Flowers are so varied and versatile that there is one to suit almost any occasion. Over the years, many flowers have developed very particular associations with certain types of events and social rituals. For example, in Western European culture, white lilies have strong associations with funerals, while red roses are synonymous with the romance of St Valentine’s Day.
In fact, unbeknownst to many people, there is a whole secret language surrounding flowers. Known as floriography, this secret floral code thrived in Victorian England, when it was not as easy for people to express their feelings as openly as today. This ‘code’ enabled people to send covert messages to others by using specific types of flowers within gifts of flower bouquets and decorative posies. Using a floral dictionary, the recipient could then decode this message.
For example, a pink carnation meant that someone was unforgettable, whilst daisies symbolised innocence. Violets and forget-me-nots were considered the ultimate symbols of faithfulness and true love. Different coloured roses also stood for different things - yellow for friendship, red for love, pink for grace and beauty, and white roses for secrecy, spiritual kinship and purity.
So, next time you choose to send flowers or order flowers online for delivery, you may want to think about message you might be inadvertently sending out.
Of course, everyone has their favourite flower, based purely on aesthetics, including many celebrities. Elton John, a well-known flower aficionado, is said to love large striking and colourful flower arrangements, while Paris Hilton is said to be a fan of pink roses and carnation. Britney Spears and Jennifer Lopez are said to both love white flowers, especially roses and lilies. Angelina Jolie is rumoured to be a fan of delicate orchids while Katy Perry is a fan of white and purple hydrangeas.
Some celebrities have even had flowers named after them, including Paul McCartney, Marilyn Monroe, Barbara Streisand and Elizabeth Taylor, all of whom have given their names to varieties of hybrid rose. The names of former royal couple, Princess Diana and Prince Charles have also been assigned to different varieties of clematis while Lady Gaga has had a fern named after her.