Known as floriography, the language of flowers was extremely popular during the reign of Queen Victoria. The Victorian Age was a time of etiquette and social customs. Feelings that could not be expressed in words, could be expressed through gifts of flowers.
But the language of flowers originated long before Queen Victoria made it popular. Shakespeare uses a bit of floriography himself in his famous play “Hamlet”. Ophelia, insane after the death of her father, gives out meaningful flowers to her brother and the King and Queen in Act IV, Scene V:
“There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance; pray, love, remember: and there is pansies, that’s for thoughts…There’s fennel for you, and columbines: there’s rue for you; and here’s some for me: we may call it herb-grace o’ Sundays: O, you must wear your rue with a difference. There’s a daisy: I would give you some violets, but they withered all when my father died…”