the meaning of flowers

The textures, colors and type of flowers that you choose for your wedding or special event sets the tone and theme. Dried grasses and burlap ribbon will add rustic charm to an arrangement, while shimmering crystal or swirly pearl accents will take your florals in a more traditionally classic direction. Every flower and color has a unique symbolism!

alstromeria

devotion ~ friendship ~ wealth ~ fortune ~ prosperity

This versatile flower looks like a miniature lily. Also known as the Peruvian lily, alstromeria is perfect for accenting wedding florals. This inexpensive and long-lasting flower comes in a palette of colors with varying shades of white, yellow, red, hot pink, light pink, orange and purple. Its leaves grow upside down, twisting out from the stem as it grows – much like the twists, turns and growth of our friendships.

amaryllis

pride ~ determination ~ radiant beauty

The amaryllis symbolizes radiant beauty. Greek mythology has it that this stunning red flower got its start when a shy, timid nymph named Amaryllis, pierced her heart and created a crimson flower as a result of her unrequited love for the shepherd, Alteo. It’s not surprising that today the amaryllis has come to symbolize pride, determination and radiant beauty.

anenome

anticipation ~ expectation

From the Greek word for “windflower”, the anemone sprang from Aphrodite’s tears as she mourned the death of Adonis. Thought to bring luck and protection against evil, legend has it that when the anemone closes its petals, it’s a signal that rain is approaching. Mythology connects the anemone to magical fairies that were believed to sleep under the petals after they closed at sunset.

antherium

hospitality ~ happiness ~ abundance

Originating in tropical Hawaii, this flower is the messenger of hospitality. With their distinctive open, heart-shape and bold, typically red flowers, these tropical blooms are named after the Greek word meaning “tall flower”. Also known as the Flamingo Flower, Boy Flower, Painted Tongue and Painter’s Palette, these exotic flowers are long lasting, compelling and irresistibly beautiful, like the hospitality they represent.

aster

patience ~ love of variety ~ elegance ~ daintiness

Sometimes called the “enchanted flower,” aster blooms have a wildflower beauty and lush texture and come in a rainbow of colors… white, red, pink, purple, lavender and blue, with mostly yellow centers. In ancient times, it was thought that the perfume from their burning leaves could drive away evil serpents and is a talisman of love, representing patience.

babies breath

innocence ~ purity ~ unblemished

This herbaceous plant is of Mediterranean origin. Also called “million star”, the branches have a delicate appearance and bear tiny scented pink or white flowers. It does well with no water for long periods of time and is a popular filler flower for bridal bouquets and wedding floral arrangements. 

bird of paradise

joyfulness ~ magnificence ~ anticipation

This distinctively striking orange flower bears a striking resemblance to a brightly colored bird in flight. Also known as crane flower, the blooms are spectacularly shaped like a bird’s beak and plumage and are a nice addition to any larger arrangement or pageant-style bouquet with a tropical theme.

bouvardia

enthusiasm ~ zest for life

The one of a kind bouvardia is native to Mexico. Small clusters of star-like flowers on thin, branching stems in shades of pink, white, yellow, salmon and red, bouvardia have a delicate scent and feminine appearance and are an elegant accent flower for any bouquet. The beautiful blossoms of the bouvardia radiate a cool sense of appreciation and enthusiasm.

calla lily

beauty ~ magnificence ~ purity ~ innocence

This beautiful trumpet-shaped flower, with its elegance and simplicity, is very popular for wedding florals. Mini calla lilies are available in white, yellow, burnt orange, red, burgundy, pink and even a purple–black combination. The larger version is typically available in white or ivory. When calla lilies are used in weddings, the usual choice is white because of its elegant look and symbolism of purity…  add roses and it creates a stunning contrast. 

carnation

pride ~ beauty ~ admiration

The subtle beauty of the carnation reveals a deep radiant confidence that illuminates its densely ruffled blossoms. Carnations are available in a myriad of colors and shades. Light red carnations are often used to convey admiration, while the dark red version expresses deeper sentiments of love and affection. Purple carnations imply capriciousness. White carnations are associated with purity and luck, and pink carnations are often given as a sign of gratitude.

