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The Language of Flowers: A Message in Every Petal
Sending flowers can convey any kind of message, as different varieties traditionally contain hidden meanings. Read Groupon’s guide to decoding the language of flowers.
In Victorian times, sending particular flowers allowed people to express specific feelings that proper etiquette prevented them from saying out loud. Fluency in this language of flowers—known as floriography—has waned over the years, but some holdouts still communicate clear emotions even today. The most striking example, perhaps, is the rose—a symbol of love. Each shade sends a different signal: red is an unequivocal declaration of passion, pink a sly clue of secret affection, and white a message of innocence, honor, or reverence. Different colors of other flowers can put a new spin on their meaning, too. Both tulips and carnations have romantic undertones, but whereas a red tulip also speaks of desire, a white one begs forgiveness for spilling bleach on the tulips. Red carnations say, “My heart aches for you”; pink ones say, “I’ll never forget you”; and striped ones say, “I can’t be with you.”
Of course, flowers can send messages other than love. The color purple—historically associated with royalty—represents pride or success, which is why you might send purple amaryllises to a recent graduate. You also could send them yellow poppies, which symbolize wealth and success, or apple blossoms, which herald better things to come. Along with peonies, which signify healing, apple blossoms also could make a fine get-well gift to the graduate after taking a falling mortarboard to the eye. Not all flowers send positive vibes, however; petunias speak of resentment or anger, snapdragons of deception and presumption, and begonias of impending danger.