Past as Prologue
I had a partner (long ago) who loathed Valentine’s Day. He would complain that it is the one day you are expected to give your partner something but doing so only made you “even.” He preferred other days for kind gestures when he could “score some points.” I should have caught the clue and hit the road right after hearing that because he missed the point of the entire holiday.
For me, and countless others, it’s about celebrating and honoring your love with another. And flowers are a perfect symbol that conveys meaning, so they are an ideal choice for sending the right message on this day for lovers. Alas, I am not alone in my thinking, and that is why Valentine’s Day is the second biggest sales day for florists, surpassed only by Mother’s Day. (Even your most significant other takes a back seat to your mom.) The nation’s retailers say Valentine’s Day is the #1 flower holiday generating $2 billion in sales last year.
So, with another Valentine’s Day around the corner, sharing some useful information about a dozen different flowers used in Valentine’s Day arrangements and bouquets sounded like a good idea. While many a husband/wife and boyfriend/girlfriend default to the tried and true red rose, there are a variety of other choices that may deliver your message better. So here are twelve types of flowers (plus one extra entry for the plant lover in your life) that are ideal for giving this Valentine’s Day and some information to help you choose which bloom is right for your special Valentine.
Green Fresh Florals + Plants offers delivery in San Diego on all Valentine’s Day bouquets, flower arrangements (including Long-Stem Red Roses, Tulips and even Valentine’s Day succulent gardens ). But order early, so you are guaranteed delivery.
Which Flower is Right For Your Special Love?
The peony is an iconic bloom with its large, thick, rounded ruffled petals that convey a sophisticated, stylish look and feel. Alone or in a Valentine’s Day bouquet, the peony is a show stopper that symbolizes prosperity, good fortune, and a happy marriage. It should come as no surprise that the peony symbolizes romance and romantic love. It is prized in the Chinese culture and the very translation of its name means “most beautiful.”
Peony blooms are also associated with honor and wealth. In stunning shades of pink (ideal for wedding arrangements), it conveys romance while a white peony represents bashfulness, serenity, and innocence. Finally, a deep red peony conveys wealth, prosperity, honor, respect, as well as love and passion.
The anemone, which opens its petals in the morning and closes them at night, has a colorful bloom with a dark, round center on a tall, slender stalk. It is told that Aphrodite shed tears of anemone petals after learning of the death of Adonis in Greek mythology. Anemone blooms are also known for their use in herbal medicines and are said to ward off disease and protect health.
Your loved one can fear no evil and expect good luck coming their way if the anemone is part of a Valentine’s Day bouquet you choose. Anemones, especially in pink and red, are a symbol of love, romance, and joy while blues and purple anemones offer tidings of beauty, honor, love, and respect. The white anemone is a favorite for both wedding and funeral arrangements as a symbol of purity, spirituality, and innocence. Last, but not least, the yellow anemone is a bright, bold symbol of happiness, optimism, and joy.
This tropical bloom is exotic and shaped like a heart making it a perfect choice for a Valentine’s Day bouquet or arrangement. A classic tropical flower, the anthurium symbolizes hospitality, abundance and happiness. The glossy, broad heart-shaped spathes and slender bright colored spadices convey a powerful symbol of love. The anthurium is a long-lasting addition to any arrangement and depending on the color, can be used to express love and passion (red, burgundy and pink), compassion, femininity and motherly love (light pink) and innocence and purity (white).
Don’t be surprised if you see the anthurium referred to by other names as it is also known as Painted Tongue, Flamingo Flowers, Bull’s Heads, Tail Flowers, and Cock’s Comb. The name anthurium comes from the Greeks and means “tail flower.”
Sophisticated, elegant and striking in their shape, the orchid is another exotic tropical bloom that sends a message of love. The phalaenopsis orchid or “Moth Orchid” is native to Southeast Asia, China, Taiwan, and the Indian Subcontinent and grown in greenhouses throughout the San Diego area. They come in a colorful mix, including hot pink, deep orange, vibrant yellow, yellow cream, and white and are perfect for contemporary wedding bouquets and centerpieces. The bloom’s broad, flat petals can be solid, speckled, or striped and are one of the most luxurious flowers to have in Valentine’s Day arrangements. If cared for properly, the blooms can last for weeks and sometimes, months.
Orchids are delicate and graceful and can be used in arrangements or delivered as a blooming plant for Valentine’s Day. The orchid represents not only love but also beauty, strength and is a symbol of luxury. White orchids symbolize innocence and beauty, yellow signifies friendship, pink orchids are a sign that someone likes you, and to no one’s surprise, red is a sign of love and romance.
Red Tulips are a classic symbol of love and romance and one of the most popular choices for a Valentine’s Day gift. Tulip sales account for 15% of the entire domestic flower sales volume, one of the most popular flowers. Tulips are a favorite in a bunch (typically 10 stems) or as part of a larger arrangement.
