Find a Flower: Symbolism Guide

Flower Symbols Around the World

Since antiquity, flower symbolism has been a significant part of cultures around the world. Flowers accompany us in every major event in
life--birth, marriage, holidays, graduations, illness, and finally
death. Flowers have been grown in decorative gardens and used as
adornment for centuries on virtually every continent on earth. Finding
the right flower to give to someone your love is an art. Make sure to
include a note about the meaning of the flower!

Flower Symbolism and Religion

Flower SymbolismFlower symbolism began with many ancient religions. Many flowers were originally linked to ancient deities including Venus, Diana, Jupiter
and Apollo. During the Renaissance, nature was viewed as a reflection
of the divine.

Flower symbolism was included in much of the religious art of the day and medieval gardens were often created with both the symbolic meaning of
flowers and spiritual symbolism in mind.
Flower symbols were used in the religious art of the Middle Ages and
Renaissance, and reached the highest level of development in the
Victorian era.

The Victorian Language of Flowers

Flower SymbolismAlthough the legendary associations and religious meanings of flower symbolism have existed for centuries, the use of the symbolic meaning of flowers
to represent emotions was developed to a high degree during Victorian

Due to the strict protocol of the times, emotions, wishes and thoughts were not openly expressed between men and women. Instead, an elaborate language
based on flower symbolism was developed. Gifts of either single flowers
or bouquets conveyed clear messages to the recipient.

Guidebooks for Flower Symbols

Flower LanguageWith increasing complexity of flower symbolism, handbooks were written to guide the understanding of the symbolic meaning of flowers. The first
book written on flower symbolism in modern times was Le Language des Fleurs
by Madame Charlotte de la Tour in 1819. The most popular book on flower
symbolism, which remains a prominent resource today, is Kate
Greenaway's Language of Flowers (1884).

During the Victorian era, flowers adorned nearly everything--hair, clothing, jewelry, home decor, china plates, stationary, wallpaper, furniture and
more. Even the scents of flowers had their own meanings in the language
of flowers. For example, a scented handkerchief might be given in place
of actual flowers.

Modern Symbolism of Flowers

Flower PaintingsFlowers are still used today to convey feelings in a more general way than in Victorian times. Many florists provide information on the language of
flowers to encourage the practice of helping modern gift-givers to "say
it with flowers." The flower symbolism for many flowers has been
obscured by time and may remain only as a few key phrases or words.

The beauty and feminine quality of flowers also inspired the tradition of naming girls after flower names. This tradition has existed in many
cultures throughout history and continues today. Popular girls' names
related to flowers include Rose, Daisy, Lily, Holly, Violet, Heather,
Fern, Jasmine, Myrtle, and Lavender.

Illustrated List of Flower Symbols

Flower symbolism and other fascinating facts about many flowers and plants from around the world are included in the following illustrated list of
the symbolic meaning of flowers:

Aster Flower Symbolism

aster flower symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with asters is daintiness, love, from Greek word for "star." Asters are believed to have healing properties. Asters
were laid on the graves of French soldiers to to symbolize the wish
that things had turned out differently.

Azalea Flower Symbolism

azalea flower symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with azaleas is temperance, passion, womanhood (China), take care of yourself for me and fragile passion.
Azaleas are members of the rhododendron family (see more below).
Azaleas grow as shrubs and small trees with large, showy flowers and
are popular as ornamental plants in landscaping.

Baby's Breath Flower Symbolism

baby's breath flower symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with baby's breath is purity of heart, innocence, the breath of the Holy Spirit. Baby's breath is white with
dense, delicate clusters of flowers. They are native to Europe, but
have been naturalized throughout the eastern United States. Baby's
breath is a traditional filler flower for bouquets, boutonnieres and

Bachelor Button Flower Symbolism

bachleor button flower symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with bachelor buttons is celibacy, single, blessedness, hope in love, delicacy. The bachelor's button is also
known as the cornflower, basket flower and boutonniere flower. Bachelor
buttons are blue and have been prized historically for their pigment.
According to folklore, a young man would wear a bachelor button flower
to indicate his love for a young woman, If the love was unrequited, the
flower would fade quickly. The bachelor button, or blue cornflower, is
the national flower of Poland.

