The Complete Language of Flowers

A Definitive and Illustrated History - Pocket Edition

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Pub Date 12 Apr 2022 | Archive Date 19 Apr 2022

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The Complete Language of Flowers is a comprehensive encyclopedia providing the meanings, powers, facts, and folklore for over 1,001 flower species. Now in a pocket-size edition for easy, on-the-go reference.

Along with a beautiful visual depiction, each entry provides the flower’s scientific and common names, characteristics, and historic meanings and powers from mythology, medieval legends, folklore, and flower poetry.

For centuries, symbolic flower meanings have fascinated readers, writers, poets, and suddenly smitten couples alike. Extremely popular during the Victorian era, these floriographies flourished and versed the public on the hidden meaning of popular flowers such as:
  • Purple Tulip—Eternal love
  • Amaryllis—Adventurousness; Enthusiasm; Passion
  • Daisy—Beauty and innocence; Cheer; Childlike playfulness
  • Sunflower—Ambition; Constancy; Devotion
Together with stunning full-color illustrations and two indexes, one for searching by common flower name and the other organized by meaning, this beautiful reference is a must-have for gardeners, florists, and flower enthusiasts. Whether you’re looking to arrange the perfectly bespoken wedding bouquet or to understand what the yellow rose you just received from an admirer means (friendship), this updated floriography is a visual delight.
The Complete Language of Flowers is a comprehensive encyclopedia providing the meanings, powers, facts, and folklore for over 1,001 flower species. Now in a pocket-size edition for easy, on-the-go...

Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781577152835
PRICE $16.99 (USD)

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (PDF)

Average rating from 37 members

Featured Reviews

I have always loved the idea of flower language and truly enjoyed learning more about it with this book. The illustrations are gorgeous and detailed and the explanations were short and to the point. I also liked that the plants colloquial names were also listed and that the poisonous/toxic plants were clearly labled. I wish there had been a bit more detail in the folklore and meaning of each plant, but otherwise this is a really great reference guide!

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Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing an eARC of this title in exchange for my honest review.

This book was exactly what I was hoping for. As a child, I was obsessed with Victorian flower meanings and hidden symbolism like that, so when I saw this to request, I practically levitated with excitement. I really enjoyed the “folklore” section.

At first, I thought that the fact they are listed as their scientific names was going to be annoying and frustrating to locate the flowers I was especially interested in learning about, but the “How to use this book” guide explained the reasoning well, and once I got started, I couldn’t put it down. I could literally sit and read this book for hours and never get bored.

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What a fantastic book to peruse at leisure, lovely illustrations, and reading the accompanying “Symbolic Meanings”, “Possible Powers”, and “Folklore and Facts” was such a pleasure.

I love learning as much about what interests me historically as I can, and I’m also a fan of herbs, and gardening. This book just really aligned with my interests and I had such a great time reading this.


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Beautiful, easily identifiable illustrations. Absolutely chockfull of all sorts of plant-related information, and includes more plants than I have ever seen in my life.

I really enjoyed how plant folklore is perfectly blended with facts and the Victorian Language of Flowers.

If you’re going to make this dictionary really work for you, a google search for the scientific name of your favourite flower is going to be required.
There are simply so many common names for any given plant, it must be organized by scientific name.

Reading about the old uses, both practical and fanciful, of plants fosters a connectedness with the world around you, and on your next trek through nature, perhaps you may identify some of these blooms.

I would have liked to see sections about plant toxicity, and maybe even a section about what is safe to grow around household pets.

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I loved this book, over 238 pages each with at least 5 different flowers or plants, and their particular features. I really enjoyed the folklore section on each one. I would definitely purchase this book to be read again and again.

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The Complete Language of flowers is a “pocket” size book that has shows an illustrated history of the flowers.
To be clear it’s numbered by the original name, which I certainly don’t know and under that it has “other names of the flower”. Which are sometimes many.
Then the symbolic meaning, followed by the folklore and facts. And of course a beautiful illustration of the actual flowers.
Having said all that I find that this would be a great gift to a friend who already knows all about flowers. It would be lost and maybe unappreciated to anyone else.
It’s a beautiful book and I would only recommend it to the backyard botanist.
Thanks Quarto Publishing group and Wellfleet Press via NetGalley.

I will be posting this on Goodreads, Facebook, Instagram, Barnes & Noble, BookBub and of course Amazon.

