What do those Valentine roses really mean?

Know the meaning of flowers you're buying

Heather Staible, Contributing Writer

Roses, carnations and tulips are usual Valentine's Day floral fare, but garlic and grass are two of the lesser-known offerings.

During the Victorian era, flowers were used as means to communicate with suitors. Love, kindness and interest were conveyed in a bouquet of flowers, pinned to a woman's clothing or held as she walked.

Although the red rose will always say 'I love you' to the person who receives it, 19 percent of modern-day women tend to buy flowers for themselves.

"Women are in touch with themselves and they will buy themselves flowers, or they will buy flowers for their mothers, sisters and friends," said Jenny Sparks, director of consumer marketing for the Society of American Florists.

Sparks said that the language of flowers is less important today than it used to be.

"The red rose still signifies love, but today people buy flowers based on a special event or moment. And besides, flowers make people happy."

THE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS Acacia Concealed Love, Beauty in Retirement, Chaste Love Azalea Take Care of Yourself for Me, Temperance, Fragile Passion, Chinese Symbol of Womanhood Bouquet of Withered Flowers Rejected Love Carnation (General) Fascination, Women Love Carnation (Pink) I'll Never Forget You Carnation (Red) My Heart Aches For You, Admiration Carnation (Purple) Capriciousness Carnation (Solid Color) Yes Carnation (Striped) No, Refusal, Sorry I Can't Be With You, Wish I Could Be With You Carnation (White) Sweet and Lovely, Innocence, Pure Love, Woman's Good Luck Gift Daffodil Faithfulness, Happiness Dead Leaves Sadness Forget-Me-Not True Love, Memories Garlic Courage, Strength Geranium Stupidity, Folly Grass Submission Lily (Calla) Beauty Magnolia Nobility Orchid Love, Beauty, Refinement, Beautiful Lady, Chinese Symbol for Many Children Rose (Bridal) Happy Love Rose (Pink) Perfect Happiness, Please Believe Me Rose (Red) Love, I Love You Rose (Tea) I'll Remember Always Rose (Thornless) Love at First Sight Rose (White) Innocence and Purity, I am Worthy of You, You're Heavenly, Secrecy and Silence Rose (White and Red Mixed) Unity, Flower Emblem of England Rose (Yellow) Decrease of Love, Jealousy, Try to Care Roses (Bouquet of Mature Blooms) Gratitude Sweetpea Good-bye, Departure, Blissful Pleasure, Thank You for a Lovely Time Tulip (General) Perfect Lover, Fame, Flower Emblem of Holland Tulip (Red) Believe Me, Declaration of Love Violet Modesty