Flowers can speak volumes when words cannot, but did you know there’s a secret language all about flowers? The secret language of flowers is known as floriography, a practice which has roots all over the world in traditional cultures throughout Europe, Asia and Africa. Western culture’s early glimpses of floriography sees William Shakespeare give symbolic significance to different flowers and plants in his plays, such as Ophelia’s use of certain flowers in Hamlet to reflect her complicated and delicate emotional state, examples of these being Rosemary for mourning and Pansies for remembrance. The secret language of flowers exploded into popularity in the Victorian Era in England, a period of time especially known for its modesty, stiff upper lip and conforming to polite society at all costs. During this era, floriography allowed people to convey the deep emotions they wouldn’t dare say with words, especially where love and romance were concerned.
These days, while we might not necessarily need to use flowers to circumvent societal constraints, conveying a message and celebrating an occasion is still all about flowers for us here at LULLY & ROSE Floral Studio. The secret language of flowers is one that can provide your sentiments with an extra level of impact and natural beauty. From the joy of celebrating a newborn arrival, the atmosphere of a milestone birthday, the romance of an anniversary or Valentine’s Day, to the more delicate moments in life like sympathy flowers – fresh, seasonal florals and foliages can still say it all.
THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS (A-C)
We’ve put together this guide to some of our favourite flower varieties and what occasions they’re suited to so you can enjoy learning all about the language of flowers and feel extra knowledgeable the next time you send a luxury arrangement from LULLY & ROSE Floral Studio. We know you learn something new or find a new favourite from our collection of unique, seasonal florals.
These clusters of small flowers are lily-like in appearance and are grouped together at the top of the stem in a sweet selection of closely-gathered buds. Available in white, pinks, peach, burgundy, lemon and purples, delicate Alstroemerias are perfect for adding a subtle vibrance and texture to an arrangement. Alstroemerias in any colour represent friendship, love and support. They can be given as a romantic or a friendship flower, with each of the six petals representing a positive characteristic and the intertwined leaves representing bonding and togetherness.
You may know Amaranthus by one of it’s other many colloquial names, such as love-lies-bleeding, pendant amaranth, tassel flower, velvet flower, foxtail amaranth or quilete. The tendril-like florals on this flowering plant offer a beautiful shape and dimension to your arrangements. Available in burgundy, green and toffee, this floral has a deeply organic look and feel that we just love. Because of their long-lasting nature, Amaranthus flowers can be used to represent immortality or eternal life; perfect for expressing a love that will never die.
Similar in appearance to lily-of-the-valley, Andromeda flowers are a clustered style floral with a cascade of bell-like flowers. These dainty florals have an elegant quality to them and are available in white and shades of pink. Also known as the Japanese Andromeda or Japanese Pieris, these flowers can be associated with happiness and purity, making them a beautiful selection for any arrangement.
These elegant star-shaped florals are characteristically white with a black centre and may also be known as Arabian Star Flowers or Black Pearl Lilies. Boasting a sweet perfume and tall straight stems, their white or creamy white petals are beautifully offset by a glistening black pearl at the heart of each floral. Symbolic meanings attributed to the Arabs Eye are; purity, hope, honesty, innocence, trust and forgiveness. The floral can be associated with the birth of Christ and as such are beautiful for a christening ceremony. However, the flower does not strictly have religious connotations and makes a beautiful inclusion for a newborn’s arrival.
Baby’s Breath are classic, sweet florals to add to any wedding arrangements, and bring a soft touch to your wedding arbours and table arrangements. These tiny white florals are reminiscent of tiny cloud-like puffs resting atop long, individual stems and their use in arrangements creates an organic volume and texture. Baby’s breath can be tinted any colour to suit the occasion, however they are most commonly seen in white. Often used as a symbol of everlasting love and purity, they are a popular addition to wedding bouquets. This dreamy flower really is an all-rounder though and can add a touch of sweetness to any wedding arrangement.
These vibrant spheres are a joyful flower perched atop a thick stem and are commonly known as Billy Buttons. The charming yellow wildflower is native to Australia, making it a gorgeous inclusion in one of our ‘native and natural’ colour selections. Symbolic of good health, these are ideal for ‘get well soon’ flowers or simply wishing good health to your friends and loved ones.
Reminiscent of a star, the blushing bride floral fades out from a deep blush centre to papery-feeling petals that can range in colour from snow white and ivory tones to cream brushed with a pale pink. These are unique and meaningful florals to feature in a wedding bouquet, with their name coming from folklore that a gentleman on his way to propose would wear one in his buttonhole and the depth of the pink in the floral was representative of the depth of his affection. There are some beautiful flower meanings and stories out there once you start to research all about flowers!
These versatile, velveteen florals add texture to arrangements with their fluffy ‘bunny tail’ look and feel. Bunny Tails naturally a neutral beige, but you can tint them to match any colour that suits the occasion at hand. They’re known as a sacred flower of the goddess of love, beauty and fertility and are a popular choice for dried and fresh arrangements alike due to their everlasting nature. They represent innocence, purity, childbirth and new beginnings.
This classic, elegant flower is available in a wide range of colours; blush, plum, dark purple, white, cream, lemon, peach, pink, mauve and yellow. When learning all about flowers, there’s no shortage of lore on the Calla Lily, including associations with Greek goddesses. Calla Lilies have a wide range of meanings which can vary with their colouring, though one of the more popular readings is that they are symbolic of purity, holiness and faithfulness. White Calla Lilies are beautiful as an En Masse arrangement for sympathy flowers.
Carnations are much loved, and easily recognisable with their fringe-petaled flowers which create a layered effect for a full and fluffy floral bursting with femininity. Widely recognised as a flower for Mother’s Day, the colours chosen for Mother’s Day carnations are significant due to the history of the floral’s association with the holiday. In 1908, Anna Marie Jarvis honoured both her own mother who served wounded soldiers in the American Civil War and all mothers who had passed away with a memorial ceremony – she sent everyone who attended 500 white carnations, beginning a lasting tradition to give or wear white carnations to remember lost mothers. In the years since, red and pink carnations have become the traditional choice to recognise and honour mothers who are still living.
You may not have heard of the stunning Chincherinchee florals before, but they will surely leave a lasting impression with their sweet scent, star-shaped petals and unique clustered growth which meets a point to add extra height to your next arrangement. A variety of the lily family, the long-lasting flowers of this South African species are also popularly known as star-of-Bethlehems or wonder-flowers. Like its Ornithogalum relative, the Arabs Eye, they symbolise purity, hope, honesty, innocence, trust and forgiveness and can be associated with the birth of Christ.
Available in blue or white, Cornflowers sport fluffy, slightly jagged petals and are a uniquely textured floral with an earthy scent. This Mediterranean native flower represents natural beauty and the circle of life, often used to symbolise positive hope for the future. Want to know all about flowers? You will find that the colour ‘cornflower blue’ is in fact named after the natural shade of Cornflowers.
Cosmos flowers have a daisy-like appearance but are certainly vibrant and beautiful in their own right. Their wide petals span out to give a cheerful impression and vary in colour from white to shades of pink and purple. Cosmos flower can represent order and harmony due to the balanced nature of their petals, though these fresh scented flowers are also associated with modesty, balance, beauty and joy. They make a lovely addition to arrangements for many occasions, and are often a popular choice for birthdays and are the perfect feature floral for Posies.
We simply couldn’t do without the dreamy, softly-perfumed Cottage Rose at LULLY & ROSE. Our favourite variety is the Grandiflora Roses, with their delicate ruffled petals opening out into a layered flower with a beautiful silky texture. Available in pinks, whites, creams, reds, yellows, apricot, mauve and burgundy, Cottage Roses meanings are largely derived from their colour. For example, reds for romance – the deeper the red, the deeper the love, white for weddings or sympathy, vibrant yellow for friendship and pinks for admiration and gratitude. There’s plenty of information all about flowers that dives deeply into different rose colours. Here at LULLY & ROSE, we prefer to work with natural colours to really showcase the beauty of nature that we often miss in our busy, modern lives!
This tall orchid variety is an absolute show-stopper with its luscious cascade of multiple orchid flowers growing from one long stem. Whether you choose burgundy, white, cream, toffees, pinks, greens, or yellows, it is sure to take your breath away. In Asian culture, the giving of a Cymbidium Orchid arrangement is an honour and a sign of respect. Other meanings include: morality, virtue, beauty, refinement, and love. Whichever meaning you ascribe to your orchid, it is most certainly a luxurious and special gift.
We hope you’ve enjoyed learning all about flowers in Part 1 of our Secret Language of Flowers series, and that you’ll join us for The Secret Language Of Flowers Part 2!
If you’re feeling inspired, order florals from LULLY & ROSE online today to add a touch of luxury to every occasion.