General Question

ScottyMcGeester's avatar

Significance of offering yellow roses and lilies to a woman during medieval times?

Asked by ScottyMcGeester (1897points) July 24th, 2016

Goddamnit I read this somewhere and forgot to bookmark it. Been trying to Google it like crazy with no results.

I read that during medieval times knights would offer yellow roses and lilies to the one they wanted to marry. The legend went that whichever flower the woman picked first would predict the gender of their child. But I can’t fucking remember which flower was for which gender.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

7 Answers

Seek's avatar

That’s not a superstition I’m familiar with, but it has the distinct ring of Victorian-era medieval fantasy rather than historical Medieval practice.

Not that there weren’t ways to “influence” the sex of your offspring, if you’re a Medieval woman. One of the more common was to hang a bag of herbs and animal bones around one’s neck. If you’re a Medieval man, you might turn your head toward the sun while thinking strong, virile thoughts at the moment of climax to plant a son.

Jeruba's avatar

I have a dim recollection that at some period of chivalric or romantic tradition, sending a bouquet of yellow roses meant you were breaking up with someone.

Lilies…I don’t know, but back then, if someone had sent me lilies, I might think they were looking forward to my funeral.

msh's avatar

I’ve read similar ideas to what you spoke of. There are so many variations. One suggestion- the book entitled: The Secret Life of Flowers. It is known on booksellers offerings and libraries. That would be my first stop on your quest. This might help with bibliographical info-
A lot of eras were ‘big’ on this subject. Eleanor of Aquitaine and her varied influence would be my first guess. Try ‘Courtly Love’ as a subject. Medieval superstitions and beliefs as another.
Good luck!

janbb's avatar

Well, courtly love and chivalry had nothing to do with having sex or children with the object of your adoration so it sounds like something got lost in translation there.

Strauss's avatar

I would tend to agree w @Seek that it’s more the stuff of Victorian fantasies. According to this article from Pro-Flowers, yellow roses were not cultivated until after their discovery in the 18th century.

filmfann's avatar

Yellow roses mean “remember”.
I wonder if Spock ever sent some to McCoy…

Strauss's avatar

Texas lore has both a yellow rose(song) and a Jersey Lily

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther