The Meaning of Herbs & Spices

Acacia – Chaste Love
Acacia (pink) – Elegance
Acacia (rose) – Friendship, platonic love
Acacia (yellow) – secret love
Acanthus – Artifice, the fine arts
Aloe – Religious superstition
Allspice – Compassion
Almond (flowering) – Hope
Almond tree – Indescretion
Alyssum (sweet) – Worth beyond beauty
Amaranth – Immortality
Amaranth (globe) – Unfading love
Amaryllis – Pride, splendid beauty, timidity
Ambrosia – Love returned
Amethyst – Admiration
Anemone – Expectation, sickness
Anemone (garden) – Forsaken
Angelica – Inspiration
Apple – Temptation
Apple blossom – preference
Ash tree – Grandeur
Ash (mountain) – Prudence
Aspen tree – Lamentation
Aster – Variety
Auricula – Importune me not
Auricula (scarlet) – Avarice

Return to top


Balm – Sympathy
Balm of Gilead – Cure
Balsam – Ardent love
Balsam (red) – Impatient yet resolved to win your love
Balsam (yellow) – Impatience
Barberry – Sharpness
Basil (common) – Hatred
Basil (sweet) - Good wishes; love; serious intentions
Bay leaf – Consistency, I change but in death
Bay tree – Glory
Bay wreath – Reward of merit
Bee Balm (Monarda, Bergamot) – Compassion, sweet virtuesBeech tree – Prosperity
Belladonna – Silence
Bergamot (Monarda, Bee Balm) – Compassion, sweet virtues
Betony – Surprise, healing
Bindweed (Great) – Insinuation
Bindweed (Small) – Humility
Birch Tree – Gracefulness, meekness
Bittersweet – Truth
Borage – Bluntness
Box Tree – Stoicism
Bramble – Envy, lowliness, remorse
Broom – Humility, neatness

Return to top

Cabbage – Gain
Calendula – Sacred affections; joy; remembrance; grief
Campanula – Gratitude
Canary grass – Perseverence
Caraway – Betrayal
Cedar – Strength
Cedar leaf – I live for thee
Cedar of Lebanon – Incorruptible
Celadine – Joys to come
Chamomile- Energy in adversity; initiative
Cherry (white) – Deception
Chervil (garden) – Sincerity
Chestnut tree (sweet) – Do me justice
Chickweed – Rendezvous
Chives – Usefulness
Cilantro (Coriander) – Concealed merit, hidden worth
Cinquefoil – Maternal affection
Cloves – Dignity
Cockscomb – Singularity
Coltsfoot – Justice shall be done to you
Convolvulus – Uncertainty; bonds
Convolvulus (Major) – Extinguished hopes
Convolvulus (Minor) – Night
Coriander (Cilantro) – Concealed merit, hidden worth
Cowslip – Pensiveness, happiness
Cranberry – Cure for headache
Crane’s Bill – envy
Cress - Power
Currant – They frown will kill me
Currants (branch of) – You please all
Cyclamen – Diffidence
Cypress – Death, despair, melancholy, mourning

Return to top


Dill – Good spirits
Dittany (white) – Passion
Dock – Patience
Dogsbane – Deceit

Return to top

Eglantine – Poetry
Elder – Zealousness
Eupatorium – Delay
Everlasting pea – Appointed meeting

Return to top

Fennel – Strength, force
Fig – Argument, longevity
Filbert – Reconciliation
Fir (Scotch) – Elevation
Flax – Fate, I feel your kindness
Fleur-de-Lis – Flame
Fleur-de-Luce – Fire
Flytrap – Deceit
Foxglove – Insincerity; a wish
French honeysuckle – Rustic beauty

Return to top

Garden sage – Esteem
Gentian – You are unjust
Gillyflower – Lasting and/or unfading beauty; bonds of affection
Gloxinia – A proud spirit
Gooseberry – Anticipation
Gorse – Enduring affection
Gourd – Extent

Return to top

Harebell – Grief
Hawthorne – Hope
Hazel – Reconciliation
Helenium – Tears
Heliotrope – Devotion; faithfulness
Hemlock – You will be my death
Hemp – Fate
Hibiscus – Delicate beauty
Honesty – Fascination; honesty
Hop – Injustice
Hornbeam tree – Ornament
Hyssop – Cleanliness

Return to top

Iceland Moss – Health
Ice Plant – Your looks will freeze me
Imperial (crown) – Majesty
Ivy – Fidelity; assiduous to please; marriage

Return to top

Jacob’s ladder – Come down
Jonquil – Desiring a return of affection
Judas tree – Unbelief

Return to top

At this moment, there are no “K” herbs or spices

Return to top

Laburnum – Pensive beauty; forsaken
Lantana – Rigor
Laurel – Glory
Laurel (mountain) – Ambition
Laurestina – Distrust
Lavender - Distrust; sweets to the sweet
Lavender (sea) - Dauntlessness
Lemon – Zest
Lemon blossom – Discretion, fidelity in love
Lichen – Dejection
Lime – Conjugal love
Liquorice – I declare against you
Lobelia – Malevolence
Lucerne – Life
Lupine – Voraciousness, imagination