Bamboo Symbolism

The bamboo is the most popular plant in China and represents the spirit of summer. The bamboo is considered a gentleman with perfect virtues. The
bamboo combines upright integrity with accommodating flexibility. It
has the perfect balance of grace and strength, or the Yin and the Yang.
When a storm comes, the bamboo bends with the wind. When the storm
ceases, it resumes its upright position. Bamboo symbolizes longevity,
immortality and youth. Its ability to cope with adversity and still
stand firmly without losing its original ground is inspirational.

Begonia Flower Symbolism

begonia flower symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with begonias is fanciful nature and beware. Begonias are large shrubs which grow in subtropical and
tropical moist climates, in South and Central America, Africa and
southern Asia. Because of their showy flowers of white, pink, scarlet
or yellow color and often attractively marked leaves, many species and
innumerable hybrids of begonias are cultivated.

Bird of Paradise Flower Symbolism

bird of paradise flower symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with the bird of paradise flower is freedom, good perspective, faithfulness (when given from a woman to a
man). The bird of paradise flower is so-named because of a resemblance
to the actual bird of paradise. In South Africa it is commonly known as
a "crane" flower. The leaves are large, 30-200 cm long and 10-80 cm
broad, similar to a banana leaf but with a longer petiole, and arranged
to form a fan-like crown of evergreen foliage.

Bluebell Flower Symbolism

bluebell flower symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with bluebells is humility, constancy and gratitude. Bluebells are closely linked to the realm of fairies and are
sometimes referred to as "fairy thimbles." To call fairies to a
convention, the bluebells would be rung.

Buttercup Flower Symbolism

The flower symbolism associated with buttercups is humility, neatness, childishness. Buttercups are part of a large genus of 400 species.
Buttercups usually flower in April or May but flowers may be found
throughout the summer. In the Pacific Northwest (USA) the buttercup is
called ‘Coyote’s eyes.’ In the original legend, a coyote was tossing
his eyes up in the air and catching them again when an eagle snatched
them. Unable to see, coyote made eyes from the buttercup.

Cactus Flower Symbolism

cactus flower symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with the cactus flower is endurance, my heart burns with love, maternal love. Cacti are distinctive and unusual
plants, adapted to extremely arid and hot climates, with a wide range
of features which conserve water. Their stems have expanded into green
succulent structures containing the chlorophyll necessary for life and
growth, while the leaves have become the spines for which cacti are so
well known.

Calendula Flower Symbolism

calendula flower symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with the calendula is grief, despair and sorrow. Calendula blossoms in wine are said to ease indigestion.
Calendula petals are used in ointments to cure skin irritations,
jaundice, sore eyes and toothaches.

Calla Lily Flower Symbolism

calla lily flower symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with the calla lily is magnificent beauty. Calla lilies are native to southern Africa. The calla lily is visible
in many of Diego Rivera's works of art. Georgia O'Keeffe's sensual
flowers redefined the flower as a pure, almost geometric form. Her
painting "Calla Lilies with Red Anemone" (1928) recently was sold for
$6.2 million at a Christie's auction in New York.

Camellia Flowers

The symbolic meaning of camellia flowers is admiration, perfection, good luck gift for a man, gratitude, nobility of reasoning. The colors have
specific symbolic meanings including innate worth, adoration,
perfection and loveliness (white); longing, longing for a man (pink);
and you're a flame in my heart or excellence (red).

Carnation Flower Symbolism

carnation flower symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with the carnation is fascination, impulsiveness, fascination, capriciousness, joy, devoted love; disdain,
refusal (white only). Carnations were used in Greek ceremonial crowns.
The name carnation may come from the Greek carnis (flesh) and refer to
the incarnation of God made flesh.

Cattail Flower Symbolism

The flower symbolism associated with the cattail is peace and prosperity. Cattails or bulrushes are wetland plants with spongy, strap-like leaves
and starchy, creeping stems. The thick root can be ground to make a
flour substitute. The spread of cattails is an important part of the
process of open water bodies being converted to vegetated marshland and
eventually to dry land.

