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Hanakotoba: The Japanese Language of Flowers

"Noble Wealth"

"Noble Wealth"

In the Victorian Era, flowers were used as a means of communication. Each flower had it’s own, particular meaning and bouquets were used to send coded messages. People today still send flowers chosen specifically for their flower meanings.

Not only did the Western world have its own coded, flower language, the East had one as well— Hanakotoba, the Japanese language of flowers. Although, obviously not as popular today as it once was, Hanakotoba is still used in many Japanese movies and animations.




アマリリス Amaryllis Shy
アネモネ Anemone (white) Sincere
椿 Camellia (red) In Love
椿 Camellia (yellow) Longing
椿 Camellia (white) Waiting
カーネーション Carnation Passion
Cherry Blossom Kind/Gentle
黄菊 Chrysanthemum (yellow) Imperial/Elegant
白菊 Chrysanthemum (white) Truth/Self-Esteem
水仙 Daffodil Respect
天竺牡丹 Dahlia Good Taste
雛菊 Daisy Faith
勿忘草 Forget-Me-Not True Love
フリージア Freesia Immaculate
梔子 Gardenia Secret Love/Pure
紫陽花 Hydrangea Pride
アイリス / 菖蒲 Iris Noble Heart/Good News
白百合 Lily (white) Purity
百合 Lily of the Valley Sweet/Promise of Happiness
鬼百合 Tiger Lily Wealth
マグノリア Magnolia Natural/Love For Nature
雛芥子 Poppy Comfort
紅薔薇 Rose (red) Love/In Love
薔薇 Rose (white) Innocence/Devotion
桃色薔薇 Rose (pink) Trust/Confidence
黄色薔薇 Rose (yellow) Noble
チューリップ Tulip Charity/Trust

Contact your local florist today and ask for an arrangement using your favorite Hanakotoba flower meanings.

This post is brought to you by local Honolulu Hawaii Florists.
Not in Honolulu? No worries, use Flower Shop Network’s handy directory of local florists to find a florist near you!

What Flowers Should I Use In A 1905 Crystal Glass Vase?

Crystal Flower Vase cr. 1905

Crystal Flower Vase cr. 1905

Ask the Expert: How to use a flower center


I recently acquired this beautiful cut glass flower center ca. 1905 and would like to know what type of flowers from that era would have been used.  The vase measures 5″ in height and has a base diameter of 8″.  Thanks for your help. Michael

Flower Expert Reply:

What a beautiful vase. Take your lead from the Victorian Era.  During the Victorian Era (Romantic Age), the growing and arranging of flowers was very popular. Popular flowers at the time were streaked carnations or tulips, anemones, dahlias, freesias, gardenias, salvia, stephanotis, sweet pea, sweet William, verbena and roses. The use of foliage was popular as well. So, you could use fern or plumed grasses in your vase.  Strong colors like dark purple, magenta, red, orange and mustard yellow were often the popular choice for flower arrangements.

Any flower you choose will compliment your beautiful vase.  Please send a picture of the vase filled with flowers. I’d love to see it.

Pittsburgh florists like this flower question.

An Anniversary Flowers Idea For The Creative Type

As you probably know, most flowers are associated with a particular meaning. For instance, the flower meaning of red roses is “passionate love.” Forget-me-nots are a rather obvious one, “remember me forever.” Ginger is associate with being proud. Sweetpea is associated with shyness. There are tons of flowers associated with a particular meaning which comes in very handy when you need a unique anniversary gift.

For the creative type this year, write a poem for your sweetheart. It can’t just be any poem though. Make this one special to your beloved, unique to his/her personality, and include a few flower meanings that are associated with his/her disposition. When you get ready to buy anniversary flowers for your love, simply ask the florist to use a mix of those flowers only or a pretty blend that is predominantly one kind; the one with a meaning that best reflects her uniqueness.

If you’re not the creative type, I’ll help you out by giving you an anniversary flower arrangement idea. I’m sure I’d love your sweetheart but since I do not know her/him, I’ll make this example about me and my beau. If you have a different personality type in mind, simply view Flower Shop Network’s list of flower meanings and pick out the ones that mean the most to you. Here goes!

