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To a layman, flower arrangements might look like mere aesthetic works of art. Very few know that particular kinds of flowers and particular kinds of arrangements of flowers denote certain meanings and emotions. This beautiful means of communication is called florigraphy, or the language of flowers.
This varied form of art has its roots in the Victorian Era, as it would be used by people to express their feelings in a coded way. Soon, it became a tradition and gained popularity all over Europe. Victorians were staunch believers in the power of messages through flowers. They equated the knowledge or usage of flowers per se with being well-dressed and well-groomed.
Charlotte de la Tour, a Parisian, wrote the first flower dictionary, "Le Language des Fleurs" in 1818. Inspired by this popular and novel work of literature, Miss Corruthers of Inverness, in the Scottish Highlands, later wrote the book "The Language of Flowers", and the subject gained more popularity. Seeing the public's fascination with such a topic, many others attempted to write books for reference on the subject of florigraphy. But they only added to the now growing confusion. Depending on the writers' interpretations, the meanings behind certain flowers could vary considerably. The hydrangea, for example, could refer to either the recipient's insensitivity or an appreciation for their forgiveness, so it was important that everyone was on the same page! Till date, the first two books mentioned hold the most authority.
Contrary to popular opinion, flowers are not used only to convey love. In the olden times, every gesture - from pinning a flower to one's hair, to having a centerpiece at a wedding - symbolized something. The significance is there today too, it has only been forgotten.
There exist innumerable flowers and they symbolize innumerable such emotions. Some flowers stand for multiple virtues, and not necessarily all similar. For instance, it is common knowledge that a yellow rose is indicative of friendship, but how many of us are aware that it can also indicate extreme betrayal? Did you also know that a coriander flower stands for lust?
There are a lot of relatively lesser known or inconsequential flowers that hold strong meaning, but people don't bother about. A basil leaf, for example, shows hatred; datura signifies deceitful charm; fennel speaks of one who is worthy of all praise; a wild honeysuckle denotes inconsistency; a laburnum is a hallmark of pensive beauty; a lotus can mean either eloquence or estranged love.
In modern times, the fine nuances of the language of flowers are all but forgotten. However, a red rose still conveys passionate, romantic love and white roses still suggest virtue and chastity, while yellow roses still stand for friendship or devotion. Even if these are not the exact translations of the Victorian sentiments, flowers still speak in their language. Flowers also have religious and symbolic meanings. There are references given to flowers in Biblical literature, and during the Middle Ages, floral herbs were even believed by some to have magical powers. Therefore, Flowers were given a place of honor in the royal gardens.
It is so easy to convey true feelings - just pick the right flowers. Speak with finesse and bring the Language of Flowers into your modern life. Incidentally, be sure to include an accompanying card that explains their meaning!, as your recipient may not be well versed in the Language of Flowers.
The flower expert has composed a list of the most popular and more common flowers and their meanings, which lend their words to the Language of Flowers. However,flowers are infinite and the meanings may change with various combinations. Have fun reviewing the list.
The Flower Expert makes an effort to compile a list of the popular online florists who specialise in flower delivery across the world. So if you want to convey your feelings or nay message, select the country you want the Flowers and the message to be delivered:
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