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Your modern flower meaning guide

Your modern flower meaning guide

Nothing beats a bouquet of flowers on Valentine’s day. But you don’t need to wait for a holiday to appreciate the important people in your life through some artfully curated flora. You just have to know what you want to say and choose the right flower to say them with.

During the Victorian Era, when everyone was repressed and conversations between the opposite sexes were minimal to outright discouraged, people relied on flowers to express how they felt about a person. Here’s a quick refresher of modern-day floral meanings to help you out on conveying your emotions today.

Narcissus or Daffodils
“I like you back”

This flower is named after the vainest man in Greek mythology. Giving this to someone means that you’re giving them the undying love that Narcissus had for himself, the love that many women wanted to gain from him.

“I think you need a break”

Lavender is one of those flowers that get its meaning from its fragrance. Since it’s often used for aromatherapy, it’s become associated with purity, serenity, silence, and devotion. Giving this to a friend or a family member can be a subtle way of telling them you think they deserve a break or a vacation.

The subtle come on

Often used in ancient weddings, Jasmine symbolizes beauty, sensuality, love, and purity. It’s a great flower to give to your spouse on anniversaries or when you want to get your flirt on but keep it low-key.

Fun fact: the sampaguita is also a jasmine flower. But we don’t recomend you give that to someone, unless that someone is your one true love, Jesus.

“I’m proud of you”

Often dismissed as the cockblock flower, the carnation is actually a great way to tell someone you’re proud of them. It symbolizes pride and beauty, which explains why it’s often the go-to flower for Mother’s day. 

“You’re such a great friend”

These pom-pom looking flora are believed to symbolize fidelity, optimism, joy, long life, and, most importantly, friendship. It’s why people in cold-climate countries use them to decorate the front of their homes. But, it’s also a pretty and gentle way to tell them that you appreciate them platonically. Strictly platonically.

“I like you, but on the down low”

Known to mean purity, sweetness, and secret love, this flower can be your subtle way of admitting your feelings to your crush. Maybe they’ll get it, maybe they won’t. At least you can’t say you didn’t try.

An emphatic thank you

This cute cluster of flowers is said to express gratitude and heartfelt emotions. A bouquet of them is an adorable way to tell someone you’re thankful.

“You were my childhood crush”

Lilacs are believed to mean youthful innocence and confidence. Right along those lines, they’re an innocent, non-assuming way to admit a long-lasting childhood crush that you might have reunited with recently.

“I’d say ‘I do,’ again”

Taken to mean compassion and happy marriage, peonies are another sort of flower that you can get your spouse on your wedding anniversary. You can also get them this on a random day when you’re just feeling the love.

“You’re my one and only”

There’s a reason the tulip is a classic go-to for couples. It means perfect love. A bit much to put on one plant, but its simple beauty certainly gets the message across.

Baby’s Breath
A sincere “I love you” minus the fuss


If you ever receive a bouquet exclusively made with baby’s breath, don’t get upset thinking you received a cheap clump of filler flowers. These tiny blossoms actually carry their own meaning.  They’re recognized as the iconic symbol of longlasting and undying love because it’s traditionally used to round up wedding bouquets.

Tiger Lilies
“I hate you”

In Indian tradition, tiger lilies are believed to represent the aggressive side of the feminine and passion. It’s also considered a symbol of hatred because it carries a variety of viral diseases and can pass them on to other plant species. Relax, those diseases are only deadly to cats. So, if there’s a particular person you hate…

“You brighten my day”

A great, big stalk of sunflower is taken to embody adoration and devotion. You can give these to the people you admire for bringing cheer and lightness to your day.

Reminder: V-day is also Lent 

Contrary to what you might think, this flower isn’t named after the passions of the body. Rather it was named by priests from the 1500s after the suffering and death of Jesus Christ. So it’s a great and pretty reminder for your date that you’re also celebrating Lent on the 14th.

Then, of course, there’s the red rose that means passion and true love. But, you already knew that. 

Photos courtesy of,, and


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