One of the most popular gifts offered in Valentine’s Day is a bunch of flowers. Flowers have the ability to cheer and brighten up any place, room in a home or in an office, with their beauty and fragrance, and while they are not everlasting, through their color and smell they are always cherished and appreciated with a smile.

Here are the various types of flowers usually sent as the gifts in Valentine’s Day together with the messages expressed by their colors:

Lily:  The genus Lily or Lilium (Scientific Name: Lilium bulbiferum) are herbaceous flowering plants growing from bulbs.  Lili flower is called Sossan or Zanbagh in Persian. Lilies comprise a genus of about 110 species in the lily family (Liliaceae) and are important as large showy flowering garden plants, and they are important culturally and in the literature in much of the world. Often unappreciated in Valentine’s celebrations , the lily is  a regal fower deeply rooted in Greek mythology. First blooming as early as 1580 BC, the Lily brings different meanings with each distinct variety. Peruvian Lilies represent friendship, pink Lilies stand for wealth and prosperity, and the Lilies of valley show devotion. Never send the orange Lilies in Valentine’s Day since they convey hatred.

Tulips: A tulip (Scientific Name: Liriodendron tulipifera) is a perennial plant in the genus Tulipa, comprising about 150 bulbous species with showy flowers, in the family Liliaceae. Tulips, which originated in Iran and Turkey (where they are named as Laleh), did not become popular in Europe until the 17th century, but now loved and considered elegant worldwide. Iranian and Turkish culture link red tulips to undying love. Yellow tulips symbolize happiness, and the white are believed to demonstrate forgiveness.

Carnations:  A Carnation or a Clove Pink (Scientific Name: Dianthus caryophyllus) is a species of Dianthus. It is probably native to the Mediterranean region but its exact range is unknown due to extensive cultivation for the last 2000 years. Carnations generally symbolize love in all its varieties. White Carnations hint at pure love, light red at admiration and darker shades at deep love. The more distinct is the pink variety, which is said to have originated from the Virgin Mary’s tears and thus stands for a mother’s eternal love.

Roses: They are the ultimate Valentine’s Day flowers. A rose (Scientific Name: Rosa bracteata) is a perennial flower shrub or vine of the genus Rosa (in Persian: Gol-e Sorkh), within the family Rosaceae, that contains over 100 species and comes in a variety of colors. One of the varieties of rose family is Suri (aka Souri) flower, which most Iranians call it as Gol-e Mohammadi and its Scientific Name is Rosa damascena Mill. On the basis of various documents, Suri was firstly originated in Iran.

Roses have been considered as the flowers of passion and love since the ancient Persian, Greek, and Roman times. However every shade carries a distinct message and some are not linked to romance at all. Red is as generally known for love, but yellow stands only for friendship. The white represents innocence and a pink rose whispers “Thank You”.

On this Valentine’s Day when love is in the air and you find yourself in a florist’s store pick up the perfect flower and make the most of this romantic day with a sincere message of love.

Happy Valentine’s Day!
Manouchehr Saadat Noury, PhD

Saadat Noury, M. (2006): Online Article on “Suri, the Persian Rose”.
Saadat Noury, M. (2010): Online Article on “A Day to Celebrate Love and Friendship”.
Saadat Noury, M. (2010): Online Article on “Celebrating Moments of Valentine’s Day”.
Pavone, B. (2010): Floral Secrets, LR Magazine, Luxury Report, Vol. 1 No 7, Pp. 16-18.
Wikipedia Encyclopedia (2010): Online Articles on Lily, Tulip, Carnation, and Rose.

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