Knights of the Pain Table

A Camelot for Sufferers of Chronic Pain

The Language of Flowers -Part I – Flower Symbolism

Flower Symbolism


"O gods and goddesses!
These flowers are like the pleasures of the world."
~ William Shakespeare


Every flower has its own beauty, but many may not know that according to the history of the language of flowers, they also each have a definite meaning. Specifically chosen flowers can convey a message between sender and recipient.

Beginning in the East, poets and mystics in the early age would assign special significance to particular flowers and gradually the language of flowers was born.

Flower symbolism was evident in China where yellow and white chrysanthemums surrounded the temples and shrines. These were regarded as holy flowers beloved of the gods. In Chinese art, chrysanthemums (truth) and almond blossoms (hope) have always been extremely popular flowers.

During the Middle Ages, the knights and ladies were bound by the strict code of courtly love. Young men who sighed for the favors of unattainable ladies occupied themselves by composing poems and songs. Since few people could read or write love letters, the exchange of flowers became an important part of their ritual.

A posy was a hand-held bouquet in Victorian England carried by fashionable ladies. A carefully chosen posy became the floral "language of love" and enabled shy suitors to express their feelings without the need for a conversation. A red tulip was a declaration of love. The bouquet sent in return would indicate encouragement or a rebuttal. And a sprig of dogwood returned by the young lady was a sign of indifference.

Great care was taken in selecting flowers, since the flower conveyed a feeling rather than words. A mixed posy spoke volumes as each plant and flower represented part of a conversation.

Yours Faithfully,

Lady Sharon holding a Yellow Daffodil  for Chivalry,
Scribe of Camelot

Tomorrow: The Language of Flowers – Part II – Flowers and Their Meanings

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