anemone flower meaning

Anemone Flower Meaning, Symbolism and Cultural Significance

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Often referred to as the windflower, the anemone is a delicate flower with fragile beauty. It is frequently used in floral arrangements, with a subdued loveliness that is understated yet powerful. 

This flower, despite its delicate appearance, is quite symbolic. In fact, depending on the culture describing it, the anemone flower has several potential meanings – many of which are mixed in their intent.

What Does Anemone Mean?

Before we take a dive into the deep meaning and symbolism of these gorgeous flowers, let’s break down the etymological meaning of the blooms.

There are more than 120 different species with the name “anemone,” which refers to an entire genus. The word “anemone” directly translates to the Greek word of these same spelling and pronunciation, which means “the wind’s daughter.” This makes sense when you realize that anemones are often referred to as windflowers.

The word combines the word “anemos,” for wind, with the suffix “-one,” which refers to a daughter. 

What Does an Anemone Flower Symbolize?

The anemone flower is a complicated one, with hundreds of potential meanings. It most commonly symbolizes protection against ill will and evil, but can also represent forgotten love. It can symbolize anticipation or it can be used in remembrance for a deceased loved one. 

This flower has several more arguable meanings as well. For example, when the petals of this flower close, it signals that a rainstorm is on the way. It can also symbolize the arrival of the first set of winds in the spring.

Therefore, while some people see the anemone as a protection against disease or other unfortunate events, others view it as a doomsday omen.

The meaning of an anemone flower can vary depending on its color, too.

What Does a Red Anemone Mean?

Red anemones are usually tied to the themes of forsaken or forgotten love due to a death. The same is true of pink anemones, which are relatively common. 

Both pink and red anemones hold symbolic meanings of positivity and a good mood. These are also feminine colors that are a popular choice for symbolizing the goddess of love. They are often used in wedding bouquets. When used in a bouquet, these different colors create a mix that symbolizes anticipation and love. 

What Does a White Anemone Symbolize?

More often than not, white anemones are linked to death and bad luck in most Eastern cultures. This is the color of anemone most often used at funerals there. 

What Does a Blue Anemone Mean?

Blue anemones are usually used to symbolize protection from evil – or anticipation of impending evil, depending on where you live. 

What Do Purple Anemone Flowers Symbolize?

The purple anemone flower symbolism is also important to recognize. Purple and blue anemones share much of the same symbolism, with purple anemones symbolizing themes like protection from evil spirits and other symbolic meanings like good luck and nobility.

The purple anemone is featured most often in the most famous paintings of our ancient cultures. The Purple Robe and Anemones painting by Henri Matisse is perhaps the most well-known of these various paintings, showing the anemone meaning brought to life on canvas.

What is the Symbolism of a Yellow Anemone Flower?

The yellow anemone flower symbolism also should not be overlooked.

Yellow anemones, often referred to as poppy anemones, have more positive symbolism. The anemone symbolism for yellow anemones has to do with cheer, optimism, and good luck. These are great anemone flowers to give to close friends to show how much you cherish them.

What is the Cultural Significance of an Anemone?

The anemone has a rich cultural heritage and is also closely tied to the story of Aphrodite and Adonis. According to the old Greek myth, Aphrodite kept Adonis as her companion for too long – as a result, the other gods murdered him. 

When the beautiful goddess Aphrodite wept over her lover Adonis’ grave, anemones sprang up where she cried. Aphrodite’s tears over the death of her lover led to the most beautiful anemone blooms, showing the beauty of nature in the face of adversity and heartbreak. 

The Greeks now view the anemone flower as a representation of lost love, along with the arrival of a fresh spring breeze. 

Greek mythology isn’t the only culture that has anemone symbolism to note. 

Victorian culture, in fact, views the anemone flower a bit differently. They view it as a forsaken love of any kind. 

Both Chinese and Egyptian scholars view the anemone as a symbol of poor fortune and of illness (due largely to its coloring) while on the flip side, Europeans used to carry the anemone with them to help prevent disease. 

Because of this, the anemone flower was once believed to hold healing properties. People believed it could be used to ward off ill omens and it was used to treat common issues like menstrual complications.

While most Western cultures recognize that these claims aren’t backed in science, the symbolic meaning of anemone flowers holds enough meaning on its own. 

What is the Symbolism of an Anemone Tattoo?

Anemone tattoos are usually associated with powerful symbolism -such as protection against disease, bad wishes, and even evil. Interestingly, in many Eastern cultures, it represents bad luck, so you won’t see it as a common tattoo on people there. 

Head west, though, and you’ll find it worn as a “good luck charm” kind of tattoo along with a memorial to fallen soldiers, particularly those of the two World Wars.

The anemone flower meaning is varied, especially since it comes in so many diverse colors.  You can use it as a tattoo to symbolize the Virgin Mary, or to send a message that you want to ward off bad luck and evil spirits. 

Or you could even get a tattoo of white anemone flowers to show how much anticipation and excitement you have for an upcoming milestone!

When Should You Give Someone an Anemone?

Now that you know the anemone flower meaning, when should you give one to somebody? Because this flower can sometimes be viewed as a symbol of bad luck, you might be wondering when the anemone flower meaning/symbolism might be a good choice.

Remember, the color of the anemone flower makes a big difference, and with various colors to choose from, it can be a good choice for almost anyone, provided that you choose one of the many colors that actually fits the occasion.

Anemones are usually given at funerals or memorial services for loved ones who have passed away. Because they can also symbolize change, they’re also a good fit in a bouquet for someone who is expecting a big event, like the birth of a baby or a marriage. They can also be used to get well bouquets if you live in western culture.

When you’re aware of the anemone flower symbolism, there’s no limit to what you can do with the different colors of these delicate flowers. 

Use them to display last respects at a funeral, or hang them on your door as a protection against evil. Give a bouquet to showcase your anticipation and excitement for a new beginning, like the birth of a baby, or give a beautiful flower basket as a Valentine’s Day bouquet.

No matter how you choose to use the anemone flowers, the symbolism of the anemone will help you create a gift that really makes an impact. 

*Photo by OKGraphic/depositphotos

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