The world's most beloved bud means just that: I love you. But love comes in all sizes and types, and so do roses.
Red -- The end all be all of romance. Say it with 12 long-stems if you're serious.
White -- Love and respect. Purity, innocence, new beginnings. Also: Sympathy, humility, spirituality.
Yellow -- Joy, friendship, AKA, "let's just be friends." Perfect for Mom.
Pink -- Covers all bases, from friendship and admiration, to sweetness and thanks. Even a secret crush, for those who blush.
Orange -- Passionate, bold, creative. Signifies you actually put some thought into it.
Purple -- Love at first sight
Green -- Well wishes, health, fertility
Blue -- Mystery. Care to beguile? How intriguing!
Black -- Do you have to ask? You don't want to get these, unless Goth is your thing. To send them is to clearly say, "I'm more than just not into you. Seriously. Don't call me."
The most popular flower in the U.K. means "love of a woman or mother." (Also, fascination.) Prime Mother's Day or birthday candidates.
More Mother's and Father's Day Petals
Heather -- Admiration, beauty and protection. As in "You're my hero." Also, "Wishes will come true." That's what Mom and Dad said, right?
Honeysuckle -- Devotion. If you're on good terms with your parents, nothing says "Thanks for raising me so well!" like honeysuckle.
A Flower by any Other Name...
Daffodil -- "You make me happy." Bunches of daffodils conjure notions of happiness, rebirth, new beginnings and eternal life. But a single daffodil? That can mean unrequited love, or foreshadow misfortune. So complicated.
Daisy -- Loyal love, as in best friends forever and "Your secret's safe with me." Gerbera daisies, in particular, spread cheer.
Bird of Paradise -- Joyfulness, magnificence, excitement, anticipation. Go for this if you're newly dating a hot prospect.
Chrysanthemum -- Fidelity, optimism, joy and long life. Beware again, the yellow harbinger: Yellow chrysanthemum symbolizes slighted love.
Forget Me Not -- Just like it sounds. In other words, "Pay attention to me!"
Hydrangea -- Heartfelt emotions of gratitude for being understood. Or, frigidity and heartlessness if you're in a grumpy place. FYI, avoid these if you're invited to Madonna's house. She's on public record as saying, "I absolutely loathe hydrangeas."
Iris -- Faith, hope, eloquence. For the budding writer, perhaps? To pay compliments to someone's wisdom, go with purple.
Ivy -- Wedded love. Spring this on a rose-weary spouse.
Lilac -- Do you still love me?
Lily -- Purity and refined beauty. White lilies symbolize purity and innocence -- a popular wedding bouquet choice. Orange lilies are for passion, yellow is gaiety. The Easter lily is the symbol of the Virgin Mary.Beauty
Lily of the Valley -- "Return of happiness." As in, let's make up, or please take me back.
Marigold -- Resilience. Perfect for "Get well" wishing.
Peony -- On the rise as a world favorite, peonies indicate shyness and compassion, as well as happy life, happy marriage, good health and prosperity. There is a negative meaning, but why go there? Too pretty.
Orchid -- Love, beauty, seduction, refinement. See what orchids mean for men.
Sunflower -- Loyalty. Its sunny disposition is also generally regarded as happy.
Sweet Pea -- Delicate pleasure and bliss. A morning-after parting gift, perhaps?
Tulip -- Perfect love, or a declaration of love. Platonic or passionate. But no yellow if you want your love to last. According to The Flower Expert, those mean "hopeless love." Oops.
Wildflower -- Adoration. An out-of-the-box wedding choice.
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Floriography: What Flowers Mean
"Earth laughs in flowers," Ralph Waldo Emerson once said. As natural mood boosters, flowers send a general message of good tidings. But over time, individual buds have come to symbolize specific meanings, whether through mythology, medicinal properties, or color. Developed in Victorian times, floriography is the language of flowers -- their meanings, and how you can use them to communicate. So read on to see how to let petals do the talking for you. Whether it's to give condolences, to say "I love you," or to plead your "Please don't sue me" case.
For expert tips, check out picking the perfect bouquet.