The Language of Flowers

(Adapted from The Magic of Herbs by David Conway)

The practical application of floral symbolism has been used by many ancient civilizations. In the modern world the practice of using a bouquet of flowers to convey a specific message is inherited from and the established meanings of each flower are attributed to the ancient poets and mystics of Basira, Tatsuo and the Elven lands, though each country has adapted this language of flowers to some extent in order to incorporate their own native herbs and flowers.

To speak the language of flowers one must remember that each herb or bloom carries a specific meaning, often a quality like purity or loyalty, or a mood like delight, remorse or gratitude. The same flower can also convey a message related to its meaning so that by exchanging selected flowers two people can carry on a secret conversation.

The tables below describe the meaning, message and availability of the established flowers and herbs in the language of flowers (i.e., the ones Ashling knows). These are posted in the entry hall outside the tavern. The writing is in Ashling's hand and the little ink drawings that adorn it are by Daciana.


  • * denotes that the flower can be forced any time of year or that the plant is otherwise available year round.
  • 'Dry/pressed' indicates if the plant dries well or can be made into recognizable pressed flowers and thus used to relay messages over the winter months or other times of unavailability (e.g., a dried posy of rose buds, a pressed viola in a letter). But note that dried flowers do not survive rough handling.

Here is the key to the Language of Flowers, as taught to me primarily by a Basiran man named Daud with additions from my own homeland, Sclavini, and local Shieldmeet usages. Please feel free to seek me for help if you need it.



Name spring summer fall dry/pressed? meaning message
Acacia x x y Sacrifice ‘You must wait yet a while.’
Aconite x x y Dislike ‘Your attentions are unwelcome.’
Agrimony x x y Gratitude ‘Please accept my thanks.’
Allium x x y Resignation ‘I accept your decision but shall love you still.’
Almond blossom x Hope ‘I am beginning to enjoy our friendship.’
Alyssum x x y Protection ‘I will keep you safe.’
Amaryllis* x Desire ‘I must have you.’
Anemone x x Estrangement ‘You no longer appeal to me.’
Angelica x x y Inspiration ‘Your love is my guiding star.’
Apple blossom x Goodness ‘You are no less good than you are fair.’
Arbutus x Love ‘Please be mine.’
Artemesia x x Hope ‘Will you not change your mind?’
Asphodel x x Mourning ‘Our love shall endure after death.’
Aster x x y Regret ‘I am sorry for my rashness, take it not to heart.’
Azalea x x Moderation ‘Avoid extremes of speech and action.’
Borage273.jpg Borage


Name spring summer fall dry/pressed? meaning messsage
Balm x x y Fun ‘I was only jesting.’
Balsam x x y Impatience ‘I cannot wait to see you.’
Basil x x y Animosity ‘I dislike you intensely.’
Bay laurel x x x y Frustration 'Is there nothing we can do?'
Begonia x Warning ‘We are being watched.’
Bell flower x Morning ‘Meet me tomorrow morning.’
Bindweed x x Persistence ‘I cannot accept your answer.’
Bittersweet x x y Truth ‘I am sincere.’
Blackthorn x x y Obstacles ‘Problems lie ahead.’
Bluebell x y Loyalty ‘Be assured, I am true.’
Borage x x y Brusqueness ‘Your attentions only embarrass me.’
Bracken x y Enchantment ‘You fascinate me.’
Bramble x x y Remorse ‘I was too hasty, please excuse me.’
Broom (furze) x x x y Devotion ‘I shall be yours forever.’
Bugloss x x y Lies ‘You are untrue.’
Bulrush x x y Haste ‘Be more discreet in the future.’
Burdock x x y Persistence ‘I shall not be discouraged.’
Buttercup x x y Radiance ‘Your splendor shines like the sun.’
Butterfly bush x x x Sweetness ‘This honey scent reminds me of you.’
Cornflower.jpg Cornflower


