Floriography is the term used to define the language of flowers. Throughout the centuries plants and flowers have been surrounded by legends, myths and folklore.The Language of Flowers originated in 15th centuryPersia and was brought to Europe in the 18th century. Since Elizabethan times, poets and playwrights have used them to convey a variety of feelings through them. But it was the Victorians who raised this symbolism to an art form through the Language of Flowers turning it into a popular cult.
The small flowers arrangements were called “tussie-mussies” and used to send coded messages, allowing individuals to express feelings that could not be spoken. In an age of strict morals and repressed sexuality it was a vehicle to express grief, quarrel, reproach,gratitude, admiration, love, pleasure, passion, indifference, friendship or sympathy, without ever writing a single word.
Each flower was accorded a precise vocabulary, based mostly on the floral language of the ancient Greek, Roman and Eastern cultures. It was possible to specify exact times and dates by the number and position of the leaves or buds on the stem of a plant.
The idea of plants having meanings have been present in "Hamlet"(Shakespeare, circa 1600), Act 4, Scene V, in the passage beginning "There's rosemary, that's for remembrance.”In the 17th century, the interest in a language of flowers found its roots in the court of the Ottoman Empire, Turkey, and its obsession with tulips.
The craze was introduced to Europe by Englishwoman Mary Wortley Montagu (1689–1762), who introduced it to England in 1717, and Aubry de La Mottraye (1674–1743), who introduced it to the Swedish court in 1727. Eventually it was expanded to various European countries. In France, it became popular around 1810–1850, via books as Le Langage des Fleurs ("The Language of Flowers", 1819, Charlotte de Latour), while in Britain it was popular during the Victorian age (around 1820–1880), in the US about 1830–1850, and spread worldwide.