Chamomile Flower Symbolism

chamomile flower symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with the chamomile flower is energy in action. The extract of German chamomile is taken as a strong tea. It
has been used in herbal medicine as a a digestive aid and has
anti-inflammatory properties. It is also used in ointments and lotions,
and as a mouthwash against infections of mouth and gums.

Cherry Blossom Flower Symbolism

cherry blossom flower symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with the cherry blossom is education. In China, the cherry blossom is also a symbol of feminine beauty. It also
represents the feminine principle and love. In Japan, cherry blossoms
symbolize the transience of life because of their short blooming times.
Falling blossoms are metaphors for fallen warriors who died bravely in
battle. This connotation links them with the samarai.

Christmas Rose Flower Symbolism

Chrsitmas rose flower symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with the Christmas rose is that it is purported to have flowered on Christmas Day, and is therefore
associated with the infant Jesus. The Christmas Rose is a member of the
genus Helleborus and is not related to the rose bush. The Christmas
Rose is frost-resistant and many species are evergreens. The Christmas
Rose of Mary Gardens bears pure white or pink flowers and are sometimes
known as the Lenten Rose.

Chrysanthemum Flower Symbolism

chrysanthemum flower symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with the chrysanthemum is abundance, wealth, cheerfulness, optimism, truth (white), hope, rest and wonderful
friendship, I love (red), slighted love (yellow). The Japanese put a
single chrysanthemum petal on the bottom of a wine glass to sustain a
long and healthy life. Japanese emperors sat on the Chrysanthemum
throne. In Italy, chrysanthemums are associated with death.

Crocus Flower Symbolism

crocus flower symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with the crocus is cheerfulness and gladness. The genus crocus is placed botanically in the iris family.
The plants grow from corms and are mainly perennials. They are found a
wide range of habitats including woodland and meadows.

Cyclamen Flower Symbolism

The flower symbolism associated with cyclamen flowers is resignation and goodbye. Cyclamen are native in the Mediterranean and Africa. Cyclamen
grow in dry forest or scrub areas.

Daffodil Flower Symbolism

daffodil flower symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with the daffodil is regard, unrequited love, chivalry, sunshine, respect and the sun shines when I'm with you.
Though the traditional daffodil of folklore, poetry, and field may have
a yellow to golden-yellow color all over, both in the wild species and
due to breeding, the daffodil may be variously colored. Breeders have
developed some daffodils with double, triple, or ambiguously multiple
rows of petals, and several wild species also have known double

Dahlia Flower Symbolism

dahlia flower symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with the dahlia is dignity, elegance, forever thine. The Aztecs used dahlias as a treatment for epilepsy.
Europeans used the dahlia as a source of food in the 1840s when disease
destroyed the French potato crop.

Daisy Flower Symbolism

daisy floer symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with the daisy is purity, innocence, loyal love, beauty, patience and simplicity. Daisies are often depicted in
meadows in Medieval paintings, also known as a "flowery mead." Daisies
are believed to be more than 4,000 years old and hairpins decorated
with daisies were found during the excavation of the Minoan Palace on
the Island of Crete. Even further back, Egyptian ceramics were
decorated with daisies. Daisies were used in Mary Gardens.

Dandelion Flower Symbolism

dandelion flower symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with the dandelion is love me, affection returned, desire, sympathy, faithfulness, happiness and love's oracle.
The dandelion is native to Europe and Asia, and has been introduced to
many other places. In northern areas and places where the dandelion is
not native, it has become a weed, exploiting disturbed ground in human

Day Lily Flowers

The symbolic meaning of the day lily is forgetting worries. As an omen for expectant mothers who wish for baby boys, the flower means "Suited for
A Boy." The Chinese also venerate the day lily as a symbol of filial
devotion to one's mother.

elphinium Flower Symbolism

delphinium flower symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with the delphinium is big-hearted, fun, lightness, levity, ardent attachment. The name delphinium comes from
the Greek word delphis, a reference to the flower's resemblance to the
bottle-like nose of the dolphin. Delphiniums were used by Native
Americans to make blue dye. European settlers used delphinium for
making ink. Delphiniums were also once thought to drive away scorpions.

Edelweiss Flower Symbolism

edelweiss flower symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with the edelweiss flower is daring, courage and noble purity. The flowers are felted and woolly with white
hairs, with characteristic bloom consisting of five to six small yellow
flower heads surrounded by leaflets.

