10 Beautiful Flowers With Surprising Meanings

Friends don't let friends give tansies. (Camellias are safe, though.)

Getty Images
In Victorian times, a rose was not simply a rose — the people of this era loved labeling blooms with very specific meanings. These particular ones, which we found in , are some of the most interesting.
1 of 10
Camellia

These impressive, lush flowers were beloved by the Victorians, and were given the meaning "my destiny is in your hands."

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
2 of 10
Purple Hyacinth

Owing its origin to the myth of Apollo and Hyacinthus (the former accidentally killed the latter), the purple version of this bloom means "please forgive me."

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
3 of 10
Carnation, studio shot
Carnation

These ruffly flowers don't have the best reputation, but if you love to give them, choose white ("sweet and lovely") or pink ("I will never forget you"). The two-toned version means "I cannot be with you," and yellow ones signify "disdain."

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
4 of 10
Anemone

These quirky blooms take their name from the Greek word for wind (anemos) since their lives are so short. The Victorians offered anemones the meaning "forsaken."

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
5 of 10
Chamomile

Though a symbol of rest and relaxation today (mmm, chamomile tea), this flower signified "energy in adversity" in the 19th century.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
6 of 10
Rhododendron

The Victorians labeled this bloom "beware," — which is actually appropriate, since .

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
7 of 10
Sunflower

Legend has it that when Spanish explorers reached the Americas, they thought were made of real gold. Of course, they were wrong, hence the meaning "false riches."

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
8 of 10
Verbena

Due to their prominent place in religious ceremonies throughout history, these petite purple flowers mean "pray for me."

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
9 of 10
Tansy

These yellow puffballs look friendly, but they carry a sinister message: "I declare war on you."

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
10 of 10
Basil

This herb isn't often grown to give as a bouquet (it's more of a pizza topping than a floral centerpiece), and maybe that's a good thing — according to the Victorians, who didn't care for the strong flavor, it means "hate."

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
More From Gardening