Whether you're giving flowers to a friend, loved one, or romantic interest, the bouquet you choose conveys a specific message to its intended recipient.
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We give flowers on Valentine's Day as a way to show our love and appreciation for those special people in our lives. While flowers often signify romantic interest, you can certainly give a beautiful bouquet to friends and family. But just remember that the flowers you give convey different meanings, ranging from admiration to eternal love. That's why it's important to understand the symbolism of the flowers you send on Valentine's Day before you choose a bouquet.

woman holding a colourful fresh blossoming flower bouquet of different sorts of roses, carnations, eustoma, peonies
Credit: GETTY IMAGES

Flowers That Symbolize Friendship

Do you want to send flowers to your longtime friends or a couple you often double date with? Skip roses—which symbolize romance and passion— and try orchids, instead. "We absolutely love Vanda orchids," say Nicky Douglas, the client experience manager, and Alex Karabell, the senior event designer, at Ovando. "They are long-lasting and come in bright, bold colors."

Flowers That Symbolize Romantic Love

Feel free to get creative when it comes to choosing the right flowers for your special someone. "Be romantic and splurge," says Douglas and Karabell. "This is a floral expression of your love." While you can never go wrong with a beautiful bouquet of red roses, there are also other varieties that convey romance and love, too, like double petal oriental lilies. "They smell amazing and look like a peony," say Douglas and Karabell.

The Meaning Behind Flower Colors

Certain flowers have different meanings, but their colors can impact the message, too. "Consciously or subconsciously, colors will trigger moods," says Mindy Rice, the floral and event designer and founder of Mindy Rice Design. "Colors such as peach, bronze, pinks, taupe, and sienna suggest a nurturing feeling—that of comfort and confidence."

On the other hand, bolder colors, like red, fuchsia, tangerine, and amber, might conjure feelings of love, passion, and power. "Then there are the cooler tones, such as lilac, blue, and green," says Rice. "These colors tend to evoke a feeling of safety, security, and protection."

The Meaning Behind Popular Valentine's Day Flowers

Before selecting a bloom to gift to your loved ones this February 14, make sure you know the true symbolism behind it. By being thoughtful about your selection, you'll be able to tell your friends how much you admire them—and let your significant other know just how much they mean to you.

  • Roses: Romance
  • Purple Lilac: First love
  • Pansy: Admiration
  • Peony: A happy life
  • Poppy: Peace
  • Alstroemeria: Friendship
  • Daffodil: New beginning
  • Forget Me Not: True love
  • Carnation: Admiration
  • Lily of the Valley: Luck and Happiness
  • Freesia: Friendship
  • Primrose: Eternal love
  • Sweet Peas: Kind hearted
  • Gardenia: Sweetness
  • Lavender: Protection

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