Fern Symbolism

fern flower symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with ferns is magic, fascination, confidence, shelter, discretion, reverie and a secret bond of love. A
great many ferns are grown as landscape plants, for foliage for cut
bouquets and as houseplants.

Forget-Me-Not Flower Symbolism

forget-me-not flower symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with the forget-me-not is true love and memories. In 15th century Germany, it was supposed that the wearers of
the flower would not be forgotten by their lovers. Legend has it that
in medieval times, a knight and his lady were walking along the side of
a river. He picked a posy of flowers, but because of the weight of his
armour he fell into the river. As he was drowning he threw the posy to
his loved one and shouted "Forget-me-not". It is also told in pious
legend that the Christ child was sitting on Mary's lap one day and said
that he wished that future generations could see them. He touched her
eyes and then waved his hand over the ground and blue forget-me-nots

Foxglove Flower Symbolism

fosglove floer symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with the foxglove is stateliness and youth. Foxglove flowers have both positive and negative symbolic meanings.
They are said to sometimes hurt and sometimes heal. The scientific name
is digitalis, a reference to the presence of powerful chemicals that
can heal heart conditions if taken correctly but can kill if taken in
large amounts. Thus, foxglove is symbolic of both healing and harm.

Fuchsia Flower Symbolism

fuchsia flower symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with the fuchsia is confiding love. Fuchsia flowers are a very decorative pendulous "eardrop" shape, borne in
profusion throughout the summer and autumn, and all year in tropical
species. In many species, the sepals are bright red and the petals
purple, a combination of colors that attract hummingbirds.

Gardenia Flower Symbolism

gardenia flower symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with the gardenia is you're lovely, secret love, purity and refinement. Gardenia plants are prized for the strong
sweet scent of their flowers, which can be very large in some species.

Geranium Flower Symbolism

geranium flower symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with the geranium is a true friend, stupidity, folly and meeting. The genus name is derived from the Greek
word geranos, meaning "crane". The name derives from the appearance of
the seed-heads, which have the same shape as the bill of a crane.

Gladiolus Flower Symbolism

gladiolus flower symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with the gladiolus is preparedness, strength, splendid beauty and love at first sight. The gladiolus is
named for the shape of its leaves, "gladius" or sword. The gladiolus is
said to have symbolized the Roman gladiators. The British used the stem
base (corms) as a poultice for thorns and splinters.

Globe Amaranth Flower Symbolism

globe amaranth flower symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with the globe amaranth is unfading love. The globe amaranth is an annual plant that grows up to 24 inches in
height. The true species has magenta flowers, and garden varieties have
additional colors such as purple, red, white, pink, and lilac.

Holly Flower Symbolism

holly flower symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with the holly is defense, domestic happiness and forecast. The Romans decorated their hallways with holly
garlands for their mid-winter celebration, Saturnalia. Medieval monks
called the holly the Holy Tree and believed holly would keep away evil
spirits and protects their homes from lightening. In Christianity, the
pointed leaves represented the crown of thorns worn by Jesus, and the
red berries symbolized drops of his blood.

Honeysuckle Flower Symbolism

honeysuckle flower symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with the honeysuckle is bond of love and I love you. Wood cuttings from honeysuckle are sold as cat toys. The wood
contains nepetalactone, the active ingredient found in catnip.

Huckleberry Symbolism

hucleberry symbolismThe symbolism associated with the huckleberry is faith and simple pleasures. The tiny size of huckleberries led to their frequent use as
a way of referring to something small, often in an affectionate way.
The phrase "a huckleberry over my persimmon" was used to mean "a bit
beyond my abilities". "I'll be your huckleberry" is a way of saying
that one is just the right person for a given job.

Hyacinth Flower Symbolism

hyacinth flower symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with the hyacinth is games, sports, rashness, and playful joy. Hyacinths are named after Hyacinth, a figure
in Greek mythology. Hyacinths are sometimes associated with rebirth.
The hyacinth flower is used in the Haftseen table setting for the
Persian New Year celebration. The prophet Mohammad is reported to have
said “If I had but two loaves of bread, I would sell one and buy
hyacinths, for they would feed my soul.”

