The Victorian Language of Flowers

Flowers speak a language all of their own. Snowdrops speak of hope. Chrysanthemums speak of friendship. A zinnia says, missing you. No matter the feeling that you may want to express, you can say it (secretly) with flowers!


The Victorian language of flowers, known as Floriography, emerged in the 19th century as a secret method of communication. It has been used across many cultures throughout Europe, Asia and Africa. Floriograpghy bloomed in the Victorian Era during the reign of Queen Victoria, where she honored proper etiquette which led to social conservatism. “Talking bouquets” were a way to convey true emotions or elaborate plans (both positive and negative) that were prohibited in such a conservative time. Many would go around, armed with floral dictionaries, ready to decipher bouquets they’d received from admires because each flower has a special meaning and symbolism. Flower meanings were often drawn from mythology, literature, religion and folklore. The flowers may also convey a different meaning through its color. White was associated with innocence, red with love, yellow with friendship or joy. Symbolic meaning even varied by the way the flowers were arranged or presented to the recipient. Several flowers sometimes have contradictory meanings as well. Buttercup, for example, means cheerfulness, charm and childish behavior.

Tussie-mussies, also known as nosegays, were also introduced during this time. These were small fragrant bouquets composed of herbs and a single flower traditionally wrapped in lace doilies. Suitors presented tussie-mussies to their ladies as a form of affection or desire. If they  were held at heart level, it indicated acceptance and happiness. If they were held pointing downward, it was a sign of rejection. They also became a popular fashion accessory that were either carried or worn around the head or bodice. The Queen was very fond of carrying these floral bouquets wherever she went!

Wild Doves & Floriography

If you would like to convey a specific message to someone special in your life, we’ve got you covered! At Wild Doves, it’s not only about selecting beautiful flowers that look good together rather choosing the right flowers that fit the occasion to present a meaningful moment. We incorporate Floriography in each of our arrangements and we encourage you to create your own with greater depth and thoughtfulness. Allow us to help you to align the sentiments that you are hoping to convey to the recipient. No matter how much or how little you want to say, say it with flowers!

If you’d like some help creating a more meaningful bouquet, keep reading for inspiration behind the blooms!


The same flower can have different meanings depending on its color. Find out what each color represents.

Red Flowers

No other color is as popular as red! A red rose has become the ultimate symbol of love and romance. Other symbolic meanings of red flowers include, confidence, courage, strength, beauty and vitality. It is the perfect color to add to any bouquet for a romantic occasion as well as a great pop of color to a holiday arrangement.

Pink Flowers 

Pink flowers represent happiness, innocence, gentleness and grace. Like red, they can be sent as a gesture of affection and romance. For a more playful, platonic love, go with pink! Pink flowers are also a color to send when wanting to show gratitude. Light pink tones are associated with femininity so often sent for Mother’s Day.

Orange Flowers

A bright and bold color that symbolizes warmth, energy, enthusiasm and endurance. It is ideal during the Fall months. A great color to brighten a home as a housewarming gift or to bring joy in a friendship bouquet!

Yellow Flowers

Yellow flowers commonly symbolize friendship; yet, they also represent joy, happiness and new beginnings. They are a great color to add when looking to cheer someone up or show appreciation.

Green Flowers 

Green flowers in addition to foliage, like leaves, ivy and vines all hold symbolic meanings. Green flowers symbolize good fortune, well being, optimism and good health. They are great to send to anyone that is recovering from an illness or feeling sick. Foliage, like ivy, is represented with friendship and great to add in many bouquets. Myrtle is a symbol of peace and marriage and has been used in wedding bouquets that date back to the Victorian Era.

Blue Flowers 

Blue Flowers symbolize serenity, peace, openness, relaxation and intimacy. Blue flowers can be sent on many different occasions and add a unique pop of color to any bouquet. They are great to send to anyone that is going through a rough time that may need peace and calmness in their life. The color blue can bring special meaning for someone who is going through a loss of a loved one, a breakup or feeling anxious on a new chapter in life.

Purple Flowers 

The color purple implies royalty! In flowers, it means pride, dignity, accomplishment and success. This is a great color to add to a bouquet that is gifted to a mentor or someone that holds near and dear to your heart. Purple flowers can be sent as a celebratory gift of a recent accomplishment or a milestone birthday.

