The Language of Flowers - Part II

Hello! Today I have the second of a 4 part series (see part one here) where I'm looking in to the meanings and symbolism of various flowers and plants. This is a topic I've been interested in since I read the lovely book, The Language of Flowers, by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, and its something I always keep in mind when making choices for my clients' branding and graphics. Today we're looking at Dahlias, Ferns and Poppies.


Dahlia illustration - The Language of Flowers - Bea & Bloom Creative Design Studio

First up is the beautiful Dahlia flower. This is a really beautiful one with its full, layered petals, and it has quite a few meanings and symbols behind it:

- Being graceful, particularly under pressure or in hard situations
- Finding your inner strength
- Positive life changes (such as travel)
- Being unique and standing out fro the crowd
- Remaining kind through tough times
- Commitment and eternal love (particularly in Victorian times)
- Finding the balance between adventure and peacefulness

The meaning of the Dahlia flower also varies a lot depending on its colour:
- Pink / Purple: Kindness, Grace, Femininity and Love
- Red: Strength and power. Given as a gift it symbolises strength in the recipient.
- White: Purity, faith and focus
- Black / Burgundy: Betrayal
- Blue / Green: New beginnings and fresh starts




The symbolism of ferns is largely based around Nature and Mother Earth. With its medicinal properties, it represents health and healing. 

In modern floristry, ferns symbolise humility, magic, and the bonds of love, and when give as a gift the fern flower speaks of hope for confidence, shelter, wealth and happiness. But the fern also has various meanings in different countries and cultures:

- Japan: Hope of posterity
- Africa: And Adinkra symbol of endurance and resourcefulness
- Maori: New life and purity



Poppy illustration - The Language of Flowers - Bea & Bloom Creative Design Studio

Poppies appear frequently as symbols in mythology, medicine, politics and religion. 

In China and Japan, red poppies represent a deep love between two people, whereas white poppies represent death.
In Western countries, both red and white poppies are a symbol of death, remembrance (particularly red poppies in war remembrance) and consolation.

Other meanings of Poppies:
- Recovery and sleep
- Lively imagination
- The delivery of messages in dreams
- Resurrection and eternal life
- Beauty, success extravagance and luxury

Sources: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

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