Throughout history, lovers have given flowers to each other as a token of their longing, devotion, and love. The language and meaning of flowers has evolved through the years.
When choosing a flower as a gift, consider how special the flower is to your lover and what message it communicates. Use our guide to the language and meaning of flowers to make sure your meaning is crystal clear.
"The flowers of Yorkshire are like the women of Yorkshire. Every stage of their growth has its own beauty, but the last phase is always the most glorious. Then very quickly they all go to seed." - From John Clarke's (John Alderton) ungiven speech in the movie, "Calendar Girls."
ACACIA: Concealed love, chaste love.
ACORNS: Strength, endurance.
AGAPANTHUS: Love letters, love.
ALMOND, FLOWERING: Hope.
ALSTROMERIA: Wealth, prosperity, fortune.
ALYSSUM: Worth beyond beauty.
AMARYLLIS: Pride, beauty.
AMBROSIA: Love is reciprocated.
AMERICAN ELM: Patriotism.
ANEMONE: Forsaken, expectation.
APPLE BLOSSOMS: Good fortune, preference.
ARBUTUS: Thee only do I love.
ASH TREE: Grandeur.
ASPARAGUS FERN: Fascination.
ASTER: Variety, elegance, daintiness. This purple wildflower was once burned by the ancients because they believed the resulting smoke would drive away evil. It was named for the Latin word for "star." Also known as the birth flower for September.
ASTILBE: I'll still be waiting.
AZALEA: Love, romance, first love, fragile passion, temperance. It is also the Chinese symbol of womanhood and femininity.
BABY'S BREATH: Innocence.
BACHELOR'S BUTTON: Single blessedness, felicity, celibacy.
BALSAM: Ardent love.
BAMBOO: Strength, loyalty, steadfastness.
BASIL: Best wishes.
BAY WREATH: Merit reward.
BEECH TREE: Prosperity.
BEGONIA: Be cordial, fanciful nature, beware.
BELLS OF IRELAND: Good luck, gratitude, whimsy.
BIRD OF PARADISE: Magnificence.
BLACK POPLAR: Courage.
BLUEBELL: Humility, constancy, grief.
BROOM: Humility, neatness.
BUGLE: Lovable, cheers the heart.
BUTTERCUP: Childishness, riches, ingratitude.
BUTTERFLY WEED: Let me go.
CACTUS: Endurance, warmth.
CALENDULA: Grace, grief, jealousy. Also the birth flower for October.
CALLA LILY: Magnificent beauty. Associated with the sixth wedding anniversary.
CAMELLIA: Gratitude, loveliness.
CAMELLIA, PINK: Longing for you.
CAMELLIA, RED: You're a flame in my heart.
CAMELLIA, WHITE: You're adorable.
CARNATION: Fascination, distinction, divine love, woman, yes. Also the birth flower for January.
CARNATION, PINK: A woman's love, I'll never forget you, mother's love.
CARNATION, PURPLE: Capriciousness.
CARNATION, RED: Alas for my poor heart, admiration, my heart aches for you, friendship, pride, fascination.
CARNATION, STRIPED: Refusal, No, sorry I can't be with you.
CARNATION, WHITE: Innocence, faithfulness, sweet and lovely, pure love, ardent love, good luck. These lovely flowers have lasting qualities, and are often handed out on Mother's Day to symbolize the purity and strength of motherhood. They were handed out at the first Mother's Day service in 1908.
CARNATION, YELLOW: Disdain, rejection, you have disappointed me.
CATTAIL: Peace, prosperity.
CHESTNUT TREE: Justice, luxury.
CHRISTMAS/LENTEN ROSE (HELLEBORE): Beautiful year ahead.
CHRYSANTHEMUM: Cheerfulness, optimism, rest, truth, long life, joy. Considered to be a noble flower in Asian culture, mums are used as an object of meditation per a suggestion by Confucius. Also the birth flower for November.
CHRYSANTHEMUM, RED: I love.
CHRYSANTHEMUM, WHITE: Truth, loyal love.
CHRYSANTHEMUM, YELLOW: Slighted love.
CLEMATIS: Clever, intellectual. Associated with the eighth wedding anniversary.
CLOVER, FOUR-LEAF: Good luck, be mine. Faith, hope, love, and luck are represented by the four leaves. If you give your lover a four-leaf clover that you found, you belong to each other.
COLUMBINE: Salvation, strength, wisdom.
COSMOS: Modesty. Associated with the 2nd wedding anniversary.
COWSLIP: Grace, beauty.
CRANBERRY: Heartache cure.
CROCUS: Cheerfulness, gladness, abuse not.
CYCLAMEN: Resignation, good-bye.
CYPRESS: Mourning, death.
DAFFODIL: Regard, rebirth, new beginnings, unrequited love, you're the only one, chivalry, eternal life. Associated with the tenth wedding anniversary. Also the birth flower for March and the national symbol of Wales.
DAFFODIL, SINGLE: Misfortune.
DAFFODIL, SEVERAL: Joy, happiness.
DAHLIA: Instability, dignity, forever, good taste. Associated with the fourteenth wedding anniversary.
DAISY: Innocence, loyal love, I'll never tell, purity, love that conquers all, beauty, simplicity. Associated with the fifth wedding anniversary.
DANDELION: Faithfulness, happiness, love's oracle.
DAY LILY: Coquetry, Chinese emblem for mother. Associated with the twentieth wedding anniversary.
DELPHINIUM: Big-hearted, fun.
ELDERBERRY: Zeal, kindness.
FENNEL: Strength, praise.
FERN: Sincerity, magic, fascination, confidence, shelter.
FEVERFEW: Good health.
FLAX: Domestic symbol, fate, kindness.
FORGET-ME-NOT: True love, hope, remembrance, memories.
FREESIA: Innocence, thoughtfulness.
FUSCHIA: Taste. Associated with the third wedding anniversary.