Name spring summer fall dry/pressed? meaning messsage
Camellia x x Loveliness ‘How radiant is your beauty.’
Calla lily x Sadness ‘My heart aches for you.’
Campion x Poverty ‘Though of humble station, I dare to admire your from afar.’
Campion (red only) x Encouragement ‘I should like to know you better.’
Campion (white only) x Evening ‘Let us meet secretly at dusk.’
Candytuft x x Diffidence ‘You may address me, but pray be circumspect.’
Canterbury bells (blue) x Faithfulness ‘Be not deceived, I truly love you.’
Canterbury bells (white) x Acknowledgement ‘Your gift arrived and gave great pleasure.’
Carnation (pink) x Encouragement ‘Yes.’
Carnation (red) x Ardour ‘I must see you soon.’
Carnation (white) x Pure devotion ‘A chaste love I offer you.’
Caryopteris x x Acknowledgement ‘I have received your gift/message.’
Castor beans x x Forgiveness ‘I hold no grudge. Let us be friends again.’
Celandine (lesser) x x y Re-awakening ‘Let this token of spring inform you of my love.’
Celosia x x Loyalty ‘You may trust in my devotion.’
Chamomile x x y Fortitude ‘I admire your courage. Do not despair.’
Chelone x x y Sympathy ‘I feel for you in your plight.’
Cherry blossom x Increase ‘May our friendship wax firm and strong.’
Chrysanthemum (bronze) x x Amity ‘Friendship, yes. Love, no.’
Chrysanthemum (red) x x Requited love ‘I love you also.’
Chrysanthemum (white) x x Honesty ‘I trust you completely.’
Chrysanthemum (yellow) x x Coolness ‘I belong to another.’
Cinquefoil (potentilla) x x y Affection ‘I love you as a brother/sister.’
Cistus (rockrose) x Approval ‘Your beauty enchants me.’
Cleavers x x x y Tenacity ‘I shall strive to win your love.’
Clematis x x Intelligence ‘I admire your wit and cleverness.’
Clover (pink) x y Hurt pride ‘Do not trifle with my affections.’
Clover (red) x y Entreaty ‘Will you remain true in my absence?’
Clover (white) x y Promise ‘I shall stay faithful.’
Coleus x x Arrogance ‘How dare you address me that way?!’
Columbine x Delight ‘I enjoy being in your company.’
Coneflower x x y Faithfulness ‘Fear not, I am true.’
Coriander x y Hidden qualities ‘Do not judge by appearances alone.’
Coreopsis x x y Happiness ‘A token to wish you joy.’
Cornflower x x y Delicacy ‘Hurry not, my heart will not be taken by storm.’
Cosmos x x Flirtation ‘Forgive me for letting you believe I loved you.’
Cowslip x y Charm ‘You are sweeter than this flower.’
Crocus x Youthful joy ‘My heart rejoices in you.’
Culver's root x x Difficulties 'I see obstacles before us.'
Currant x x y Presumption ‘You and I have nothing in common.’
Cyclamen x x Indifference ‘Your declaration leaves me unaffected.’
Columbine.jpg Columbine, my favorite


Name spring summer fall dry/pressed? meaning message
Daffodil x Rebuttal ‘I do not share your feelings.’
Dahlia (red) x x Dismissal ‘You have presumed too much.’
Dahlia (white) x x Rebuff ‘Keep away.’
Dahlia (yellow) x x Distaste ‘Your attentions are not to my liking.’
Daisy x x y Delay ‘Await my answer in a few days.’
Daisy (Michaelmas) x x y Adieu ‘Do not communicate again. I cannot love you.’
Dandelion x x Absurdity ‘I find your presumption laughable.’
Deadly nightshade x x Deception ‘I do not trust you.’
Delphinium x y Pleasure ‘Your company delights me.’
Dog rose x x y Purity ‘You are as pure as this sweet flower.’
Dusty Miller x x x y Detachment ‘You do not interest me.’
Chamomile.jpg Chamomile


