The language of flowers

“Begonias” “Poppy” and “Orchids”

Pen Illustration on watercolor gradient

Did you know? Flowers have always had religious, mythological and symbolic meanings. Although these predate Victorian times, it was the Victorians who created and popularised an elaborate mode of communication using flowers – The language of flowers.

Begonias, although beautiful, were seen as a warning. They meant “be careful” or “be cautious”. They also suggested “having dark thoughts”. Hmmm….who knew?!

In Greek or Roman myths, Poppies were used as offerings to the dead. It was associated with the God Morpheus due to its sedative effect. The Victorians associated it with loss, deep sleep and extravagance. Today, the red poppy is the traditional flower of remembrance of WW1 and WW2.

In ancient Greece orchids represent sexuality and virility. The name is derived from the Greek word orchis which means testicles!!! Greek women believed that if the father of the unborn child ate large, new orchid tubers, the baby would be a boy. In general, orchids represent love, luxury, beauty and strength. Singapore’s national flower is an orchid, the Vanda Miss Joaquim.


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