The Real Meaning Behind Those Flowers You Give–and Get!

Mother's Day Red Carnations
Photo: Getty/Sean Ellis

Who doesn't love receiving a bouquet of fresh flowers on Valentine's Day? They're a simple and classic reminder that someone is thinking about you. But, have you ever stopped to consider what those beautiful blooms actually mean? Is your sweetheart sending you a hidden message? It turns out that daisies, orchids, roses, and lilies all mean something quite different. In fact, some flowers even have negative connotations. So, be careful when choosing your Valentine's Day blossoms, folks, because a rose is not simply a rose.

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Daisy

White Daisy
Getty/Tim Graham/Contributor

Perfect for the fresh and unguarded couple, daisies are the flower of innocence.

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Calla Lily

White Calla Lily Bouquet
Getty/Santi Visalli/Contributor

This gorgeous, white bloom symbolizes magnificence and beauty. It can also mean purity and rebirth—which is why the calla lily is so popular during the Easter season.

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Camellia

Pink and White Camellias
Getty/Frank Bienewald /Contributor

Faithfulness is the meaning behind this popular flower. If your sweetheart gives you a camellia this Valentine's Day, he's in it for the long haul.

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Gardenia

White Gardenia
Getty/JTB Photo/Contributor

This precious bloom represents joy and sweetness. If you receive this flower, your Valentine thinks you're perfectly lovely in every way.

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Hydrangea

Blue and Purple Hydrangeas
Getty/JTB Photo/Contributor

Hydrangeas are the flowers of apology, so if he forgot Valentine's Day, you should expect a bouquet of these beauties on February 15th.

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Lilac

Lilac
Getty Images/Johner Images

Representative of youthful bliss, these purple blooms are perfect for the couple whose love hasn't aged a day.

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Verbena

Verbena
Verbena

Because of their appearance in religious ceremonies throughout history, these delicate blooms say "pray for me".

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Dahlia

Bell of Barmera Dahlia
Photo: Alison Miksch

Have a friend who is feeling down, and you want to remind her of her strength and beauty? Give her dahlias, flowers that stand out in a crowd, just like your bestie.

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Amaryllis

Pink Amaryllis Flower
Getty/Flowerphotos/Contributor

The amaryllis is often said to represent splendid beauty, and it's also meant to indicate worth beyond physical beauty. So, if you're gifted with this flower, it's truly something special.

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Chrysanthemum

Bunch of Pink Chrysanthemums
Getty/Christopher Furlong/Staff

Chrysanthemum is the flower of optimism. It's easy to be positive when you're in love.

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Rose

Pink Roses
PORNCHAI KITTIWONGSAKUL/Staff

A rose simply represents love, so it's the most classic choice for Valentine's day. Saying "I love you" never goes out of style.

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Clematis

Clematis
Jacky Parker Photography/Getty Images

If you receive purple clematis, you admirer holds you in high esteem: the color of the flower and its ability to climb to great heights symbolizes royalty.

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Rhododendron

New Rhododendrons for the South
New Rhododendrons for the South

This stunning bloom actually has a negative connotation; it means "beware".

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Larkspur

Chelsea Flower Show
Credit: Getty/stocknshares

This is a sweet one—larkspur symbolizes first love.

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Peony

Blossoming Pink Peony
Getty/Roberto Machado Noa/Contributor

This stunning, pink bloom symbolizes compassion, and it can represent a great marriage and happy life.

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Ranunculus

Field of Ranunculus
Getty/GABRIEL BOUYS/Staff

Perfect for the Southern woman, ranunculus is often said to mean radiant charm.

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Sunflower

Field of Sunflowers
Getty/Sean Gallup/Staff

Symbolizing adoration and delicate love, the sunflower is a brilliant choice for Valentine's Day.

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Cosmos

Pink Cosmos Flower
Photography by Alexandra Rudge/Getty Images

The definition of the Greek word kosmos is harmony or order, and the cosmos' beautifully fringed petals and hues of pink, white, and lavender radiate harmony.

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Daffodil

Yellow Daffodil
Getty/Ben Pruchnie/Staff

Often associated with regard and chivalry, daffodils are the gentleman's flower.

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Sweet Pea

Purple Sweet Pea
Getty/DEA/RANDOM/Contributor

Sweet pea is the flower of bliss; give it to someone who makes you happy, happy, happy.

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Magnolia

White Magnolia Flower
Getty/Wild Horizon/Contributor

Magnolias symbolize nobility, so if your sweetheart presents you with this fragrant, white flower, chances are he'll treat you like a queen.

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Poppy

Poppy Flowers in Vase
Getty Images/Lauren Burke

These glorious yet fragile flowers are a symbol of remembrance, especially when honoring wartime sacrifice.

