Tussie Mussies and the Language of Flowers
Just what is a tussie mussie?
A Tussie Mussie is a round shaped nosegay bouquet made up of a variety of flowers. Each flower included in a Tussie Muissie has its own distinct meaning or message. In Victorian days it was a common practice for suitors to give their love interest a Tussie Mussie. The flowers for these Tussie Mussie's were carefully selected. The wrong choice of flower or even color could set the tone for the relationship. A young miss receiving a yellow rose from a love interest would be crushed. A yellow rose carried the meaning of friendship. While that same young miss would be dancing on air if she received a red rose, meaning love.
During this time period the giver of a Tussie Mussie spent many and hour carefully picking out the flower and color. He did not want to convey the wrong message at the wrong time. It would have been disastrous to give a yellow rose to one that he wished to marry. By the same token, giving a red rose on a first date would be entirely unsuitable. I guess you can see why the Tussie Mussie was and still is know as the 'talking bouquet'.
Today many a bride walks down the aisle proudly carrying a stylized tussie mussie. The small bundle of carefully gathered and arranged bouquets of Victorian days have turned into elaborate, formal bouquets that any bride would be proud to carry.
The Beautiful Language of Flowers
You are now about to enter the wonderful, beautiful, very expressive world of the flower. Since Victorian times the flower has had it's own special language.
It can express love, hate, well wishes, and oh so many different emotions. Believe it or not the color of a flower can also speak volumes.
An example of the flowers used in a white tussie mussie wedding bouquet could be:
- white roses (love)
- lily of the valley (trustworthiness and happiness)
- Queen Anne's lace (haven)
- carnation (pure love and faithfulness)
- daisy (loyal love and purity)
- fern for green color (sincerity)
allspice - compassion
almond flowers - hope
aloe - grief
amaryllis - beauty
ambrosia - love is reciprocated
anemone - unfading love
apple blossoms - hope and good fortune
arborvite - everlasting friendship
arbutus - Thee only do I love
asparagus fern - fascination
azalea - love, romance, first love
baby's breath - innocence
bachelor button - felicity, celibacy
balsam - ardent love
bamboo - loyalty, strength
bellflower - thinking of you
bells of Ireland - luck
bird of paradise - magnificence
buttercup - riches
calla lily - magnificent beauty
carnation (general) - fascination, love
carnation (red) - deep romantic love, passion
carnation (white) - pure love, faithfulness
carnation (pink) - always on my mind
carnation (yellow) - rejection, distain
carnation (purple) - whimsical, unreliable
carnation (mauve) - dreams of fantasy
carnation (striped) - I can't be with you
cherry blossoms - feminine beauty
chrysanthenum - joy, optimism
clemantis - clever
clover - good luck
cosmos - modesty
cowslip - winning grace
Tussie-mussies are posies assembled from a carefully chosen selection of flowers and herbs, usually to convey a specific message.
daffodil - your the only one, new beginnings
daisy - loyal love, purity
delphinium - big hearted
dogwood - durability
E and F
elderflower - compassion
fern - sincerity, fascination
filbert - reconciliation
forget-me-not - true love
forsythia - anticipation
gardenia - I love you in secret
geranium - preference
gillyflower - bonds of affection
gladiolus - strength of character
gloxinia - love at first sight
During the Victorian era, tussie mussies were exchanged as a token of affection between sweethearts or good friends.
heliotrope - eternal love
hibiscus - delicate beauty
holly - foresight
honeysuckle - devoted affection
hyacinith - sorrow, lonliness, jealousy
hydrangea - vanity, frigidity
I and J
iris - faith, wisdom, hope
ivy - dependence, marriage
jasmine - glee, cheerfulness
jonquil - return my affection
L and M
lavender - devotion, constancy
lilac - acceptance, confidence
lily - purity, innocence
lotus - mystery, eloquence
magnolia - dignity, love of nature
marigold - pain, grief, cruelty
mistletoe - affection, love
morning glory - love in vain
Tussie is a medieval term for knot of flowers and mussie is derived from the moist moss used to keep the flowers fresh.
N and O
narcissus - egotistic, self love, conceit
nasturtium - conquest, patriotism
oleander - caution
orange blossom - eternal love, purity
orchid - refined beauty, love
P and Q
pansy - thought, remembrance
passion flower - faith, piety
peony - happy marriage, honor
primrose - I can't live without you
queen Anne's Lace - fantasy, haven
R and S
rose (white) - love, admiration, desire
snowdrop - hope, consolation
sunflower - pure thoughts, devotion
sweet pea - I think of you
Each herb, flower, and tree was assigned a symbolic meaning based on its appearance, fragrance, or associations.
T, V, W, and Z
tulip (red) - declaraation of love
violet - faithfulness, modesty
wisteria -- welcome
zennia - goodness, constancy
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© 2011 Susan Hazelton