Customers are always asking what is the meaning behind a specific flower. There are some generic meanings such as, red roses stand for love and white for purity - hence the popularity of red roses for Valentine's day and white roses heavily used in bridal bouquets. But the meaning go deeper than that. A red rose can also mean passion, victory, desire, joy, charm and pride; while a white roses can also conjure the thoughts of beauty, innocence, I am worthy of you and respect. So much to say with one flower!
Centuries ago dating back to the Victorian Era flowers were given as tokens or gifts using the flowers as the symbols or code to a message for the recipient. A young lady certainly would know what her suitor meant when he sent a bouquet of tulips, rosemary and astilbe - which stands for consuming love, your presence revives me, and I'll be waiting. How breath-taking is that! If only young men were that creative in this day and age.
On the other hand if your date has offended you, a bouquet or posey of yellow carnations, purple roses and scots thistle - sets the tone of: rejection, sorrow and retaliation. One better beware!
We keep a list of the common roses meaning at the flower shop, stop by or call anytime. But if you'd like more information on the meaning behind more flowers than just roses, here is some research material for you. One author: Geraldine Adamich Laufer has done extensive research on the topic. Her book entitled Tussie-Mussies: The Language of Flowers captures the essence of floral symbols with large photos of poseys and their meanings, as well as an "Index of Sentiments".
Society of American Florists has also posted an abbreviated list of common flowers readily available at your local flower shops. Follow this link to their Flower Library.