Through generations, flowers, their colors, numbers as well as groups, have been used to convey a particular message. In addition, the way flowers were worn or presented also had special meanings. Unfortunately, most of this silent yet complete language has been lost primarily because of lack of use.
The language of flowers, or floriography, was a way of communication during the Victorian era. At that time the individuals used to express their feelings through coded messages with the help of variety of flowers and floral arrangements.
It is thought that the Turks seemed to develop flower meanings way back in the 17th century. Lady Mary Wortley, the wife of the British ambassador to Constantinople, had multiple visits to Turkey. In 1718, she wrote a detailed letter on the “Secret Language of Flowers” that she had discovered. Europe quickly picked up the idea.
The first ever flower language dictionary was introduced with the name Le Language des Fleurs, in 1819. This small book, written by Louise Cortambert (Pen Name: Madame Charlotte de la Tour), became a popular reference on the subject.
During the Victorian era (reign of Queen Victoria 1837-1901), the flowers language flourished a lot. The language became very popular among the Victorian women as it allowed them to communicate feelings and meanings which they were not allowed for as per strict propriety of times. Tussie-mussies, a bunch of flowers wrapped with a lace and tied with a satin ribbon became a valued and admired at that time.
In 1884, a whole book on the subject was published in London with the title “The Language of Flowers”. The book got high popularity and respect. Since then, this book by Jean Marsh, illustrated by Kate Greenway, has been the standard source for Victorian flower meaning.
Some Famous Flower Meanings:
Rose and the Flower Language:
Rose is the flower that is most commonly used to convey some special messages. Some details of meaning of the Rose are listed below.