language of flowers

Language of Flowers: Ultimate List of Flower Meanings and Symbolism

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The world is full of colors, and flowers are no exception to that. There are many different colors of flowers in the world, each with its own flower meaning and symbolism. Wouldn’t it be great if you could understand the language of flowers?

Flowers come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors depending on the species. The color can also be symbolic based on their history as well as for certain occasions or events. If you’re looking for an appropriate flower to give someone as a gift or decoration then this list will help! Gifting flowers can mean more than you think.

We will walk you through the ultimate list of flower colors and flower meanings so that you can show your love and appreciation for someone with ease!

blue hydrangea flowers

Flower Meanings by Color

Floriography (flower language) is a type of cryptographic communication that involves the use or arrangement of flowers. Victorians could secretly express affection, desire, or disdain thanks to the coded language of floriography.

The table below explains the common flower color meanings:

Flower ColorMeaning and Symbolism
YellowFriendship, family love, trust, respect, happiness, compassion, a job well done, warmth
RedPassion, desire, seduction, romantic love
OrangeBrightness, happiness, joy, spontaneity, adventure
Pink Sensitivity, innocence, playfulness, femininity, delicateness, thoughtfulness, spontaneity 
GreenHarmony with nature, balance, happiness, youth, wellness, health, good fortune
BlueSerenity, calmness, contemplation, intimacy, blissful pleasure, trust, sympathy 
PurpleRoyalty, grace, charm, elegance, refinement, romance, important transitions
WhitePurity, perfection, honesty, marriage, commitment, innocence, fidelity, undying love 
MixedHarmony, excitement, adventure 

Understanding The Language of Flowers

Do you speak flower language? Want a more in-depth guide on the many delicate blooms and their flower meanings?

Here are some easy tips on finding the perfect flower for any occasion. You’ll always be able to say the right thing and understand the flower symbolism when you consider this list of ultimate flower meanings and colors!

Flowers That Symbolize Death

We’ve all seen the deathly white lilies that are often given to loved ones in a funeral home. What you may not know is that there are many other flowers that symbolize death, and they each have their own unique flower meaning.

Wreaths made with dried leaves or pine cones can also represent a life cut short. Carnations signify the end of an era, while roses can be seen as either a celebration of life or the end of it. Carnations don’t always have to mean it’s the end, however, white carnations for instance can represent pure love.

Flowers To Symbolize Strength

One of the best flowers to represent strength is the gladiolus. This long-lasting plant has strong, sturdy stems that are a reminder of how strong, both physically and in regard to our personal character, we can be. 

Flowers That Represent Family

Flowers like lilacs, gardenias, and hyacinths are often associated with children, so it makes sense that these flowers might also be associated with the idea of family. The day lily is another flower that’s closely associated with family since it’s symbolically associated with motherhood and Mother’s Day. 

Another plant to consider is the cinquefoil. These yellow flowers symbolize maternal affection but can also be used to represent a beloved child, particularly a daughter. 

Flowers To Symbolize Love

There are many flowers that symbolize eternal love but one of the best is the red rose. Often found in shops on Valentine’s Day, red roses symbolize love, romance, passion, and desire. It’s a great way to represent bliss in a marriage as well as an undying love for another person.

Another option is the aster. This plant was found in Greek mythology when it was placed on altars for the gods. It can convey deep emotional love and is found in shades like red, white, pink, lilac, and mauve. The aster gets its name from the Greek word for a star due to its resemblance to a star in the sky.

The carnation is another classic flower that represents pure love. Giving someone a red carnation is the perfect way to tell them that you care for them in a romantic way, while a white carnation is more indicative of pure, long-lasting love. 

Other flowers that can be used to symbolize love include red tulips, daisies, gardenias, delphiniums, orchids, and roses. Someone can also give you camellia flowers to show their love. Orchids also symbolize proud and glorious femininity among other things.

