tulip flower meaning

Tulip Flower Meaning and Symbolism

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Tulips are some of the first flowers to appear in the early spring and summer months, producing gorgeous cup-shaped blooms in a medley of colors. An important flower in most home gardens, tulips are some of the most popular flowers in the world. 

They also have tons of meaning. These flowers have deep cultural significance and can be found all over the world.

Here’s what you need to know:

What Does Tulip Mean?

The word “tulip” is short and to the point – but it still has a complicated history. The flower’s etymology can be linked to the Persian word for turban, “delband.” 

However, this is likely a mistranslation, since Persians loved to wear tulips in their turbans. Writings about the flower were translated into other languages long before the word got its common name.

In the Netherlands in the 1600s, tulips were very famous, which led to a time known as “Tulip Mania.”

Regardless, all types of tulips belong to the Tulipagenus. Some variations are known as “neo-tulipa” since they’ve been found in the wild for so long that they have developed unique characteristics of their own. 

bright red tulips

What Do Tulips Symbolize?

The tulip, with its sedate, cultivated appearance, may not be the most lavish or fanciest flower in your garden, but it has a ton of deep meaning. 

The flower can symbolize undying love between family members and partners – it can also symbolize passionate romantic love. 

Tulips can also represent forgotten love, so it’s important to consider the occasion on which you are giving a tulip flower to make sure nothing is misconstrued!

Tulips can also symbolize charity, prosperity, abundance, and indulgence, too. 

tulip rows

Tulip Symbolism & Colors

Yellow tulips meaning

Yellow tulips most commonly are used to represent spurned or unrequited love. If you send a yellow tulip to someone, it probably means that you love them but the feelings are not mutual.

Red tulips meaning

Red tulips symbolize love and passion.

Purple tulips meaning

Purple tulips are usually linked to royalty, prosperity, and abundance – a common meaning for purple flowers.

Pink tulips meaning

Pink tulips are connected to love and affection, generally a good choice if you are giving tulips to your friends and family members.

White tulips meaning

White tulips represent forgiveness and respect. You can give these flowers as a way of saying “I’m sorry”. They can also symbolize innocence, purity, and new beginnings.

Orange tulips meaning

Orange tulips are used to express understanding and appreciation between two people, typically those in a relationship. Orange color represents happiness and enthusiasm. A bouquet of orange tulips can represent your physical and spiritual connection to someone.

tulip plants

What is the Cultural Significance of a Tulip?

Tulips are viewed as a classic flower of love today, but in Victorian culture, the flower was viewed as a symbol of charity. 

The Turkish people, some of the first people to cultivate the flower on a large scale, viewed the tulip as a representation of paradise on earth. Therefore, it was used in many religious poems and artwork of the time. The Ottomans planted tulip bulbs to remind them of heaven. 

Tulips probably earned their more modern symbolism regarding love and passion in the 20th and 21st centuries. 

What is the Symbolism of a Tulip Tattoo?

Tulip tattoos are quite popular among women. Usually, they are chosen for their gorgeous appearance and vibrant colors. These tattoos generally symbolize beauty, advancement, opportunity, aspiration, and love. 

When Should You Give Someone a Tulip?

Tulips are appropriate when you want to express your deep love to someone. They can also be used if you just want to brighten someone’s day! Tulips will show how you feel and will also add a dash of color to any room.

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