February 14 is like Black Friday for florists, accounting for 32 percent of annual sales. But why are flowers associated with love?
Apparently, in the early 1700s, Charles II of Sweden brought the Persian poetical art known as the “language of flowers” to Europe. Various flowers were associated with certain feelings and developed specific meanings. This permitted couples to exchange romantic secrets without ever uttering a word. Books were written detailing many shades of meaning and covered a wide variety of blooms of all sorts. The jonquil was said to mean that the sender desired a return of affection. The purple lilac represented the first emotions of love. Ivy meant fidelity and marriage. Sometimes the color of the blossom carried the meaning.
The red rose was the symbol of love but the white rose indicated innocence or friendship. A yellow rose meant jealousy or even betrayal. The practice of using flowers as expressions of romantic love gained popularity, reaching its height in the late 19th century. The red rose remains as the most popular botanical representation of love.
Throughout the 18th century, ladies loved their floral dictionaries, which listed the symbolic meanings of different flowers. The red rose was believed to be the favored flower of Venus, the Roman Goddess of Love and has come to represent romantic love. And so, giving red roses on Valentine’s Day became the thing to do.
When ordering your Valentine roses, consider these facts:
- Traditional Valentine’s Day colors are red, pink, and white.
- Red symbolizes passion and deep affection. White represents purity and faithfulness and devotion.
- Pink signifies warmth and loving kindness.