The Meaning of Flowers in Human Culture

The meaning of flowers is something that can be discussed from both an historical and present perspective. For many cultures flowers have had different meanings, but there are many similarities that last even to this day. Peace, beauty, purity, strength – all of these and more can be linked to flowers.

It has long been a custom that lovers will gift one another with flowers as a declaration of their desire and faithfulness. This is a custom that still stands today. Often, the flowers are chosen due to their meaning to someone, usually as a result of personal taste or favoritism. In addition to this, the individual meaning of the blooms can be an influence in the selection. When you are choosing flowers for a loved one, you may wish to consider the historical meaning behind each blossom.

The chrysanthemum has long been a popular flower for a wedding or similar happy occasion, with both the red and white varieties carrying the meaning of true love for another. The carnation has been used for Mother’s Day for over a century. The white variety is ideal for this purpose, as the yellow carries with it a message of disappointment or disdain, and the striped variety are used as a refusal to let someone know you can’t be with them.

The daffodil can have the meaning of a new beginning, but is also used to convey true love. As a result, it is appropriately associated with the tenth wedding anniversary. The azalea, considered in China as the symbol of womanhood, carries also the meaning of love and romance. Similarly, ivy can mean affection and friendship, and is used as a symbol of marriage.

Poppy flowers are used in Canada for Remembrance Day, and carry with them the meaning of consolation and pleasure in their white form, but wealth and success in their yellow. Magnolia flowers suggest dignity and nobility, but also a love for nature. The peony can mean shame, but is also used for good health and prosperity. A purple hyacinth has the meaning of apology, whereas a yellow one indicates jealousy.

The ever-popular orchid can mean love, but is often used to indicate beauty – specifically in a woman. In China, the orchid demonstrates longevity as well as beauty.

Many flowers are specific to a particular anniversary. Consult with a florist to help you determine the right flowers for the occasion and if you have a question about the meaning behind a particular bloom. They’ll be happy to help!

Copyright (c) 2008 Brant Florist

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