Tulips come in a variety of colors including red, yellow, white, purple, blue and pink not to mention the variations with a combination of colors. The tulip’s lazy, leaning stature add to their beauty and elegance, especially as the temperatures change from morning to night. Of course, the color red is often associated with love or “perfect love”, passion and romance while white signifies purity and innocence and thus is a popular addition to wedding bouquets. Yellow tulips are a sure sign of the arrival of spring (and friendship) as are the deep purple and blue tulips that mirror the sky and sea and represent prosperity and health.
This fragrant flower blooms in February, March, and April making it an essential Valentine’s Day flower, arranged in a grouping or part of a larger mixed arrangement. The blooms resemble a star-shaped cluster on a thick stem surrounded by long, slender leaves. Flowers can have single, double or multiple blooms. Hyacinth is a genus of flowering bulbs native to the Mediterranean area. The stalks of flowers can reach a height of 6-12 inches. The blooms last 1-2 weeks if kept moist. The majority of hyacinth bulbs come from the Netherlands and are poisonous if eaten. But let’s not go there.
In the Victorian era, the hyacinth symbolized sport. The myth involving Apollo, Zephyr, and Hyakinthos is said to be the origin of the hyacinth flowers name.) Purple hyacinth, often bright and bold, is a symbol of regret and request for forgiveness, yellow equates to jealousy, white is a sign of innocence and love for someone while red is said to symbolize recreation and play/sport. In short, the hyacinth sends a message of joyfulness and play.
Another exotic flower on our list is the protea which is an old timer as flowers go. An ancient flower that has existed since prehistoric times, Greek legend has it that the flower was named after Proteus, son of the Greek God Poseidon who was known for his wisdom. The Protea is a crazy looking flower that comes in many shapes and colors. The King Protea exhibits a large, circular head with petals ringing the center to form what can be described as a Dr. Seuss inspired bloom. Meanwhile, the smaller Pincushion Protea is the size of a little fist and has a center bloom enveloped by stalks that end with teardrops in bright reds and oranges. Protea blooms are grown commercially in California in Santa Barbara and San Diego.
The Protea is perfect to represent diversity and courage given its variety of shapes, colors, and sizes. A symbol of change and transformation across cultures, the Protea is a unique flower (or flowering plant). Their shape lends them to being used to provide extra flair to any flower arrangement, and they are an inspired choice for use in Valentine’s Day bouquets. Like the anthurium, the protea is often used in tropical arrangement or as an addition to more contemporary floral arrangements. Don’t be surprised if you see a protea in the lineup for Valentine’s Day flower arrangements.
The carnation is the workhorse of flowers. From funerals to weddings, this flower is called on to convey emotions far and wide. The carnation is a symbol of bravery, safety, and strength while each color has its special meaning. Carnations are said to communicate a desire, fascination, and curiosity to learn more about someone.
Pink carnations symbolize gratitude and a mother’s undying love, light red carnations represent admiration while dark red signifies deep love, affection, and romance. A fun fact: striped carnations (variegated) is said to symbolize “regret for a love that cannot be shared.” In France, the dark purple carnation is used as a sign of sympathy whereas the white carnation reflects sympathy in America. But the white carnation also symbolizes purity and luck and thus is often used in wedding arrangements. Be sure not to send your Valentine a bouquet of yellow carnations which signify disappointment and rejection. In this case, yellow should be avoided.
Lisianthus is native to Texas and Mexico and has a history that predates the Victorian era. As a single flower, the lisianthus looks similar to poppies (or tulips) while the double variety resembles peonies or roses. A symbol of creativity, inspiration, new ideas, and free-thinking, the lisianthus comes in a range of colors including violet, purple, pink, white each symbolizing their meaning. With tender petals and oval-shaped leaves, lisianthus is said to express appreciation, making it a perfect Valentine’s Day flower for someone you care for deeply. They are used regularly to signify a deep romantic connection.
Beyond the Valentine’s Day appeal, lisianthus is a great flower for sending appreciation as they are also symbolic of admiration, gratefulness, and charisma for a friend. The lisianthus is a long-stemmed flower making it a perfect part of any beautiful floral bouquet when you want to show respect, love, acceptance, and acknowledgment. The lisianthus is a local favorite because they grow in the flower fields north of San Diego.
SUCCULENTS (one for the plant lovers)
Succulents (ok, it’s not a flower) have seen their popularity surge over the past few years, appearing in wedding bouquets, arrangements, and plantings far and wide. So now that it appears the succulent madness has slowed, it’s time to revisit this fine specimen as a gift to the man in your life with a Valentine’s Day succulent garden. While men love flowers too, our Valentine’s Day succulent planting is also a nice choice to share your love if one of our Valentine’s Day flower arrangements are not a fit. Ideal for the indoor or weekend gardener, a succulent planting will last well into the spring and summer months with only a splash of water every so often. Architectural in shape, they are hearty, dry-loving plants abundant in California where water is at a premium.