Return to top

Maidenhair – Discretion
Maple – Reserve
Marigold – Despair, grief; honesty
Marjoram – Blushing
Meadowsweet – Uselessness
Mercury – Goodness
Mignonette – You qualities surpass your charms
Mint – Virtue; wisdom
Mistletoe – I surmount difficulties
Mock Orange – Counterfeit
Monarda (Bergamot, Bee Balm) – Compassion, sweet virtues

Moss – Maternal love
Mossy saxifrage – Affection
Motherwort – Concealed love
Mugwort – Happiness
Mulberry (black) – I will not survive you
Mulberry (white) – Wisdom
Mushroom – Suspicion
Mustard Seed – Indifference
Myrrh – Gladness
Myrtle – Love

Return to top

Nasturtium – Patriotism, optimism, splendour
Nettle (stinging) – Slander
Nightshade – Witchcraft
Nightshade (woody) – Truth
Nutmeg – Expected meeting

Return to top

Oak Leaves – Bravery
Oak tree – Hospitality
Oak tree (white) – Independence
Oats – Music
Oleander – Beware
Olive Branch – Peace
Orange tree – Generosity
Ox eye – Patience

Return to top

Palm – Victory
Parsley – Festivity; feasting; useful knowledge
Parsley (fool’s) – Silliness
Passionflower – Belief; religious superstition; susceptibility
Pea (everlasting) – Lasting pleasure; an appointed meeting
Pea (sweet) – Lasting pleasure; departure
Peach – Your qualities, like your charms, are unequaled
Peach blossom – I am your captive
Pear blossom – I am your captive
Pear (prickly) – Satire
Pennyroyal – Flee away
Peppermint – Warmth of feeling; cordiality
Periwinkle (blue) – Early friendship
Periwinkle (white) – Pleasant recollections
Persicaria – Restoration
Pimpernel – Assignation; change
Pine – Pity
Pine (spruce) – Hope in adversity
Pineapple – Welcome
Pink – Boldness
Pink (Carnation) – Woman’s love
Pink (double red) – Pure and ardent love
Pink (Indian double) – Always lovely
Pink (Indian single) – Aversion
Pink (single red)- Pure love
Pink (variegated) – Refusal
Pink (white) – Talent
Plane tree – Genius
Plum tree – Keep your promises
Plum tree (wild) – Independence
Polyanthus – Pride of riches
Polyanthus (crimson) – The heart’s mystery
Pomegranate – Foolishness
Pomegranate flower – Mature elegance
Poplar (white) – time
Primula – Diffidence

Return to top

Quince – Temptation

Return to top

Ranunculus – You are radiant with charms
Ranunculus (wild) – Ingratitude
Raspberry – Remorse
Reeds – Music
Rhododendron – Danger
Rhubarb – Advice
Robin (ragged) – Wit
Rocket – Rivalry
Rosemary – Remembrance; Your presence revives me
Roses (Garland of) – Reward of virtue
Rue – Disdain

Return to top

Sage – Domestic virtue; wisdom
Sage (Garden) – Esteem
Saffron – Beware of excess; Do not abuse our relationship
Saffron (Meadow) – My best days are past
Savory – Boldness
Scabious – Unfortunate love
Scabious (sweet) – Widowhood
Scilla (Blue) – Forgive and forget
Sorrel – Affection; parental affection
Sorrel (wood) – Joy; maternal tenderness
Southernwood – Bantering; jest
Spearmint – Warmth of sentiment
Speedwell – Female fidelity
Spiked Willow Herb – Pretension
Spiderwort – Esteem (without love)
Starwort (American) – Cheerfulness in old age
Stephanotis – You can boast too much
Stock – Lasting beauty
Stock (Ten-week) – Promptness
Straw – Agreement
Straw (broken) – Rupture of a contract
Strawberry – Perfect elegance
Strawberry tree – Esteem (with love)
Swallow-Wort – Cure for headache
Sweet Basil – Good wishes
Sweetbrier (American) – Simplicity
Sweetbrier (yellow) – Decrease of love
Sweet Flag – Fitness
Sycamore – Curiosity
Syringa – Memory
Syringa (Carolina) – Disappointment

Return to top

Tamarisk – Crime
Taragon – Unselfishness
Tendrils of Climbing Plants – Ties
Thistle (Scotch) – Retaliation
Thorn Apple – Deceitful Charms
Thorns (branch of) – Severity
Thrift – Sympathy
Thyme – Activity; thriftiness; energy
Toothwort – Secret love
Traveler’s Joy – Safety
Tree of Love – Old age
Trefoil (Birdsfoot) – Revenge
Trillium Pictum – Modest beauty
Truffle – Surprise
Turnip – Charity

Return to top

At this time, there are no “U” herbs or spices

Return to top

Verbena (White) – Pure; guileless; you have my confidence
Veronica – Fidelity
Vetch – Shyness
Virgin’s Bower – Filial love

Return to top

Wallflower – Fidelity in adversity
Wheat – Prosperity
Willow (Creeping) – Forsaken love
Willow (Water) – Freedom
Willow (Weeping) – Mourning
Wormwood – Absence

Return to top

At this time, there are no “X” herbs or spices

Return to top

Yew – Sadness

Return to top

At this time, there are no “Z” herbs or spices

Return to top