Friday, February 27, 2009

What do flowers mean?

By Tracy Anderson

Thinking of sending flowers to someone? Before you do, read this article first. Flowers have their own language and they can say many things depending on their color, number and arrangement.

Sending the wrong kind of flowers is not only embarrassing but can be disastrous to any relationship. If you don't know the secret meaning of flowers, you're likely to send the wrong message or offend someone.

The study of the language of flowers is called floriography and it was used by early man to convey secret and subtle messages that would otherwise be difficult to say.

The Victorians were experts in the language of flowers. Their knowledge reportedly came from the Turks who used flowers as a discreet form of communication. Their coded messages were referred to as a "Persian Salaam" and these usually revealed feelings of love.

This Turkish secret was revealed in 1718 by Lady Mary Wortley, the wife of the British ambassador to Constantinople. Wortley discovered the hidden meanings of flowers during her frequent visits to Turkey.

Later Louise Cortambert wrote a book on the subject in 1819 under the pseudonym Madame Charlotte de la Tour. Her popular reference work was called "Le Language des Fleurs."

The language of flowers became well-known during the Victorian era and allowed women to speak their mind at a time when it was difficult if not impossible for them to do so.

This practice later led to the publication of another book called "The Language of Flowers" by Jean Marsh in 1884. Like its predecessor, that illustrated book became a popular reference material.

To aid you in giving the right kind of flowers to the right person, here are some flowers and their hidden meanings:

Ambrosia means love returned. Azalea - take care of yourself for me and temperance. Baby's Breath signifies everlasting love and happiness.

Calendula means joy while Calla Lilly refers to majestic beauty. Carnation equals affection or health. Lily stands for purity.

Orchid shows love or beauty while tulips symbolize fame or charity (Next: What roses reveal.)

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