Bluebells stood for “kindness,” peonies meant “bashfulness”, rosemary was for “remembrance,” tulips represented “passion” and wallflowers stood for
“faithfulness in adversity.” Plants could also have negative meanings. Aloe meant “bitterness”, pomegranate meant “conceit” and the rhododendron meant “danger.” Flowers also varied based on their colors. A white violet meant “innocence” while a purple violet would symbolize that the giver’s “thoughts were occupied with love” about the recipient.
Sending and receiving flowers was a way to show like or dislike toward suitors. If given a rose to declare “devotion” or an apple blossom to show “preference” from a suitor, one might respond with a yellow carnation to express “disdain” if the suitor was undesirable. Myrtle was used to symbolize good luck and love in a marriage. It was fashionable to display the bouquets of meaningful flowers in what are known as ‘Posy Holders.’ These bouquet holders often had rings or pins attached to them so they could be proudly worn and displayed by their owners.