Name spring summer fall dry/pressed? meaning message
Elder (flowers or berries) x x x Encouragement 'Feel free to seek me out.’
Eupatorium x x y Confession ‘I must tell you that I adore you.’
Elder.jpg Elder


Name spring summer fall dry/pressed? meaning message
Fern* (maidenhair) x x x Virginity ‘I am yours completely.’
Feverfew x x y Protection ‘Let me take care of you.’
Flax (blue) x x y Gratitude ‘I am touched by your kindness.’
Fleece flower x x Increase ‘Might our feelings grow into more than friendship?’
Forget-me-not x y Remembrance ‘Think of me often.’
Four o’clocks x x y Patience ‘I need time.’
Foxglove x x Fickleness ‘Your love is shallow.’
Foxtail lily x x Cleverness ‘I am impressed by your quick mind.’
Fresia x Sweetness ‘The fragrance of this flower brings memories of you.’
Fuschia x Warning ‘Take heed, your lover is false.’
Fumitory x x y Anger ‘I have expelled you from my thoughts.’
Fumitory.jpg Fumitory


Name spring summer fall dry/pressed? meaning message
Gaillardia x x y Delight ‘Being with you gives me great joy.’
Gardenia x Sweetness ‘This pure flower resembles yourself.’
Gentian (speedwell) x x y Kindness ‘Your kind heart has charmed me.’
Geranium (pink) x x x Doubt ‘I await your explanation.’
Geranium (red) x x x Duplicity ‘Begone. I cannot trust you.’
Geranium (white) x x x Indecision ‘My mind is not made up.’
Gladiolus x Pain ‘Your slights have wounded me.’
Golden rod x x y Indecision ‘Allow me time to decide.’
Gypsophila (baby’s breath) x x y Companionship ‘I am happy when I can be with you.’
Hazel219.jpg Hazel


Name spring summer fall dry/pressed? meaning message
Hart’s-tongue fern x x x Gossip ‘Curb your busy tongue.’
Hawthorn x x y Hope ‘Despite your answer I shall strive for your love.’
Hazel x x x y Competition 'You are not my only interest.’
Heather x x y Hesitation ‘Dare I trust you?’
Helenium x x Tenderness ‘Let me comfort you.’
Heliopsis (false sunflower) x x y Sensitivity ‘Please be more circumspect.’
Heliotrope x x Devotion ‘You are the light of my life.’
Hellebore x x Mendacity ‘Do not believe anything until you have heard my explanation.’
Hemlock x x x y Scandal ‘I am unjustly accused.’
Herb Robert x x y Steadfastness ‘I am yours, come what may.’
Holly* x x x Recovery ‘I am pleased you are restored to health.’
Hollyhock x x Ambition ‘Together we can achieve much.’
Honesty x x x y Frankness ‘I have told you everything.’
Honeysuckle x x y Love ‘With this I pledge my love.’
Hyacinth* (blue) x Dedication ‘I shall devote my life to you.’
Hyacinth* (white) x Admiration ‘I esteem you highly.’
Hydrangea x x y Fickleness ‘You change your mind too often.’
Lavender.jpg Lavender


Name spring summer fall dry/pressed? meaning message
Iris (purple) x x Ardour ‘My heart is aflame.’
Iris (yellow) x x Sorrow ‘I share your sadness.’
Ivy* x x x Tenacity ‘I want you above all else.’


Name spring summer fall dry/pressed? meaning message
Jasmine x y Elegance ‘I admire your poise.’
Jonquil x Petition ‘Please answer soon. Dare I hope you love me?’


