As we know in general, flower is the reproductive structure of plants, which are floral, providing both the sperm and the egg cell. Flowers have many important symbolic meanings, especially in the Western Culture. Apart from their general function, flowers have their own language called ‘floriography’.
Floriography is the language of communication through the function or the arrangement of flowers. Flowers began to gain their own special meanings during the Victorian era to define the symbolic meanings refer to specific event or situation. Japanese has an older tradition called ‘hanakotoba’. Hanakotoba informs which flowers are to be used in the art of ‘ikebana’. However, the Victorian era is when flowers dictionaries were published, including the meaning of plants and herbs too.
During the Victorian era, people use flowers and plants to send message and communicate for various reasons. Behind every flower, they have its own silent secretive meanings in which they became very important to people. With flowers too, people are define as “well-dressed” back in the Victorian era.
The language of flowers was defined in several divisions. The most popular was defined by its color. The most common color is red in which it represents love, desire and passion. While white color represents innocence, purity and loyalty. Every color represent its own meaning. Back then in Victorian era, specific kind of flower with different color has it owns message. For example, white lily is telling that our love is pure while yellow pansy tells that we are thinking of the other person.
Floriography was also popular among literatures and arts. William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Charlotte and Emily Brontë are some of authors who used the language of flowers in their writings. England’s Anglican churches have painting, sculpture or stained glass windows of the lily crucifix as their symbolism.
Nowadays, authors rarely use floriography in their writings but among people the language of flowers is still popular to deliver silent secretive message on specific event like marriage and death. The beautiful features of flower itself also the reason that keeps floriography alive.
Published by Ariba Pramesti