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The Meanings of Flowers

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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

True Love Red RoseTrue Love Red Rose

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

Patiently Waiting - White CameliaPatiently Waiting - White Camelia

Other Flowers

  • Daisies or Lavender: Faithful
  • Forget-Me-Nots: True love
  • Gardenias: Secret love
  • Orange Lilies: Revenge

Secret Admirer White GardeniaSecret Admirer White Gardenia
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