Name spring summer fall dry/pressed? meaning message
Keys of Heaven x x Adoration ‘I will do anything for you.’
Convallaria.jpg Lily-of-the-valley


Name spring summer fall dry/pressed? meaning message
Laburnum x x Neglect ‘Have you forgotten me?’
Larkspur x x Vagueness ‘Give me a definite answer soon.’
Lavender x x y Sad refusal ‘I like you, but only as a friend.’
Liatris x x Joy ‘Your attention warms my heart.’
Lilac (purple) x Spring love ‘You are my first sweetheart.’
Lilac (white) x Innocence ‘An emblem of your purity and beauty.’
Lily (tiger) x x Passion ‘My love knows no bounds.’
Lily (white) x x Purity ‘I kiss your fingertips.’
Lily-of-the-valley x y Modest detachment ‘Friendship is sweet, talk not of love.’
Lobelia (blue) x x Rebuff ‘I do not like you. How, then, can I love you?’
Lobelia (white) x x Dislike ‘Your attentions fail to move me.’
Loosestrife (purple) x x y Forgiveness ‘Accept this flower as a token of regret.’
Love-in-a-mist x x Doubt ‘You message was unclear. Tell me what you mean.’
Love-lies-bleeding (red amaranth) x x y Broken heart ‘Your refusal robs life of all meaning.’
Lupin (yellow) x x Over-assertiveness ‘Do not rush things.’
Lupin (purple) x x Music ‘Your voice holds the sweetest melody.’
WhiteLily.jpg White lily


Name spring summer fall dry/pressed? meaning message
Madder x x Scandal ‘What you have heard is a cruel lie.’
Mallow x x y Openness ‘I will tell you anything you ask.’
Magnolia x x Courgae ‘Be not disheartened. Better days are due.’
Maple leaves x x x y Meeting 'Tell me where and when to meet you.’
Marigold x x y Jealousy ‘You have no reason to feel jealous.’
Marjoram x x Maidenly innocence ‘Your passion sends blushes to my cheeks.’
Meadowsweet x x y Uselessness ‘I seek more than just a pretty face.’
Mignonette x x y Stolid virtues ‘A worthy jewel but lacking luster.’
Mimosa x Sensitivity ‘You are too forward.’
Mint x x x y Homeliness ‘Find a spouse of your own age and background.’
Mistletoe* x x x y Sweet kisses ‘I send you kisses galore.’
Mullein x x y Friendship ‘Come, let us be friends.’
Musk rose x x Artificiality ‘Let your natural charms shine through.’
Myrtle x x Fragrance ‘Be my love.’
Marjoram214.jpg Marjoram


Name spring summer fall dry/pressed? meaning message
Narcissus* x Self-love ‘You love none save yourself.’
Nasturtium x x Affectation ‘I prefer natural looks and charm.’
Nettle x x Coolness ‘You have offended me.’
Nicotania x x Difficulties ‘Obstacles crowd our path.’


Name spring summer fall dry/pressed? meaning message
Oak Leaves x x x y Courage ‘Take heart, love will have its way.’
Oleander x x x Warning ‘Someone has betrayed us.’
Orange blossom x Virginity
Orchid* x Luxury ‘I shall make your life a sweet one.’
GreaterNettle.jpg Nettle


Name spring summer fall dry/pressed? meaning message
Pansy (purple) x x x y Memories ‘I treasure thoughts of happy times together.’
Pansy (white) x x x y Loving thoughts ‘You are never absent from my mind.’
Pansy (yellow) x x x y Souvenirs ‘Oceans part us but my heart stays with you.’
Passion-flower x Denial ‘I am pledged to another.’
Patchouli x x Passion 'I am at your mercy.’
Penstemon x x Petition ‘Please give me your answer.’
Peony x Contrition ‘Forgive my thoughtlessness.’
Periwinkle x x y First love ‘My heart was mine until we met.’
Petunia x x Proximity ‘Stay beside me.’
Phlox (pink) x x Friendship ‘I hope we can be friends.’
Phlox (white) x x Awakening interest ‘Tell me more about yourself.’
Pimpernel x x y Meeting ‘Suggest when and where to meet.’
Pine* x x x Fortitude 'Remain strong for me.’
Pink x Fragrance ‘How sweet you are.’
Poppy (red) x Moderation ‘I shall not be rushed. Take time.’
Poppy (white) x Indecision ‘My mind is not made up.’
Primrose x x y New love ‘I may learn to love you. It’s too soon to tell.’
Protea x x Strangeness ‘You are unusual.’
Pussy Willow x y Tenderness 'I long for your soft caresses.’
Poppy.jpg Poppy