chrysanthemum (aka “mum”)

fidelity ~ optimism ~ long life

Years of artful cultivation have produced a full range of mum colors ranging from vibrant lime green to rich red, brown and yellow, varying shades of pinks, whites and other pale pastel colors. With a typically yellow center and a decorative pompon, these versatile flowers symbolize optimism and joy. Red mums are the flower of love and a symbol that you love each other. Yellow are a sign that you see love, while white mums are a symbol of truth.

daffodil

truth ~ faith ~ honesty ~ forgiveness ~ rebirth

The bright sunshine glow of the daffodil represents new hope. Symbolizing rebirth and new beginnings, yellow is the traditional hue, which reminds us of life-giving attributes, although the white petal, yellow-centered variety of daffodil offers a distinctive contrast in comparison. Ever vigilant in returning each spring we are reminded each year that their beauty is capable of following on the heels of even the harshest winters (or tribulations). 

dahlia

diversity ~ elegance ~ dignity

This spicy flower is also the national flower of Mexico and comes in variety of colors, shapes and sizes, making it a favorite flower among floral designers in flower arrangements to celebrate love and marriage. Combine them with slender flowers like irises or tulips for a striking visual display. When given as a gift, the dahlia flower expresses sentiments of dignity and elegance. It is also the symbol of a commitment bond that lasts forever. 

daisy

innocence ~ loyal love ~ purity ~ cheerfulness

The name daisy comes from “day’s eye” because the flower is only open during the day and closes up at night. It is also known as “thunder flower” since it blooms in the summer when thundershowers are common. Orange daisies says you are the sunshine of life, while red gerbera daisies, especially when presented in a bouquet, symbolize “unconscious in love.”  Carried by brides and bridesmaids, daisies reflect on the purity of the heart, mind and soul of its carrier.

delphenium

big-heartedness ~ fun ~ lightness ~ levity

Also known as larkspur, this heavenly flower was used by Native Americans and European settlers to make blue dye. Available in cornflower blue or a darker blue-violet color, it is believed that the most ancient use of delphinium flowers was for driving away scorpions. These lush, dolphin-shaped flowers symbolize an open heart and ardent attachment, while conveying a feeling of lightness and levity.

freesia

innocence ~ thoughtfulness ~ friendship ~ perseverance

With their bell-shaped blooms and sweet, citrus scent, freesia is among the most popular of the fragrant flowers. The pink and red varieties are actually the most highly scented. With their wiry stems and delicate blooms, it’s not surprising that one of the most popular freesia varieties is named Ballerina. With its graceful appearance, we recommend freesia for someone who is graceful under pressure.

gardenia

purity ~ sweetness ~ secret love ~ joy

The gardenia represents hospitality, grace and secret love. The gardenia blooms have a very “finicky nature” and much care must be taken with the handling of these blooms… if the flower is handled too much, the petals will turn black. This flower is only used in very small arrangement of floating flowers. Gardenia flowers mean secret love, purity and joy and are often used in wedding celebrations and as wedding symbols, symbolizing the love and purity of marriage. 

gerbera daisy

cheerfulness ~ purity ~ loyal love

Daises are among the most loved flowers in the world, coming in fifth behind roses, carnations, chrysanthemums and tulips. Among the daisy family, gerbera daisies stand out as the clear favorite. The large, brightly colored flowers of gerbera daisies make them ideal for flower arrangements or as gifts for friends and loved ones. This fun flower holds an added meaning of cheerfulness, which stems from the assortment of colors available.

gladiolus

strength of character ~ faithfulness ~ honor ~ remembrance

The gladiolus is a beautiful flowers with striking and colorful blooms set upon towering stems and are the perfect choice for larger centerpieces, canopies or arches. From the Latin word “gladius”, meaning sword, the “sword lily” means remembrance, generosity, sincerity and strength of character. A member of the iris family, this long-lasting flower can be found in shades of green, white, mauve, yellow, red, orange, purple or pink, with stripes or blotches of another color.