Impatiens Flower Symbolism

Impatiens Flower SymbolismThe flower symbolism associated with impatiens flowers is motherly love. Impatiens flowers come in a wide variety of forms including flat
flowers and orchid-like shapes. In the medieval Mary gardens devoted to
the Virgin Mary, impatiens plants were called "Our Lady's earrings."

Iris Flower Symbolism

iris flower symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with the iris is faith, wisdom, cherished friendship, hope, valor, my compliments, promise in love, wisdom. Irises
were used in Mary Gardens. The blade-shaped foliage denotes the sorrows
which 'pierced her heart.' The iris is the emblem of both France and
Florence, Italy.

Ivy Symbolism

ivy symbolismThe symbolism associated with ivy is wedded love, fidelity, friendship and affection. Ivy walls are considered idyllic and charming. A soundly
mortared wall is impenetrable to the climbing roots of ivy and will not
be damaged, and is also protected from further weathering by the ivy.
However, walls with already weak or loose mortar may be badly damaged,
as the ivy is able to root into the weak mortar and further break up
the wall.

Jasmine Flower Symbolism

jasmine flower symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with the jasmine flower is attachment, sensuality, modesty, grace and elegance. Jasmines are widely cultivated
for their flowers, enjoyed in the garden, as house plants, and as cut
flowers. The flowers are worn by women in their hair in southern and
southeast Asia. Some claim that the daily consumption of Jasmine tea is
effective in preventing certain cancers.

Lady's Mantle Symbolism

lady's mantle symbolismThe symbolism associated with Lady's Mantle is that of a cloak for for the Blessed Virgin. Lady's mantle was grown in Mary Gardens. The name
alchemilla ("little magical one") derives from the dew which collects
on the lady's mantle. Dew is often associated with magic. The dew was
used as a beauty lotion, while pillows stuffed with it were reputed to
bring on a good sleep.

Lilac Flower Symbolism

lilac flower symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with the lilac is beauty, pride, youthful innocence and youth. A pale purple color is generally known as lilac
after the flower. Lilacs are known for their strong, perfume-like scent
and are the state flower of New Hampshire.

Lily Flower Symbolism

lily floer symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with the lily is chastity, virtue, fleur-de-lis, Holy Trinity, faith, wisdom, chivalry, royalty; beauty
(calla), mother (China), hatred (orange), wealth, pride (tiger);
sweetness, virginity, purity, majesty, it's heavenly to be with you
(white); gaiety, gratitude, I'm walking on air (yellow). The flower
symbolism of lilies is associated with the annunciation of the birth of
Jesus by the angel Gabriel. Lilies were used in the flower symbolism of
Mary Gardens. In both Christian and pagan traditions, lilies symbolize
fertility. In Greek marriage ceremonies, the bride wears a crown of

Lotus Flower Symbolism

lotus flower symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with the lotus is estranged love and forgetfulness of the past. The lotus is the national flower of India.
The blue or Indian lotus, also known as the bean of India and the
sacred water-lily of Hinduism and Buddhism. Lotus roots are also used
widely in Asian cooking.

Lupine Flower Symbolism

lupine flower symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with Lupines are symbolic of imagination. The name "lupinus" actually means "of wolves" due to the mistaken
belief that ancient peoples had that lupines robbed the soil of
nutrients. The fact is that lupines add nitrogen to the soil. Lupines
are the only food for the Karner blue butterfly's caterpillar. The
scent from lupine blossoms is like that of honey, a nice addition to
any garden.

Magnolia Flower Symbolism

magnolia flower symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with nobility, perseverance and love of nature. Magnolia is the official state state flower of both Mississippi
and Louisiana. The flower's abundance in Mississippi is reflected in
its state nickname, the "Magnolia State". The magnolia is also the
official state tree of Mississippi. One of the oldest nicknames for
Houston, Texas Is "The Magnolia City" due to the abundance of Magnolia
Trees growing along Buffalo Bayou.