Name spring summer fall dry/pressed? meaning message
Rose (pink) x x y Timid love ‘I watch you from afar.’
Rose (red) x x y Love ‘I love you.’
Rose (white) x x y Refusal ‘I love you not.’
Rose (yellow) x x y Misplaced affection ‘I love another.’
Rose of Sharon x x Caution ‘Please forgive my hesitation. I have been hurt before.’
Rosemary x x x y Remembrance ‘Your memory will never fade.’
Rudbeckia x x Interest ‘I would like to talk with you more.’


Name spring summer fall dry/pressed? meaning message
Salvia (red) x x y Passionate love ‘Ardour burns out fast and leaves nothing but ashes.’
Salvia (purple) x x y Encouragement ‘I like you a little, possibly more.’
Saxifrage x x Humility ‘One smile from you is worth a fortune.’
Scabiosa x x y Misunderstanding ‘You are wrong. I care only a little for you.’
Sedum x x Dedication ‘I will follow you always.’
Shamrock x x x y Loneliness 'I miss you.’
Snapdragon x x y Refusal ‘You mean nothing to me.’
Statice x x y Mature love ‘Though youth is gone, my love is strong.’
Strawflower x x y Farewell ‘As you request it, leave I must. But I shall never forget you.’
Stock x x y Betrothal ‘With this flower I pledge my love.’
Sunflower x x Showiness ‘Outward pomp does not impress me.’
Sweet-pea x Tenderness ‘Your memory lingers on.’
Sweet-William x x Flirtation ‘My attentions were not serious.’
RosePollen.jpg Wild rose


Name spring summer fall dry/pressed? meaning message
Tansy x x Refusal ‘Your feelings are not returned.’
Thistle x x y Agony ‘You have hurt me greatly.’
Thrift x x Interest ‘Tell me more.’
Thyme x x x y Homely virtues ‘I need a good homemaker like you.’
Toad-flax x x Hesitation ‘Treat me gently.’
Tritoma x x Competition ‘You are not without a rival.’
Trumpet flower x x Fire ‘My heart burns with passion.’
Tuberose x Injury ‘Love’s flames have singed my wings.’
Tulip x Confession ‘With this flower I declare my love.’
WildThyme.jpg Wild thyme



Name spring summer fall dry/pressed? meaning message
Valerian x x Concealed merit ‘Though lowly I aspire to love you.’
Verbascum x Admiration ‘I am proud to know you.’
Veronica x x y True love ‘Nothing will come between us.’
Vervain x x x y Enchantment ‘You have bewitched me.’
Viburnum x x Young love ‘I want a youthful lover, not one already in his dotage.’
Viola x x x y Adoration 'Bid me do anything and I will comply.’
Violet x x y Modesty ‘As pure as this sweet flower are you.’
FieldEryngo.jpg Thistle


Name spring summer fall dry/pressed? meaning message
Wallflower x x Constancy ‘Whatever befalls me, I shall stay true.’
Wisteria x Devotion ‘I am yours to command.’
Wormwood x x Sorrowful parting ‘Even the best of friends must say farewell.’



Name spring summer fall dry/pressed? meaning message
Yarrow x x y Folly ‘Let us not be silly, we can still be friends.’


Name spring summer fall dry/pressed? meaning message
Zinnia x x Ardour ‘My heart is afire.’
Violet217.jpg Violet
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License