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What’s The Language Of Flowers? Read On, We’ll Tell You.

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and it’s always one of the busiest times of the year for florists. Roses are the traditional choice of flowers to send to your loved one. But why is this and do different coloured roses mean different things? Certainly Wood decided to find out more.



Red roses became associated with love and desire thanks to Greek and Roman iconography. It was the flower of choice for their respective goddesses of love – Aphrodite and Venus.


It was subsequently adopted by the Christian Church to represent the Virgin Mary and then Shakespeare extended its popularity through extensive mentions in his plays and sonnets.

However, over the years, roses have developed a language beyond that of the red. Here’s what The Farmer’s Almanac has to say about their meanings:

  • Coral rose: friendship, modesty, sympathy
  • Pink rose: grace, happiness, gentleness
  • Lavender rose: love at first sight
  • Dark red rose: unconscious beauty
  • Yellow rose: joy, friendship, the promise of a new beginning
  • White rose: purity, innocence, reverence, silence
  • Orange rose: desire and enthusiasm 


    It’s not just roses that can convey hidden messages to your loved one.


    A red chrysanthemum trumpets “I love you”, whilst a yellow one suggests slighted love.


    Forget-me-nots are a symbol of true love and ‘the joy to my heart’. Purple lilacs are indicative of the first throes of love whilst a garden pink means true love.

    There’s more ...

    Tradition has it that the first bird seen by an unmarried woman on Valentine’s Day provides an insight into the type of man she might marry – a robin, for example, suggests her future husband will have something to do with the sea.


    Ornithamancy, using birds to make predictions, dates back to the time of the Ancient Egyptians and the Greeks. So, when it comes to matters of the heart, here’s what the birds have to say about future partners:


    • Blackbird – someone involved in charitable/ spiritual work such as an aid worker or a vicar.

    • Robin – someone who earns their living through the sea or water. Someone in the Navy or a fisherman, for example.

    • Sparrow – someone who works with the land – a farmer, landscape gardener or tree surgeon, for example.

    • Woodpecker – an omen than no marriage will take place.


    • Crow – some say not a good omen unless it cries three times. A crow can also suggest you walk away from a current relationship, become more assertive and learn to feel less guilty.

    • Duck – you’ll find a stable and homely relationship without many highs, but without the lows that often go hand-in-hand with too much drama.

    • Bird of prey – a businessman, politician or leader.

    • Gull – someone who travels a great deal for their work.

    • Magpie – no need to count magpies on Valentine’s Day as a sighting of one or 21 suggests you’ll meet someone who is entrepreneurial and quick to spot a great opportunity.

    • Wren – someone whose home is where the heart is, who counts their blessings and is not driven by material possessions.

    • Finch – someone who is very sociable through their work such as a sales person or hair dresser.

    • Kingfisher – someone who has already done well or inherited money – life is for living and enjoying the good times

    • Nuthatch – someone who likes logic such as a scientist or mathematician

    • Owl – recognized as wise, this person is likely to be involved in research or an academia.

    • Pigeon – someone who will eventually return to the place they grew up no matter how far they travel throughout their life.

    • Starling – someone who works within a big organisation or with a large group of people but who makes themselves heard.

    • Swan – someone involved in the arts such as a writer, an artist or dancer, who will be at your side for the long-term.

    • Pheasant – hard-working and tenacious, this person can turn their hand to anything they want to.