Victorian Flower Dictionary

Here’s a recent find I’m wondering if I should add to my already sprouting spring to-read list …


Photo courtesy of

“Daffodils signal new beginnings; daisies, innocence. Lilacs mean the first emotions of love; periwinkles, tender recollection. Early Victorians used flowers as a way to express their feelings—love or grief, jealousy or devotion,” writes author Mandy Kirby. “Now, modern-day romantics are enjoying a resurgence of this bygone custom, and this book will share the historical, literary, and cultural significance of flowers with a whole new generation.”


Periwinkle photo by Ulhaspa via Wikimedia Commons

As I mentioned in my geraniums post, 19th-century Victorians were smitten with flowers and employed them as a more complex form of expression than any known culture that came before.

A Victorian Flower Dictionary offers the lush, illustrated history of 50 beloved blooms, detailing the characteristics attributed by Victorian enthusiasts. It also contains suggestions for creating expressive arrangements, whatever your intention.

If you have this one in your collection, I’d love to hear your impressions.