A flower you can use to show unrequited love is a Narcissus. If you want to tell someone they are lovely, give them a gardenia. It’s a symbol of secret love. Don’t forget the yellow iris and orange lily. These represent passion which is closely linked to love. Last but not least there is the hydrangea which represents heartfelt emotions.

red orange roses

Flowers To Represent Hope

Some people are not born with “hope” in their hearts, but there is always a flower that can symbolize it. Flowers such as tulips and daisies represent the hope of life, while roses serve as a reminder to live life to the fullest. 

For those who believe in reincarnation, they may choose to have an urn filled with flowers that will be placed on their loved one’s grave after death so that they can enjoy them again someday. On the other end of the spectrum, anemones represent fading hope.

Flowers That Mean Rebirth

Did you know that there are flowers that symbolize rebirth? The poppy, for example, is a flower with deep meaning. Poppies have long been associated with the early stages of World War I and II. This tradition stems from the ancient Greeks who believe poppies to be magical plants capable of giving someone immortality.

One other type of flower that has symbolic meaning regarding rebirth is the daffodil. The daffodil represents new beginnings as we get out from under winter’s darkness and enter into the light of springtime. A daffodil also symbolizes unrequited love and eternal life.

Flowers To Symbolize Healing

When it comes to finding the right flower to give someone in need of healing well wishes, you’ll have no shortage of options. Choose flowers that soothe your soul by healing whatever it is that ails you physically  – plants like jasmine, lavender, calendula, passionflower, and roses all have medicinal benefits and also symbolize healing 

Flowers That Symbolize Peace

White roses are a symbol of peace and innocence. The red rose is symbolic of love, splendid beauty, and passion. In general, just about any kind of yellow flower represents joy.

Flowers That Mean Life

Stock is a flower that represents a happy life, as is the peony. If you’re looking for a houseplant that means new beginnings and the delicate beauty of life, choose the calathea plant. 

Tulips and daffodils are also flowers that mean life.

Flowers That Symbolize Purity

Just about any flower that is found in white can symbolize purity, but if you’re looking for more specific types of flowers, consider giving someone a daisy, gardenia, lilac, orange blossom, lily of the valley or white rose. White roses are said to represent the Virgin Mary. All of these flowers represent purity, loyal love, and innocence. Another flower that symbolizes purity is the white iris. The flowers most closely linked to the Virgin Mary, however, are white lilies. White represents purity after all.

Flowers That Symbolize Happiness

There’s a good chance that receiving just about any kind of flower makes you feel happy – but did you know that there are certain types of flowers you can give that specifically represent happiness? 

Some of the flowers with the strongest symbolism for happiness include hollies, lily of the valley (more specifically, a return to happiness), yellow rose and pink roses, stephanotis, and white violets. Since yellow roses represent happiness, it’s a very bad idea to give these to someone in mourning.

Another flower that can be closely linked to happiness is the bird of paradise. It has different meanings that represent magnificence as well as exciting and wonderful anticipation.

Flowers That Mean Friendship

If you want to give a flower that symbolizes the memory of an absent wonderful friend, a zinnia is a great choice. Other flowers that represent friendship include yellow roses, ivy, freesias, chrysanthemums, and acacias. Yellow roses are also used to express appreciation for someone.

Flowers That Represent Change

Some of the most popular flowers and plants that symbolize change are tulips, daffodils, and pansies. These flowers have meanings that will help you celebrate a new chapter in your life while remembering the past. 

Tulips represent hope for a brighter future while daffodils symbolize rebirth from sorrows and despair. Pansies are known to signify changes in love; as they say “love conquers all.”

Flowers To Symbolize Royalty

Lavender symbolizes dignity, wisdom, and royalty. Lavender has been used for centuries by royals to show their status as well as their wealth from this valuable resource. They also held medicinal properties like calming nerves or easing stomach distress.

In ancient times, the Egyptians had many different types of flowers which they believed to be symbolic of royalty. One of these was the Iris, a flower that is still used today as wedding bouquet flowers and for graduations as it is thought to signify prestige, hope, and power.

