Roses are romantic, but a terrible cliché! There are many other flowers that spell love

constancy and everlasting love

Ironically enough, it is thought to be unlucky to walk through or bring home. The Latin name for this flower is Endymion who was the lover of the moon Goddess, Selene. The goddess put Endymion into an eternal sleep, so she alone could enjoy his beauty.

betrothal, love and fertility

This flower was believed to be an aphrodisiac, hence its popular use at weddings. Due to its association with love it was widely used in wreaths. Gentlemen began to wear carnations as a button hole, Oscar Wilde developed the fashion with a dyed green carnation.

The various carnation colours can mean different things: white – love; yellow – rejection; pink – I’ll never forget you; red – aching heart.

Forget-me-notsForget me not
true love and remembrance

Mythology describes this as the flower chosen by a brave knight for his sweetheart before going to battle, as he knelt to gather the tiny blue flowers he fell into a river and was swept away, calling to his love, ‘forget me not’.

devoted love

It is said to protect your garden from evil. It is known as the ‘love bind’ – symbolizing a lover’s embrace in its clinging growing habits. The heady fragrance of the flowers was believed to induce dreams of love and passion. If the bloom is brought into the house a wedding is said to follow within the year. But – the honeysuckle’s berries are poisonous!


Mythology tells how a handsome youth, Hyacinthus, was loved by the god of the sun, Apollo, but Zephyrus, god of the west wind became jealous and blew the discus that Hyacinthus was playing with and killed him. Flowers sprang from drops of his blood and so became known as hyacinths.

loving thoughts and attraction

Also known as ‘heart’s ease’, this pretty flower was believed to heal love problems. Anyone wanting to ensure they were loved by their sweethearts would carry a pansy.

first love

Its name is derived from the Latin ‘primus’ meaning first, due to their early spring flowering. The primrose is the sacred flower of Freya, the Norse goddess of love and was used in rituals giving honor to her.

faithfulness and modesty

During mediaeval times violets were believed to provide protection from evil spirits, and the leaves were used on wounds as healing plasters. Napolean Bonaparte sent Josephine a bouquet of it every anniversary and apparently wore a locket containing violets he had gathered from her grave. In medieval times the violet was strewn on the floor as an air freshener due to its sweet perfume.

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