Wildflowers – folklore, literature, language

In Uncategorised by Kateinnes_123.@hW

Here is the support material and the resources for my video about Wildflowers in Shropshire Folklore on the #Folk

Community Group’s Facebook page and Youtube channel.

Available from 12 June, 2020 at 2:00pm BST.

Writing Exercise:

Make a virtual floral bouquet for a person you haven’t been able to see during the lockdown using Floriography. The meaning of the flowers will express how you feel about that person, your situation, their absence . . . You can write this just in the flower names arranged in a certain order – or turn it into a poem or a flash fiction piece of fewer than 200 words. 

Please share your work on the #Folk facebook page – if you would like to!


  • White rose: purity, innocence, reverence, a new beginning, a fresh start.
  • Red rose: love, I love you
  • Deep, dark crimson rose: mourning
  • Pink rose: grace, happiness, gentleness
  • Yellow rose: jealousy, infidelity
  • Orange rose: desire and enthusiasm
  • Lavender rose: love at first sight
  • Coral rose: friendship, modesty, sympathy

 In a sort of silent dialogue, flowers could be used to answer “yes” or “no” questions. A “yes” answer came in the form of flowers handed over with the right hand; if the left hand was used, the answer was “no.”

Symbolic Meanings of Herbs, Flowers and Other Plants
AcanthusThe fine art, artifice
AloeAffection, also grief
AnemoneForsaken, sickness
Apple blossomPreference
ArborvitaeUnchanging friendship
AsterSymbol of Love, Daintiness
Bachelor’s buttonSingle blessedness
Sweet BasilGood wishes
Bay treeGlory
BegoniaBeware, dark thoughts
Black-eyed SusanJustice
BluebellHumility, constancy
BorageBluntness, directness
Butterfly weedLet me go
Camellia, pinkLonging For You
Camellia, redYou’re a Flame in My Heart
Camellia, whiteYou’re Adroable
CarnationWomen, Love
– Red carnationAlas for my poor heart, my heart aches
– White carnationInnocence, pure love, women’s good luck gift
– Pink carnationI’ll never forget you
– StripedRefusal
– Yellow carnationDisdain, disappointment, rejection
ChamomilePatience in adversity
Chrysanthemum, redI love you
Chrysanthemum, yellowSlighted love
Chrysanthemum, whiteTruth
ClematisMental beauty
Clematis, evergreenPoverty
Clover, whiteThink of me
ColumbineFoolishness, folly
Columbine, purpleResolution
Columbine, redAnxious, trembling
CoreopsisAlways cheerful
CorianderHidden worth/merit
Crab blossomIll nature
Crocus, springYouthful gladness
CyclamenResignation, diffidence
DaffodilRegard, Unequalled Love
Dahlia, singleGood taste
DaisyInnocence, hope
DillPowerful against evil
EdelweissCourage, devotion
FernSincerity, humility; also, magic and bonds of love
Forget-me-notTrue love memories, do not forget me
GardeniaSecret love
Geranium, oak-leavedTrue friendship
GoldenrodEncouragement, good fortune
HeliotropeEternal love, devotion
HibiscusDelicate beauty
HoneysuckleBonds of love
HyacinthSport, game, play
– Blue HyacinthConstancy
– Purple HyacinthSorrow
– Yellow HyacinthJealousy
– White HyacinthLoveliness, prayers for someone
HydrangeaGratitude for being understood; frigidity and heartlessness
HyssopSacrifice, cleanliness
IrisA message
IvyFriendship, fidelity, marriage
Jasmine, whiteSweet love, amiability
Jasmine, yellowGrace and elegance
Lady’s SlipperCapricious beauty
LarkspurLightness, levity
Lemon balmSympathy
LilacJoy of youth
Lily, callaBeauty
Lily, dayChinese emblem for mother
Lily-of-the-valleySweetness, purity, pure love
Lotus FlowerPurity, enlightenment, self-regeneration, and rebirth
MagnoliaLove of nature
Marigold Despair, grief, jealousy
MarjoramJoy and happiness
Morning gloryAffection
MyrtleGood luck and love in a marriage
PeonyBashful, happy life
Poppy, redConsolation
RhododendronDanger, beware
Rose, redLove, I love you.
Rose, dark crimsonMourning
Rose, pinkHappiness
Rose, whiteI’m worthy of you
Rose, yellowJealousy, decrease of love, infidelity
RueGrace, clear vision
SageWisdom, immortality
Salvia, blueI think of you
Salvia, redForever mine
SavorySpice, interest
SnapdragonDeception, graciousness
SouthernwoodConstancy, jest
SpearmintWarmth of sentiment
SpeedwellFeminine fidelity
Sunflower, tallHaughtiness
Sweet peaDelicate pleasures
Sweet WilliamGallantry
Sweet woodruffHumility
TansyHostile thoughts, declaring war
TarragonLasting interest
ThymeCourage, strength
Tulip, redPassion, declaration of love
Tulip, yellowSunshine in your smile
VioletLoyalty, devotion, faithfulness, modesty
WallflowerFaithfulness in adversity
YarrowEverlasting love
ZinniaThoughts of absent friends
Dog Rose

Extracts from the work of Shropshire writer – Mary Webb (1881-1927) – focussing on wildflowers:

“Flowers like the oxlip, with transparently thin petals, only faintly washed with colour, yet have a distinct and pervasive scent. Daisies are redolent of babyhood and whiteness. Wood anemones, lady’s smock, bird’s-foot trefoil and other frail flowers will permeate a room with their fresh breath. In some deep lane one is suddenly pierced to the heart by the sweetness of woodruff, inhabitant of hidden places, shining like a little lamp on a table of green leaves. It is like heliotrope and new-mown hay with something wholly individual as well. To stand still, letting cheek and heart be gently buffeted by the purity, is to be shriven.”

“Mauve has a delicate artificiality, something neither of earth nor heaven. It is like the temperament which can express in sheer artistic pleasure heights and depths which it can never touch. Whether it is sultry, as in lilac, or cool, as in lady’s smocks, this mingling of fierce red and saintly blue has an elfin quality. Hence comes the eeriness of a field of autumn crocuses at twilight, when every folded flower is growing invisible, and doubtless there is a fairy curled up in each. Children look for the Little People in mauve flowers – Canterbury bells and hyacinths – and, though they never find them, they know them there. Mauve enchants the mind, lures it to open its amethyst door, and behold! nothing but emptiness and eldritch moonshine.” 

Quotes from “The Spring of Joy – a little book of Healing” by Mary Webb

“And I thought, as I looked round the diary that it was as good a place as anybody could wish for asking to wed. The sun shone, slanting in, though it was off the dairy most of the day. The damp red quarries and the big brown steans made a deal of colour in the place and the yellow cream and butter and the piles of cheeses were as bright as buttercups and primmyroses. Jancis matched well with them, with her pretty yellow hair and her face all flushed at the sight of Gideon. She was like a rose in her pink gown. Outside the window, in the pink budded may tree, a thrush was singing.” 

From “Precious Bane” by Mary Webb

“The sky blossomed in parterres of roses, frailer and brighter than the rose of the briar, and melted beneath them into lagoons greener and paler than the veins of a young beech leaf. The fairy hedges were so high, so flushed with beauty, the green airy waters ran so far back into mystery, that it seemed as if at any moment God might walk there as in a garden, delicate as a moth. Down by the stream Hazel found tall water plantains, triune of cup, standing above the ooze like candelabras, and small rough-leaved forget me nots eyeing their liquid reflections with complaisance.”

from “Gone to Earth”  by Mary Webb

Thanks to the players of the #NationalLottery for making this possible through Arts For All funding