Flowers have been associated with meanings to express ideas, feelings and messages for centuries. The word, floriography, is a term used for the assignment of meaning to flowers. There are also meaning attached to colors of flowers and to numbers of flowers. Just like music, flowers can be considered a universal language.
Aside from the meanings of flowers carried by color and variety, the language of flowers also speaks in the way flowers are worn or presented. When flowers are positioned upright then this signifies a positive meaning, but if they are shown upside down the meaning is the opposite.
History shows that it was the Turks in the 17th century that developed a language for flowers. It was from them that Europe picked up the concept of Secret Language of Flowers.
The year was 1819 when Louise Cortambert wrote and published Le Language des Fleurs. This small book is said to be the first dictionary of the language of flowers. That did become a widely-used reference on the subject it specializes.
It was in the Victorian era during the reign of Queen Victoria that flowers became very popular in sending messages. The Victorian women were especially the ones who made use of the flowers’ silent language for them to express their feelings that are not allowed to be communicated because the society then views it inappropriate. It was then that flowers became gifts to carry messages.
The year was 1884 in London when the first whole book on the subject was published. It was entitled The Language of Flowers. It was written by Marsh and illustrated by Kate Greenaway. The book became well-known and earned respects all over Europe, establishing itself as the standard source of Victorian flower meaning ever since.
It should also be noted that the Eastern side of the world, Asia, has also been fond in associating meanings to flowers. In fact, Japan has its own term for flower language, which is called Hanakotoba.
Even in the ancient civilizations, flowers have been given meanings. Until now, people are still fond of giving flowers for particular meanings.