heather

admiration ~ solitude ~ beauty ~ good luck ~ protection from danger

Heather is known for its hardiness and ability to thrive in areas with poor, rocky soil and extreme temperatures. While the most common color associated with wild heather is purple, the plant has been cultivated into different colors. Traditional purple heather is used to represent admiration, beauty and solitude, while pink heather is associated with good luck. If white heather is chosen, it means protection from danger. 

hyacinth

playfulness ~ constancy ~ sincerity ~ sporty attitude

This highly fragrant, bell-shaped plant is derived from the name of a beautiful Spartan youth, accidentally killed by Apollo, the sun god, while playing quoits; from his blood, sprang the hyacinth. The blue hyacinth symbolizes constancy and sincerity while the red or pink hyacinth symbolizes a playful nature. When you receive a purple hyacinth from your best friend or loved one with whom you just had a fight, or consider the flower as their way of saying “I am sorry; forgive me"

hydrangea

understanding ~ friendship ~ gratefulness

First discovered in Japan, the name hydrangea comes from the Greek “hydro,” meaning water, and “angos,” meaning jar or vessel.  This roughly translates to “water barrel,” referring to the hydrangea’s need for plenty of water and its cup-shaped flower. With its wooden stems and lacy, tightly-packed star-shaped flowers packed, the hydrangea’s color ranges from white to blue to pink and purple, determined by the acidity level of the soil. The hydrangea represents anything that’s sincerely heartfelt, vanity and boastfulness or gratefulness for the recipient’s understanding.

iris

eloquence ~ wisdom ~ faith ~ hope ~ passion ~ purity

This flower, named after the Greek Goddess Irisis, who was considered the messenger of the gods and the personification of the rainbow, acting as the link between heaven and earth. Through its intricate history, the meanings of the iris have come to include faith, hope, and wisdom. In some parts of the world, the dark blue or purple iris can denote royalty, whereas the yellow iris can be a symbol of passion. Irises may also express courage and admiration.

larkspur

levity ~ lightness ~ open heart

Also known as delphenium, this flower was used by Native Americans and European settlers to make blue dye. Available in a darker violet-blue shade and a lighter cornflower blue these lush, dolphin-shaped flowers symbolize an ardent attachment and open heart symbolize feelings of levity and lightness.

lilac

youthful innocence ~ confidence ~ first love

The official state flower of New Hampshire, lilacs are considered a harbinger of spring, with the time of their bloom signaling whether spring will be early or late. Its early blooming on the heels of a cold winter also symbolizes hardiness. Because lilacs typically bloom so early, they are strongly associated with spring, renewal, and fresh starts. Purple lilacs symbolize the first emotions of love and protection, while white lilacs represent youthful innocence and purity.

lily

majesty ~ truth ~ honor

Dating as far back as 1580 B.C., when images of the lily were discovered in a villa in Crete, these majestic flowers are a floral design staple. The white lily symbolizes chastity and virtue. Lily of the valley symbolizes humility and devotion. The smaller Peruvian lily or alstromeria, represents friendship and devotion, white stargazer lilies express sympathy and pink stargazer lilies represent wealth and prosperity. 

lily of the valley

happiness ~ humility ~ devotion

This fragrant flowering plant is used in religious ceremonies, world celebrations, perfumes and in gardens. It is not really a lily at all, but an herbaceous perennial. One stem can have between 5 and 15 flowers. Shaped like a small bell, they are generally white, but can also appear in pink. Also known as the May Lily, it means, “return to happiness” and most often symbolizes chastity, purity, happiness, luck and humility.

magnolia

purity ~ perfection ~ joy ~ health ~ wholeness

The magnolia is a striking flower associated with nobility, perseverance, dignity and a love of nature. Named after the 17th century French botanist Pierre Magnolia white magnolias stand for purity and perfection, while pink flowers symbolize youth and innocence together with joy. Green magnolias represent joy coupled with health and good fortune while purple blooms send out vibrations that support your wishes for alignment with your truth and physical wholeness.

orchid

love ~ rare beauty ~ delicate

Orchids are a long-lasting, graceful bloom. Of the many orchid varieties, the phalaenopsis (or Moth), cymbidium, and dendrobium orchids are the most popular types. Historically the meanings of orchids have included wealth, love, and beauty. Today, the meanings of orchids are generally symbolic of rare and delicate beauty, while their reputation as an exotic and unusual flower evokes a sense of refinement and innocence.

