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Before you buy, here's everything you should know about flowers and their meanings:
According to Teleflora.com, chrysanthemums symbolize optimism and joy. Kate Greenway’s “Language of Flowers” gives a slightly different interpretation. Red chrysanthemums are said to represent love, white ones truth and yellow mums slighted love.
Carnations are another flower in which the different colors may convey very different meanings. From Teleflora.com: “White carnations suggest pure love and good luck, light red symbolizes admiration, while dark red represents deep love and affection. Purple carnations imply capriciousness, and pink carnations carry the greatest significance, beginning with the belief that they first appeared on earth from the Virgin Mary’s tears—making them the symbol of a mother’s undying love.” According to Greenway’s “Language of Flowers,” deep red carnations mean “Alas for my poor heart!” and yellow ones mean disdain—not a good choice for Valentine’s Day.
These wonderfully fragrant flowers are available in most grocery stores and floral shops. Teleflora.com has this not-so-cheerful story about the significance of hyacinths: “As the story goes, two gods—Apollo the sun god, and Zephyr the god of the west wind—adored (a Greek boy named) Hyakinthos and competed for his attention. One day, while Apollo was teaching Hyakinthos the art of throwing a discus, Zephyr, in a jealous rage, blew the discus back, killing Hyakinthos with a strike to the head. Apollo named the flower that grew from Hyakinthos’s blood hyacinth.” For that reason, hyacinth symbolizes sport. Of course, now that you have read this, you’ll probably think about fatal head blows every time you see one.
A very common flower at funerals, lilies also symbolize virtues such as purity, sweetness and friendship. According to Teleflora.com, the Greeks believed the lily sprouted from the milk of Hera, the wife of Zeus. White lilies signify purity and sweetness, day lilies symbolze coquetry and yellow lilies can mean falsehood or gaiety. Lilies of the Valley mean a return of happiness.
These tiny clusters of white flowers are extremely common in floral arrangements. The meaning of this flower, per iflorist.com, is happiness.
You have seen this flower in every grocery store even if you do not recognize the name. Alstroermeria is a type of lily and is probably one of the longest lasting cut flowers you can buy. The flower symbolizes inspiration, but will be especially appreciated by that special someone when they are still enjoying their alstroermeria bouquet for up to two weeks after Valentine’s Day. Aboutflowers.com says you can find this long-lasting lily in yellow, apricot, orange, salmon, pink, red, mauve, lavender, purple, cream, white and bi-colors.
Often thought of as an early sign of spring, daffodils also symbolize the essence of chivalry according to flowermeaning.org. The web site offers this advice: “Present a bouquet of daffodils to handsome man at work who always holds the elevator for you.” That’s not weird at all, right?
Proflowers.com may have the best reason ever for buying an orchid. “With an exotic appearance, orchids have come to represent rare and delicate beauty,” Proflowers explains. Fellas, if you tell your loved one that you bought her an orchid because it reminded you of her “rare and delicate beauty,” that is going to qualify as a win.
Ah, roses. The most common, yet perhaps most complicated, flower of all. Choose poorly and you indicate your jealously and lack of love. On the other hand, you could go too far in the other direction and give someone you have known only a week an arrangement that means a proposal is forthcoming. Proflowers.com offers the following explanations:
- Red roses symbolize love (unless they are dark red in which case they mean “bashful shame” according to the “Language of Flowers”).
- Orange roses are “embodiment of desire and enthusiasm” and are “an expression of fervent romance.” In what is perhaps a bit of an understatement given the definition above, Proflowers.com states “A bouquet of orange roses will send a meaningful message.” Indeed. Maybe the guy you give the daffodils to will give you orange roses in return.
- Lavender roses are a symbol of enchantment and used to express love at first sight.
- White roses symbolize innocence, purity, honor and reverence.
- Yellow roses can be a symbol for joy and friendship according to Proflowers.com or they can represent jealousy and a decrease in love according to the “Language of Flowers.”
- Pink roses mean admiration and are a symbol of grace and elegance. Proflowers.com states pink rose bouquets “impart a gentler meaning than their red counterparts.” I like you, but I don’t love you…
Once you have decided on a color, it is time to choose how many to buy. Meaning-of-flowers.com offers these helpful interpretations:
- One rose—Love at first sight.
- Two roses—A commitment or forthcoming marriage, engagement.
- Three roses—I love you.
- Twelve roses—The ultimate declaration of love.
- Twenty-five roses—Congratulations.
- Fifty roses—Unconditional love.
Good luck flower shopping and Happy Valentine's Day!