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

M

Madder – calumny
Magnolia – love of nature
Mallow – beneficence
Maple – reserve
Marigold – grief
Marigold (African) – vulgar mindsTin Teddy Language of Flowers 2
Marigold (French) – jealousy
Marigold (Prophetic) – prediction
Marigold and Cypress – despair
Marjoram – blushes
Marvel of Peru – timidity
Meadow Lychnis – wit
Meadow Saffron – my best days are past
Meadowsweet – uselessness
Mignonette – your qualities surpass your charms
Milfoil – war
Milkvetch – your presence softens my pains
Milkwort – hermitage
Mimosa (Sensitive Plant) – sensitiveness
Mint – virtue
Mistletoe – I surmount difficulties
Mock Orange – counterfeit
Monkshood (Helmet Flower) – chivalry, knight-errantry
Moonwort – forgetfulness
Morning Glory – affectation
Moss – maternal love
Mosses – ennui
Mountain Ash – prudence
Moving Plant – agitation
Mudwort – tranquility
Mugwort – happiness
Mulberry Tree (Black) – I shall not survive you
Mulberry Tree (White) – wisdom
Mushroom – suspicion
Musk Plant – weakness
Mustard Seed – indifferenceTin Teddy Language of Flowers Part 1
Myrrh – gladness
Myrtle – love

N

Narcissus – egotism
Nasturtium – patriotism
Nettle (Burning) – slander
Nettle Tree – concert
Night Convolvulus – night
Nightshade – truth

O

Oak Leaves – bravery
Oak Tree – hospitality
Oats – the witching soul of music
Oleander – beware
Olive – peace
Orange Blossoms – your purity equals your loveliness
Orange Flowers – chastity, bridal festivities
Orange Tree – generosity
Orchis – a belle
Osier – frankness
Osmunda – dreams
Ox-Eye – Patience

 

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 5: M – O

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