The lost meaning of flowers

Exploring the symbolic language of gifting.

Gifts can have additional meanings, handed down by traditions of history, culture, faith and folklore.

1 Jnxdaxknyco2Df0316Tvjg

From marking anniversaries with different materials and minerals, to celebrating religious festivals with certain types of food offerings, there’s a symbolic language of presents that goes beyond the literal. Giving becomes something closer to ceremony or ritual.

A well-known example of this is the extensive language that surrounds the giving of flowers. Their significance throughout history transcends the botanical, reaching deeply into the poetic, the emotional, and romantic. We revere flowers for their beauty and a lot can be said by the blooms you give.

1 Qs3Smnvgxjuph8Uqd7 Ykq
1 Ueq6Zulmbshbghj1Rk7Qag


The mimosa first became a symbol of women’s freedom to be gifted on March 8th, 1946: now named International Women’s Day. The gesture was a simple one; Italian women gifted the flower to one another on the day in order to highlight their plight as undervalued and overworked employees.

1 Wlipdkutigbzenfxlto5Cq

Mimosas were gifted to everyone at &Open to celebrate International Women’s Day.



An auspicious name for a flower descended from the German Vergissmeinnicht, the forget-me-not is a flower that wears its heart on its sleeve. The stories behind the name vary (one eludes to the flower forgetting its name while blooming in the Garden of Eden), but the aim of gifting such a flower remains the same — to induce a favourable and long-lasting memory of the sender.

1 N57Mq9Ulp84Jkqjt4Mqhca


Hailing from China and only seasonally abundant, a peony says as much about the sender as it does the recipient, with their different colors indicating the level of affection or message inherent in the gift.

Once synonymous with medicinal properties, nowadays, they’re now associated with wealth, prosperity and love. The pinker the peony, the more romantic the meaning. The paler pinks indicate bashfulness and well-meaning, while the red peonies featured here are a wish for wealth and prosperity.

Next Article

How to start a customer gifting program

It's all in the intricate details.

&Open Sep 26, 2019

Ready to harness the power of gifting?

We build brand love. Our team and technology can increase your business’ customer and employee loyalty, retention and engagement.

Book a demo