Meaning of Flowers


Whatever its origin, the rose is undeniably the best-known symbol of beauty and love. It is common knowledge that red roses mean I love you. A dozen of them makes the ultimate statement, a tradition surely developed by those who measure value by quantity rather than quality.


Lesser-known nuances of meaning are attached to different colors and types of roses. If you're going to jump on the bandwagon and shell out the cash, you'd better get the definitions straight!

Red roses - I love you
White roses - you're heavenly
Red and white roses together
- unity.
Pink roses - grace and gentility
Yellow roses - joy.
White rose buds - you're too y
oung for love
Orange or coral roses - desire.
Burgundy roses - unconscious beauty
Sweetheart roses are for couples who like nicknames, as they mean darling, dear, or honey
A single rose signifies simplicity, a nice statement to make if your pockets are em
pty.

If you want to stray from tradition, or if "I love you" is not what comes to mind, maybe you want something other than the rose!

There's a slew of nice things to say with other flowers, and they're just as nice to receive. Several flowers pose as rose impostors: red chrysanthemums, tulips, and carnations still say I love you. The daisy will compliment your beauty, while the elegant cala lily tops that by celebrating your lover's splendid beauty (I would suggest the Vanilla version!). You can only send a lilac once since it goes to your first love. Gardenia is for the scared or the shy, since it expresses secret untold love. Violets express your affection. Mild or deep-rooted? The floral lexicon doesn't specify!

Some "not-so-nice" sentiments require a feistier petal, great for couples on the rocks. Mock her vanity by giving narcissus, the flower of self-love. Let him have it with a petunia, which expresses anger and resentment. It's okay when your honey flirts with you, but when it's with another, give a dandelion picked from the sidewalk. Make sure your marigold is where your mouth is — the large-flowered signify jealousy, while the small-flowered encourages your loved one to never despair. How can the sunflower, so beautiful, be so mean-spirited? Perhaps too much beauty brings on haughtiness and even false appearances. A striped carnation is flat-out refusal, but if that's the case, why send flowers at all?!!

There are flowers for more unusual tastes if that didn't cover it. For the hard-shell, soft-inside types, the cactus gives the surface impression of intimidation, but sends a deeper message of warmth. Give some wisteria to the suave gentleman you meet on the street to say welcome, fair stranger. For a mama's boy or girl, moss is a charming expression of maternal love. She'll love it, she has to — she's your mother.

Go ahead - show off your new flower vocabulary, but remember that knowledge is a double-edged sword. You are now equipped with the tools to decipher what your date really thinks of you. For instance, if you receive no flowers but are invited for a pasta dinner, you may be in trouble. Beware of pesto: basil, the cruelest of all flower words, means hatred.

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