At the Arboretum: Language of Flowers Exhibit & Cuisine d’amour

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More than 100 unique fresh-cut flowers and flowering plants will fill the Lecture room in the historic Smith building at Boyce Thompson Arboretum with fragrance and color starting Wednesday, Feb. 13, for a Valentine’s week exhibit that continues daily and through Feb. 17.

Flowers and plants are labeled with signs describing the meaning historically associated with each flower. Send your sweetheart a gardenia, for example, and it means “I love you in secret.” A white rose means “I am worthy of you.” A red rose symbolizes love, passion, and desire.  Choose a yellow rose, and the symbolism swings the other way towards jealousy, infidelity, and bad luck. This silent language originates in ancient Persian times and has made it possible for lovers to exchange subtle messages, armed only with the right flower to convey their sentiments.

The unspoken language of flowers has evolved over time, due to the influence of different cultures and floral regions, each culture adding their own unique lore and meaning. Common flowers that are shared by multiple cultures across broad geographic regions can oftentimes have multiple – even opposite – meanings, sometimes leading to unpredictable outcomes with budding inter-cultural relationships.

The unique exhibit is included with Arboretum daily admission of $9; read more about BTA events at ag.arizona.edu/bta, or connect with more than 3,600 fans at facebook.com/boycethompsonarboretum.

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