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Things to know about sending flowers

Sending flowers to someone in your hometown has always been a snap. You call or visit you favorite florist, pick out something appropriate, slap down your money, and then wait for the "Honey, they're beautiful" call that always comes.

Prior to the proliferation of the Internet, however, sending flowers to someone far away was a pain. You had to find a local Florist Transworld Delivery (FTD) agent, pick from a pre-designed choice of arrangements, pay way too much money and then hope that the florist on the far end of the transaction actually delivered the same arrangement that you had picked out and got over charged for. Now you simply go to Google, type in the name of the city and the word "florist" and you can deal directly with the little shop of horrors, I mean flowers, that's right up the street from your intended recipient. What could be better than that?

What could be better than that? I'll tell you one thing that could be better than that and it's making sure that you sending flowers that match the occasion for which you are sending them. While the average guy thinks that "a rose is a rose", women know better. Here's some flower tips that will keep you out of hot water and ensure that the coveted "honey they're beautiful" call doesn't turn into "you jerk!"

Here's the 411 on Roses:

RED - Love, Respect
WHITE - Innocence, Secrecy
YELLOW - Joy, Friendship - Also Jealousy
CORAL - Desire
LIGHT PINK - Grace, Joy - Also Perfect Happiness
DARK PINK - Thankfulness
LAVENDER - Enchantment
ORANGE - Fascination

Got it? Good because that's just the beginning of cracking the sending flowers code. Here's the complete list of flowers and their inscrutable meanings, according to the venerable 'Florist's Review' industry publication:

Acacia - Friendship
Agapanthus - Love Letters
Allium - Unity, humility, patience
Amaryllis - Pride
Anemone - Forsaken
Aster - Afterthought
Astilbe - I'll still be waiting
Azalea - Love, romance, first love
Bachelor's Button - Felicity, delicacy
Basil - Best wishes
Bells of Ireland - Good luck Bittersweet - Truth Bouvardia - Enthusiasm Caladium - Great joy and delight Calla - Magnificent Beauty Camellia - Perfection Candytuft - Indifference Carnation-

General - Fascination
Pink - I'll never forget you
Purple - Capriciousness
Red - My heart aches for you
Striped - Sorry I can't be with you
White - Innocence
Yellow - Rejection
General - Cheerfulness
Red - I Love
White - Truth
Yellow - Slighted love

Clover - Good luck
Coral Bells - Challenge
Cosmos - Modesty
Crocus - Youthful gladness
Daffodil - You're the only one
Dahlia - Instability
Daisy - Innocence
Dogwood - Love undiminished by adversity
Fern - Fascination, sincerity
Forsythia - Good nature
Freesia - Innocence
Galax - Encouragement
Gardenia - You're lovely
Geranium, Ivy - Bridal favor
Gladiolus - Strength of character

Lavender - Admiration
White - Protection
Holly - Foresight
Hyacinth - Games, sport
Hydrangea - Thank-you for understanding

Iris - Wisdom
Ivy - Fidelity
Jonquil (daffodil) - Sympathy
Kalanchoe - Popularity
Larkspur - Levity
Lavender - Devotion
Lilac - Humility

Day Lily - Coquetry
Orange - Hatred
Tiger - Wealth
White - Virginity
Yellow - I'm walking on air!

Lily of the Valley - Sweetness
Magnolia - Love of nature
Marjoram - Blushes, mirth
Mint - Virtue
Monkshood - Chivalry
Moss - Maternal love
Myrtle - Home
Narcissus - Egotism
Nasturtium - Patriotism
Orange Blossom - Purity
Orchid - Love
Pansy - Thoughts
Parsley - Festivity
Peach Blossom - I am your captive
Peony - Bashfulness
Phlox - Our souls are united
Poppy - Eternal sleep
Queen Anne's Lace - Haven
Quince - Temptation
Ranunculus - You are radiant with charm
Rosemary - Remembrance
Sage - Domestic virtue
Spirea - Victory, conceit
Star of Bethlehem - Purity
Statice - Sympathy, remembrance
Stephanotis - Happiness in marriage
Stock - Lasting beauty
Sunflower - Adoration
Sweet Basil - Good wishes
Sweet Pea - Delicate pleasures
Thyme - Activity

General - Perfect lover
Red - Believe me
Variegated - Beautiful eyes
Yellow - Hopeless love
Violet - Modesty

Water lily - Purity of heart
Weeping Willow - Mourning
Wheat - Friendliness
Yarrow - Healing
Zinnia - Thoughts of absent friends

Ha! And you thought that sending flowers was a snap, eh? Now that you know how easy it is to go from the frying pan into the fire, simply by sending the wrong flower for the wrong occasion, jewelery is starting to look like a pretty good alternative, isn't it. After all, who could take offense to a pair of diamond studs?