peony

romance ~ prosperity ~ happy marriage

The traditional floral symbol of China and the state flower of Indiana, peonies are known as the flower of riches and honor. The peony is a vibrant, fragrant and hardy flower and is linked with ancient Greek mythology. It is cherished by many for its beauty, fragrance, tolerance and longevity. With their lush, full, rounded bloom, peonies embody romance and prosperity and are regarded as an omen of good fortune and a happy marriage.

protea

change ~ transformation ~ diversity ~ courage

Dating back 300 million years, this flower is one of the oldest flowers on earth. Greek legend tells us that protea were named after Proteus, the son of Poseidon who could change his shape at will. It is said that the protea flower was named after him because it, too, presents itself in an astounding variety of shapes, sizes, hues and textures to make up more than 1,400 varieties. With its mythological associations to change and transformation, protea symbolizes diversity and courage.

queen anne's lace

haven ~ sanctuary ~ complexity ~ delicateness

This white flower was given its name due to its lacy look. Legend has it that Queen Anne, the wife of King James I, was challenged by her friends to create lace as beautiful as a flower. While making the lace, she pricked her finger, and it’s said that the purple-red flower in the center of Queen Anne’s Lace represents a droplet of her blood. Also called bishop’s lace, bird’s nest or wild carrot, in the language of flowers, queen anne’s lace represents sanctuary. 

ranunculus

radiant charm ~ attractiveness ~ amazement

Ranunculus, or “buttercup” as it is mostly known, is a flower with many varieties of color adored by floral designers. They are related to anemones and peonies and Native to Asia. Smothered in rich, golden light, the ranunculus has long been revered for its medicinal properties as well as its bright beauty. Colors range from white to pink, red to yellow to orange. Show someone how amazed you are by his or her inner and outer beauty with these gorgeous flowers.

rose

love ~ joy ~ beauty

red rose ~ love
Red roses are given to those who you want to show love and passion, people who you have great respect for, and those who have shown great courage. A single red rose shows love, a dozen shows gratitude, twenty-five shows congratulations and fifty show unconditional love. Two red roses tied together symbolize an engagement. Bright red means love, burgundy means unconscious love, dark crimson is used to show mourning. A withered red rose is used to show that the love is over. A red rosebud symbolizes youthful love and beauty. Colors range from bright red to deep burgundy. Varieties include Charlotte, Forever Young, Classy and Rouge baiser.

 

pink rose ~ gratitude
Pink roses in general are given to those whom you want to show thankfulness, admiration, and happiness. Deep pink is used for appreciation and gratitude, where as light pink conveys admiration and sympathy, and peach roses are given to show modesty. Colors range from light pink to peach to darker pink. Varieties include Ana, Livia, Pink Titanic, Rossini, Orlando and Attache.

 

orange rose ~ desire
Orange roses are given to those who you desire, those you want to get to know better, or those who you are proud of. Colors range from bright orange to coral. Varieties include Tropical Amazon, Marlyse and Sari.

 

yellow rose ~ friendship
Yellow roses express joy, gladness and friendship. They are given to new mothers, newlyweds, and graduates. They are also used as a reminder to a loved one to show that you care. In the past yellow was used to show jealousy and a decrease of love. Colors range from light yellow to golden. Varieties include Gold Strike, Skyline, Judy and Alsmeer Gold.

 

white rose ~ purity
White roses are given to those who are innocent, reverent, and pure. They are very commonly used in weddings. They can also be given as a sign of secrecy. A white rosebud is used to show girlhood. A white rose that has been dried means “death is preferable to loss of virtue”. A withered white rose represents fleeting beauty, or given to show that no impression was made. Colors range from pure white to creams to very light pinks. Varieties include Escimo, Bianca, Akito and Vendella.