Flowers That Symbolize New Beginnings

When you want to send someone a message about starting over and new beginnings, there are certain flowers that will do it better than others. The daisy is one of these flowers because it has been used as a symbol of innocence and purity all throughout history.

Flowers such as tulips and daffodils represent the beginning of spring: a time of hope, rejuvenation, and growth. Other flowers that represent this sentiment include irises or lilies. These are often used in a bridal bouquet featuring some or all of the above-mentioned flowers. You can mix the flowers of purity with those for happiness in your wedding bouquet if you so prefer.

Flowers That Symbolize Remembrance

What flowers symbolize remembrance? Some people think that a white rose is the most appropriate flower for remembrance, but it’s not always easy to find one. In many countries, poppies are used as a substitute. 

Poppy flowers symbolize Remembrance because they were used by World War I soldiers as an emblem on their uniforms, and became known as “Remembrance Day Flowers.”

In some cultures, paper flowers in bright colors are hung on memorials and gravestones. Other plants with symbolic meaning include daffodils (a favorite of Queen Elizabeth II) and lilies-of-the-valley.

Flowers That Symbolize Fertility

In ancient times, flowers were used to symbolize fertility. The Egyptians considered the poppy and the rose sacred. In Greek mythology, Aphrodite was born from seafoam that contained white lilies. Both of these flowers are still associated with love and lasting beauty today but they also represent life – which is a key trait in fertility as well.

In Ancient Egypt, the lotus was associated with rebirth and life-giving waters from the Nile River, making it a good flower to symbolize fertility, too. 

Flowers That Symbolize Birth

Choosing the flower that matches your birth month will always serve as a wonderful way to symbolize birth (for example, the carnation and snowdrop are the perfect flowers for January babies while the rose and honeysuckle are for those born in June), but there are a few other types of flowers that generally symbolize birth, too. These include the sweet pea, the daffodil, and the snowdrop.

Flowers That Symbolize Freedom

There are many unique flowers that symbolize freedom, including the crane flower, freesias, milkweed, and lilies. The more unique and rare the flower is, the better it is to serve as a symbol of freedom and a free-spirited nature!

Flowers That Symbolize Sadness

When giving a flower at a funeral or another somber occasion, it can be tough to find one that conveys a meaning of comfort and sympathy. Of course, you’ll also want to choose a flower that represents sadness. To that end, you’ll want to choose options like the hyacinth. The purple hyacinth, in particular, can send a message of “I’m sorry” along with overwhelming sorrow. 

Flowers That Symbolize Loyalty

The aster is most commonly used to symbolize loyalty, as well as virtues like belief, valor, and understanding. 

Flowers That Symbolize Gratitude

There are many flowers that symbolize gratitude. Some of the most common include the sweet william, globe flower, the dianthus, the pink carnation and the bell flower. Blue bells most commonly symbolize gratitude, as do many other flowers that are light pink. The pink carnation can also represent the love of a woman.

Flowers That Symbolize Loss

One of the most common flowers given during a time of grieving is the white lily. These flowers are often associated with funerals, but they can also be used to symbolize new life when given as a gift on any occasion. 

Funeral arrangements may include other types of white flowers, such as roses or daisies, too.

Flowers That Symbolize Beauty

Almost any flower can symbolize refined beauty, but the calla lily is one of the best if that’s the message you are trying to send. The calla lily, being a gorgeous plant themselves, is often interpreted to mean “magnificent beauty.” Calla lilies get their name from the Greek word kallos which means beauty.

Flowers That Symbolize Regret

More often than not, the purple hyacinth is the flower that is chosen to symbolize regret. You can give a bouquet of these flowers to show that you are sad about a specific situation and want the recipient of the bouquet to forgive you. 

