The Secret Language of Flowers

Illustration by Saige Roberts


The Victorian Era was a time when manners ruled and convention triumphed over conversation. When a man hoped to court a young lady, he took her a “tussie-mussie” — a small bouquet of flowers, each of which had a special, specific meaning. Today, the meanings associated with most flowers have been forgotten. In an effort to remedy this sad state of affairs and in hopes of filling Tallahassee with floral love letters this Valentine’s Day, Tallahassee Magazine and A Country Rose present readers with the following short list of romantic flowers and their meanings.

  1. Hydrangea
    The hydrangea signifies heartfelt emotions. 
  2. Iris
    The iris represents faith, hope, adoration, courage and wisdom. 
  3. Sunflowers
    Sunflowers are a symbol of adoration, loyalty and longevity. 
  4. Red Rose
    A red rose signifies deep emotions, such as love, longing or desire. 
  5. Gerbera  
    Gerbera daisies signify innocence, purity and cheerfulness. They are available year-round and come in an assortment of vibrant colors.
  6. Virginia Stock Flower
    A symbol of a happy life, the stock flower is also known as the gillyflower. Its scent is sweet and heady, and blooms are typically white, pink, red, lilac or purple.
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