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Flowers, Their Meanings, And Which Ones NOT To Give Your Valentine

Updated on February 1, 2014

FLOWERS: which to avoid and which to gift

Valentine's Day is the rejuvenation of all things romantic, a time of the year when sappy love notes and Shakespearean confessions are cool once again. However, an over-eager dash to a flower market could be giving your other half the wrong message if you're not careful! For hundreds of years mankind has attached meanings to all species and colors of flowers. Here is a guide for your reviewing pleasure:



The tragedy of AMARYLLIS

The flower named Amaryllis gets it's name from Greek mythology. She was a timid nymph who fell deeply in love with the strong and beautiful Alteo and desired to please him so desperately that she created an entirely new flower to honor him. To do this she dressed in white, standing before Alteo's door night after night for 30 nights, each time piercing a golden arrow through her heart. When he opened the door on the 30th night he was greeted by the beautiful crimson flower we know as Amaryllis... sprung from the red of her open heart. While this is a moving and dedication-inspiring namesake the Amaryllis makes it into the not-for-valentines list. Unless your purpose is spite.



Beware of BEGONIAS

… because they literally translate to “beware”. Named by French botanist Charles Plumier after Caribbean governor Michel Begon. No one seems to know why the begonia is translated to mean beware, but apparently eating a large amount of the descriptively 'sour' plant can be toxic. To be clear, there's no need to boycott the Begonia altogether. In other situations the flower can mean “a fanciful mind”. In any case this one is added to the non-valentine blossoms.




These flowers are also dubbed with the meaning "beware" attached to them. In this case the symbolism is clearly linked with its toxicity to animals. If eaten by humans this plant gives hallucinogenic and/or laxative effects.



STRIPED flowers mean refusal. Do not give your loved one striped flowers.

It is not a good idea.



The tricky HEATHER

This beautiful species of flower is native to North America, Russia, Ireland, Scotland, and Scandinavia and is used for many practical things such as basket weaving and rope. It carries the meaning of admiration and good luck, which sounds nice, but has a name meaning “common” and “to clean or brush” since it has been used to make brooms etc. Which, if your other half knows this, could land you a good hard slap.

For further information try:

Fill in the blank:

In Shakespeare's 'Hamlet' Ophelia is quoted "I would give you some ________, but they wither'd all when my father died." to insinuating a lack of faithfulness and integrity

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Valentine Rose Colors

At any floral shop an abundance of roses is guaranteed. Although each color of rose is associated with beauty, they also each hold unique symbolism. Impress your valentine by adding a special bit of meaning to the bouquet they receive!


White roses can be used in combination with red. By themselves the meaning becomes one of purity, innocence, silence, secrecy, and heavenly beauty. Usually associated with marriages, new beginnings, and remembrance these petals stand for honor and reverence.


When looking at roses the safest choice will always be a traditional red. Red roses symbolize love, passion, beauty, courage, and respect. It's a can't-go-wrong choice for any couple. Mix the bouquet with the purity of white to signify unity. If looking to inspire happiness or excitement opt for a red and yellow combo.


A dark pink rose is a message of thanks. Before the hybridization of roses pink was the dominant color, and thus continues as the sincerest of rose colors. Use them to show appreciation and gratitude to their recipient.


The lighter variations of pink can be given in order to show admiration and joy, but are often linked to events of sympathy, grace, and sweetness. This is a color for the softer part of the heart.


Vibrant yellow in a bouquet represents joy, delight, and friendship. This color is to be given when welcoming someone back or starting a new beginning. It's color of excitement and can be paired with red to add a layer of romance to jovial events. An effort to find a yellow rose with red tips on it's petals transforms the meaning to showcase a friendship blossoming into romance.


The color of fire, orange conveys feelings of fascination, desire, and enthusiasm. It is a bold color soft as the setting sun and can be given in times of romance or as a way to say “I'm proud of you”. This is color that allows the mind to be daring and adventurous.


Peach is a friendly color for roses and can be used anywhere from in the home to in the office. Given to business partners it's a celebration to commemorate closing a deal. To friends it's an extension of invitation. For family or relationships this is a color of appreciation and sincerity.


The soft hues of coral roses signify desire. These petals are a gentle color pulling from the sweetness of pink and the romantic courage of red.


A shade of lavender is a shade of mystic wonder. The rare and stunning shade of purple has long been associated with royalty, which adds an extra layer of appeal to this variation of rose. Giving this color tells the receiver of your enchantment and can stand as a symbol for love at first sight.

Your Rose Choices - Valentines 2014

Which rose color will you be giving your significant other?

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Flower Arrangements - Description Chart

An overview of different flowers and their respective meanings
An overview of different flowers and their respective meanings | Source


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    • Deborah Minter profile image

      Deborah Minter 

      11 months ago from U.S, California

      Great article! Each flower, has a meaning.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Love love love flower s and the affects on the soul and soul of the foot. WOW


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