The symbolic language of flowers has an ancient history used to convey messages in Persia and the greater Middle East and making an appearance in the Hebrew bible. However, it was during Victoria era England that floral communication was elevated to craze-status. Floriography was used to send coded messages (most often to potential lovers) interpreted using one of the many floral dictionaries published at the time, the earliest, ‘Le langage des Fleurs‘,¬†written by Louise Cortambert aka Charlotte de La Tour in 1819.
The tussie-mussie (talking bouquet) allowed suitors to send unspoken sentiments to the object of their desire without having to utter what might’ve been inappropriate in Victorian society. Steamy thoughts, for example, could be hand-delivered in a bouquet including tuberose (dangerous pleasure). The risk the sender then faced was receiving a hydrangea (dispassion) or candytuft (indifference) in response, the Victorian era ‘swipe left’. It makes one wonder whether Tinder’s developers knew that once offering a flower with the right hand meant “yes”, and with the left hand “no.”
This series of photographs is one interpretation of the language of flowers set in the 21st century.
Sunflowers: False riches
Maidenhair fern: Secret bond of love
Pink carnation: I’ll never forget you
Nasturtium: Conquest/Victory in battle
Coxcomb: Unfading love
Asparagus fern: Fascination
Gladiola: You pierce my heart