Although humans have attributed meaning to flowers for centuries, the practice reached a high point during the Victorian era. Known as floriography, flowers are a socially acceptable way for men and women to communicate their feelings and intentions toward each other. Not all flowers have meanings related to romance and passion; a handful of flowers represent good luck.
Heather has a rich folklore history in Scotland. Because the Victorians loved Scottish traditions, according to Paul Kendall of Trees for Life, they may have appropriated the association of white heather with good luck. In Scottish folklore, white heather grew over fairy graves and would not grow on patches of earth where human blood was shed. Queen Victoria noted in 1884 that "no highlander would pass by (white heather) without picking it, for it was considered to bring good luck."
Blessings From Bells
Bells of Ireland is an unusual annual that despite its name hails from Western Asia. Also known as shell flower, the plant grows in an upright stalk, showcasing bright green, bell-like leaves that frame tiny white blooms. Bells of Ireland has been cultivated since 1570 according to the Wisconsin Master Gardener Program and symbolizes good luck. The plant is used as both a cut and a dried flower in the floral industry.
Carnations were particularly loaded with symbolism in the Victorian era. White carnations symbolized good luck for women as well as innocence, pure love, sweetness and loveliness. You had to be careful with carnations as the wrong color could send a distinctly different message. While carnations in general meant fascination or love related to women, yellow carnations meant rejection and disappointment; striped carnations meant "no," a refusal or simply "sorry I can't be with you"; and purple carnations symbolized capriciousness.
Good Luck for Guys
When given to men as a gift, camellias symbolize good luck or admiration. Like carnations, different colors of camellias hold different meanings. White camellias mean "you're adorable" while red mean "you're a flame in my heart," according to Tara Florist. Pink camellias symbolize longing. A native of China, camellias hold different symbolism in Asia. In Korean weddings, camellias traditionally represent longevity and faithfulness. Red camellias symbolize worth and white blossoms symbolize loveliness, according to Floridata.
- Tara Florist: Flower Symbolization
- Trees for Life: Mythology and Folklore of Heather
- Michigan State University: Mythology and Folklore of Heather
- Hudson Valley Weddings: What Different Flowers Symbolize
- Floridata: Camellia Japonica
- Aggie Horticulture: The Language of Flowers
- University of Illinois Extension: Interpreting the Language of Flowers
- Dodge County University of Wisconsin-Extension: The Language of Flowers
- The Wisconsin Master Gardener Program: Bells of Ireland
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