Watch CBS News

The Meaning Behind Your Valentine's Day Flowers

By Carissa Hutchinson

Did your sweetheart give you flowers for Valentine's Day? Did you know that flowers had a meaning behind them? In the Victorian era flowers had certain meanings because people would use more symbols and gestures to communicate than words. It was during this time that the tradition of sending flowers was started with the publication of flower dictionaries. Not only do flowers have meanings but so do their colors. The same flower but in a different color could mean something different.

shutterstock_104215625 Let's start with roses. Roses come in all kinds of colors and if your sweetheart gave you a red rose then that means they're head over heels for you. Passionate love is this rose's meaning and you've got yourself a winner! White roses are a symbol of purity and if you get white and red roses then that means that you and your partner are one. When you put those two colors together it means unity. Think your valentine is devoted to you? Well if they gave you yellow roses then it looks like they are because yellow means devotion. If you receive a pink rose then it looks like your still in the friend zone. Pink roses are a symbol of friendship.

shutterstock_97000841Many of my friends love lilies so we'll do those next. Think your lover treats you like royalty? Then they must have given you calla lilies because those mean regal. If you receive a stargazer lily then that means your sweetheart thinks you're ambitious. Day lilies mean enthusiasm so if you were given a day lily then your valentine thinks your enthusiastic! Do you love to party and have a good time? Celebration is symbolized though Casablanca lilies.

shutterstock_96096812Tulips are another Valentine's Day favorite. Have you made your valentine mad recently? Then they probably gave you some white tulips because those mean forgiveness. Been together for a while? Well if they gave you red tulips then that means their declaring their love to you. If they give you yellow tulips then that means their hopelessly in love with you. Pink tulips mean caring.

shutterstock_139892533Another popular Valentine's Day flower is orchids which mean delicate beauty. If you bring inspiration to your valentine's life then they should have given you an iris. By receiving gardenias then this means you bring joy to your valentine's life. Does your valentine adore you? Then they must have given you a bundle of sunflowers meaning adoration. Gerbera daisies traditionally mean beauty and innocence but in these modern times they are used to express cheerfulness. Started a new relationship? Carnations are a symbol of fascination and new love.

So the next time you get flowers don't just think there a pretty centerpiece. Look into the message your sweetheart is trying to send you.

Carissa Hutchinson is a senior at Ferris State University studying television and digital media production. She's currently on two internships with CBS 62/CW 50 Detroit and M-1 Studios in Ferndale. While attending college she was a very active member of Delta Zeta and the Media Communications Association. Take a look at Carissa's work at

Red Rose photo credit Volosina/Shutterstock
White Lily photo credit Vnlit/Shutterstock
Yellow Tulips photo credit fotohunter/Shutterstock
Blue Orchid photo credit Carballo/Shutterstock

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.