What's Your Birth Flower and What It Means For You

What's Your Birth Flower and What It Means For You

Did you know that for every month of the year there's a birth flower as well as a star sign and birth stone? In our first Flora Botanica blog, we take a look at how birth flowers came about, what the birth flower is for each month of the year and what they mean for you and your loved ones. 

The Origin of Birth Flowers

The Language of Flowers Book, 1896, by Robert Tyas - book coverThere's speculation that the concept of birth flowers started life with the Ancient Romans, when flowers were left at the altars of gods (and each god had their own special day). However it's more likely that the idea for birth month flowers blossomed during the 19th-century craze for floriography.

Floriography means the 'language of flowers' and attributes different meanings to flowers, sometimes evoked by the plants' characteristics and sometimes based on myth, folklore or real events. It has existed in different cultures for centuries – Japan has its own language of flowers known as hanakotoba. But floriography truly took off in France, following the publication of two 'language of flowers' books. When floral dictionaries were published in Victorian England and the U.S., it quickly gained popularity here too. The book on the left was published in 1896 and features botanical art by Robert Tyas (image: rawpixel).


The Secret Language of Flowers

Robert Tyas image of flower posy 1896 Image by Rawpixel

In its heyday, flower fans and romantic suitors would send posies (also called nosegays or 'tussie-mussies') loaded with hidden meaning, to be decoded by the recipient. These mini bouquets were small enough to be carried or worn – and if a suitor was lucky, pinned near the heart (meaning, 'I love you too!').

As so many enthusiasts dabbled in floriography, flowers often have more than one meaning. In the painting from the Robert Tyas book shown left (image: rawpixel), the cornflower can signify love, fertility, hope, luck, wealth and a host of other things. The dog rose means eternal love; and the orange wallflower indicates fidelity. 

Even different colours of a flower can affect the meaning. So a blue violet means faithfulness, while a white one suggests modesty. We'll look at the language of flowers and floral folklore in more depth in future.   

A side effect of this Victorian-era flower fervour was that authors also started associating specific flowers with months of the year – which is most probably how birth month flowers were born.


A Birth Flower For Every Month of the Year

Flora Botanica Store November Birth Flower Art Print Chrysanthemum Wall Art

Today, there's a birth flower (or two) for every month of the year – most often because that's when they bloom most prolifically.

Here's a quick reference list:

  • JANUARY – Carnation (and snowdrop)
  • FEBRUARY – Primrose (and violet)
  • MARCH – Daffodil
  • APRIL – Sweet Pea (and daisy)
  • MAY – Hawthorn (and lily of the valley)
  • JUNE – Rose (and honeysuckle)
  • JULY – Water Lily (and delphinium)
  • AUGUST – Poppy (and gladiolus)
  • SEPTEMBER – Morning Glory (and aster)
  • OCTOBER – Marigold
  • NOVEMBER – Chrysanthemum
  • DECEMBER – Holly (and narcissus)

It's this list that inspired our research into flower meanings, Victorian floriography books, vintage floral art and our Birth Month Flower art prints (our November birth flower print is shown above).


What Does Your Birth Flower Mean For You?

We found that the meaning of flowers has developed far beyond a secret code. Birth flowers now represent the character of the person born in each month – things you're known for or good at. 

Below, based on our research, we share the three most widely agreed upon meanings for each birth month flower:

  • Carnation – Love, Affection, Gratitude
  • Primrose – Kindness, Grace, Renewal
  • Daffodil – Joy, Resilience, Respect
  • Sweet Pea – Happiness, Friendship, Youth
  • Hawthorn – Protection, Hope, Longevity
  • Rose – Love, Thankfulness, Beauty
  • Water Lily – Peace, Clarity, Balance
  • Poppy – Imagination, Honour, Sympathy
  • Morning Glory – Integrity, Trust, Intelligence
  • Marigold – Optimism, Creativity, Remembrance
  • Chrysanthemum – Friendship, Longevity, Happiness
  • Holly – Courage, Cheerfulness, Intuition

You might recognise yourself in the description of your birth flower or, if not, perhaps that's how other people view you? Whether this is the case or not, it certainly gives you something to aspire to. As a March baby, I'm more than happy to put joy, resilience and respect on my 'to be' list. 

And, of course, our birth flower art prints include each of these three meanings, as you can see here. 

Flora Botanica Store Birth Month Flower Images in a row

Truthfully, there's a lot more to each birth flower than that, including some gorgeous floral folklore that we're excited share with you in future. (Former story writer, author and editor here – so I can't resist a good yarn.)

For now though, we hope this has given you some insight into the blooming lovely world of birth flowers and, if you're looking for a gift for a gardener or flower lover – or for someone who doesn't buy into birth signs and has more than enough birth stone jewellery, we hope you'll consider delighting – and flattering – them with one of our Birth Month Flower wall art prints

Bloom where you are planted.

Flora B x




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