The Language of Flowers

The Language of Flowers was created during the Victorian Era and was popular in England, France, and the United States. During this time, the international import trade had just begun to blossom. Europe and the United States experienced a broadening of horizons in terms of imported goods. Influenced by the supposed practice of harem girls in Turkey attempting to communicate with their secret lovers, people found it romantic and amusing to send coded messages to people they held dear. I think that flowers also sent an immediately recognizable message to the recipient. A person could look at a bouquet featuring baby’s breath, blue bells, and forget-me-nots and know that the sender gave a declaration of constant, eternal, and pure hearted love, while a letter expressing the same sentiments would not have the same effects that quickly.

Even at the time, there were some disadvantages to the Language of Flowers. The most obvious fall back was the lack of standardization of the Language of the Flowers. People made up their own meanings, publishing separate flower dictionaries. The sender may send some flowers with a certain intention while the recipient could understand an entirely different meaning. Today, the Language of Flowers is an even less useful tool of communication. Even less people know the Language of Flowers and there are faster means of communications than sending flowers. People can send and receive messages instantaneously in a much more private setting.

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