On your patio or desk, the succulent thrives in heat and sunshine. One of the fun things about succulents is the dynamic and diverse range of colors, shapes, and sizes so you are very likely to find one that appeals to your taste and style. Whether your home is contemporary or more classic, a succulent planting will fit in nicely. A succulent plant is a fun alternative to flowers for the man in your life.
Sometimes confused for peonies because of their multi-petaled bloom, ranunculus is another staple of the spring flower season. This spectacular bloom defines romantic and stylish and is a favorite for Instagrammers and flower photographers. The tissue-like paper full blooms wrapped tight on a long, slim stalk in a Pantone of vivid, bold colors make the ranunculus the perfect flower for spring romance and thus, Valentine’s Day. No surprise then that the ranunculus is a symbol intended to suggest that the receiver is an attractive and charming irrespective of the color of the bloom. And no surprise that they are a staple in flower arrangements, including Valentine’s Day bouquets and arrangements.
Like other flowers, the ranunculus flower colors parallel the meanings associated with other flower colors. Red is a symbol of romance, love, and affection while yellow signifies happiness, joy, and positive feelings. If you’re a fan of purple, you are a person of mystery, royalty, and beauty. Pink ranunculus symbolizes romance, love, and gentle feelings and along with red and white, convey a mood of sensuality, affection, and connection in Valentine’s Day arrangements.
Ranunculus is a genus of flowers with more than 500 species of plants, but the one more referred to when talking about ranunculus’ is the ranunculus Asiaticus, a cultivated form. Ideal for use in a variety of flower arrangements, the ranunculus flower is a common sight along the flower fields north of San Diego. The flower has a mildly sweet scent and is a protected plant in some regions of the world, including Israel.
Hydrangea is an essential bloom in floral arrangements and grows as a shrub or climbing vine. It has small four petal florets that are flat. The hydrangea flower has a variety of meanings including heartfelt feelings and gratitude. Some have associated hydrangea with boastfulness or vanity because of their hearty, robust bunches of florets.
Pink hydrangea symbolizes heartfelt emotion, gratitude for understanding, and apology after a Japanese legend where a Japanese emperor gifted them to the family of a girl he loved but neglected. White hydrangea is often associated with purity, innocence but also boasting or bragging. Blue hydrangea is symbolic of apology while purple hydrangea symbolizes a desire to better understand someone. It has been suggested that hydrangea has a healing and therapeutic effect on people. No doubt, many of the Valentine’s Day flower arrangements will use hydrangea to add texture and shape to the arrangement.
One of the most popular and top selling flowers of all times is the universal symbol of love, romance, and affection, the rose. No wonder it is one of the top-selling blooms. The red rose is the universal symbol of love, but it is often used as well in flower arrangements for funerals to convey the loss of love. The rose is full of symbolism and a part of mythology for centuries, irrespective of color. The ancient Greeks and Romans identified the rose with the goddesses of love, Aphrodite and Venus respectively.
The long-stem rose is a hallmark of the floral industry, garnering a premium price and a heightened symbol of status. Long-stemmed roses are often sourced from Ecuador which leads the world in exporting roses of high quality while more than 70% of all flowers imported to the United States come from Columbia. Like a Gucci handbag, the red rose is a premium product that grows in value as you get closer to Valentine’s Day. If you are set on red roses, be sure to find a Valentine’s Day flower shop that doesn’t price gouge you due to the holiday. You can find the Green Fresh Florals + Plants imported long-stem roses here.
The rose conveys other meanings including promise, hope, and new beginnings. As to the meaning of the other rose colors, they are known to follow those of different flowers. White roses offer symbolism for purity, innocence, as well as loss and sympathy. And yes, you can find white roses in wedding arrangements as well as sympathy arrangements. You can find rose bouquets in a range of colors, from yellow, orange and white to purple, pink and striped. Yellow roses symbolize friendship and happiness, while orange means energy, enthusiasm, and excitement. Pink roses are associated with grace, joy, admiration, and sweetness as well as joy. A peach rose arrangement is intended to show appreciation and gratitude while cream roses convey thoughts of charm, thoughtfulness and to say, “thank you.”
It’s a Wrap
So, there you have it. A not too short summary of the top Valentine’s Day flowers and a bit of background on each. You are sure to be safe if you choose a Valentine’s Day bouquet with a strong component of the color red, pink, or shades of burgundy and purple. Pick orange, yellow or white for this holiday if you are trying to send a message of friendship, enthusiasm, and abundance.