The meanings behind flower colors stem largely from the Victorian era. The Victorians had a fascination with secret meanings and messages. The sending of flowers was one way for gentlemen and ladies to communicate and the flower type,color and even the way the ribbon was tied all had hidden meaning.
Sweet Williams, for example meant the sender felt gallantry towards the receiver, lilies meant the receiver was seen as pure and yellow daffodils meant gallantry on behalf of the giver. A ribbon tied tothe back meant the gift was complete but a bunch with the ribbon tied at the front meant the giver awaited a reply.
The color of the flower was full of meaning as well. White flowers stood for purity and lilies were meant to have been held by the Madonna so white lilies were th ultimate symbol of purity and were used for funerals and weddings.
Roses, of course, have meaning connected with love. The white rose was said to have grown first when Venus, the Aphrodite , the godess of love, emerged from the sea, the foam droplet dripped on to the earth and grew into white roses. Red roses grew when her lover, Adonis, was attacked by a lion and saved Aphrodite. So red roses are closely associated with love and romance.
Blue flowers are for glorification and mourning. Blue flowers were used for decorating funereal caskets and purple flowers were reserved for high ranking people and were used to denote respect and wealth.Blue flowers also mean peace and tranquility so are given to people in trouble, who need comfort or are mourning.
Orange and yellow flowers come from the colors of the sun and have been used for centuries to bring joy and frivolity. The warmth of their colors is used to symbolise gaiety and pride and they were used to decorate halls and tents during summer festivals. Chances are that this was largely because many native flowers blooming at that time were also, by chance, yellow and orange.
Pink flowers given in abouquet or displayed in arrangements mean sweetness, joy and gladness. They also show playfulness and are popular choices for christening services.
Yellow flowers symbolise friendship, loyalty and steadfastness. Yellow flowers are often left, with ribbons in thesame color, tied around trees or posts to tell the world that someone is waiting the return of a loved one – particularly now with soldiers away fighting.
Peach flowers combine the deep red of love withthe playfulness of pink and purity of white and are symbolic of wisdom and experience. Their pale color depicts a precious quality which is sought after.
Greenery in a bouquet is added because it sets the flowers off but also depicts fertility and abundance it shows the giver wishes the receiver well.
Whatever the meaning behind flower colors, the joy of receiving a well chosenbunch of flowers is second to none and flowers with their scents, forms, colors and shapes continue to delight and surprise. They may be an adaptation of nature to attract a pollinator but, for us, they symbolise everything good about plants and the world.