14 February 2017

What not to say with flowers - top 5 anti-valentine blooms

  • English Heritage calls for a revival of the historic language of flowers, as popularised by the Victorians.
A bouquet of flowers with negative meanings

Hopeful suitors, admirers and other halves should think twice about what flowers they send to their beloved on Valentine's Day, advises English Heritage.

According to the secret language of flowers, a trend popular during the Victorian era, a sprig of lavender can translate to 'distrust' or marigold can indicate 'jealousy' potentially tarnishing an otherwise romantic gesture.

This Valentine's Day English Heritage hopes to revive the secret language of flowers with the charity's gardeners on-hand to help visitors identify some of the most romantic flowers - and warn them against the worst offenders.  For a more positive bouquet, and to learn more about the historic language of flowers, visit the English Heritage blog.

Christopher Weddell, Senior Gardens Advisor at English Heritage, said:

"People - especially the Victorians - have attributed different symbolic meanings to flowers for thousands of years, but today the deeper and more complex language of flowers is all but lost. We want to help keep this tradition alive and bring back the language of flowers. Who knows? You could also avoid offending the very object of your affection."

Queen Victoria's appreciation of flowers is well-known

While today most people continue to associate red roses with love or romance, the historic meanings behind this complex code are fading and the many different messages you can send with flowers have been forgotten. 

Not all sentiments expressed through floriography, the term given to a dictionary of flower meanings, were complimentary. For example flowers like Japanese lilies ('you cannot deceive me'), yellow carnations (disdain) and basil (hatred).

English Heritage has created the worst, most negative, and most passive aggressive bouquet of flowers containing yellow roses, striped carnations, pink larkspur, lavender and marigold.

Top 5 anti-Valentine flowers

  • Rose (yellow): Decrease of love
  • Striped Carnation: Refusal
  • Pink Larkspur: Fickleness
  • Lavender: Distrust
  • Marigold: Despair, jealousy

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