Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Floriography and Etiquette

Floriography is a means of cryptological communication, through the use or arrangement of flowers and plants. In Kate Greenaway’s illustrated “Language of Flowers.”, there are over 30 meanings for as many types of roses. — photo source Cliff Graber

Symbolic meaning has been attributed to flowers for centuries. Originating in the Courts of Constantinople in early 18th-century Turkey, and spreading throughout the world, the term for this is “Floriography.” Floriography has been practiced in some form in traditional cultures throughout the world. 

Both flowers and plants are used as symbols in the Hebrew Bible, particularly for love and lovers. In the “Song of Songs,“ flowers and plants are symbolic for the Israelite people, as well as for the coming Messiah. 

In Western culture, popular authors like Shakespeare, ascribed symbolic meanings to flowers, which encouraged readers to employ the symbolisms. 
Interest in floriography soared in popular culture in Victorian England and in the United States during the 19th century. 

Most books on etiquette and decorum offered lengthy lists of flowers and their meanings. Coded messages, created with flowers, were sent as romantic gestures. The sender of such a bouquet could express feelings which would not be socially appropriate to verbalize or send in writing, during the Victorian era. 

Numerous books on flowers, plants and their meanings, were published in The 17th and 18th centuries. The most popular book in Western culture on floriography is Victorian, Kate Greenaway’s illustrated “Language of Flowers.” The book’s popularity continued into the Edwardian era and beyond.

In Greenaway’s book, no flower was left off of her extensive list. Roses had many meanings, depending on the type and color, as shown below:

  1. Rose, Austrian — Thou art all that is lovely
  2. Rose, Bridal — Happy love
  3. Rose, Burgundy — Unconscious beauty
  4. Rose, Cabbage — Ambassador of love
  5. Rose, Campion — Only deserve my love
  6. Rose, Carolina — Love is dangerous
  7. Rose, China — Beauty always new
  8. Rose, Christmas — Tranquillize my anxiety
  9. Rose, Daily — Thy smile I aspire to
  10. Rose, Damask — Brilliant complexion
  11. Rose, Deep Red — Bashful shame
  12. Rose, Dog — Pleasure and pain.
  13. Rose, Guelder — Winter, Age
  14. Rose, Hundred-leaved — Pride 
  15. Rose, Japan — Beauty is your only attraction 
  16. Rose, Maiden Blush — If you love me, you will find it out 
  17. Rose, Multiflora — Grace 
  18. Rose, Mundi — Variety
  19. Rose, Musk — Capricious beauty
  20. Rose, Musk, Cluster — Charming 
  21. Rose, Single — Simplicity 
  22. Rose, Thornless — Early attachment 
  23. Rose, Unique — Call me not beautiful 
  24. Rose, White — I am worthy of you 
  25. Rose, White (withered) — Transient impressions.
  26. Rose, Yellow — Decrease of love, Jealously
  27. Rose, York and Lancaster — War 
  28. Rose, Full-blown, placed over two Buds — Secrecy 
  29. Rose, White and Red together — Unity 
  30. Roses, Crown of — Reward of virtue 
  31. Rosebud, Red — Pure and lovely
  32. Rosebud, White — Girlhood 
  33. Rosebud, Moss — Confession of love
        *From a variety of sources, including Wikipedia 

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia©️ Etiquette Encyclopedia 

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