Flowers remain one of the most popular ways to express our emotions. They are often better than words at conveying sentiments, especially in times of sympathy. They add meaning to all occasions, letting you express feelings like cheer, comfort, laughter, love and congratulations.
Flower meanings have been recorded as far back as Egypt, in Turkish and Chinese writings, and in Greek and Roman mythology. Meanings became especially popular during the Victorian era, when displays of emotion that might be considered forbidden could be conveyed through certain flowers.
Some of our most popular blooms have enduring meanings. Some are obvious to most of us, such as a red rose signifying passionate love and romance. Other meanings are less known, and we should also bear in mind that flowers and even the number of blooms may have different meanings in different cultures. For example, it’s best to send an odd number of flowers in Russia, since even numbers are used primarily for funerals and can signify misfortune or loss. In Central or South America, yellow can signify funerals, while white signifies loss in Muslim or Pacific Rim countries.
We’ve gathered some of our top selling flowers and provided their most common Australian meanings. Remember, when in doubt it’s still better to send any flowers than miss an important occasion and risk letting someone think you don’t care at all!
Which is your favourite flower to send?
Alstroemeria – Also know as the Peruvian lily, the astroemeria signifies friendship, wealth, prosperity and good luck. They make a lovely “just because” bouquet, one for congratulations, for thank you or to celebrate a friendship or anniversary.
Calla Lily– Symbolizes elegance, magnificence, purity and beauty, and is a perfect flower for more romantic occasions including weddings or engagements.
Carnation– These popular flowers signify pride and beauty, though the colour can affect the meaning. Use red to send love, pride or admiration, pink to symbolize a mother’s love or female love (perfect for Mother’s Day!), or white for innocence and pure love.
Gerbera Daisy– Daisies in general convey innocence and purity, while Gerberas especially convey cheerfulness. They are perfect for get well, congratulations, housewarming, good luck, or in any situation in which you want to send good cheer and kindness
Chrysanthemums convey loyalty, long life, joy and hope. A red chrysanthemum conveys more romantic love, while white chrysanthemums symbolize truth or loyal love. White chrysanthemums would be especially appropriate for a Chinese household as these represent nobility and elegance and are thought to attract luck to home or altar.
Iris– This lovely flower provides a meaning of eloquence, wisdom or compliments. Blue is especially good for showing faith and hope. They make beautiful bouquets for congratulations, graduation, or early romantic love.
Roses– We know red is for passionate love and is perfect for Valentine’s Day and other romantic occasions or between lovers. Send pink roses if you want to convey gentle love and admiration, femininity and sweetness. Lavender roses convey gratitude and appreciation and would work well for a thank you. Choose yellow roses to show friendship, joy or wishes of health, so they work especially well in a get well, anniversary or thank you bouquet.
Remember, don’t be limited by these meanings! They are more interesting anecdotes than anything else. Everyone loves to receive a gorgeous bouquet of fresh flowers, and to know that your care and your thoughts are with them. Pick their favourite or a bloom you love and you can’t go wrong.