Top 10 Victorian flowers

Samantha PillingHistory, The Gardens

Bouquet of spring flowers in basket

The Victorians loved flowers. Not only did they use them to adorn their homes, they were also used to scent their toiletries and clothes, flowers also had hidden symbolism too. Many a Victorian sweetheart could send unwritten wording through their choice of floral bouquet.

Here’s the top flowers of choice for the Victorians, along with what message they portrayed.

#1: The Victorian flower of many colours and varieties – the Rose

The rose was (and still is) a symbol of love – but for the Victorians, they had to be pink or red. Receive a bunch of yellow roses and you’re admitting to infidelity! Most of our modern roses are hybrid roses, derived from an original 100 species. Sadly, most of those original species are no longer available, but many of the Victorian varieties are still available.  Victorian roses were known for their beautiful scent and colourful blooms.

#2: Cheery Crocuses

Sending someone Crocuses and you were signifying their youth and cheerfulness. With 90 species and differing colours to choose from, these cheery flowers were always a firm favourite.

#3: Loving Lilac

Lilac is a tale of two stories. The purple Lilac flowers signify those first emotions of love. The white Lilacs however, tell a story of humility and innocence – so why not mix the two together!

#4: Forget-me-not

The Forget-me-not signifies exactly as the name suggests. These pretty little flowers were popular to send to your sweetheart, to remind them to keep you at the forefront of their thoughts.

#5: High and mighty Hollyhocks

For the Victorians, Hollyhocks signified ambition. Floriography (the language of flowers), was a complicated process. Flowers such as Hollyhocks, that had these kind of meanings were often mixed with other flower species – as a mixed bouquet of flowers could mean something completely different to the individual signification of each flower.

#6: Universal Lavender

Lavender is one of those flowers that has so many uses. Not only could it be dried and used to make little scented drawer pillows, it could also be added to your favourite potions and lotions, as a scent. As for the message behind Lavender, it always signified devotion – something the flower itself tends to give us all!

#7: Charming Camellia

These beautiful flowers were most favoured by the Victorians. Give someone a Camelia flower and you were giving them a clear message – my destiny is in your hands.

#8: Delightful Daffodils

These bright and cheery flowers still cheer anyone up. For the Victorians though, they signified new beginnings, chivalry, joy and happiness. Send a single daffodil to someone though, and you were signifying unrequited love.

#9: Dutiful Daisies

Daisies come in all different sizes, from the small ones in a local field to the larger, more ornate ones. No matter what the size, a Daisy always symbolises innocence and purity.

#10: Vibrant Violets

These come in a variety of colours and have delicate looking petals. If you gave a Victorian person a punch of Violets and you were indicating your faithfulness, modesty, loyalty and devotion.

The Victorians loved their flowers and found so many ways to use them. It’s therefore no wonder, that gardening was a huge hobby for any Victorian as, not only did if provide them with essential produce for the kitchen table, it also enabled them to create stunning floral displays to make their home look and smell beautiful, whilst also sending secret messages they couldn’t otherwise utter!

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