Flowers and Their Symbolic Meanings

Daisy Chrysanthemum
Daisy Chrysanthemum

Most flowers have a symbolic meaning, often one with a history of use that stretches back over the years. Various cultures around the world have employed flowers and blossoms for different uses in their societies including religious rituals, wedding ceremonies, and simple decorations. Peace, beauty, purity, strength– all of these and more can be linked to flowers. Many people choose to give specific types of flowers to a loved one, friend, or associate in hopes of conveying a specific message to them.

  • Chrysanthemum has long been a popular flower for a wedding or similar happy occasion, with both the red and white varieties carrying the meaning of true love for another.
  • Carnation has been used for Mother’s Day for over a century. The white variety is ideal for this purpose, as the yellow carries with it a message of disappointment or disdain, and the striped variety are used as a refusal to let someone know you can’t be with them.

  • Daffodil can have the meaning of a new beginning, but is also used to convey true love. As a result, it is appropriately associated with the tenth wedding anniversary.
  • Azalea, considered in China as the symbol of womanhood, carries also the meaning of love and romance.
  • Ivy can mean affection and friendship, and is used as a symbol of marriage.
  • Poppy flowers are used in Canada for Remembrance Day, and carry with them the meaning of consolation and pleasure in their white form, but wealth and success in their yellow.
  • Magnolia flowers suggest dignity and nobility, but also a love for nature.
  • Peony can mean shame, but is also used for good health and prosperity.
  • Purple Hyacinthhas the meaning of apology, whereas a yellow one indicates jealousy.

    White Lily
    White Lily
  • Orchids can mean love, but is often used to indicate beauty – specifically in a woman. In China, the orchid demonstrates longevity as well as beauty.
  • Red Roses, which have long been symbolic of romance and passion, to remind their partner of their feelings for them.
  • White Lily is symbolic of purity and sweetness, and is often associated with children or young women. This meaning is likely associated with the fact that white is often used to present the idea of virginity and innocence, especially in the form of flowers.
  • Daisies are another example of such symbolic flowers which carry with them a pure and innocent meaning.
  • Iris is symbolic of wisdom, but is not limited to that specific meaning. Yellow irises, for example, symbolize passion, whereas blue are symbolic of hope and faith. In addition to the above flowers, a white iris also carries the meaning of purity with it.

  • Violets, popular flowers among the ancient Greeks for its aphrodisiac qualities, carry a meaning with them that does not seem linked to their historical use. Violets in general are symbolic of modesty or faithfulness, but also have other meanings as well. A purple violet can be a symbol for love, and a yellow one can be used to display nationalism.
  • Forget-me-nots are symbolic of remembrance and memories.
  • Weeping Willow flower is symbolic of mourning.

If you have any questions or are curious about the meaning behind different types of flowers, consult with a professional florist. Not only will they be happy to assist, but they’ll be able to help you make the appropriate choices depending on your needs.