A background on floriography

Garlic could be sent as an insult, meaning that you believed the recipient to be evil in nature.

Dating back to the Victorian Era, floriography was basically the texting of its time. Back when many conversation topics were seen as inappropriate (and by many, we mean pretty much EVERYTHING), Victorian lads and ladies began devising a secret way to communicate: by sending one another flowers. The older generation saw this as a polite notion of affection, yet unknown to them, the youth were being just as sneaky as they are today!

So what were some of these topics deemed “too inappropriate” for civilised conversation?

Many upper-class Victorians followed strict etiquette rules, and when it came to conversing, absolute politeness was a must! The following gestures would land you in hot water back then:

  • Blowing your nose
  • Sitting next to a woman
  • Using the word “leg”, or in some cases “trousers”
  • Interrupting another speaker
  • Eating your bread or fruit whole, as opposed to breaking it into bite-sized pieces


Although Victorian etiquette was based on common courtesy, we’ve definitely come a long way since then. Here are some of the flowers that were used to say things that the lips could not. And yes, these are legitimate meanings:
Wild Rose – “Pleasure and pain.”
Yellow Marguerite – “I come soon.”
Canterbury Bell – “Your letter was received.”
White Lily – “My love is pure.”
Apple Blossom – “I prefer you before all.”
Red Carnation – “My heart aches for you.”
Red Tulip – “I declare my love.”

And for those more awkward sentiments:

Poppy – “I am not free”
White Rose – “I cannot.”

Or if you want to be super straight forward:

Orange Lily – “I hate you.”

Ohh, if only rejection were still as simple as sending a flower these days…

So once you’ve got your floriography down, you’ll be able to send a secret message to your special someone! Or, you know, secretly vent your distaste for someone via orange lilies. The choice is yours!
[Related: When Words Fail, Say it With Fowers!]

Check out these florists around Cairns for all your floriography accessories!

Cairns Central Flowers T/A La Fleur Florists
You’ll get a stunning bunch of flowers when you visit Cairns Central Flowers trading as La Fleur Florists. They have all of your floristry needs covered, including:

  • Fresh flowers
  • Balloons
  • Baby hampers, & more

The next time you’re in need of a beautiful flower arrangement, call in to Cairns Central Flowers. You can find all their information on LocalSearch.

Stella Florist and Gift Gallery
Offering fresh flowers for all occasions, the team at Stella Florist and Gift Gallery provide stunning arrangements to suit your tastes. They supply:

  • Bouquets
  • Wedding garters
  • Soft toys, balloons, & much more

When you need quality flowers in Cairns, look no further than Stella Florist and Gift Gallery. All of their details are on their LocalSearch profile page.