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I read this ARC for an honest review
All thoughts and opinions are mine

I want to say how great this book is and it is
The illustrations are gorgeous and handily everything is in alphabetical order
The perfect way to dip in and out of this book

I would have given it 5 stars - I think its that good a source of information. I have dropped 1 star due to the reading format of the book. I was not able to load to my kindle which would have enhanced the reading of the book given it being a bigger screen. I had to read it on the netgalley shelf on my phone which at a push is ok if I am on a train etc wanting to do a bit of reading. Otherwise it is very distracting so I don't think I got the best reading experience

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This is a must-have resource! This is one I'll return to again and again. Many thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the advanced copy of the book.

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Interesting look at flowers and there meaning. I’ve always wondered what flowers meant what but this book names many types of herbs as well and even delves into folklore or history. Reprinted edition but definitely interesting enough to actually buy a copy. Only thing I disliked was that it was listed by Latin name and not entirely helpful if all you know is a reference name. Glossary holds regular names and meaning if you prefer. Five stars!

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This was definitely the very first time I was so taken by an ARC that I immediately pre-ordered the hardcover version from Amazon. I remember absolutely loving Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s novel “The Language of Flowers” back in 2011 and so much desiring an expanded version of the stories of flowers. Ms. Dietz’s book is so beautifully illustrated and incredibly comprehensive, with more than just the floral symbolism but also including folklore and so many more common names that I realized possible. Plus, a list of potential “powers”: I’m a gardener, not an herbalist, but I’ll be prepared if ever I want to whip up a personal love potion or healing elixir from my garden beds. I cannot imagine the amount of work and research that went into this book (and I suspect the author is still collecting more flowers for a future edition). Bravo! Five stars! I’ll treasure my hardcover when it arrives in April.

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This is a beautiful illustrated dictionary of sorts for flowers. I really enjoyed learning new things about different species of flowers. I can't wait to add this to my collection.

Thanks NetGalley for this ARC!

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The Complete Language of Flowers-Pocket Edition is an encyclopedic manual of the traditional meaning for flowers and bouquet building in the traditional manner of the Victorians. Originally published in 2020, this smaller format reprint is due out 12th April 2022 from Quarto on their Wellfleet imprint. It's 256 pages and will be available in hardcover format.

The book has a retro botanical print vibe and the introduction leads directly into a very short 'how to use this book'. The bulk of the book contains an alphabetical listing of the flowers and plants. Each listing contains a color illustration followed by some of the common names for each plant listed, symbolic meaning(s), possible powers, and folklore and facts. The listings are compact, there are 4-6 listings per page. The book includes a nice bibliography and two indices. One index includes the flowers listed with common names alphabetically, the other includes meanings, so if the reader wants to let the recipient down gently by declaring their platonic affection, it's easily looked up in the second index (Acacia, robinia, Austrian roses).

This is an appealing and very pretty book for a somewhat niche audience.

Four stars.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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What a beautiful book! Starting with the illustrations that just capture the flowers in such a beautiful, but also simple way and then giving the symbolic meaning, powers, folklore and facts, it was a fun book to dip into and out of to just enjoy the facts behind flowers.

Before I dove into the full book, I looked up my favorite - the sunflower and the tulips and it was so fun to read the meanings behind the ones I hold close to my heart and in my garden!

This will be a fun gift for my friends who also care most about flowers.

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I found this book really interesting even though I’m not much of a gardener and it could be said that I have a black thumb as opposed to a green finger. This is because I love flowers and really enjoy looking at a pretty garden. But what made me enjoy it even more was the meanings and possible powers given for each one. What a fabulous idea. That, along with beautiful illustrations make this a wonderful book to browse through, and if you wanted your garden to be more than just pretty, this book tells you what the info you could use to have a garden with specific meaning or plants of particular powers.
My thanks to NetGalley , the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this book in return for an honest review.

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Thank you to Netgalley and to Quarto Publishing Group – Wellfleet Press for providing me with an Earc in return for an honest review,

I adore this book. The illustrations are beautiful, the symbols/folklore/possible powers/alternative names are very interesting and are formatted in a way that it is quick to reference. This book is a remarkable reference, a nice coffee table book and overall, just a nice book to read.

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This book is truly beautiful. From the gorgeous illustrations, to the meanings and folklore behind the flowers it is a lovely book to spend time learning about all the different varieties of flower.
I liked the sheer volume of plants and flowers that are included in the book. There are many I hadn't heard of which is rare, as usually just the common varieties are included.
A beautiful book to enjoy and a useful tool in planning your garden.

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Beautiful illustrations. I've been looking for a book that would help me learn more about the language of flowers and this book definitely helps. One thing that I wish is that the flower images and sections were just a bit bigger. However, I will say I was impressed with the amount of information gathered for each section. Its a great book to have and I will be adding it to my collection.

Thank you netgalley for lending me a copy !

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Thank you, NetGalley and Quarto Publishing Group for the chance to read The Complete Language of Flowers by Theresa Dietz.

