The meaning of different Valentine’s flowers

Every flower has a different meaning. In fact, according to Lucy Matthewson, Horticulture Buyer at Waitrose Florist, the Victorians had a whole language told by each beautiful bloom.

“Developed by the Victorians, ‘floriography’ was commonly used to convey secret messages that etiquette of the day deemed unacceptable to share openly,” she explains.

“Over time, opinion and understanding of flower symbolisms have changed and developed, but it’s incredibly interesting to look back at some of the messages our ancestors were trying to give through their bouquets.”


Red Roses

The classic red rose probably means exactly what you think it does: true love.

According to Appleyard London’s head florist Lauren Probert, they’re the “traditional gift for valentines”.

“As most of us know red roses symbolise love, romance and are the perfect bloom to simply say ‘I love you’,” she says.

“These flowers, like our Opulent Red Rose Bouquet, are our best sellers on Valentine’s Day and we can understand why: it’s a timeless, classic valentine’s gift.”



White Roses

Different coloured roses, however, have different meanings.

White ones have become known as the bridal flower and represent unity, virtue purity and new beginnings of love.


Pink Roses

Pink roses have come to be associated with grace.

They can also mean elegance, admiration and appreciation making them a great gift whatever stage of your relationship.

They can show admiration for a new relationship or gratitude for a partner who’s always been there to support you over the years.




While they’ve often come to be associated with sympathy, the lily’s original meaning was actually ‘majesty’.

This is defined as impressive beauty and devotion, making a great gift for your love interest on February 14.




During the Victorian period, there were almost 2,000 species of orchid in existence.

Because they came from Central America, Africa, India and the Far East, they became associated with luxury.

As such, their meaning is one of ‘refined beauty’, making them a great alternative to classic roses this Valentine’s day.




Tulips originated in the Middle East before being brought to Europe in the sixteenth century.

Twenty per cent of Brits think they symbolise nothing but their meaning is actually quite a romantic one – a declaration of love.




Freesias made their way to Europe from Southern Africa in the 18th century.

They show true lasting friendship, making them a great gift for a friend you’re thinking of.




Irises have the most unusual meaning of all on this list.

According to Waitrose, in Victorian times sending Irises was a way of saying “My compliments. I have a message for you”.

What that message may be is left up to you.



This article was originally written by Eleanor Lees, at:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s