marigold symbolism

Marigold Flower Meaning and Symbolism

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Often seen as a hallmark of autumn, the marigold is a flower that blooms in all kinds of warm shades, including red, yellow, and orange. 

However, this flower can actually endure throughout most of the spring and summer months, and offers everlasting beauty through the seasons. One of the smallest and most common garden flowers, the marigold has deep meaning and can fit into just about any occasion. 

What Does Marigold Mean?

Marigolds fall into two separate categories based on their scientific nomenclature. In the first group, you’ll find flowers in the Calendula family, which is a Latin name that means “little clock.” 

The other marigolds are less common, hailing from the Tagetes family instead. This name is derived from that of the religious prophet, Tages, who had a powerful influence on Etruscan culture. 

Either way, the common name of marigold has to do with the plant’s initial use as an offering to the Virgin Mary – the flower was given in place of gold coins.

yellow marigold flowers

What Do Marigolds Symbolize?

Marigolds have deep symbolism, much of which changes depending on its color and placement in a garden or an occasion. 

Although it does have a few negative connotations attached to it, this flower usually has more positive meanings like beauty and warmth, winning the affections of someone through your hard work, and creativity. It can also symbolize a drive to succeed and cheer in a relationship.

All marigolds sport some kind of yellow, orange, or red petals. When these warm colors are viewed on marigolds, they add lots of meaning, helping people who feel down and out get a bit of a pick me up. 

What is the Cultural Significance of a Marigold?

Marigolds were frequently given as sacrifices to the gods in Christian, Buddhist, Aztec, Hindu, and even pagan culture. The flower has strong ties to the sun and is believed to have the power to resurrect. 

All marigolds have the same basic meanings as they are all found in the same red, yellow, and orange colors. 

Victorians viewed the flower as a symbol of grief, as did Mexicans, who connected it to the remembrance of the departed during the Dia de Muertos.

In the Middle Ages, marigolds were frequently carried as love charms during the Middle Ages – you would carry a marigold if you were trying to attract someone new!

What is the Symbolism of a Marigold Tattoo?

A marigold tattoo holds deep meaning. You will find marigold tattoos of all colors on people, but usually, they are inked in shades of orange and yellow shades. They usually represent grief, jealousy, or cruelty – this isn’t a tattoo to get if you are interested in saying something nice! 

When Should You Give Someone a Marigold?

Marigolds are perfect flowers to give on practically any occasion. Aside from being recognized as a symbol of joy, they are perfect when given as gifts at religious ceremonies or memorials for those who have passed away. 

They can also be given on summer birthdays or to encourage somebody in your life to reach for their full potential. The marigold is also the flower for the birth month of October

*Photo by Shebeko/depositphotos

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