Whether you know it or not, the flowers you're gifting are likely sending a message. Peonies are a good omen for a happy marriage, red tulips convey true love, and yellow orchids symbolize friendship. With history behind each flower, knowing your bouquet's meaning is important for sending the right — or avoiding the wrong — message this Valentine's Day.
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So whether you want to put a smile on a friend's face, finally let a crush know that you're interested, or simply tell someone that you love them, we've taken the guesswork out of the equation and translated the meaning behind 11 flowers to help you send the right message to your valentine.
Orchids are an excellent choice, but be sure to choose the color wisely. While they are elegant and gorgeous in any color (and in season year-round), yellow orchids symbolize friendship and can give the wrong impression if you're more than friends. Purple, on the other hand, symbolizes admiration and respect, and white orchids symbolize purity and elegance.
Our pick: The Sill White Orchid, $98
According to the Victorians, dahlias signify a lasting bond and commitment between two people. What better way to say "I love you" this Valentine's Day? Of course, each hue represents something different — white dahlias represent purity and faith, and blue and green are ideal for a fresh start or a big change. On the contrary, "black dahlias" (which are actually burgundy in color) represent betrayal and therefore are best to avoid on this romance-centered holiday.
For an extra special arrangement, the Protea flower is sure to impress — it's incredibly unique and over 300 million years old. If you're in a long-distance relationship or your relationship has been through a lot, there are few flowers as special and representative of your journey and long, loving history than the protea. This flower means diversity and courage, and can also symbolize change and hope.
Our pick: UrbanStems The Catalina Bouquet, $58
These sweet, citrus-smelling blooms would brighten up anyone's day. Freesias are in season year-round and are native to South Africa. Their delicate and graceful blossoms come in a variety of colors, all having different meanings. While red symbolizes passion, a multicolor bouquet of freesias symbolizes friendship. If your partner is pregnant, or a mom, pink freesias are perfect as they mean maternal love.
Our pick: FLOWERBX Pink Kiss Freesia, $95
5. Gerbera Daisies
These year-round vibrant blooms are enough to make anyone smile from ear to ear — which makes sense given Gerbera daisies are symbols of happiness. Express how deep your love is with red daisies or give your crush a bouquet of pink daisies which symbolize adoration. Yellow, white, or orange daisies are great options to send to a friend.
Our pick: Bouqs I Heart You Bouquet Deluxe, $59
If you need a last-minute bouquet, carnations tend to be readily available, a staple of flower shops and grocers alike. Like many other flowers, the colors of carnations and their meanings vary vastly. Gifting a red carnation on Valentine's Day is a superb option for those who want to convey love and admiration. Avoid gifting yellow or striped carnations as they represent rejection. And bonus: These flowers are in season year-round.
Regarded as a good omen for a happy marriage, peonies are a grand romantic gesture. Representing wealth, honor, and good fortune, these seasonal flowers are a national symbol in Chinese culture. Pink peonies are the most romantic of petal colors, but if you've made a giant mistake and are in the doghouse, white peonies show shame and remorse, making them the way to go.
Our pick: Teleflora Pink Peonies Bouquet, $114.99
Dubbed the "windflower" in Greek, an anemone can have a variety of different meanings depending on who you ask. The most common is anticipation, due to the fact that the flower closes at night and doesn't open again until the morning. So these springtime blooms would be the perfect gift for a long-distance love.
Our pick: Flower Moxie White Anemone Flowers, $32
While typically used in oils and perfumes, lavender also makes an enticing yet calming aromatic bouquet. Fresh lavender produces one of the most popular scents in the world, hopefully leaving a lasting impression on the person receiving them. They also symbolize feminine beauty and devotion, an always-welcome message.
Our pick: From You Flowers Lavender Fields Bouquet, $39.99
A go-to for many different occasions, tulips are an ideal choice for Valentine's Day. Generally speaking, this popular seasonal flower means perfect love, but more specifically the red tulip symbolizes true love. Pink blooms signify happiness and that you have an attachment. Or, contrarily, if you've recently had an argument with someone, the white tulip is a great way to show forgiveness.
Our pick: French Florist Spring Tulips, $69.95
Associated with the goddesses of love, it's not surprising that roses are the most common flower arrangement given on Valentine's Day. They are in season all year long and every color has a distinct meaning, so there is something for everyone. If you're not ready to give red roses — which symbolize love — then pink is a great way to go as they represent admiration. If you're just friends, yellow is the hue for you, and if you've just started dating, purple roses say it all.
Our pick: UrbanStems Double the Verona, $112