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The Meanings of Flowers

February 04, 2012

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Valentine’s Day is a day of celebrating love and friendship in many countries around the world. One of the most popular ways to express your feelings for someone is by giving a gift -- usually one made out of candy, chocolate or flowers.

Why flowers, you may ask? Well, that’s a good question! It turns out that certain types of flowers are tied to certain meanings. It began with the ancient Japanese practice of Hanakotoba, which means the “Language of Flowers”. Flowers were given certain code words so that people could secretly communicate how they felt about each other through their gifts. The practice was brought to Europe in the 1600’s when the idea of romantic love was really taking off, and it continues today!

Here’s a guide to the more popular Valentine’s Day flowers you can give your loved ones this year. (Or a guide to decoding the ones you get from a mysterious admirer.) And while you’re thinking about it, pick up some pink carnations for your mom on February 14th!

Roses

Red roses: True love

White loves: Young love and devotion

Yellow roses: Friendship and caring

Pink roses: Appreciation and happiness

Orange roses: Passion and excitement

Purple roses: Love at first sight

Tulips

White tulips: Forgiveness

Red tulips: Perfect love

Yellow tulips: Cheerful friendship

Carnations

Light red carnations: Admiration

Dark red carnations: Deep love

White carnations: Pure, true love

Pink carnations: Motherly love

Camellias

Red Camellias: in love

Yellow Camellias: longing

White Camellias: waiting

Other Flowers

Daisies or Lavender: Faithful

Forget-Me-Nots: True love

Gardenias: Secret love

Orange Lilies: Revenge

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