Marigold Flower Symbolism

marigold flower symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with marigolds is indicated in the name: Mary's Gold. Marigold flowers were "golden gifts" offered to the Virgin
by the poor who could not afford to give actual gold. Marigolds were
used in Mary Gardens. Marigolds are symbolic of passion and creativity.
Marigolds are also known as the "Herb of the Sun." Marigolds have been
used as love charms and incorporated into wedding garlands. In some
cultures, marigold flowers have been added to pillows to encourage
prophetic or psychic dreams.

Marjoram Symbolism

marjoram symbolismThe symbolism associated with marjoram is joy and happiness. Marjoram is a somewhat cold-sensitive under shrub with sweet pine and citrus flavors.
It is also called sweet marjoram. Marjoram is cultivated for its
aromatic leaves, either green or dry, for culinary purposes. The tops
are cut as the plants begin to flower and are dried slowly in the shade.

Morning Glory Flower Symbolism

morning glory flower symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with the morning glory is affection. As the name implies, morning glory flowers, which are funnel-shaped, open in
the morning, allowing them to be pollinated by hummingbirds,
butterflies, bees, other daytime insects and birds. The flower
typically lasts for a single morning and dies in the afternoon. New
flowers bloom each day.

Narcissus Flower Symbolism

narcissus flower symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with the narcissus is normality, stay sweet, self-esteem and vanity. The name narcissus is derived from that
of the youth of Greek mythology called Narcissus, who became so
obsessed with his own reflection as he kneeled and gazed into a pool of
water that he fell into the water and drowned. The legend continues
that the narcissus plant first sprang from where he died.

Nasturtium Flower Symbolism

nasturtium flower symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with the nasturtium is victory in battle and conquest. Nasturtium literally means "nose-twister" or
"nose-tweaker" and refers to a genus of roughly 80 species of annual
and perennial flowering plants. Nasturtium have showy, often intensely
bright flowers and rounded, shield-shaped leaves with the petiole in
the center.

Orange Blossom Flower Symbolism

orange blossom flower symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with the orange blossom is innocence, eternal love, marriage and fruitfulness. The orange blossom, which is
the state flower of Florida, is traditionally associated with good
fortune, and was popular in bridal bouquets and head wreaths for
weddings. The petals of orange blossom can also be made into a
delicately citrus-scented version of rosewater. Orange blossom water is
a common part of Middle Eastern cuisine.

Orchid Flower Symbolism

orchid flower symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with the orchid is love, beauty, refinement, many children, thoughtfulness and mature charm. Orchids
have become a major market throughout the world. Buyers now bid
hundreds of dollars on new hybrids or improved ones. Orchids are one of
the most popular cut-flowers on the market.

Pansy Flower Symbolism

pansy flower symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with the pansy is merriment and you occupy my thoughts. The pansy is also called the heartsease or Johnny Jump Up.
The name pansy is derived from the French word pensée meaning
"thought", and was so named because the flower resembles a human face.
In August the pansy is thought to nod forward as if deep in thought.

Peony Flower Symbolism

peony flower symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with the peony is happy marriage, compassion and bashfulness. Peonies are extensively grown as ornamental
plants for their very large, often scented flowers. Peonies tend to
attract ants to the flower buds due to the nectar that forms.

Petunia Flower Symbolism

petunia flower symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with the petunia is your presence soothes me. Dixon, Illinois is the Petunia Capital of the world. Every year,
the Petunia Festival draws thousands of visitors to the city. The
streets are lined in petunias. The parade mascot is Pinky Petunia.

Poinsettia Flower Symbolism

poinsettia flower symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with the poinsettia has an ancient history. The ancient Aztecs considered the poinsettia to be a symbol of purity.
Today, poinsettias are the most easily recognized flower symbolic of
Christmas. Poinsettias are also known as the "Christmas flower" and
"Mexican flame leaf." Poinsettias originally came from Mexico and
Central America. According to legend, one day near Christmas a child
who was too poor to buy a present for the Christ child picked a weed
from the side of the road. When he reached the church, the plant
blossomed in red and green flowers.

Poppy Flower Symbolism

poppy flower symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with poppies is beauty, magic, consolation, fertility and eternal life. The Egyptians included poppies at funerals
and in burial tombs. The Greeks used poppies in the shrines of Demeter,
goddess of fertility, and Diana, goddess of the hunt. Poppies denote
sleep, rest and repose. In modern times, poppies have been associated
with Flanders fields as an emblem of those who died in World War I.

