The Meaning Behind Valentines Flowers

Feb 17, 2022 | Latest News

The meaning behind Valentines Flowers as a symbol of fertility, love, marriage and romance goes back for centuries. The most popular of flowers being the red rose, but did you know that other exquisite flowers are also given on Valentines Day with their own meaning which have been pulled from various fables, legends and myths throughout the centuries.

The meaning behind Valentines Flowers

Red Roses

Red roses represent a powerful symbol of passion and is sacred in many cultures. In fact, the red rose is symbolic and sacred to many Goddesses in Egyptian, Greek and Roman cultures over many hundreds of years. The red rose is heavily identified with their Goddesses of Love – Aphrodite and Venus.

More interestingly, and closer to home in the Victorian era, flowers were used to send secret messages to a lover when Victorian Society deemed any expression of love or passion unacceptable. Known as ‘Floriography‘ (the language of flowers), different flowers meant different things in their message, so there was no need for a card, as the choice of flower did the talking!

Although red roses symbolise love and romance the most in our culture, and is the archetypal, classic Valentines Day gift, other flowers happen to be just as symbolic in their offering.


The history of the red tulip is as interesting as it is tragic. Tulips actually originated from Persia and Turkey (contrary to the popular belief that they came from Amsterdam!), and according to Turkish legend, a certain Prince Farhad was absolutely besotted with his love, Shirin. Unfortunately, Shirin died at a young age and the grief stricken Prince Farhad decided that he simply couldn’t bear living without her. So, he rode his horse over the edge of cliff and killed himself as well as his steed, one presumes. The legend goes on to tell that a scarlet red tulip sprang up from each droplet of blood that was spilled when they found Prince Farhads body, which obviously gave the red tulip the meaning of ‘perfect love’.

In fact, in Turkish culture, each colour to tulip has a different meaning – pink and yellow tulips, for instance, symbolise caring for one another and being hopelessly in love.


Now, if you decide to give your partner an orchid on Valentines Day, you’ll actually be saying that you appreciate your loves delicate and rare beauty. Who’d have thought! Orchids themselves possess the same rare and delicate beauty and depending on the type of Orchid you send, your message can be even more explicit in terms of love, wisdom, beauty, refinement or seduction. So……. choose your orchid carefully!!

Bird of Paradise

Traditionally, the bird of paradise flower (or to give it its proper name ‘Strilizer’) has been, for centuries, a gift given on the 9th anniversary of a marriage. It symbolises faithfulness within the marriage as well as celebrating the appreciation of unique beauty, freedom and happiness within the union.


Originally cultivated by the Aztecs, the humble but showy dahlia offers sentiments of dignity and elegance. Those who choose to give dahlias on Valentines Day are actually acknowledging the committed and ever lasting bond they have with their loved one.


Although Red Roses will always take the No. 1 spot as the most romantic of all flowers on Valentines Day, they’re not the only flower that has sentiments of love attached to them. So, next time you want to send flowers on Valentines Day, consider the meaning behind Valentines Flowers and the message you want to portray to your loved one – you may well say it better with Dahlia!

We are Cheltenham and Gloucester Flowers. Our business is the supply of fresh flowers, plants and florist sundries at wholesale prices, either for collection or delivery from our Cheltenham warehouse and showroom