The Cavalier Daily
Serving the University Community Since 1890

How the majesticity of floriography can help you this semester

Humor columnist Camila Suárez shows us the most pretentious way to communicate

For those who do not know, floriography is the Victorian language of flowers. Gaining popularity in the 19th century, this coded messaging through floral bouquets makes for a discreet way of communication. Traditionally, the symbolism and meanings of specific flowers can connect to culture, mythology, the appearance of the blooms themselves or are simply invented by people for the heck of it. On the surface, the practice of floriography may seem like such a bore. Yet, there are so many different combinations to explore and so many ways of expressing your sentiments, positive or not, with the human population through nature's most marvelous creation. 

Bouquets are combinations of different flowers that can form one collective thought, such as for apologies or even tokens of affection. You can send someone a bouquet of chrysanthemum, marigold, mint and cypress to express your sympathies. Or, perhaps, a collection of blush roses, cornflower, sweet william and honeysuckle to court an interested party or solidify your status as taken. In floriography, arrangements are quite significant.

Singular flowers attached to oneself or given to others also can symbolize your own character or status. Green carnations and violets, among other flowers, have historically been linked to LGBTQ+ identities to announce that you are a part of the community. And, in some cultures, the location of a flower behind the left or right ear relates to relationship status.

Nowadays, the language of flowers has dwindled in popularity. But, if you are like me and spurred by sheer boredom have looked into the subject, you have discovered an entirely new way of communication.

Do you want to express to a loved one that you will care for them forever even though it’s only the third day of class? Give them an orange blossom to symbolize eternal love, paired with ivy for a long-lasting relationship.

Do you have a friend feeling down after their first in-person exam? Send them the lily of the valley with some protea to represent a return to happiness through transforming a bad situation into a good one.

Do you need to apologize to a classmate after forgetting to do your part in a project? Combine rue with columbine to symbolize regret and foolishness. That will most definitely solve your problem.  

However, for those who are intrigued with floriography, there is another side to the language that does not stick to formalities. That, dear reader, is the ability to tell someone to piss off, but with flowers. The less they know, the more subtle and expressive you can be. This practice is an introvert's best way of saying “f—k off” to someone without them knowing.

Has a roommate drank all your beverages and eaten your food marked with your name? Leave some yellow tansy on their bed to declare war. They will never see you coming.

Has a not-so-close individual you know done something so incredibly idiotic to you that you can not fathom how to put your disappointment into words? Stuff some yellow carnations for disdain, geraniums for stupidity and wormwood for bitterness in their backpack. It probably will not teach them a lesson, but you may gain satisfaction in the action.

Has a so-called perfect partner of yourself or someone you care for committed infidelity, and you would like to take discreet revenge before they are promptly dumped? Jam pack their car or a different possession with laurel, yellow roses, bilberry and peonies. Essentially, this combination represents a bombshell of betrayal.

Has someone in your dorm been messing up the bathroom to the point where you must seek relief in more distant locations, but you think you know who it is so you want to send them a message calmly instead of breaking their kneecaps? Place some mint for suspicion and hellebore for scandal on their doorstep as a warning before you ask one of your more confrontational friends to put them on blast in a GroupMe chat.

So, whether it is to propose union, send a heartwarming message or express searing annoyance, floriography has your back. Have fun.

Comments