I love the idea behind this book; to have an encyclopedia of sorts of the different meanings behind flowers. I love the folklore and facts included, and the illustrations (although I hope they're better quality for the book when it's available to be purchased).

This doesn't feel like the kind of book that should be read as an ebook though. It's the sort of book you give or receive as a present and then open from time to time to look up the meaning of a flower. The indices are also very useful! I know a person I'd want to give this as a present to (and myself, I deserve presents).

This is good for a hopeless romantic or just someone who loves flowers and wants to know a few more things about their symbolic meanings.

I'm not finishing up this book to review, but I will be purchasing my own when this is available!

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This guide is an extraordinary resource for flower lovers. It includes detailed information about a multitude of flowers, including how to use them to send complex messages to people. This is a great book if you want to learn more about the language of flowers or flowers in general.

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Note: The pocket version of this book and the original are shelved as the same book. Obviously, the pocket version is much smaller with tiny photos. My review below is of the original that was released in 2020 (I've read both) but they are inherently the same other than size.

This is a beautifully illustrated book that's a joy to flip through. The whimsical art is the star here, though there are other lovely elements.

What this book is: An alphabetical listing (by latin name) of over a thousand flower species, with small color illustrations of each one and information such as whether it's poisonous (simply shown by a skull and crossbones by the name), other names it's known by, symbolic meanings throughout history, brief folklore and facts, and "possible powers" (such as death, healing, magic, sending away thieves, killing serpents, protection against witches and more for black elderberries).

What this book is not: This is not a gardening book (no growing zones, information about annual or perennial, size, etc. is given) or an herbal book (no information on how to use elder or echinacea, for instance). It also doesn't give uses for flowers in terms of edibility, teas, etc.

I found the illustrations delightful and really enjoyed looking through it. I appreciated that it's arranged by Latin name, since names for flowers vary so greatly by region and it's good for gardeners, herbalists and foragers to know plants by their Latin names. The facts and folklore were fun, but not in depth. I would have loved simple information like an icon showing garden suitability, size of plant, season of bloom, etc. but this is not that type of book. Still, it's a lovely one.

I read a temporary digital ARC of this book for the purpose of review.

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The Complete Language of Flowers: A Definitive and Illustrated History is a giant floriography (I just love that word!) of flowers, herbs, and other plants. The sketches are beautiful and remind me of Victorian botanical illustrations. The printed version would make a whimsical coffee table book for fans of cottagecore.

Browsing through this during Spring was perfect. I made a point to look up the meaning and folklore behind daffodils, tulips, and bluebells because they are all currently blooming in my yard. It was kind of difficult to find a few flowers because they’re organized alphabetically by Latin name, but there is an index in the back to help readers find the Latin name based on the common one.

This book was clearly a labor of love and I was not surprised to read in the acknowledgements that it took S. Theresa Dietz over 20 years to compile all the information. It’s a fun dictionary with interesting facts and I’ll be sure to reference it as more plants bloom in my yard in the coming months.

Thank you to Quarto Publishing Group - Wellfleet Press and NetGalley for the ARC.

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This book provides a comprehensive dictionary of flowers (as well as some other plants) and their symbolism and historical uses. The best way to utilize this book is a reference guide, finding specific flowers that you're interested in learning about when you are interested.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and seeing these mini snapshots of history of each of the flowers described. It was interesting to get these bits and pieces and see how different cultures used these plants in the past. I wish we could have had guides for suggested bouquets based on different types of messages you might want to send, but I understand that this would be a lot to add to an already-sizeable guide.

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The Complete Language of Flowers is a comprehensive encyclopedia providing the meanings, powers, facts, and folklore for over 1,001 flower species. Bringing the age-old art of flower symbolism to modern audiences, this volume is essential for readers, gardeners, and romantics alike.

The language of flowers (floriography) is a means of communicating through the arrangement of flowers and has been practiced for thousands of years in traditional cultures. Flowers have long been used as symbols in art and literature, with examples dating as far back as the Bible and classical works of Shakespeare.

Historically, flowers have been used to romantically capture the archetypal ideas of beauty. Flowers laden with symbolism predominate much of the work of artists and writers, who are admired for their idealistic representation of women and emphasis on nature and morality. In seventeenth century Europe flower gardens were cultivated in wealthy homes as a sign of prosperity and affluence; arrangements of specific blooms would have been given as gifts to express emotions that were not appropriate to be spoken aloud in Victorian society or used to decorate the interior of a home.

Each entry provides the a beautiful illustration of each flower, along with the scientific and common names, characteristics, as well as historic meanings from mythology, medieval legends, folklore, and flower poetry.

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