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Valentines’ Day: The meaning of flowers

Here’s the meaning behind all the flowers you can gift to express different emotions


Valentine’s Day is almost here! And, as flower shops gear up to make the most of the day by selling a variety of flowers, arrangements and bouquets, we have something to tell you that others many not! The giving of flowers on Valentine’s Day is a tradition carried on since the Victorian times. People back in those days did not need to send written messages along with their flowers, as the flowers they chose to send, expressed their message and most people were aware of each flowers particular significance.

Most of us choose the flowers we want to gift that special someone based on colour, beauty or fragrance, but in doing this we tend to forget or ignore the meaning each flower conveys. So, though a particular flower may look beautiful or smell sweet, don’t let its appearance fool you. Those petals are trying to tell you something that may not exactly depict what you want to say.

You may have heard the common phrase “a rose is a rose is a rose” but while being perfectly poetic and roses being the most loved flower on Valentine’s Day, we would like to disagree a bit as each flower along with its colour, has a different meaning which is quite intriguing.

Therefore, we bring you a few commonly chosen Valentine’s Day flowers and their meaning, so you know exactly what you’re getting into if you gift (or receive) a particular flower on this day:


tab Bouquet with roses (2)

Unsurprisingly, roses are at the top of the list for lovers. While a red rose signifies Love, the other rose colours have a different meaning. Pink roses depict grace. So, you may want to give these sweet blooms to your mom or that friend who has a graceful demeanour. Orange roses signify energy and vibrancy, think about gifting these to that special someone who sparks up your life. Yellow roses are a depiction of long lasting friendship, so you may want to gift them to your bestie. White flowers are for peace, perfect to gift someone who has drifted apart for whatever reason. Though they may not be as striking as the classic red rose, the Burgundy rose, which is a deeper shade is more subtle and represents unconscious beauty.


tab Bouquet with carnations (2)

Though roses may be the choice for the day, carnations are also a great option. So, if you want to move away from the cliche, gift a bunch of carnations to your loved one. Though in general carnations express deep love, fascination and distinction, white carnations suggest pure love and good luck, light red symbolises admiration, while dark red represents deep love and affection. Pink carnations carry the greatest significance as they are considered the symbol of a mother’s undying love.


tab Lilies bouquet

Lilies are an ideal blossom for an elegant recipient. While you can’t go wrong with any variety, Casa Blanca lilies are an especially dramatic choice that is sure to please a person with a sophisticated taste. Lilies commonly come in white, yellow, pink, red and orange. While the oriental white lilies have a breathtaking fragrance and symbolise purity and virtue, the pink symbolises prosperity and the yellow ones express gratitude and thankfulness.


tab Bouquet of Tulips

Tulips are known to stand for perfect love. These elegant blooms are one of the most popular flowers in the world. They convey comfort and warmth and are a good Valentine’s Day pick since they’re classic and affordable. But you need to be careful with the colour you choose. Red tulips are the colour of choice to express that you are deeply in love. Pink tulips symbolises happiness and confidence. Choose an arrangement of purple tulips to express admiration for a loved one’s accomplishments. Be careful while choosing yellow and white tulips, while the former are associated with hopeless love, the latter are picks for an apology bouquet.

Gerbera Daisies

tab Gerbera Daisies iStock-643084126.JPG

While daisies are known for symbolising beauty, innocence and purity, the Gerbera variety of daisies, owing to its large blooms and bright colours, gives them the additional meaning of cheerfulness. The happy buds are always a favourite to receive. Orange being a favourite in Gerberas, convey that the person you present it to is the sunshine of your life. Gift a regal bouquet of purple gerberas to the special lady in praise of her beauty and elegance. While light pink gerberas express admiration and sympathy, dark pink ones are a symbol of gratitude.

- Saresa Anthonissen is the creative director at the House of Flower at Dubai Garden Centre.