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Flower Meaning and Symbolism

Not only are flowers beautiful additions to our gardens, homes, and special events, they also have different meanings attached to them. Flower language - or floriography - is the art of flower symbolism, which varies depending on the type, color and number of flowers given.

In general, red flowers are symbolic of passion while pink flowers mean unconditional love. That's why pink flowers are often grown for mothers. Blue is the rarest flower color in the garden, and it usually indicates commitment, respect, and peacefulness.

Before sending flowers to someone from another culture or country, do your research, or you might send an unintended message. In some parts of the world, white flowers represent purity and are used in weddings, while in Chinese culture for instance, they are used in funerals. 

Let’s take a look at meanings and symbolism of some of the most popular garden flowers:


Daisies represent purity and innocence. This is based on an ancient Celtic legend. According to this legend, God showered daisies across the world whenever a newborn died to cheer up the parents.

Daisy often represents childbirth, motherhood, and fresh beginnings.

They also mean chastity and transformation. According to the Roman myth Vertumnus, God of seasons and gardens, fell in love with Belides, a nymph. He continuously pursued her, and in order to escape his affections she turned herself into a daisy. Daisy’s scientific name Bellis, stems from this story.

In Old English, daisies were referred to as “day’s eye” because at night the petals close over the yellow center and during the day they re-open. The phrase “as fresh as a daisy” originated from this, signifying that someone had a good night’s rest.


Sunflowers are the embodiment of happiness and summer. With their bright, yellow petals and tall green stems, it’s easy to see why so many people love them.

The sunflower’s name comes from its tendency to turn itself towards the sun. It’s genus, “helianthus”, is rooted in two Greek words — “helios” meaning sun and “anthos” meaning flower.

The ancient Greek myth of Apollo and Clytie is one explanation of why sunflowers turn towards the sun. In this story Clytie, a nymph, adored Apollo. At first, he loved her back, but soon he fell in love with Leucothoe. Because of her jealousy, Clytie told Leucothoe’s father of the relationship and he punished her by burying her alive.

In anger, Apollo turned her into a flower, but even in flower form she still loved him and would spend days watching him as he moved the sun across the sky, just like sunflowers move to face the sun.

Sunflowers symbolize adoration and loyalty. They are also symbol of happiness and optimism.




Most of us are familiar with what the red rose means. It has been used across cultures to represent love for centuries. Red roses are usually the perfect gift for Valentine’s Day because of their classy and elegant look.

Pink roses often mean gratitude and admiration. They are the perfect gift for the people you appreciate most, like your teachers, parents or siblings. Pink roses can also represent femininity and elegance, which makes them ideal for events like engagement parties and baby showers.

The meaning of white roses is purity and grace. Perhaps that’s why they are considered to be popular wedding flowers. They symbolize young love and eternal loyalty. The color white also means fresh beginnings.

Roses are definitely very symbolic, often used in heraldry, badges, and coats of arms. The War of the Roses was carried out between the House of York (whose heraldic badge bore a white rose) and the House of Lancaster (red rose). The use of the rose as a symbol for silence or secrecy goes back to the ancient Egyptians.



While the majority of people think that tulips originated in the Netherlands, this isn’t completely true. Before this flower found its way to Holland, it made quite the journey.

Tulips originated in Central Asia where it grew in the wilderness. Sometime around 1000 AD, it made its way to modern-day Turkey. The Ottomans fell in love with tulips and planted them in their gardens. From there, tulips made their way to Holland sometime around 1600 AD.

The most popular meaning of tulips is unconditional love and gratitude. When you give a tulip to a partner, parent, child, or friend, you are showing them how much you love them.

This symbolism is partially drawn from the story of Prince Farhad and his love Shirin. There are different versions of this tale, but they all involve Farhad becoming distraught after learning Shirin has died. While dealing with his grief, Farhad injures himself. As his blood hits the ground, red tulips spring up in its place.


The lily name meaning comes from the Old English “lilie”, from Latin “lilium” and from Greek “leirion”. Lily is now a hugely popular girl’s name.

White lilies symbolize a rejuvenation of the soul. They can represent purity, commitment and rebirth, which is why they’re often chosen as sympathy flowers.

Pink lilies stand for love and femininity. Bright red lily represents passion. It’s a welcome change to a red rose in a romantic bouquet. Full of positivity and joy, orange lilies are the perfect flowers to send when you want to congratulate someone on a new job, new home or personal achievement.

Flowers have always been the perfect gift for every person. You will always be able to say the right thing when you understand the flower symbolism.


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