Pussy Willow Flower Symbolism

pussy willow symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with pussy willows is motherhood. When grown commercially, pussy willow shoots are picked just as the buds
expand in spring, and can last indefinitely once dried. The branches
can be put in vases or the buds can be used for table decoration.

Rhododendron Flower Symbolism

rhododendron flower symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with the rhododendron is beware and caution. Rhododendron means "rose tree." Some spices are toxic to
animals and may have a hallucinogenic and laxative effect on humans,
thus the symbolism related to warning and danger. Rhododendrons were
originally found in Nepal. Today there are over 1,000 species of
rhododendrons. Rhododendrons are the national flower of Nepal, the
state flower of Sikkim in India, and the state flower of West Virginia
and Washington in the United States.

Rose Flower Symbolism

The flower symbolism associated with roses is love, remembrance, passion (red); purity (white); happiness (pink); infidelity (yellow);
unconscious beauty, I love you. Roses were first cultivated 5,000 years
ago in Asian gardens. Confucius wrote that the emperor of China owned
over 600 books on the cultivation of roses. Roses were introduced to
Europe during the Roman Empire and were thereafter used for ornamental
purposes. Roses are emblems of England and New York City.

Shamrock Symbolism

shamrock symbolismThe symbolism associated with shamrocks is lightheartedness, good fortune and good luck. The shamrock is a symbol of Ireland and a registered
trademark of the Republic of Ireland. The shamrock was traditionally
used for its medicinal properties and was a popular decorative motif in
Victorian times. The shamrock is also symbolic of St. Patrick's Day,
celebrated on March 17th.

Snapdragon Flower Symbolism

snapdragon flower symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with snapdragons is graciousness and strength. The snapdragon is important as a model organism in botanical
research. Its genome has been studied in detail.

Sunflower Flower Symbolism

sunflower symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with sunflowers is adoration. Sunflowers turn their heads to the sun, which is the origin of their common name.
Sunflowers belong to the genus helianthus, a reference to Helios, the
sun god. Sunflowers are native to the Americas and are the state flower
of Kansas.

Sweet Pea Flower Symbolism

sweet pea flower symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with sweet peas is bliss, delicate pleasure, good-bye, departure, adieu and thank you for a lovely time.
Sweet peas were very popular in the late 1800s and are often considered
the floral emblem for Edwardian England. Sweet peas are the flowers
most closely connected to the month of April.

Tulip Flower Symbolism

tulip flower symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with tulips is fame and perfect love. The symbolic meanings also change with the color of the tulips. Red tulips
mean "believe me" and are a declaration of love. Variegated tulips mean
"you have beautiful eyes." Yellow tulips mean "there's sunshine in your
smile." And cream colored tulips mean "I will love you forever." Tulips
are the foremost national symbol of Holland, rivaling wooden shoes and

Verbena Flower Symbolism

verbena flower symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with the verbena flower is pray for me and sensibility. Verbena has longstanding use in herbalism and folk
medicine, usually as a tea. Verbena is grown as a honey plant to supply
bees with nectar.

Violet Flower Symbolism

Violet Flower SYmbolismThe flower symbolism associated with violets is modesty, virtue, affection, watchfulness, faithfulness, love and let's take a chance on happiness.
When newly opened, viola or violet flowers may be used to decorate
salads or in stuffing for poultry or fish. Soufflés, cream and similar
desserts can be flavored with essence of violet flowers.

Wisteria Flowers

The symbolic meaning of wisteria flowers is welcome and playful spontaneity. The wisteria is called "Purple Vine" in China. In one
cluster, the petals shade harmoniously from the strong, dark purple tip
to the soft, light pink at the open base.

Zinnia Flower Symbolism

zinnia flower symbolismThe flower symbolism associated with zinnias are thoughts of absent friends, lasting affection, constancy, goodness and daily remembrance.
Zinnias are the state flower of Indiana. The original zinnias were
found in the early 1500s in the wilds of Mexico. They were so dull and
unattractive that the Aztec name for them meant "eyesore." The common
name, garden Cinderella, indicates the level of the zinnia's later

By Kathleen Karlsen, MA

Views: 18111


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