08/04/2014 04:08 pm ET Updated Oct 04, 2014

The Secret Language of Flowers

At The Salonniere, we adore flowers. The appeal goes far beyond their beauty and fragrance. Flowers are a historically significant part of human social interaction. In fact, the custom of giving flowers dates back to early civilization, and the earliest known depiction of a mixed arrangement is a mosaic from the early second century at the Roman Emperor Hadrian's villa at Tivoli.

Mythology also blooms with associations between flowers and the gods and goddesses. Remember when Aphrodite's handsome beau, Adonis, was killed by that nasty wild boar? The story goes that a heartbroken Aphrodite used his blood to create the red anemone flower.

Assigning specific meanings to flowers is a tradition that is believed to have begun in Turkey in the 17th century and kept strong through the years by the French and English. During Victorian England, when expressing ones feelings openly was frowned upon, people used flowers as a way of expressing their deepest emotions. Not surprisingly, it was also the time when floriography books - beautiful floral reference books - abounded.

We all know that red roses express love and white lilies are a symbol of purity, but have you ever wondered what message you are sending with other popular flowers? Take a gander at the list below, which offers a garden of opportunities for using posies to proclaim a sentiment.

Throwing a tea to welcome a new friend to the neighborhood? Choose a centerpiece of yellow roses. Hosting an engagement party? Serve a dessert garnished with candied white violets. Yes, they're edible. Gathering the gals for a baby shower? Orchids, of course.

BUTTERCUP - Childishness
CALLA LILY - Magnificent beauty
CAMELLIA - Admiration, perfection and good luck when given to a man
CAMELLIA (WHITE) - Adoration
CHRYSANTHEMUM - Abundance and wealth
DAHLIA - Dignity and elegance
DAISY - Innocence
FORGET ME NOT - Memories
FREESIA - Innocence
GARDENIA - Secret love
GERBERA - Innocence
HYACINTH (PURPLE) - "Forgive me"
HYACINTH (RED OR PINK) - Playfulness
HYDRANGEA - "Thank you for understanding"
IRIS - Faith and wisdom
IRIS (YELLOW) - Passion
LILAC (GENERAL) - Beauty and pride
LILY (GENERAL) - Majesty and honor
LILY (CALLA) - Beauty
MAGNOLIA - Nobility
ORCHID - Love, beauty and fertility
PANSY - "You occupy my thoughts"
PEONY - Happy marriage
PETUNIA - "Your presence soothes me"
POPPY (YELLOW ) - Wealth and success
RANUNCULUS - "I am dazzled by your charms"
ROSE (ORANGE) - Fascination
ROSE (YELLOW) - Friendship
SNAPDRAGON - Gracious lady
SWEETPEA - "Thank you for a lovely time"
TULIP (YELLOW) - "There's sunshine in your smile"
VIOLET (WHITE) - "Let's take a chance on happiness"
ZINNIA (MAGENTA) - Lasting Affection

Have something special to say? Follow the age-old tradition and let flowers do the talking.