Romantic Flower Meanings

Daffodil Stems
Put even more meaning into your Valentine's Day bouquets with the language of flowers -- we'll help you decode the meaning of each flower so you can give the perfect arrangement to your sweetheart.

The Romantic Language of Flowers

Every flower carries its own special meaning -- from deep red roses to pretty white daisies -- and we can use endless combinations in a bouquet to express what we might not be able to say out loud. Put together the perfect bouquet for your sweetheart on Valentine's Day with our selection of romantic flowers.

Red Roses

Roses are the quintessential flower to present to someone you love -- the red variety is actually known as the lover's rose. A multicolored rose bouquet could hold several meanings, however. White roses signify humility and innocence; yellow roses mean friendship and joy; pink roses tell a tale of gratitude, appreciation, or admiration; and purple roses (paired with white lilac flowers) are for someone you're enchanted with -- or fell in love with at first sight.

Roses are also the national flower of the United States, the flower for June birthdays, and the flower for the 15th wedding anniversary.

Pink Peonies

Peonies, which come in many different colors and varieties, are known as the flower of riches and honor. The lush, full blooms embody romance, prosperity, and good fortune, and they are the perfect addition to a Valentine's Day -- or 12th wedding anniversary -- bouquet.

White Daisies

The white petals of daisies signify loyal love, purity, beauty, innocence, patience, and simplicity -- which make them an ideal flower in a bouquet to your husband or wife on your 5th wedding anniversary.

Red Tulips

Tulips represent elegance and grace, but red tulips symbolize perfect love. The story goes that the black center of the flower represents a lover's heart, darkened by the heat of passion. Stick with red tulips for a romantic bouquet, otherwise, choose yellow tulips (cheerful thoughts), white tulips (forgiveness), or purple tulips (royalty) for other occasions.

Red Carnations

While pink carnations are most common around Mother's Day (they symbolize a mother's undying love), red carnations represent admiration, deep love, and affection. White carnations can be a good romantic bouquet choice, too, since they mean pure love or good luck. You don't want to present your lover with striped carnations (refusal) or yellow carnations (disdain, rejection). Carnations are also the 1st wedding anniversary flower.


It should come as no surprise that the striking beauty of sunflowers represents warmth, happiness, adoration, and longevity. Sunflowers look best on their own -- since they'll outshine any other stems -- and are an ideal 3rd wedding annivesary bouquet.

Purple Asters

Asters, with their wildflowerlike beauty and rich texture, are considered an enchanted flower and come in many different colors. The pretty petals -- which can be found in purple, red, pink, white, lavender, and blue -- and yellow centers represent love and patience, which is why they have the honor of being the 20th anniversary flower.

White Chrysanthemums

The thin petals of chrysanthemums, available in a full range of colors, symbolize optimism and joy. White petals mean truth or loyal love, and red petals mean love. Stay away from yellow chrysanthemums, which represent slighted love.

Purple Lilac

For someone that you just met, purple lilac blooms are appropriate -- they signify the first emotions of love. White lilac blooms mean youthful innocence, so together they make a good pair. You can also put them with other flowers, such as the purple rose, to represent love at first sight.

Pink Orchids

A gorgeous, exotic flower, orchids represent rare and delicate beauty. Other meanings include love, luxury, beauty, and strength. Pink orchids in particular symbolize pure affection, and cattelya orchids (available in a variety of colors) represent mature charm.

Purple Iris

Delicate blue or purple iris petals symbolize faith, valor, wisdom, and promise. Yellow iris flowers represent passion, and white blooms signify purity. The mythology of the flower dates back to ancient Greece, when the goddess of the same name acted as the link between heaven and earth.

White Stock

Stock flowers -- also known as gillyflower or Virginia stock -- are a good addition to a romantic bouquet because they symboliize a happy life and contented existence. They also add a sweet scent to your flower mix.


A gift of daffodils -- the 10th wedding anniversary flower -- is said to ensure happiness. The bright petals represent rebirth, chivalry, devotion, or unrequited love. They're a cheerful addition to a romantic bouquet, but don't include just one -- single daffodil stems represent misfortune.

Share the gallery

Better Homes & Gardens may receive compensation when you click through and purchase from links contained on this website.