and royalty. They also symbolise motherhood and fertility and the beauty of youth. In China, family and friends give lilies to people who have experienced a loss because it's believed to relieve heartache.
'What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.'
- Juliet, Romeo and Juliet - William Shakespeare
Sunflower is a signifier of pure thoughts, adoration and dedication. As the colour and name suggests it also conveys warmth and happiness. In China the sunflower is a symbol of long life and was eaten by royalty to ensure immortality.
For more inspiration check out the new Flowers 19 Magazine!