London - Giving flowers on Valentine’s Day could be a minefield as each flower has its meaning — though perhaps not the one you intended.
Yellow roses signify a lessening of love, pink larkspur means "fickleness", lavender is associated with distrust and marigolds spell despair or jealousy.
The secret language of flowers dates from Victorian times, when men and women would have used it to convey sentiments that they felt too inhibited to express in words.
Now, English Heritage wants to revive the tradition for Valentine’s Day — but warns that you could risk offending your beloved if you send the wrong blooms.
While people have always associated red roses with love and romance, a gift of striped carnations could spell heartbreak as it means "refusal" in the secret code, says English Heritage.
Using the language of flowers, a person who really wants to signal love could go for orchids, which mean beauty, white camellias, which represent "perfect beauty", or pansies, which say "you occupy my thoughts".
After an argument, the ‘reconciliation’ message of hazel could be appropriate. Hydrangeas signified "frigidity", buttercups meant riches and daisies are for innocence. Chrysanthemums mean friendship — but a single spider chrysanth says: "Can we elope now?"
Christopher Weddell, senior gardens adviser at English Heritage, said: "Today, the deeper and more complex language of flowers is all but lost. We want to help keep this tradition alive."