Flower and Colors
The meaning of flower colors is a unique aspect of symbolism you can use to send a special (maybe even secret) message to someone.The main reason most of us grow flowers is for their colors. The color provided by flowers and their combinations, and the feelings these evoke, is the main reason I and others I know garden. Yet what makes flowers the color they are, and how can you describe these to others?
What may seem simple on the surface is really a lot more complicated than you might think underneath, and in fact, underneath the surface of the leaf. Color we see in flowers is actually the result of reflected light from various plant pigments. A group of compounds called “anthocyanidins” are the basic ingredients. They are named for flowers in which they were first found, such as the scarlet “pelargonidin” from the geranium or Pelargonium, the purple “petunidin” from the Petunia, or the blue-violet “delphinidin” from the Delphinium.
Many flowers may not change color on an individual plant, but may change color, even if slightly, among locations or various conditions. Temperature affects color, hence the often more vivid colors in cool northern gardens than hot summer ones. Plant stress such as from drought, insect attack, or plant nutrition (too much or little) can also cause different levels of pigments in flowers, and so different colors.
Biological pigments, also known simply as pigments or biochromes, are substances produced by living organisms that have a colorresulting from selective color absorption. Biological pigments include plant pigments and flower pigments. Many biological structures, such as skin, eyes, feathers, fur and hair contain pigments such as melanin in specialized cells called chromatophores.
Pigment color differs from structural color in that it is the same for all viewing angles, whereas structural color is the result of selective reflectionor iridescence, usually because of multilayer structures. For example, butterfly wings typically contain structural color, although many butterflies have cells that contain pigment as well.
The primary function of pigments in plants is photosynthesis, which uses the green pigment chlorophyll along with several red and yellow pigments that help to capture as much light energy as possible.
Other functions of pigments in plants include attracting insects to flowers to encourage pollination.
Plant pigments include a variety of different kinds of molecule, including porphyrins, carotenoids, anthocyanins and betalains. All biological pigments selectively absorb certain wavelengths of light while reflecting others.
Chlorophyll is the primary pigment in plants; it is a chlorin that absorbs yellow and blue wavelengths of light while reflecting green. It is the presence and relative abundance of chlorophyll that gives plants their green color. All land plants and green algae possess two forms of this pigment: chlorophyll a and chlorophyll b. Kelps, diatoms, and other photosynthetic heterokonts contain chlorophyll c instead of b, while red algae possess only chlorophyll a. All chlorophylls serve as the primary means plants use to intercept light in order to fuel photosynthesis.
Carotenoids are red, orange, or yellow tetraterpenoids. During the process of photosynthesis, they have functions in light-harvesting (as accessory pigments), in photoprotection (energy dissipation via non-photochemical quenching as well as singlet oxygen scavenging for prevention of photooxidative damage), and also serve as protein structural elements. In higher plants, they also serve as precursors to the plant hormone abscisic acid.
Plants, in general, contain six ubiquitous carotenoids: neoxanthin, violaxanthin, antheraxanthin, zeaxanthin, lutein and β-carotene. Lutein is a yellow pigment found in fruits and vegetables and is the most abundant carotenoid in plants. Lycopene is the red pigment responsible for the color of tomatoes. Other less common carotenoids in plants include lutein epoxide (in many woody species), lactucaxanthin (found in lettuce), and alpha carotene (found in carrots). In cyanobacteria, many other carotenoids exist such as canthaxanthin, myxoxanthophyll, synechoxanthin, and echinenone. Algal phototrophs such as dinoflagellates use peridinin as a light harvesting pigment. While carotenoids can be found complexed within chlorophyll-binding proteins such as the photosynthetic reaction centers and light-harvesting complexes, they also are found within dedicated carotenoid proteins such as the orange carotenoid protein of cyanobacteria.
Long before it became the social fashion in the Victorian era, flowers and their coloration were used to enhance meanings, and even interpreted as oracles.
For example, the ancient Greeks interpreted the meaning of flower colors as mood indicators of their gods (like mood rings).
Similarly, ancient Celts consulted flowers as portents of weather and predictions of genders in childbirth.
These days, our purpose of flowers may be a bit more practical (but they don’t have to be). Learning about the meaning of flower colors gives you an opportunity to send an uncommon sentiment – like sending a secret code to someone you admire.
Be creative with your flower antics. Mix different color meanings in your bouquets. Include the meanings in the card if you send the arrangement to someone.
