When you say it with flowers, choose your words carefully.

Well it’s that time of the year again: Valentine’s Day. The day that divides the nation into either eye-rolling contempt or dewy-eyed happiness.

Whether or not you think Valentine’s Day has become a commercial exercise, never underestimate the power of a beautiful bouquet of flowers, but be sure to be aware of the sentiment you’re trying to communicate.

Many flowers have unexpected symbolisms. Lucy Matthewson, Horticulture Buyer at Waitrose Florist said: ‘Developed by the Victorians, ‘floriography’ was commonly used to convey secret messages that etiquette of the day deemed unacceptable to share openly. Over time, opinion and understanding of flower symbolisms has changed and developed, but it’s incredibly interesting to look back at some of the messages our ancestors were trying to give through their bouquets.’

Test your knowledge and see if you know the true meaning of the blooms:

Red roses

The go-to romantic flower of choice, the original symbolism of red roses as is ‘love’. However, different colours of roses have alternative meanings – pink blooms symbolise ‘grace’, orange mean ‘fascination’, burgundy signify ‘unconscious beauty’.

  1. 1. Red roses
  2. 2. Tulips
  3. 3. Freesias
  4. 4. Orchids
  5. 5. Lilies
  6. 6. Pink carnations
  7. 7. Irises
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