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What do those Valentine roses really mean?

Published On: Dec 14 2011 03:54:06 PM CST   Updated On: Feb 09 2015 09:25:40 AM CST

Heather Staible, Contributing Writer

Roses, carnations and tulips are usual Valentine's Day floral fare, but garlic and grass are two of the lesser-known offerings.

During the Victorian era, flowers were used as means to communicate with suitors. Love, kindness and interest were conveyed in a bouquet of flowers, pinned to a woman's clothing or held as she walked.

Although the red rose will always say 'I love you' to the person who receives it, 19 percent of modern-day women tend to buy flowers for themselves.

"Women are in touch with themselves and they will buy themselves flowers, or they will buy flowers for their mothers, sisters and friends," said Jenny Sparks, director of consumer marketing for the Society of American Florists.

Sparks said that the language of flowers is less important today than it used to be.

"The red rose still signifies love, but today people buy flowers based on a special event or moment. And besides, flowers make people happy."

THE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS
AcaciaConcealed Love, Beauty in Retirement, Chaste Love
AzaleaTake Care of Yourself for Me, Temperance, Fragile Passion, Chinese Symbol of Womanhood
Bouquet of Withered FlowersRejected Love
Carnation (General)Fascination, Women Love
Carnation (Pink)I'll Never Forget You
Carnation (Red)My Heart Aches For You, Admiration
Carnation (Purple)Capriciousness
Carnation (Solid Color)Yes
Carnation (Striped)No, Refusal, Sorry I Can't Be With You, Wish I Could Be With You
Carnation (White)Sweet and Lovely, Innocence, Pure Love, Woman's Good Luck Gift
DaffodilFaithfulness, Happiness
Dead LeavesSadness
Forget-Me-NotTrue Love, Memories
GarlicCourage, Strength
GeraniumStupidity, Folly
GrassSubmission
Lily (Calla)Beauty
MagnoliaNobility
OrchidLove, Beauty, Refinement, Beautiful Lady, Chinese Symbol for Many Children
Rose (Bridal)Happy Love
Rose (Pink)Perfect Happiness, Please Believe Me
Rose (Red)Love, I Love You
Rose (Tea)I'll Remember Always
Rose (Thornless)Love at First Sight
Rose (White)Innocence and Purity, I am Worthy of You, You're Heavenly, Secrecy and Silence
Rose (White and Red Mixed)Unity, Flower Emblem of England
Rose (Yellow)Decrease of Love, Jealousy, Try to Care
Roses (Bouquet of Mature Blooms)Gratitude
SweetpeaGood-bye, Departure, Blissful Pleasure, Thank You for a Lovely Time
Tulip (General)Perfect Lover, Fame, Flower Emblem of Holland
Tulip (Red)Believe Me, Declaration of Love
VioletModesty