White Flowers 

For much of human history, white has been a symbol of purity. A white flower is a symbol of peace, innocence, clearity, healing and elegance. They have long been traditional components of bridal bouquets. They can also be sent to someone who has recently welcomed a new baby. White flowers are also a sign of honor for loved ones’ loss, so are frequently used in memorial services.


You may want to select flowers that match the birth month to a person for their special celebration or to align with the month of a special event! 


The birth flowers of carnations and snowdrops. The ruffled, colorful blooms of carnations are symbolic of devotion, love and loyalty. The white snowdrop represents innocence and purity. 

(The birth month of Wild Doves co-owner, Maria!)


The month of the beautiful purple flowers, primrose and iris symbolizes modesty, faithfulness and young love.


As the first month of Spring, it is appropriate that the bright yellow daffodil is the birth flower of March. They symbolize new beginnings, vanity, luck, prosperity and faithfulness.


The birth flowers of the daisy and sweet pea. The daisy is symbolic of purity, innocence and loyalty. They are also believed to be the symbol of motherhood. The elegant sweet pea is a symbol of blissful pleasure and makes a great flower to say thank you. It is also associated with departures and goodbyes. 


For the month of May, Lily of the Valley and Hawthorn are the birth flowers. Both dainty and unique, these flowers have meaning of purity, sweetness, humility and motherhood. 


For June babies, the rose and honeysuckle. The rose, perhaps the world’s most popular flower, comes in more than 100 different types. The various types of roses carry their own meanings by color but have been most symbolic of love and devotion. The honeysuckle is seen as a symbol of sweetness and pure happiness. The flowers grow from climbing vines symbolizing everlasting bonds. 


July birth flowers are the larkspur and water lily. Much like the rose, the meaning of larkspur flowers can vary based on its color. However, the true meaning of this flower signifies an open, welcoming and loving heart. The water lily symbolizes purity and rebirth. 


The birth flowers of August are the gladiolus and poppy. The gladiolus is sometimes referred to as the sword lily because of its long, skinny shape. The flowers are a symbol of strength, moral integrity and generosity. The poppy is a symbol of remembrance and peace. 


For the month of September, the birth flowers are the aster and morning glory which have meaning of love, wisdom, faith and affection. 


The birth flowers of October are the bright and bold marigold and cosmos. Fitting to the colors of autumn marigolds symbolizes strong will and determination. Cosmos are a symbol of peace and tranquility. 


November’s birth flower is the Chrysanthemum, simply referred to as “mums”. The cheery flowers represent friendship, happiness, joy, optimism and well-being. It is the only month with one birth flower. 

(The birth month of Wild Doves co-owner, Dominique!) 


Holly and narcissus are the birth flowers of December. Narcissus symbolizes good fortune, wealth, new beginnings and rebirth. The holly tree is most commonly associated with Christmas and symbolizes eternal life and fertility.


Celebrate your years of marital bliss with anniversary flowers that add significance and grace to the special day. You can add these flowers into your arrangements or give as an individual bunch.

1st – Carnation
2nd – Lily of the Valley
3rd – Sunflower
4th – Hydrangea
5th – Daisy
6th – Calla Lily
7th – Fressia
8th – Lilac
9th – Bird of Paradise
10th – Daffodil
11th – Tulip
12th – Peony
13th – Chrysanthemum
14th – Orchid
15th – Rose
20th – Aster
25th – Iris
30th – Lily
40th – Gladiolus
50th – Violet


A large variety of flowers represent similar meanings. Depending on the specific occasion or meaning you are trying to convey here is a list of flowers, within each occasion, that may help in expressing your feelings. These are just some of our favorites! 


Flowers that symbolize love, passion, devotion, affection, desire, romance

Red Tulips, dahlias, carnations, peonies, red roses


Flowers the symbolize friendship, loyalty, devotion, cheerfulness, joy, memories

Yellow roses, freesia, stocks, yarrow, chrysanthemums, ivy, alstroemeria


Flowers that symbolize gratitude, appreciation, celebration, comfort

Gerbera daisy, sweet peas, iris, pink carnations, lisianthus, peach rose, forsythia


Flowers that symbolize new opportunities, happiness, hope, renewal, good luck

Delphinium, lily of the valley, scabiosa, roses, iris, snowdrop, aster, clematis


Flowers that symbolize please forgive me, letting go, understanding, regret, begin again 

Daffodils, white tulips, hyacinths, spring crocus, star of bethlehem, lilies 


Flowers that symbolize remembrance, stillness, memories, unfading feelings

Poppies, statice, hyacinth, amaranthus, forget-me-not