“A rose by any other name” may smell as sweet, but don’t let its color fool you. Those petals are trying to tell you something, and it’s not always romantic.
The Language of Flowers
You’ve probably heard that “a rose is a rose is a rose,” but while perfectly poetic, the Victorians wholeheartedly disagree. Though people didn’t necessarily send secret messages through bouquets, the meanings were still important during the Victorian era. We think this bit of historical trivia is pretty charming, so we explored this flower dictionary so you know exactly what you’re getting into if you give flowers this Valentine’s Day.
If you planned on delivering this classic choice to your significant other, you’re in luck. It means “love.”
Light Pink Roses
Deliver the gift of “grace” when you send a friend these sweet blooms.
These bashful beauties signify “modesty.”
An energetic, curious color comes with a meaning to match: “fascination.”
Pinker than orange and darker than peach, salmon blooms suggest “desire and excitement.” Ooh la la!
You wouldn’t think it cruel to gift someone a bouquet, but these sunny flowers imply “infidelity.”
But maybe save these babies for a melancholy moment. They mean “a heart unacquainted with love.”
Don’t be fooled — an off-white takes on a different definition than its starker cousin. Ivory indicates both charm and thoughtfulness, says Passion Growers.
A quirkier hue calls for a quirkier meaning; violet shades lend themselves to “enchantment.”
Dark Pink Roses
A light blush hints at grace, but a more intense hue signifies “gratitude and appreciation,” according to Teleflora.
Though it may not be as striking as the classic red rose, this deeper shade is more subtle and represents “unconscious beauty.”
If both the petals and the stem take on a verdant shade, good news: Green means a “constant rejuvenation of spirit.”
While the Victorians probably wouldn’t know what to say about these modern creations, maybe take cue from Shakespeare instead: “To paint the lily … is a wasteful and ridiculous excess.”