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Meanings of Flowers: Valentine's Day Flowers

Updated on February 1, 2017
Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

Marcy writes about American life, holidays, politics and other topics. She has written hundreds of articles for online & print publications.

Flowers have many traditional meanings

Roses mean love - but you knew that, didn't you?
Roses mean love - but you knew that, didn't you? | Source

Choose floral bouquets to reflect your feelings

If you love a woman, she will likely love a bouquet of roses.
If you love a woman, she will likely love a bouquet of roses.
Carnations express affection, too.
Carnations express affection, too.

Flowers and their meanings

It's almost February 14th, and everyone thinks of flowers this time of year!

Flowers send such a special message - women love to get them, especially at work; what an ego boost - the "I love you, here are some flowers!" affirmation of love, displayed right on your desk!

The next time you order a floral arrangement for your beloved (or for Mom), consider requesting a bloom or two that holds a special significance for your relationship.

Here are some long-held meanings for various popular (and some not-so-well-known) flowers and blooms:

Roses: One of the most popular choices, as you know. And yes, they symbolize beauty and love. If you picked this flower for your sweetheart's bouquet, you pegged the meaning perfectly.

Carnations: This hardy flower has meanings similar to roses - love, fascination and 'distinction.' You might want to consider whether its cloying fragrance (so often reminiscent of funeral arrangements) sets the right tone for romance, though.

Carnations are a staple in many vase arrangements, though, and give substance to floral designs that have more delicate blooms in them.

What flowers should you send to a friend?

Daffodils are a sign you regard someone well.
Daffodils are a sign you regard someone well.
Daisies are the traditional flower of innocence.
Daisies are the traditional flower of innocence.
Apple blossoms? Well, if the message works for you, send them to your boss!
Apple blossoms? Well, if the message works for you, send them to your boss!

Meanings of some other popular flowers

Daffodils: Maybe you're not quite ready for love, or maybe the potted plant you're sending to a business friend who just opened their new office shouldn't be so gushy? Daffodils stand for regard - perfect for someone you respect.

Daisies: Remember Meg Ryan telling Joe Fox (in Who's Got Mail) that daisies were her favorite flowers? Talk about type-casting! Daisies stand for innocence - the perfect flower for one of America's favorite girl-next-door stars.

Apple Blossoms: Well, if you're really sucking up to someone, these will do the trick. Think 'preference,' or one who is great and famous, or even just 'good.' Think Donald Trump? Or maybe the executive in that corner office?

Geraniums: A pot of geraniums used to be one of the standard gifts for perhaps a new neighbor, or a sickly friend. Not a surprise, since they represent comfort. But they also represent folly or stupidity; maybe hold off on Valentines Day or other special events, and send them to comfort someone when you botched things up?

The above flowers are some of the more common ones found in floral groupings. But others can give meaning, too, even if they're not as suited for a huge vase or not as well known.

Almost every flower has a meaning in folklore or romance. Some relate to fairies, some are felt to have magical powers to cure or cause diseases (this does not refer to folk remedies) and some are told to bring luck, either good or bad.

Some flowers send messages of hope or healing

The meaning of an Iris?  It tells the recipient it has a "message" for them.
The meaning of an Iris? It tells the recipient it has a "message" for them.
Lilies of the Valley signal happiness has returned
Lilies of the Valley signal happiness has returned
Are you devoted? The striking blooms of a Heliotrope will convey that message!
Are you devoted? The striking blooms of a Heliotrope will convey that message!

How to pick flowers that send messages to loved ones, friends and others

As you can see above, the flowers you send can craft a message for you. Some blossoms have meanings that actually send complete messages to the recipient.


Iris: Add and iris or two to an arrangement; the very meaning is, "Here's a message for you!"


Lilies of the Valley: Although tiny and almost fairy-like (they're only inches tall), these bell-shaped flowers symbolize chastity and tell the recipient happiness is being restored.


Heliotropes: Known for turning their blossoms to face the sun, understandably signify devotion. Probably better in the potted form, but still a pretty floral plant to show someone your love is there to stay.


The list of flowers you can put in an arrangement (or pick from your garden, or give in a pot) is almost endless. Do a little research as special events approach, and you can almost craft a sentence of love and regard with the blossoms you choose!

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  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, RavenBiker! I appreciate your enthusiastic comment here! There are so many meanings that it's hard to list them all - but it's fascinating to look into it, and to ponder why those meanings came about. I'm glad you like the hub!

  • RavenBiker profile image

    RavenBiker 4 years ago from Pittsburgh, PA.

    I'm a big fan of pottted plants ---houseplants. It is true that specific species of houseplants have distinct biochemical effects on the environments (rooms of the home) in which they flourish. But I never knew that flowers have specific meaning about our emotional states coupled to the relationship the giver has for the to the receiver!

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for the Hub. "It" all makes sense now!

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Thanks, Rebecca! I love these little details, too - and I often wonder who decided which flower meant which thing to begin with. So glad you enjoyed the hub, and I hope you have a wonderful Valentine's Day!

  • rebeccamealey profile image

    Rebecca Mealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

    A lovely Hub, and fun to read. I love flowers, so it was fun to find out the different things each symbolize. Voted interesting and shared!

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
    Author

    Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

    Thanks so much, Idigwebsites! Okay, I am going to put out good vibes for you to get flowers from that special guy!

  • idigwebsites profile image

    idigwebsites 4 years ago from United States

    I think I want all of the flowers!!!! I wish my imaginary Valentine would give them to me. I know rose is for love but I don't have any idea about the meaning of the other flowers.

    Perfect pictures of flowers. Thanks for posting. Voted up, beautiful and shared. :)

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, Emma - Your bouquet sounds perfect, and you will be a beautiful bride! Best wishes for a wonderful wedding day, and an eternity of love and joy!

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
    Author

    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, Movie Master - I'm so glad this was new information for you! There are probably thousands of flowers, herbs and plants, and many, if not most, have traditional meanings. Some have more than one meaning. These are just a few of the beliefs people have had about flowers. Thanks for your comments!

  • Emma Harvey profile image

    Emma Harvey 5 years ago from Berkshire, UK

    Lovely - I had no idea flowers had so much meaning. I am planning on having gerberas and white roses in my wedding bouquet. Romance and innocence perhaps? How sweet :)

    Great hub - voting up and interesting.

  • Movie Master profile image

    Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

    Hi Marcy, I love all flowers but didn't realise they had their own meanings, a lovely hub and pictures, voting up/interesting and sharing.

    Thank you

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
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    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    Thanks, dilipchandra! I'm so glad you liked the hub, and I appreciate your comments!

  • dilipchandra12 profile image

    Dilip Chandra 5 years ago from India

    Beautiful pics with very useful information. Nice hub, well written. Voted UP :)

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
    Author

    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    Thank you, Dim - I hope to write some more articles on that topic. It's interesting to try to figure out how the meanings came about, isn't it?

  • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

    Dim Flaxenwick 5 years ago from Great Britain

    What an unusual hub and so beautiful. I´ve learned a lot . Thank you. I adore flowers, but had no idea that different ones could represent feelings.

    Up and awesome.

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
    Author

    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    Thank you, KoffeeKlatch Gals! I love flowers, and I hope to write about them some more, in later hubs!

  • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

    Susan Haze 5 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Beautifully put together hub. Great information and setup. Up and beautiful.

  • suzzycue profile image

    Susan Britton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    great hub. I love flowers. Interesting that the type of flowers means something. I only knew about the different colors of roses meant something.

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
    Author

    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    Thanks for the kind comments, epigramman, and for stopping by to read! Have a wonderful Valentine's Season!

  • epigramman profile image

    epigramman 5 years ago

    ...love flowers anyway Marcy but this is a beautifully presented hub and I love the explanations behind each flower - thank you so much for your fan mail and coming from someone as special as you really does mean a lot to me - lake erie time ontario canada 6:24pm

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
    Author

    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    Thanks, for reading and commenting, MissE! I'm glad you enjoyed the article. I agree; their meanings are fascinating.

  • MissE profile image

    MissE 5 years ago from Texas

    Great article. I love all flowers! It's always interesting to read about their meanings. Thanks!

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
    Author

    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    I plan to - I'll wait until the romantic weeks ahead are over, so I don't worry anyone!

  • Dale Hyde profile image

    Dale Hyde 5 years ago from Tropical Paradise on Planet X

    Hmm...Scary? Now I am curious! You will have to do a hub about those particular ones at some point!

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image
    Author

    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    Thanks, Dale - I'm glad you enjoyed it! There are a ton of meanings related to flowers - some are fanciful and some are rather scary and depressing!

  • Dale Hyde profile image

    Dale Hyde 5 years ago from Tropical Paradise on Planet X

    Nice hub, and great information! I was not aware of these different meanings! Now I understand why certain flowers are sent for certain things. :) Thanks for the hub. Voted up, interesting and useful.

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