When you walk over to the florist section of your grocery store and you automatically choose a collection of daisies, what does it mean? And when the new man you’re dating presents you with a bouquet of pink roses, what, exactly, is he trying to say?
As the “Old Farmer’s Almanac” states, there is a “language of flowers.” The true meaning behind the bunches of blooms we buy for ourselves or give to one another dates back many years, but not everyone knows that they’re sending a message when doling out a certain bud. Here, according to the Almanac (unless otherwise noted), are some common flowers and the true meaning behind each one.
Alstroemeria: According to Woman’s Day magazine, these delicate-looking petals are actually quite long-lasting — and rightly so, as they stand for friendship and devotion.
Basil: This herb may make the perfect housewarming gift because it’s meant to show good wishes.
Carnations: Sadly, these full blooms often get a bad rap, but Woman’s Day magazine says they are a cheerful symbol of new love and fascination.
Chrysanthemum: Give a bright potted plant of this flower when someone needs cheering up.
Daisy: Bright and cheerful, daisies add a bit of sunshine and evoke feelings of innocence and hope.
Fern: The gift of this leafy plant may be especially poignant when expressing sympathy, as it signifies sincerity.
Lavender: The scent from this flower is often used in women’s perfumes, maybe because it lends a sense of devotion and virtue.
Orchid: Known as a flower that means love, strength and luxury, orchids also symbolize erotic seduction (ooh-la-la!).
Pink rose: A perfect symbol at the beginning of a relationship, pink roses show appreciation and admiration.
Red rose: The most common gift on Valentine’s Day, red roses show passion, love and desire, of course.
Sunflower: Another bloom that’s perfect to cheer up a sad friend, sunflowers express meanings of warmth and happiness, according to Woman’s Day.
Sweet William: Most people will recognize this flower as one the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton chose to include in her wedding bouquet, which was fitting because its meaning is gallantry.
Tulip: If you’re ready to say those three little words to someone (I love you!), bring a bouquet of tulips, which are seen as a declaration of love.