 

lavender rose ~ enchantment
Lavender roses show that you have fallen in love with someone from the moment you saw them. It also can be given to those who you feel are very unique, and those who you feel are enchanting. Varieties include Allure, Bluebird, Blue Curosia and Stranger.

snapdragon

graciousness ~ strength

It is elieved that snapdragons were originally wildflowers in Spain and Italy. Legend has it that concealing a snapdragon makes a person appear fascinating and cordial, and in the language of flowers, snapdragons are said to represent both deception (perhaps tied to the notion of concealment) and graciousness. When one squeezes the silky blossom of the snapdragon its mouth opens and is reported to reveal deep secrets about the future. 

statice

remembrance ~ sympathy ~ success

Also known as sea lavender, statice is a richly colored flower with beautiful complimentary colors that is also easy to dry, making it a long lasting gem. Because of its longevity, the statice has become the flower of fond memories. Include this flower in a fresh flower arrangement to show someone you miss them.

stephanotis

marital happiness

The stephanotis is a flowering vine that actually gets its name from the Greek word stephanos, which means crown and otis, which means ear. The species’ common names include bridal veil, Madagascar Jasmine, Wax Flower, Hawaiian Wedding Flower or “Pua Male” in Hawaiian. This petite white flower has a meaning of happiness in marriage, which makes it great for those floral wedding bouquets and arrangements. 

stock

lasting beauty ~ happy life ~ promptness

A symbol of happy life and contented existence, the stock flower, with its sweet, heady-scented blooms, is native to Southwestern Greece and the Mediterranean. Typically found in white, red, hot and light pink, pale yellow or lilac, stock is also known as Virginia Stock or Gillyflower. Offering lasting beauty and a sweet fragrance, stock flowers are a good and inexpensive choice for accenting an arrangement or adding some depth to a centerpiece.

succulents

understated ~ enduring ~ timeless love

These plants add a green, natural feel to any bouquet and can help make your wedding unique. There are many different types of succulents ranging in hue from mint to bright green, to subtle blue, and even pink, with the most commonly used plants for bouquets being echeveria and sempervivum. Mix these plants with bright flowers in a bouquet, create a stunning all-succulent bouquet, or an unusual, eye-catching boutonnière; the possibilities are endless!

sunflower

pure thoughts ~ adoration ~ dedication

Bright and cheery, bold yet comfortable, the sunflower has brilliant yellow petals with an unmistakable sun-like appearance and reflects warmth and caring. Sunflowers come in a number of varieties, ranging from daylight yellows to sunset reds. The sunflower is viewed as a symbol of loyalty and constancy and the petals likened to bright yellow rays of sunshine, evoking feelings of warmth and happiness. The sunflower is often associated with adoration and longevity.

sweet pea

pleasure ~ bliss

The sweet pea flower is a member of the pea family and boasts fragrant, colorful, butterfly shaped flowers. The sweet pea is a climbing herb and is native to Italy. The name “sweet pea” comes from “lathyros,” which is the Greek term for “pea,” and from “odoratus,” which is Latin for “fragrant.” The language of flowers associates the sweet peas with feelings of blissful pleasure, delicate pleasure, good-bye, departure, adieu and thank you for a lovely time.

tulip

declaration of love ~ fame ~ perfect love

Not too elegant, too romantic, too big, too small, or too bright... the tulip is always just right and represents perfect love. Red tulips are most strongly associated with true love, while purple symbolizes royalty. The meaning of yellow tulips has evolved somewhat, from once representing hopeless love to now being a common expression for cheerful thoughts and sunshine. White tulips are used to claim worthiness or to send a message of forgiveness.

unfavorable flowers

Below is our list of some flowers with more negative indicators:

If you are superstitious, there may be some flower that you may want to avoid. On the other hand, you can always assign your own meaning to these “questionable” blooms.

 

christmas rose ~ scandal

 

fig ~ idleness

 

foxglove ~ insincerity

 

larkspur ~ infidelity

 

lavender ~ distrust

 

marigold ~ grief

 

mulberry ~ I shall not survive you

 

raspberry ~ remorse

 

red carnation ~ alas for my poor heart

 

red poppy ~ consolation

 

rhododendron ~ danger

 

striped carnation ~ refusal

 

white poppy ~ sleep

 

yellow carnation ~ disdain

 

yellow chrysanthemum ~ slighted love

 

yellow lily ~ falsehood

 

yellow rose ~ jealousy

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