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

C

Cabbage – profit
Cactus – warmth
Camomile – energy in adversity
Canary grass – persuasion
Candytuft – indifference
Canterbury Bell – acknowledgement
Cape Jasmine – I’m too happy
Cardamine – paternal error
Cardinal Flower – distinctionTin Teddy Language of Flowers 2
Carnation, Deep Red – Alas! for my poor heart
Carnation, Striped – refusal
Carnation, Yellow – disdain
Catchfly – snare
Cedar of Lebanon – incorruptible
Cedar Leaf – I live for thee
Celandine, Lesser – joys to come
Centaury – delicacy
Cereus (Creeping) – modest genius
Champignon – suspicion
Cherry Tree – good education
Cherry Tree, White – deception
Chestnut Tree – do me justice, luxury
Chickweed – rendezvous
Chicory – frugality
China Aster – variety
China Aster (Double) – I share your sentiments
China Aster (Single) – I will think of it
China of Indian Pink – Aversion
China Rose – relieve my anxiety
Chrysanthemum, Red – I love
Chrysanthemum, White – truth
Chrysanthemum, Yellow – slighted love
Citron, ill-natured beauty
Clematis – mental beauty
Clematis, Evergreen – poverty
Clotburn – rudeness, pertinacity
Clover, Four-leaved – be mine
Clover, Red – industry
Cover, White – think of me
Cloves – dignity
Cockscomb – amaranth, foppery, affection, singularity
Colchicum or Meadow Saffron – my best days are best
Coltsfoot – justice shall be done
Columbine – folly
Columbine, purple – resoved to win
Columbine, red – anxious and trembling
Convolvulus – bonds
Convolvulus, Blue (minor) – repose, night
Convolvulus (major) – extinguished hopesTin Teddy Language of Flowers Part 1
Coreopsis – always cheerful
Coreposis, Arkansa – love at first sight
Corianda – hidden worth
Corn – riches
Corn (broken) – quarrel
Corn Straw – agreement
Corn Bottle – delicacy
Corn Cockle – gentillity
Coronella – success crown your wishes
Cowslip – pensiveness, winning grace
Cowslip (American) – divine beauty, you are my divinity
Cranberry – cure for heartache
Cress – stability, power
Crocus – abuse not
Crocus, Sprint – youthful gladness
Crown Imperial – majesty, power
Crowfoot – ingratitude
Crowfoot (Aconite-leaved) – lustre
Crowsbill – envy
Cuckoo Plant – ardour
Currant – they frown will kill me
Cyclamen – timidity
Cypress – death

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 2: C
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