Flowers That Symbolize Luck

While the four-leaf clover is seen as the quintessential representation of good luck, there are plenty of flowers you can give if you want to convey good fortune, too. Some of the best examples include the white carnation (especially as a woman’s good luck gift) along with the myrtle, which bodes good luck and sweet love for a happy marriage.

Flowers That Symbolize Fire

There are even flowers that symbolize fire! The red carnation sends a message of “you are a flame in my heart!” to the receiver, while other “fire flowers” include the Lucifer Canna Lily, the Circus Rose, and the Uptick Gold and Bronze Coreopsis flowers.

Flowers That Symbolize Sisterhood

There are many flowers that symbolize sisterhood, but when gifted together, the best options are the yellow goldenrod and blue aster. 

Flowers That Symbolize Prosperity

The peony is the classic flower to symbolize prosperity, as well as honor. This is a flower commonly given for this purpose in China. The Peruvian lily is another option that can signify both properties as well as wealth and good fortune. Another flower to consider is the allium, which can also signify unity and patience. 

Flowers That Symbolize Forgiveness

Many flowers can be used to show someone that you forgive them but there is no plant that is better suited to this purpose than the white tulip. In addition to signifying forgiveness, it can also be used to convey a message of worthiness and sincerity. 

Flowers That Symbolize Anger

If you’re angry, red is a good flower color to showcase your emotions. Choose flowers like the peony or even a black rose to show your rage! Similarly, rejection and disappointment can be represented by the yellow carnation.

Flowers That Symbolize Faith

There are several flowers that symbolize faith. However, some of the most commonly given blooms in this situation are the violet as well as the wallflower. The wallflower is most often given to represent faithfulness in adversity. 

Flowers That Symbolize Growth

To symbolize spiritual growth and change, delphinium flowers are your best options. You can also use the lilac to symbolize the growth of any kind, too.

Daisies and gladiolus are also flowers that represent growth and development.

Flowers That Symbolize Intelligence

To tell someone you think they’re smart, choose options like the purple iris, which symbolizes wisdom and compliments, or sage. Sage can also be used as a sign of respect! The blue iris on the other hand symbolizes faith and hope and should not be confused with the purple iris.

Flowers That Symbolize Loneliness

Many plants can symbolize loneliness – often, fungi like mushrooms are the best options to convey this message, but who wants to give someone a ball of fungus? You might consider flowers like single daffodils, carnations, or even yellow chrysanthemums instead. As a little interesting fact, the chrysanthemum is the official flower of California.

Flowers That Symbolize Strength and Healing

There are many flowers you can give to symbolize strength and healing – the options we told you about above for healing bouquets are great options in and of themselves. However, if you want your bouquet to make even more of an impact, consider giving plants like thyme or orchids. Orchids, in particular, signify good health and healing when they’re green or orange in color. 

Flowers That Symbolize Kindness

According to the Victorian flower language, bluebells have a strong connection to the virtue of kindness, having been associated with this human quality since the Victorian era.

Flowers That Symbolize Time

A great flower to represent the passage of time and a long life include the plumeria and the amaranth. The amaranth is also used to convey a message of immortality. 

Flowers That Symbolize Health

Any green flower is a good option if you want to convey the notion of good health. The green orchid, especially, is a good choice. 

Flowers That Symbolize Perseverance

To send a message of perseverance, consider options like dandelions, magnolia flowers, and spoonwood flowers. These are all stubborn blooms that will hang on no matter what – what more could you ask for when trying to convey a notion of perseverance?

What Are the Best Flowers to Give?

If you’re a floral fanatic looking for some new varieties to grow, our list of flower meanings and colors should help. 

Hopefully, this meaning of flowers guide has inspired you to create your own garden of gorgeous blooms to give – no matter what meaning you are hoping to convey, you’ll be able to hit the mark each and every time by planting a rainbow of colorful plants in your backyard garden.

If you’re looking to learn more about flowers, check our guides about zodiac flowers, birth flowers and the ultimate list of flowers from A to Z.

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