Flower colors are like a fistful of paintbrushes – color your world with their various meanings and be inspired
Red Flowers: Vibrant, passionate and demanding to be noticed, red is the color of love and romance. Red flowers symbolize courage, respect, constancy, admiration and, of course, desire.
The color red (in general) is a high-energy color that compels us to passion. It is symbolically used in magical rituals relating to fertility because its wavelength increases passionate feelings. This passion can be romantic (sexual) or it can be related to other project that you wish to give a boost. When choosing red roses, you should consider the symbolism of the color as well as the symbolism of the flower itself. These are a tremendous choice for Valentine’s Day and your sweetheart is sure to appreciate a bouquet of red roses.
If you like, you may flip through the thumbnail images above. The captions give information about what the different numbers of flowers represent. It can be fun to play with the numbers of flowers in your bouquet. For those men planning on proposing this year, consider two red roses entwined with one another: It’s a romantic way of asking her to marry you!
There’s an indisputable energy to the color red – an energy that has the power to transform an otherwise unassuming flower into the essence of desire, strength, and passionate love. With beauty, courage and heat as its symbolism, it’s no surprise that a bouquet filled with rich, red blooms knows no restraint There is good reason red roses are given to sweethearts. It’s because red is symbolic of passion, love, and energy. Red runs through our bodies in raging rivers of blood. Red rushes to our cheeks when we feel the heat of our feelings. Red resonates with the root chakra and reminds us of our animal instincts. Indeed, red is the spark that kindles our most fervent flames of desire. Send red flowers to someone who needs a jolt of energy – this shock of color is sure to get their engines revving.
Orange Flowers: No wallflower, here. Orange is bold, passionate and full of life. It’s no wonder that orange blooms speak of enthusiasm, excitement and exuberance.
Sending a seasonal spring plant is a nice and appropriate gesture to send to a grieving family. It can be enjoyed indoors and when they feel up to it they can plant it in their garden. This hardy plant that will grow in almost any soil that is kept moist, and the mop head hydrangeas will continue to bloom for many years. The hydrangea is a gift of thanks in repayment for understanding and is given as a gesture of heartfelt sincerity. Orange is the closest match to the shade of the sun, so it is symbolic of expansion, growth, and warmth. It is also a color of friendship and community. Think back to when you were a kid, and the sun poured out of the sky after a span of long grey days. Odds are, all the kids in your neighborhood flocked to the streets and parks to play after being cooped up for days. That’s the overall feeling of orange; it beckons us to go out and play with friends, remember good times, enjoy the company of like-minds, and share big smiles all around.
Orange combines the colors red and yellow. Red is a color of great energy, representing passion and often inciting feelings of passion and erotic love in the people surrounded by red. Yellow, on the other hand, is a color of happiness. When the two combine, desire is a logical conclusion of this combination.
These are beautiful roses and make an excellent choice for giving to a new sweetheart, particularly if you wish to indicate a desire to move from one phase of a relationship to the next. You’re saying to her that she is worthy and that you desire to be with her on a deeper level.
Orange roses are particularly beautiful if mixed with a lighter peach (desire and sincerity mixed together) or with red roses (indicating a passionate desire for your lover).With its combination of yellow and red, orange is the color of attraction. It mixes the energy and passion of red with the bright happiness of yellow, and is a good color to use for a Valentine if you’re hoping to express a desire to deepen your relationship.
Yellow Flowers: Yellow flowers burst with happiness. They symbolize the bonds of friendship, the taste of success and pride. Joy is also one of the meanings of this flower, as that is one of the feelings the color is said to evoke.
There’s a good reason why it can feel all but impossible to refrain from smiling when you spot a bouquet of bright daffodils or a pot filled with sun-drenched chrysanthemums–the color yellow evokes feelings of joy and lightheartedness. Also a symbol of friendship, a bouquet bursting with yellow blooms sends a message of new beginnings and happiness. Yellow is associated with gold, and is considered asymbol of purity, clarity truth and intellect. Mayans viewed the color in yellow to be associated corn, thus it holds symbolism of provision, sustenance, and all things that are wholesome. Scientific studies indicate writing on yellow tablets increases memory retention. This ties the meaning of flower color in yellow to intelligence and reason. Give yellow flowers to your friend in graduate school to help with his/her studies. Or, give a bright bunch of yellow daffodils to your babysitter to indicate your appreciation for his/her ability to provide honest, wholesome care to your kids.In fact, they may suggest to your lover that you are attempting to end your relationship with him or her. Due to their association with friendship, yellow roses suggest “Let’s be just friends.” They are also associated with jealousy, another reason they may be a “break up rose.” It would be unwise to purchase a yellow rose bouquet for your Valentine this year: Stick to the pink and the red in order to send the correct message, and save the yellow roses for your friends instead of for your sweetheart. The results could be disastrous if you send a break-up bouquet!Yellow is a highly energetic color which is associated with happiness, making it a great color for friends and friendship. Sending yellow roses says “you make me happy.”
