Did you know that each type of flower has its own symbolic meaning? Yep, as if the dating and romance scene wasn’t filled with enough landmines already, your choice of flowers may accidentally send distressingly wrong signals to your beloved. Yikes. With Valentine’s Day upon us, we’re sure you’d love to know how to avoid an embarrassing botanical faux-pas – don’t worry, we’ve got you.
Plant and flower symbolism dates back to ancients and folklore, and has pervaded throughout art, horticulture and literature. It’s pretty important stuff, so listen up, take note, and make sure you do this flower thing right.
For Your Best Friend
The yellow rose is a symbol of platonic love and friendship. This flower is perfect for galentines, or for subtly letting a suitor know that you’re Just Not Interested (if you need to hammer the point home more, leave all the thorns in). If you get handed one of these by your lover, sorry mate, they’re trying to tell you it’s over.
For Your Lesbian Love
Purple violets have been associated with love between two women since Sappho, the famous ancient Lesbian poet, around 600BC. In her poetry she frequently references her lover holding, wearing, or in proximity to violets. If you want to quietly tell a girl you fancy her, just hand her a bunch of purple violets and wait.
For The One You Just Want To Fuck
We know coriander (or cilantro to our American readers) is a contentious topic, but apparently it’s the universal plant symbol for lust (seriously?). Slide up to them in the club, get real close, then just when the mood is right whack out your bunch of coriander and make your intentions real clear. Leave a bunch out in a jar on the coffee table for when your partner gets home; they’ll spot them and know that it’s time. What better way to set the mood?
To Secretly Let Other Gay Men Know That You Are Also Gay
A green carnation. Maybe you’ve never heard of this before, in which case I’m sorry but you’re just not gay enough. This was a secret symbol of the followers of Oscar Wilde to denote their sexuality and alliance with him and his ideologies. Perfect for wearing on Valentine’s Day if you are gay and single, as it will summon any hidden gay men out of the woodwork and signal to them that you are available and looking. If you can’t get your hands on a carnation, a sleeveless denim jacket and mesh crop top will get the point across just as effectively.
For Your Enemy
Hate is a passion as strong as love, right? So it’s only natural you might think of your enemy (or your ex – maybe they’re the same person) on Valentine’s Day. If you want to send a flower to that awful someone, pick a nice hostile thistle. It represents warning and evil, which explains a lot given it’s the national emblem of Scotland. The more thorns the better, so go ham.
To Declare Your Love For Someone New
A daffodil! How lovely. Daffodils represent new beginnings, and according to Victorian floriography they say “return my affection”. What an adorable way to admit your feelings to your crush. Mind you, some interpretations also claim that the daffodil represents unrequited love, so umm tread carefully with this one.
For Your Secret Lover
Gardenia represents “secret love”, so it’s the natural choice when trying to be subtle about sending a huge bouquet of flowers to someone you’re trying to keep a low profile with. I mean, if you sent a dozen roses people might take note and start prying, but who gives a shit about gardenias? Exactly, nobody, so it’s a great way of showing someone that you don’t like them enough to tell people about it but enough to send them shit flowers. Excellent. Smashing.
For The Person Whose DMs You Constantly Slide Into
The sunflower emoji. Sunflowers represent infatuation and foolish passion, which perfectly sums up the totally one-sided lustful relationship you have with your Insta crush. Send them one single sunflower on V-day and see what happens. Maybe they’ll finally notice you and you’ll live happily ever after! Or maybe they’ll finally block you. Only one way to find out!
For The Person Who Constantly Slides Into Your DMs
A yellow carnation, to represent the rejection, disdain and disappointment you bring upon their house each time they unsolicitedly try to hit you up. An eyeroll emoji and radio silence works just as well, admittedly.
To Show Your Partner That You’re Boring, Unoriginal & Easily Succumb To Capitalist Messaging Around A Saint’s Day
Red roses, because you’re a boring basic fucker. Also they represent true love, so there’s that too, but let’s face it, you only bought them because you think that’s what you’re supposed to do on Valentine’s Day. Fine, I guess.