“Floriography”: the language of flowers
Thousands of years of folklore, mythology & religious tradition have contributed to the meanings we ascribe to flowers today. Floriography peaked in popularity during the Victorian era when, armed with floral dictionaries, gentlemen would send cryptic messages to ladies with specific nosegays or tussie mussies called “talking bouquets”.
Still today we have a tradition of birth month flowers, the meanings of which are rooted in floriography. Similar to zodiac signs or birthstones, it is believed you inherit the characteristics of the flower assigned to your birth month.
Paperwhites are December’s flower, their white blooms the most fragrant of the Narcissus family (incl. daffodils & jonquils). Native to Mediterranean regions, it’s no wonder they became part of Greek mythology through the story of Narcissus: a parable that teaches transformation through lessons learned. A thousand years ago the Chinese started forcing the bulbs to bloom indoors during winter months & that method is still the most widely used with this flower today. Because Paperwhites are enjoyed during barren months, they’ve become symbols of hope; reminders of the imminent advent of light & life.