Green Flowers: represent the optimism of renewal, of spring and of youthfulness. Green flowers in a bouquet are also a wish for good fortune and good health.
Synonymous with nature–and the perfect complement to any other bloom–the color green represents health, resilience, good fortune and youth. Whether used to throw together a diverse mixture of shapes and hues or as a restful tone-on-tone bouquet, green flowers send a message of optimism and renewal. Anybody who has endured a long winter will tell you how jazzed they get at the first glimmer of green in spring. The meaning of flower color in green is about renewal, growth, hope, health and youth. Think of luscious emerald lawns, the smell rich with juicy goodness. You can’t help but smile at the thought. Green is also the color of the heart chakra, and so it takes on the meaning of good health. Bright green is the color of Mother Nature at her highest peak. Feel her bounty and embrace her gifts of harvest and health. Express these sentiments by giving a verdant ivy to a friend or loved one today.If both the petals and the stem take on a verdant shade, good news: Green means a “constant rejuvenation of spirit.”
Blue Flowers: Peaceful blue is said to convey serenity and openness. A flower delivery of a bouquet containing blue flowers may be a sign to slow down, relax and release the stress.
The pale blue hues of a hydrangea or the deep blues of an iris can calm worries and preoccupation representing peace, openness, and serenity, fresh floral arrangements filled with blue flowers offers a cooling antidote to anxiousness.
The symbolism of blue makes me think of that line in the movie Outlaw Josey Wales when Sandra Locke’s character observed clouds were like “dreams floating across a sky-blue mind.” That’s precisely what blue symbolizes – the clarity found in our dreams, thoughts, and imaginations. The color blue speaks to the dreamers in our world, and blue flowers are the perfect gift to call out the muse in the poet, artist or musician in your life. Or, gather up a bunch of blue flowers when you need a boost of inspiration. They are also the perfect hue for enhancing calm and tranquility.
The meaning of flower colors runs deep in the realm of indigo. Consider the cavernous depths of the ocean where currents still themselves to better hear the secrets of their own watery womb. Then consider the yawning waves of indigo clouds that roll on the horizon as an impressive storm brews. Indigo speaks to us of emotions, depth, and expressive moods. Give indigo flowers to people who do too much. The ones you love who never sit still, always running, always doing – these people need indigo in their lives to keep them still so they can listen to the secrets of their own soul-womb.
This color in flowers is both energizing and spiritual at the same time. It is used in holy articles as a devotional color too. When we see violet our eyes open wider – we allow its vibrancy to flow into our aura. This natural reaction opens our spiritual senses and reminds us that we are all connected to an infinitely divine system. Violets are the perfect sentiment that says to someone “you are unique, special, and part of a perfect whole.” Violet is also considered a color of royalty and nobility in ancient symbolism. Incorporate violet flowers in your life as a symbol of faith, and a reminder that nobility of the heart is the greatest aspiration. With its origins tied to royalty and ceremony, purple flowers represent dignity, pride and success. Whether grouped alone in a bold range of rich hues or mixed in with other colors to provide depth and contrast, an arrangement filled with purple blooms represents accomplishment and admiration. A royal color, purple flowers symbolize dignity, tradition and success. A bouquet containing purple flowers can be symbols of admiration and adoration.
White flowers can mean reverence and humility, purity and innocence or sympathy for a bereavement. Depending on the type of blooms chosen by your local florists, a bouquet of white flowers can be bold and brilliant, or gentle and self-effacing. The meaning of flower colors in white is symbolic of: Often associated with innocence, humility, and reverence, white flowers evoke simple beauty. Whether they take their shape as the luxurious, silk petals of fragrant gardenias, the small, white bells of a lily of the valley, or the quiet drama of a dozen white roses, fresh floral arrangement dominated by white blossoms conveys modesty and elegance.
