Flow­ers speak a lan­guage all their own. We give them for hol­i­day cel­e­bra­tions, mile­stones and achieve­ments and to mourn the loss of someone’s pass­ing.

Var­i­ous flower stems con­vey mean­ing through color, scent, and their cul­tural indi­ca­tions.

Bound by tra­di­tion, Valentine’s Day gifts typ­i­cally include cards, candy and in some cases jew­elry. Flow­ers nearly always accom­pany any of those presents.

For many cen­turies, flow­ers were used to con­vey roman­tic mes­sages with­out hav­ing to ver­bal­ize the direct inten­tions. Par­tic­u­larly in the Vic­to­rian Era, it was con­sid­ered impo­lite to openly state emo­tions or show phys­i­cal affec­tion.

The vehi­cle most often used to con­vey roman­tic inter­est or courtship was flow­ers. Spe­cific bou­quet arrange­ments, col­ors or types of flow­ers used would send a quiet lovers message.

The color red sym­bol­ized roman­tic love, and the rose was the epit­ome of affec­tion. While var­i­ous col­ors of roses sym­bol­ize many dif­fer­ent things, the red rose has grown to rep­re­sent romance, pas­sion and deep love.

Pur­ple roses covey enchant­ment and are asso­ci­ated with love at first sight. White roses can imply new begin­nings, while orange means fas­ci­na­tion or intense desire. Com­bi­na­tions of col­ored roses have other asso­ci­a­tions– red and white roses together sig­nify unity. Choose col­ors care­fully.

Roses and car­na­tions are pop­u­lar for Valentine’s Day. Both have hardy blooms that can stand up to deliv­ery and last in arrange­ments.

By no means are they the only heart­felt flo­ral selec­tions that spark mes­sages of love, desire and romance. Know­ing what a sweet­heart favors keeps the fires burn­ing.

Tulips con­vey a per­fect love. Red tulips in par­tic­u­lar are a dec­la­ra­tion of true love, pas­sion and in cer­tain instances even lust. Need for­give­ness? White tulips are the answer.

Peonies are known for romance and a happy mar­riage. They have some roots in Greek mythol­ogy. Apollo used to turn beau­ti­ful nymphs into peonies if Aphrodite, the god­dess of love and beauty, knew he was flirt­ing with them.

Flow­ers in gen­eral are a pos­i­tive mood booster. They are attrac­tive, smell good and lift the human spirit. Amer­i­cans are catch­ing on to this unde­ni­able hap­pi­ness quo­tient.

Our Euro­pean coun­ter­parts do not wait for a spe­cial occa­sion to buy or send cut flow­ers. They see the joy in every­day life with a vase of vibrant blooms. Farm­ers mar­kets burst with local bou­quets that shop­pers pur­chase for their own sat­is­fac­tion.

Sen­ti­ments of the heart are eas­ily expressed to any Valen­tine with flow­ers. Show them you care with color, mean­ing and blossoms.

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