What Is the Meaning of Tropical Flowers?

Written by siva stephens
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What Is the Meaning of Tropical Flowers?
Bird of Paradise blooms symbolise joy and faithfulness. (bird of paradise image by Earl Robbins from Fotolia.com)

The language of flowers, or "floriography," rose to popularity during the reign of England's Queen Victoria in the mid to late 19th century. Floriography assigns a meaning and significance to any flower given in a bouquet -- and to many types of greenery, as well. Showy tropical flowers were popular gifts then, as they are today. If you want to express your emotions with a gift of these spectacularly extravagant blooms, include a card that will help the recipient decipher your message.


Many types and colours of orchids exist, but they are all associated with lavish beauty. Ancient Greeks believed that eating parts of the orchid plant ensured fertility, but over the years the meaning of virility associated with the blossoms changed to one of luxury and splendour. Orchids are the traditional flower for a 14th wedding anniversary; cattleya orchids of any colour mean "mature charm" while pink orchids mean "affection."


Heliconia flowers are also called Fake Bird of Paradise or Wild Plantain. They are tall, spiky red bracts with unique arrowhead-shaped petals. They are named for Mount Helicon, where Greek mythology placed the Nine Muses of science and the arts. A gift of heliconia symbolises inspiration, intuition and divine guidance.


Anthurium are also called Painted Tongue or Flamingo Flower. They have distinctive flowers comprised of a single, red heart-shaped petal with a long bright-yellow stamen and look striking in a flower arrangement or bouquet. Anthurium symbolise hospitality and make a very appropriate "thank you" gift for a host.

Bird of Paradise

Bird of Paradise, also known as Crane Flower, with its colourful orange and purple petals rising from red-tinged green leaves is easily recognisable and associated with Paradise itself. It is the traditional ninth wedding anniversary flower and symbolic of joy. If Bird of Paradise is given from one half of a couple to the other, it represents "faithfulness."


Red Ginger (also called Ostrich Plume Ginger) is the national flower of Samoa; it also grows wild in Hawaii, Puerto Rico and other tropical areas. Though the spiky, showy red bracts are used in floral arrangements, the real flowers are small, white and almost unnoticeable inside the bracts. Red Ginger lasts an unusually long time in cut flower arrangements; perhaps this is the reason Red Ginger symbolises strength.

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