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Orchid

Pink and White Speckled Orchid
Getty/Nicky Loh/Stringer

Orchids represent rare and exotic beauty; give this to the person who is truly one of a kind.

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Chamomile

Chamomile
Andrea Ricordi /Getty Images

Popularized by the relaxing tea blend, Chamomile actually means "energy in adversity".

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Tansy

Tansy
Steven Xiong / Getty Images

These dainty, yellow flowers look quite lovey, but they have a darker meaning: "I declare war on you."

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Grape Hyacinth

Grape Hyacinth
Courtesy of Getty via JTB Photo for Southern Living

This flower says "please forgive me". Sometimes, a simple apology is all it takes to repair a relationship.

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Lavender

Lavender
Szabolcs Kiss/EyeEm/Getty Images

Perhaps one of the most fragrant blooms, this gorgeous flower symbolizes devotion.

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Goldenrod

Goldenrod
Mother Nature Network

This bright and cheery bloom represents encouragement.

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Hyssop

Anise Hyssop
Photo: Kathy Diemer/A Garden for All

The hyssop symbolizes sacrifice, and it's no secret that with great love comes great sacrifice.

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Forget-Me-Not

Forget Me Not
Courtesy of Getty via Silvia Reiche for Southern Living

The name says it all. This flower beckons its recipient to forget-me-not!

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Purple Iris

Bearded Iris
Jim McKinley/Getty Images

Representing wisdom and respect, giving this bloom is a bold statement indeed.

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Pansy

Pansies in Pot
Westend61/Getty Images

The pansy is said to symbolize thoughtfulness and remembrance, which is why they are so popular on Veteran's Day.

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Nasturtium

Orange nasturtium
Westend61/Getty Images

Although nasturtium is technically not a Valentine's Day flower, the bright bloom holds a special meaning: patriotism.

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Heliotrope

Spring Garden Flowers: 'Azure Skies' Heliotrope
Photo: Ralph Anderson

Just when you thought the rose was the most meaningful flower, the heliotrope steals the show; it means eternal love.

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Hollyhock

Yellow Hollyhock Blooms
Photo: Ralph Lee Anderson

Don't let its frilly appearance fool you, this flower means "ambition."

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Lily-of-the-Valley

Lily of the Valley
David Q. Cavagnaro/Getty

These dainty little bulbs carry the tender message of sweetness.

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Yellow Rose

Rose
Sharon Mccutcheon/EyeEm/Getty Images

A yellow rose is meant to symbolize warm feelings of friendship. So, while it's a beautiful flower, it is probably not the best choice for Valentine's Day.

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Cornflower

Cornflower
Lisa Schaetzle /Getty Images

This dainty blue bloom holds a special meaning, blessing.

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Zinnia

Pink Zinnia Blooms
Ananya Apairach / EyeEm/Getty Images

Long-lasting affection is the beautiful meaning behind this cheery bloom.

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Black-Eyed Susan

Getty Black Eyed Susan with Bee
Getty

While the name of this yellow beauty is a bit odd, the meaning is something special: justice.

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Honeysuckle

Winter Honeysuckle
Hsvrs/Getty Images

This fragrant flower is said to represent the bonds of love.

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Red Tulip

5 Signs You Should Join a Garden Club
PhotoPlus Magazine/Getty Images

A great alternative to the classic rose, red tulips are a bold declaration of love.

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Morning Glory

Bush Morning Glory
Photo: Wynn Myers; Styling: Sara Oswalt/Sisterbrother MGMT

You should feel very special if you are gifted with a morning glory on Valentine's Day because they represent affection.

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Valerian

Valerian
Getty Images

Your sweetheart could be trying to send a message with this flower; it means readiness.

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White Clover

White Clover
De Agostini Picture Library/Getty Images

The white clover is often seen as a wish for good luck and great energy. A welcomed gift, indeed!

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Echinacea

Coneflower
Sandra Clegg/Getty Images

If you get a bouquet of echinacea, you can feel good about the future of yourself and your relationship: the flower symbolizes strength and health.

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White Jasmine

Madagascar Jasmine
Courtesy of Kazuo Ogawa/Aflo via Getty for Southern Living

The fragrance of the white jasmine is almost as lovely as its meaning: sweet love.

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Purple Crocus

Autumn Crocus
Courtesy of DEA / RANDOM via Getty for Southern Living

The purple crocus is one of the first signs that spring is near, so it makes sense that the blossom represents youthful happiness.

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Yarrow

Chelsea Flower Show
Credit: Getty/stocknshares

Simplicity is key. This dainty, yellow flower simply represents love.

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Red Carnations

Mother's Day Red Carnations
Getty/Sean Ellis

Color means everything when it comes to carnations. White means "sweet and lovely," while red says "I will never forget you," but yellow symbolizes disdain. Be careful with this bloom!

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