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Floriography in El Paso: the language and meaning of flowers

Jasmin Campoya
All floral arrangements at Xochitl Flowers and Gifts are arranged and taken care of to prepare for special Holidays

Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching, and the gift of a flower has become more significant. Flowers have different meanings and languages can be expressed either through roses, lilies or daisies. On Valentine’s Day, couples usually give their significant other flowers and Xochitl Flowers and Gifts is one of many flower businesses in El Paso creating arrangements for significant days like Valentines.  

When gifting a person with any arrangement, a surprise within it is the deeper meaning each flower can signify brightening up any occasion. According to the website Bloom and Wild, the meaning of flowers derives from ancient myths and legends. These flowers continue to hold a meaning; hence the practice of flower gifting remains popular even today.  

The top-selling flower for Valentine’s Day is the rose; the meaning of the rose is “love.” According to the book “Floriography: An Illustrated Guide to the Victorian Language,” the Victorians would express the level of affection through the color of the rose. White signifies innocent love, blush pink a blossoming romance, and the deep red flower expresses a passionate love. When gifted, it signifies that a person is loved. 

According to the University of Missouri Integrated Pest Management, the growth of roses started in Asia in 500 B.C. To the Romans, roses represented love and beauty since they were so excessive. 

With the deeper meaning of roses, it could explain why roses are the top seller in many flower shops including Xochitl Flowers and Gifts, who work year-round to help the community share their love through floriography. The store located at 6948 N Mesa St., first opened in 2005. Ayala, the owner and fellow employees have been creating flower and candy arrangements for the past 17 years. Every year for Valentine’s Day, they also create many arrangements to be delivered and gifted to a special someone in El Paso. 

“It’s like 99 percent red roses,” Ayala said. “And sometimes they like combinations with the lilies, which is nice, too.” 

According to the Floriography book, lilies symbolize purity and paired with orange blossoms they can be the best flower arrangement for a wedding anniversary. 

The flower shop creates bouquets in various sizes and range from many flower types and styles. Ayala mentions many customers like to add a modern twist and ask for teddy bears, balloons or chocolate to the arrangements, to make the overall gift more heartfelt. El Pasoans also tend to go bigger when looking for bouquets. 

“They like to buy, like, 100 roses,” Ayala said. “They like to buy big.”   

Due to Valentine’s Day being a single day, the number of arrangements and deliveries is very high for Ayala as the flower shops make deliveries all day across Sun City.  

Throughout the rest of the year, other holidays or events allow them to be more creative with their bouquets. 

The flower language is also spreading love across the UTEP campus. For student athlete Cayman Tamez, a junior majoring in criminal justice, a rose has a strong significance toward her.  

“I love roses.” Tamez said. 

A single rose to Tamez signifies the person cares about her.  

Across the UTEP campus and the city of El Paso, many will be given roses for Valentine’s Day to represent the love shared for their significant other. While other flowers do have great significance, roses take the top of the list for the day of love. Xochitl Flowers and Gifts are still taking in orders daily to be delivered on Valentine’s Day. To contact the shop, you may call (915) 231-9787 or stop by the shop to order an arrangement for that special someone.  


 Avery Escamilla-Wendell is the staff reporter and may be reached at [email protected]    

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About the Contributors
Avery Escamilla-Wendell
Avery Escamilla-Wendell, Arts & Culture Editor
Jasmin Campoya
Jasmin Campoya, Photographer
Jasmin Campoya is a bilingual student who is a senior currently majoring in digital media production at UTEP. She is a staff photographer for The Prospector, a photo editor for Minero Magazine, and is currently a social media and marketing intern for El Paso Inc. All while being a full time student, she also takes photos for her own small business, JasminCPhoto. Jasmin plans on continuing photography and hopes to work full time at an El Paso publication.
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Floriography in El Paso: the language and meaning of flowers