In Victorian times it was very fashionable to associate “secret” meanings with certain types of flowers.

These connections weren’t very secret, as they were published in magazines and almanacs for people to use as a sort of coded language. Surprisingly many of the “meanings” were very negative and even quite nasty!

 

Here are some of these traditional associations, taken from my Sunlight Year Book 1896.

The Language of Flowers Part 1 – A-B
The Language of Flowers Part 2 – C
The Language of Flowers Part 3 – D-G
The Language of Flowers Part 4 – H-L
The Language of Flowers Part 5 – M-O
The Language of Flowers Part 6 – P-R
The Language of Flowers Part 7 – S-Z

 

A

Acacia – friendship
Acacia, pink or white – elegance
Acacia, yellow – secret love
Aconite (Wolfsbane) – misanthropy
Aconite, crowfoot – lustre
African Marigold – vulgar minds
Agrimony – thankfulness, gratitude
Almond, common – stupidity, indiscretion
Almond, flowering – hope
Almond, laurel – perfidy
Allspice – compassion
Aloe – grief, religious superstition
Althea Frutex (Syrian Mallow) – persuasion
Amaranth (Globe) – immortality, unfading love
Amaryllis – pride, timidity, splendid beauty
American Cowslip – divine beautyTin Teddy Language of Flowers Part 1
American Elm – patriotism
American Linden – matrimony
American Starwort – welcome to a stranger, cheerfulness in old age
Amethyst – admiration
Anemone (Zephyr-flower) – sickness, expectation
Anemone, garden forsaken
Angelica – inspiration
Apple – temptation
Apple blossom – preference, fame speaks him great and good
Apple, thorn – deceitful charms
Apricot – doubt
Arum (Wake Robin) – ardour
Ash-leaved trumpet flower – separation
Ash tree – grandeur
Aspen tree – lamentation
Asphodel – my regrets follow you to the grave
Aster, China – variety, afterthought
Auricula – painting
Auricula, scarlet – avarice
Azalea – temperance

B

Bachelor’s Buttons – celibacy
Balm – sympathy
Balm, gentle – pleasantry
Balm of Gilead – cure, reliefTin Teddy Language of Flowers 2
Balsam, red – touch me not, impatient resolves
Balsam, yellow – impatience
Barberry – sourness of temper
Basil – hatred
Bay leaf – I change but in death
Bay Rhododendron (Rose Rhododendron) – danger, beware
Bay tree – glory
Bay wreath – reward of merit
Bee orchis – industry
Beech tree – prosperity
Belladonna – silence
Belony – surprise
Bind small – timidity
Bindweed – insinuation
Bird’s Foot Trefoil – revenge
Black poplar – courage
Blackthorn – difficulty
Blue bell – constancy
Borage – Bluntness
Box tree – stoicism
Bramble – remorse
Branch of currants – you please me
Branch of throns – severity
Bridal rose – happy love
Broom – humility
Bud of white rose – heart ignorant of love
Bulrush – docility
Burdock – importunity, touch me not
Buttercup (Kingcup) – ingratitude, childishness
Butterfly orchid – gaiety
Butterfly weed – let me go

The Language of Flowers Part 1 – A-B
The Language of Flowers Part 2 – C
The Language of Flowers Part 3 – D-G
The Language of Flowers Part 4 – H-L
The Language of Flowers Part 5 – M-O
The Language of Flowers Part 6 – P-R

The Language of Flowers – Part 1 – A – B

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