Home / HistoryFloriography: Exploring the Victorian Meaning of Flowers

Floriography: Exploring the Victorian Meaning of Flowers

Daisy

Daisies

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One of the cheeriest flowers in the field, the daisy very fittingly meant innocence and hope.

 

Gardenia

Gardenia

Stock Photos from photokai/Shutterstock

To Victorians, gardenias were as romantic as they looked and meant secret love.

Iris

Irises

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Like its Greek meaning of “rainbow,” the iris carried different meanings to Victorians depending on the color and quantity. A bouquet of blue irises symbolized hope and faith, while a purple iris meant wisdom.

 

Lilac

Lilacs

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Victorian widows were often seen wearing lilacs, as they were meant to be reminders of an old love.

 

Orchid

Orchid

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Although Victorians were passionate flower collectors, during the 19th century, orchids were extremely hard to find in England, thus implying that orchid owners were of remarkable wealth and good taste. Giving an orchid expressed deep love and passion.

 

Pansy

Pansies

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Originally deriving from the French word “pensée,” the pansy flower symbolized thoughtfulness.

 

Peony

Peonies

Stock Photos from Serhii Brovko/Shutterstock

In China, peonies are considered to be the “king of flowers.” The Victorians used peonies to express prosperity and happy marriage.

 

Rose

Roses

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Today, red roses are the go-to for Valentine’s Day lovers. According to the Victorian language of flowers, each color of rose had a different meaning:

  • Red roses meant I love you.
  • White roses meant charm or innocence.
  • Pink roses meant perfect happiness.
  • Yellow roses meant jealousy.

 

Next: Even More Flowers and Their Victorian Meanings

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