What your flowers and plants are saying

February 12, 2008 3:26:55 PM PST
Sending flowers on Valentine's Day is an old tradition. But did you know that the individual flowers, trees and other plants are more than just "pretty faces?" They also have individual meanings, many dating back to Victorian times, says Edith Makra of the Morton Arboretum. A flower arrangement or plant can convey a message or emotion. That's why so many roses are given on Valentine's Day: roses represent love. If you're not sending roses, what is your Valentine arrangement saying? And what messages are sent by the plants around your home? Find out by checking the list below. The first 20 plants listed can be found in local stores as well as at The Morton Arboretum annual plant sale.

For more information, visit www.mortonarb.org.

  • Arborvitae: unchanging friendship
  • Oak leaves: bravery
  • Oak tree: hospitality
  • Peach Blossoms: I am your captive
  • Poppy: fantastic extravagance
  • Cinnamon Fern: fascination
  • Apple: temptation
  • Apple Thorn: deceitful charms
  • Honeysuckle: generous and devoted affection
  • Lavender: distrust
  • Iris: message
  • Annabelle hydrangea: heartlessness
  • Weeping willow: mourning
  • Himrod grape: charity
  • Yew: sorrow
  • Lilac (Kim or Josee):
    Purple: first emotions of love
    White: youthful Innocence
  • Raspberry: remorse
  • Hellebore: scandal
  • Hibiscus: delicate beauty
  • Grass: submission

  • Ash tree: grandeur
  • Hemlock: you will be my death
  • Holly: foresight
  • Hawthorn: hope
  • Golden Rod: precaution
  • Globe Amaranth: immortality, unfailing love
  • Red Carnation: Alas! For my poor heart
  • Roses:
    White and red ones together: unity
    White: I am worthy of you
    Red rosebuds: pure and lovely
  • Rosemary: remembrance
  • American Linden: Matrimony
  • Chrysanthemum
    Red: I love you
    White: truth
    Yellow: slighted love
  • Tulip
    Red: declaration of love
    Yellow: hopeless love
  • Ivy: fidelity, marriage