White has two strong meanings in rose language. The first meaning is the simplest, and the most obvious: White is pure, and the roses represent a pure and innocent love, the idea that you’ll wait for the time to be right, for your partner to be ready. These roses say to your partner “I’m worthy of you” or “it’s worth the wait.” Once more, these are a good rose for teenage sweethearts wishing to convey the strong message that “love waits.”
Additionally, white roses also represent secrecy. The delivery of a white rose (or roses) says that you have a secret love affair that you’re hiding. White roses may be a way of communicating with an inappropriate lover.
White is the color of purity and innocence. It is very clean and therefore the white roses represent youthful and innocent love (much like pink).
Delicate light pink hues speak of gentleness, happiness and love. A very romantic flower color, it’s also a symbol of grace and innocence. Think pink and you think of grace, gentility, and happiness. Regardless of the shape of the flower – from the tight, small buds of a pink garden rose to the delicate, open petals of a pink caellia in full bloom – pink blossoms convey youth, innocence, and joy.
In flowers, pink is the color of joy and youthfulness. It’s a way to say “I admire you” or “I appreciate you” (good for girls giving flowers to their boyfriends or husbands!). It is also the color of youthfulness and pure joy. For this reason, the pink color of a rose blossom represents young and innocent love, before the relationship has blossomed into an erotic love. A pink rose bouquet is a way of saying to your girlfriend or wife that being around her is pure bliss. These are a great choice for expression your appreciation for everything your sweetheart does in your relationship, and for her being there for you.
These are a particularly good choice for teenagers in romantic relationships as they express the type of love parents usually hope their teens will have. Pink is the color of innocent love. It represents a beautiful, fresh love and a pureness of emotion. It is a way of saying “I love you” to your partner and pink may make your sweetheart feel your love.
While purple is the color of royalty, and pink the color of youth, lavender is femininity all grown up. Representing refinement, grace, and elegance, lavender holds an almost sacred place in nature – with violet flowers often considered the most delicate and precious. An arrangement filled with these genteel blossoms send a message of feminine beauty.
Lavender Flowers-Youth and elegance, grace and refinement. Lavender flowers have a delicate, feminine and old-fashioned touch to them, even when contained in a decidedly modern bouquet.Lavender (or purple) roses signify enchantment with a lover. To define enchantment, this word is referring to a near-supernatural love affair with another person. When you give lavender roses to your sweetheart, you’re saying that your affection transcends and is difficult to understand, but real to you. It could be said that this is a somewhat obsessive rose color. Purple is the color of magic, and therefore it should be no surprise that lavender roses represent enchantment with a lover.
The system for color most are familiar with, however, is the artists color wheel. It has six main divisions: the three primary colors red, yellow and blue; and in between the secondary colors orange (from mixing red and yellow), green (from yellow and blue), and violet (from blue and red). But the difference between artists’ colors, and reflective colors of plants for instance, is seen with white. Mix all the artists’ colors together and you get a muddy grey. Mix all the reflected colors together and you get white light.
Actually if you combine pure red, green and blue lights you will get white light. This is the principle used in color photography and colors on computers. Now, take white light and filter it with the filters that block red, green and blue (magenta, yellow and cyan) and you get no light or black. These terms and “filters” or complements to red, green and blue are the basis for color films and the terms you’ll see when you go into computer graphics software to retouch a scanned image.
So by now, if you’re not totally confused, you may see how not only what makes color is complicated, but also our perceptions and descriptions of it. Keeping these ideas in mind, here are a few tips when using color in your designs. Color selection can make a flowerbed appear close or distant. A distant planting of bright colors will appear closer if softer shades of the same color are used near the viewer. Using softer colors at a distance and strong colors near the house reverses the effect. Colors can impart a sense of temperature. Red, orange, and yellow are considered warm colors. When used on a sunny patio, they give a sense of warmth. The cool colors are blues, purples, and greens. Use them in shady areas, and they make the shade seem even cooler.
Use one or two compatible colors throughout the landscape to develop a relaxing mood. Pastel or weak colors work better than strong vivid colors for this purpose as this rather monotonous color scheme creates a restful feeling. Using strong, contrasting colors creates an exciting landscape. The eye jumps from one color to the next, creating a busy, exciting feeling. Flower colors should be compatible. Colors that clash can be used in the same bed if they are widely separated. In established perennial gardens, dilute problem color combinations with interplantings of white or pale yellow flowers.