Anniversary Flowers For A Woman

My personality is very distinctive. I am very open, blunt and slightly opinionated. I am very thoughtful, analytical and intelligent. I am perky around people and completely quiet when left to myself. For a personality like this, try:

  • Pansy (loving thoughts)
  • Larkspur (beautiful spirit)
  • Freesia (spirited)
  • Yellow tulips (hopelessly in love) — a reflection of your feelings for her

Anniversary Flowers For A Man

My sweetheart’s personality is very complimentary but different. He is very reserved, cautious and protective. He doesn’t brood on things as I do but he is able to assess a situation. His entire world is wrapped around being with his family and providing for them. His personal hobbies are a little young for his age but that’s only because he works harder than anyone his age should have to.  For a personality like his, try:

  • Lilac (first love) — he is mine, this may be appropriate for you as well
  • Black-eyed susan (encouragement)
  • Pink carnations (gratitude) — for everything he does selflessly
  • Gardenia (joy)
  • Ginger (proud) — because you’re proud of him
  • Passion flower (passion) — a reflection of your feelings for him

If these do not strike a chord with you, view Flower Shop Network’s list of flower meanings or visit FSN’s flower dictionary to discover other unique things about these flowers.

Handy Tips For Fresh Cut Spring Flowers

Yesterday when I went home for lunch to check on my 10month old puppy, I notice several things popping up in my garden. The daffodils were in full bloom and the tulips were making their way out of the soil. So many times on the Bloomin’ Blog, we talk about what to do with flowers we receive from a florist. These flowers come prepared and the only thing that needs to be done is to figure out where to place them. Of course, you have to refresh the water and occasionally re-cut them. Mostly, you just sit back and enjoy them.

But, what if you want to cut flowers from your garden and bring them inside. Just like a florist, you will need to prepare your flowers to ensure that they last. A few weeks back, I read a blog post over on Florists Blog by Frank Sarno of Cricket’s Flowers in Lexington MA that detailed the very steps needed to ensure that the spring flowers brought in from the garden would last.

Instead of reinventing the wheel, I asked Frank (who is one of our Lexington Ma Florist members) if I could republish his handy tips.

So, take a look at the information Frank provided. I think it will be very helpful.

How do you care for fresh cut spring flowers?

Let Cricket’s Flowers show you to create wonderful flowers, that last.

Like most flowers, stems of spring bulb flowers should be cut on an angle to increase surface area. It is best to try and cutting stems under water to prevent air bubbles from forming in the stems. Trim about 1 inch of each stem every few days,this will help to make sure the flowers receive enough water.

Use floral preservative each time you change your water. Clean, fresh water is the most important thing you can do to keep cut flowers looking fresh. If you are out of floral preservative try using one part sprite ( or similar, clear colored soda) to 3 parts of water 2 tablespoons lemon or orange juice, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/4 teaspoon bleach to 1 quart of water . This will give you the sugar, citric acid and bleach that will help keep the flowers fresh and free of bacteria.

Spring flowers are sensitive to ethylene, so keep fruits and vegetables away from any flowers you may have displayed on your kitchen counter or table.

Daffodils: When cut the stems secrete sap. They are best used in a vase with all daffodils so that the sap will not clog the stems of the other types of flowers arranged with it. Or if you want to mike then with other spring flowers it is best to keep them separate for several hours, then rinse their stems and change the water in the vase.

Freesia: Removing older flowers on freesia stems this will help to open the closed buds. Hyacinth: The stems should show white on the ends, which you can trim off. Hyacinth stems will grow, and continue to open after they are cut.

Lily: Always remove the pollen from lily blooms. To avoid staining the petals with pollen, remove anthers when the bloom is just starting to open before the pollen is fully developed and dry.

Tulips: stems continue to grow for about a day, and can grow up to another inch and their blooms will open in daylight and close up when placed in the dark. Place tulips in even light or rotate them every other day for even growing.

Cricket’s Flowers

Thanks, Frank. I didn’t think about rotating my tulips. I’m going to try that when mine are ready to cut.