Victorian Tussie Mussie: Glossary of Herbal Sentiments


| April/May 1996


Imagine a silent language made up completely of herbs and flowers that can symbolize any situation or emotion. Here is a glossary of more than 70 garden herbs and their meanings compiled from dozens of nineteenth-century language-of-flowers books from several horticultural libraries as well as from my own library. A glossary of nearly 500 flowers and plants and their meanings appears in my book Tussie-Mussies: The Victorian Art of Expressing Yourself in the Language of Flowers (New York: Workman, 1993).

• Allium: unity, humility, patience

• Angelica: inspiration

• Artemisia: power, dignity, silver moonlight, sentimental recollections, unceasing remembrance



• Basil: love, betrothal, best wishes, ­hatred

• Bay Laurel: success, personal accomplishment, glory, achievement in the arts, reward of merit







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