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Symbology of flowers

The origin of the language of flowers

When was the custom of associating each flower with a meaning and a specific message? Perhaps, with the man himself: it is certain that there have been testimonies of it since ancient times. The Greeks and Romans used to give a precise meaning to the essence of each plant. Even in the Middle Ages this tradition did not cease: for example, the knights used to wear a pansy when leaving, which was a request to their lady not to be forgotten. But the exact theorization of the symbolism of flowers took place in the Victorian era, in England, based on the writings of Mary Wortley Montagu, wife of the English ambassador to Constantinople. Letters of her remain, written at the end of the 1700s, in which the meaning of the floral varieties was mentioned.

The language of flowers


Why was the custom of giving meaning to each flower born? This tradition derives from the fact that it is thought that, through a floral or arboreal essence, sensations and feelings can be communicated that are difficult to express in words. Even today, this way of feeling remains, in part, even if many of the attributions have been lost over time. For example, a red rose still remains a symbol of love and passion, just as the white one is a symbol of candor and purity. The books in which the meanings attributed to flowers can be found described in detail are Le Language des Fleurs, from 1819, enriched with beautiful drawings, or Flowers: their use and beauty, from 1818, published in London. Not just each variety, but each color has its own specific meaning:

The symbolism of flowers


In detail, thus, it can be discovered that by giving a bouquet of certain flowers, of a certain color, or by displaying it in the living room of the house, very precise concepts and meanings are expressed. As we said, for example, even today the symbol of passionate love is the red rose, which lovers give to their loved ones. The white rose, in turn, indicates love, but a love of a spiritual type; the pink rose instead symbolizes friendship, and the yellow one symbolizes jealousy. Even the sunflower is wrapped in a particular symbolism. According to Greek mythology, it is a nymph, Clizia, who was in love with the Sun god, not reciprocated. In order to always follow it, it turned into this flower that always follows the course of the diurnal star. For this reason the sunflower represents an unrequited love;

Flower Symbology: Say it with flowers


Therefore, giving a bouquet of flowers is much more demanding than you might think, because you could send the wrong messages, or vice versa communicate something much deeper than what you could not do in words. According to the symbolism of the flowers, however, there can also be different interpretations, depending on the country in which you are located. Just think of the chrysanthemum, which in Western countries is the flower of mourning and the dead. However, its name comes from the Greek and means golden flower: in Japan, and in the East in general, it is the flower of life, and is given to weddings or birthdays. The orchid in the East, due to the perfection of its corolla, is a symbol of purity. In the West, however, it symbolizes love, and is often given as a gift on wedding anniversaries, in different colors.

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