The Language of Flowers - Do You Know?

| Wendy Han

Flowers are not just beautiful ornaments of nature, to be enjoyed. They are symbols of emotion. They carry our feelings because words are sometimes not enough. Flowers have been used to express specific emotions for centuries in every culture. The Japanese even have a word for the language of flowers, Hanakotoba.


Did you know, the same flower may have different meanings in different cultures? White lillies in the arms of a young Chinese bride represent innocence and purity. But these same flowers in England drape caskets at a funeral!


Before you send someone a bouquet of flowers, it is always advisable to find out what the flowers mean from our florists. That way, you will be able to convey your meaning more effectively. Here is a look at the meanings of some popular flowers that we gift our loved ones here in Singapore.



Everyone knows that red roses symbolize love and deep affection. It is the favourite flower of Valentine’s Days and other special days for lovers, mothers, and anyone you love and care deeply about.


Light pink roses are, not surprisingly, symbols of sweetness and innocence. They make a lovely gift for a young girl on her sixteenth birthday, a girlfriend or wife, or anyone you want to bless with affection.


White roses represent chastity, purity and innocence. Along with pink roses, they make wonderful flowers for wedding bouquets.


Yellow roses represent friendship. Gift a bouquet of yellow roses to brighten up a friend’s day, and they’ll love it.



Lilies represent purity and refined beauty, across many cultures. They make lovely bouquets to gift on milestone anniversaries. They also are wonderful flowers to gift your spouse or girlfriend on their special days. White lilies in particular represent modesty, but also keep in mind that orange lilies represent passion.


Calla Lilies

Calla lilies stand out among flowers for their sword-like leaves and neat, elegant flowers. They make beautiful bridal bouquets, carrying their symbolism of beauty and magnificence along with their meanings of innocence and purity. White calla lilies are also supposed to be a good luck charm for weddings.



Roses may mean deep affection, but tulips represent the “perfect love”. A marriage that has weathered through a decade to reach its 11th year must be celebrated with tulips.



We may know orchids as helping to cure coughs in traditional medicine. But they make stately gifts, in business or in personal life. Orchids are very feminine flowers. They are refined and elegant as well. A bouquet of orchids holds a very special meaning for those who receive it and those who give it. The orchid is graceful and delicate. It represents beauty, luxury and strength. Businessmen in Japan gift each other orchids often! It does make a showy yet elegant corporate gift. But it also makes a lovely personal gift to a special woman in your life.



Sunflowers are sunny and bright. They represent platonic love, dedication and adoration. They make a great gift to a hard-working friend or a “Thank You” flower to someone you care about.



Frilly carnations are symbolic of beauty and pride. Pink carnations make a lovely gift for your mother on mother’s day. They represent maternal or feminine love. A bouquet of red carnations will make the day special for a special woman in your life. White carnations are popular additions to wedding bouquets. They represent innocence and pure love.



Peonies are great wedding, anniversary and “Get well soon” flowers. They represent a happy life, good health and a happy marriage.



The silky flowers of ranunculus are charming and ideal for wedding bouquets. Layers of pink ranunculus petals, like peonies, make a wonderful textural complement to white roses. What do these flowers mean? “I am dazzled by you.”


Baby’s Breath

A bunch of baby’s breath is more than a filler in bouquets. Gift it in a dense bouquet to hold its own, and your bouquet will become a symbol of pureness, everlasting love and innocence. Those are exactly the feelings that the little white and pink flowers inspire in us, isn’t it?

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