In Victorian times, certain flowers had symbolic meaning because flower selection was often limited. People also tended to use symbolic gestures to communicate more often than words. But today, because we have such a wide variety of choices when it comes to flowers, there are very few rules: it’s the sentiment behind flowers that give the gift its meaning.

For those interested in the historic meaning behind flowers, the Society of American Florists has compiled this list:

Alstroemeria

Amaryllis

Apple Blossom

Aster

Azalea

Baby’s Breath

Begonia

Black-Eyed Susan

Camellia

Chrysanthemum

Daffodil

Delphinium

Forget-Me-Not

Gardenia

Geranium

Hibiscus

Hyacinth

Hydrangea

Iris

Ivy

Lilac

Magnolia

Marigold

Pansy

Peony

Snapdragon

Sunflower

Violet

aspirational

drama

promise

contentment

abundance

festivity

deep thoughts

encouragement

graciousness

excitement or truth

chivalry

boldness

remember me forever

joy

comfort

delicate beauty

sincerity

perseverance

inspiration

fidelity

first love

dignity

desire for riches

loving thoughts

healing

presumptuousness

adoration

faithfulness