mexican flowers

Top 18 Common Mexican Flowers You Can Grow

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With diverse terrain and beautiful landscapes, Mexico is home to all kinds of native Mexican flowers. These blooms are key in many Mexican festivals and many Mexicans grow beautiful home gardens. 

You can find Mexican flowers growing all over the country, from local gardens to houseplant containers and even in ornamental landscapes. While some are found in the mountains of Durango and Chihuahua, others are found in public gardens and meadows of Western Oaxaca. 

There are no single species that are the most popular Mexican flower, although many people agree that the poinsettia is the most recognizable. It is used all over the world to celebrate the Christian season. However, in Mexico itself, the dahlia is perhaps the most recognizable, as it is the national flower of the country. 

Whether you prefer one of the Mexican flowers or another type instead, you’ll likely find deep symbolism and meaning in any of these spectacular blooms. 

Here are some of the most traditional Mexican flowers you can grow – along with their meanings and best uses. 

#1. Mexican Sunflower

mexican sunflower

One of the most popular Mexican flowers is the Mexican sunflower. This plant looks much like a daisy, growing in a shrub-like form and producing blooms in shades of red and yellow. Just one shrub will push out more than 100 flowers, which is why it is representative of loyalty and faith. 

Mexican sunflowers are prized because they can actively reseed themselves, despite the fact that they are only annuals. They can also withstand tough growing conditions, like poor soil and drought. 

#2. Mexican Frangipani

mexican frangipani

Known scientifically as plumeria rubra, the Mexican Frangipani is a beautiful flower that has tiny yellow and white flowers. It is often used to decorate spas and is believed to be representative of ghosts and spiritual life. 

#3. Laelia Orchid

laelia orchid

Also referred to as the rosy-tinted laelia, the laelia orchid is one of the orchid species that can even grow among rocks and trees. It is a sturdy plant that represents beauty, luxury, and love, often found in shades of pink and purple.

#4. Mexican Lady’s Slipper

Mexican Lady's slipper

The Mexican lady’s slipper is an interesting kind of orchid that is native to Mexico, the United States, and Canada. It comes in colors of green, white, and pink. 

#5. Pineapple Sage

pineapple sage

Pineapple sage is a plant that smells, as the name implies, a lot like pineapple. It produces bright red blooms and foliage that can be used for cooking when it is crushed. It is a popular ground cover and has healing symbolism. 

#6. Mexican Honeysuckle

mexican honeysuckle

The Mexican honeysuckle is another quintessential Mexican plant. It is a beneficial plant for pollinators, attracting butterflies and other kinds of wildlife. It has a wonderful smell and is used to brighten up a garden. It is symbolic of happiness. 

#7. Poinsettia

red poinsettia

Closely associated with the Christmas holidays, the poinsettia is viewed as symbolic of the Star of Bethlehem. It can be used in dyes and for medicinal purposes. 

#8. Mexican Hat Flower

mexican hat flower

The Mexican hat flower is a member of the Asteraceae family, producing long leafless stalks and red to yellow colored flowers. The plant is primarily used for its ornamental purposes

#9. Mexican Marigold

mexican marigold

The Mexican marigold is one of the purest, most representative Mexican flowers you will find. It comes in many warm shades and is symbolic of grief and sadness.

These flowers are most often recognized during the holiday Day of the Dead, which is celebrated from October 31st to November 2nd. These flowers are used to welcome home spirits and recognize those who have passed. 

Along with gladiolus, chrysanthemums, baby’s breath, and cockscomb, Mexican marigolds are the most common flowers for this celebration. They are also one of the most popular bright orange flowers.

#10. Mexican Morning Glory

mexican morning glory

The Mexican morning glory is used to symbolize unrequited or unfulfilled love. It blossoms only after a rainfall, opening up first thing in the morning. It is found in arid environments and has trumpet-shaped blooms.

#11. Mexican Passion Flower

mexican passion flower

The Mexican passion flower is one of the most unique-looking Mexican flowers. With round-tipped vines and bilobed leaves, flowers are found in yellow and purple or, alternatively, a combination of green and red.

The flower is best known for its strong, pungent odor – but it also bears passion fruit. Interestingly the flower is often used to symbolize the death of Christ.

#12. Chocolate Cosmos

chocolate cosmos

This summer-blooming flower is found in shades of dark red, purple, and brown, and is most often viewed as being symbolic of order and beauty. It has a mild cocoa smell but isn’t fit for consumption.

#13. Mexican Poppy

mexican poppy

Usually harvested for its medicinal purposes, the Mexican poppy is viewed as a representation of peace and sleep. It has flowers that paper in shades of white and yellow, with blossoms spreading rapidly throughout a chunk of land. 

#14. Sword Lily

sword lily

The sword lily represents positive memories and sympathy, often used in Day of the Dead celebrations. It was once given to gladiators because of its sword-like shape and is actually part of the gladiolus family. It comes in shades of yellow, pink, and red. 

#15. Belize Sage

red sage

This beautiful flower blossoms best in compact spaces, making it one of the few Mexican flowers that are ideal for containers. It has small, red-orange blossoms and is incredibly versatile. It symbolizes healing and protection. 

#16. Dahlia

mexican dahlia

Dahlias are known as the national flowers of Mexico. They have multiple potential uses along with a longstanding history and gorgeous appearance. Many, in fact, have a two-toned appearance and intriguing petal pattern. They are most often viewed as symbolic of people who can stick to their own values. 

The flowers were once used by the Aztecs as a treatment for epilepsy. They were also once used as a food crop. 

#17. Yucca Flower

yucca flower

Technically a succulent, the yucca plant grows a banana-like fruit that can be used for cosmetic and medicinal purposes. The flowers, on the other hand, are bright white and sweet-smelling. This flower blooms primarily in the summer. 

#18. Bird of Paradise

mexican bird of paradise

The bird paradise looks much like a bird in flight, with the flowers themselves looking much like the head of a bird. Also known as crane flowers, birds of paradise plants bloom from summer until fall, often growing out more than six feet tall. 


How Mexican Flowers Are Used

Home gardens in Mexico are common with flowers integral to many important Mexican festivals (such as Day of the Dead). Another important Mexican festival is Tlaxochimoco, a phrase that means “distribution of flowers.” In some festivals, flowers are given as offerings to Mexican deities. 

Another festival that is popular in Mexican culture is the Feast of Xochiquetzal, or the Farewell to Flowers. This is celebrated right at the end of the growing season and requires revelers to ornate their homes, places of worship, streets, and even themselves with flowers. 

For more interesting flowers, check our list of flower names.

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