The Queer Language of Flowers

Image of a copy of The Queer Language of Flowers next to some green carnations. Two light-skinned people are sitting on a divan. One has short hair and is wearing a burgundy waistcoat, jacket, and breeches. The other has shoulder-length dark wavy hair and is wearing a green tie, a jacket and trousers, and green heels. There are sunflowers in a vase and roses and lavender in another.

What was up with Oscar Wilde and green carnations? How can you tell someone you’ve got a Sapphic crush on them? Before there was 1-800-Flowers’s “say it with flowers” campaign, there were flower dictionaries that explained how to send messages to friends and lovers with flowers. While 19th century flower dictionaries focus on heteronormative romance, floriography—and sending coded messages—is hella queer. In this zine, we’ve included some famous historical flower meanings as well as invented some of our own for contemporary queer culture via art, literature, botany, and history.

  • Risograph printed by Paper Press Punch in Seattle, WA.
  • -8.5 x 5.5 inches.
  • Essays by L.M. Zoller & Robin Elan
  • Illustrations and layout Robin Elan


Beautifully and lovingly made, in both form and content! Informative and grounded, I particularly appreciated how the collection of flowers captures a wide breadth of perspectives within the queer community, to say nothing of the varied suggestions for utilizing each flower’s meanings in a manner suitable to their botanical properties.

Endymion, Etsy

This is so punk I love it. It has that heartfelt magic that all the best zines do ❤

Peter O., Etsy
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