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

H

Harebell – grief
Hawkweed – quick sight
Hawthorn – hope
Hazel – reconciliation
Heath – solitude
Heliotrope – devotion, I love but theeTin Teddy Language of Flowers 2
Hellebore – scandal
Hemlock – you will by my death
Hemp – fate
Hepatica – confidence
Holly – foresight
Hollyhock – ambition
Honesty – honesty (well, doh!)
Honeysuckle – devoted affection
Hop – injustice
Horse-chestnut – luxury
House-leek – industry
Hoya – sculpture
Hyacinth – game, play
Hydrangea – heartlessness
Hyssop – cleanliness

I

Ice Plant – your freeze me
Indian Pink – always lovely
Iris – a message
Ivy – fidelity

J

Jacob’s Ladder – come down
Jasmine – amiability
Jasmine, cape – transport of joy
Jasmine, yellow – grace and elegance
Jonquil – return my love

L

Laburnum – forsaken
Lady’s Slipper – capricious beautyTin Teddy Language of Flowers Part 1
Larch – boldness
Larkspur – levity
Laurel – glory
Laurestina – I die if neglected
Lavender – distrust
Lichen – solitude
Lilac, purple – first emotions of love
Lilac, white – youthful innocence
Lily, white – purity
Lily, yellow – falsehood
Lily of the Valley – return of happiness
Lime Tree – conjugal love
Lobelia – malevolence
London Pride – frivolity
Lotus Leaf – recantation
Love lies Bleeding – hopeless, not heartless

 

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

The Language of Flowers Part 4: H-L
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