People have given various flowers' unique meanings for centuries. Flowers are one of our favorite presents—to give and receive—but do they have a deeper meaning?
Yes! Each flower type & brilliant color has a different meaning. From birth flowers to the perfect anniversary blooms—or even a just-because bouquet—there are flowers to send the perfect message for every occasion.
Whether you plan to gift a potted plant, hanging basket, or a bouquet of beautifully arranged, hand-chosen stems, you can select your favorite floral gifts to ensure they mean the most.
Why do we give flowers as a kind or thoughtful gesture? Well, first of all, why not?
Flowers are a symbol of love, care, and compassion. Flowers often convey emotions that are too strong for words alone. Think of the passion embodied by a dozen—or two or three—roses for your fifteenth anniversary, the grief and love expressed by a beautiful funeral floral arrangement, or the joy of receiving a vibrant bouquet after the birth of your first baby.
So many flower meanings; so little time! This guide will help you choose the perfect flowers to arrange or just the right pop-up flowers for your special occasion!
Commonly known and celebrated flower meanings have come from various traditions & cultures. Many flowers have different meanings in different parts of the world, and the symbolism has changed from Greek mythology to ancient Chinese culture to Victorian-era Britain.
Many of the most common meanings we know and celebrate today come from the Victorian era, but in this article, we will share different meanings for some of your favorite flowers. That way, when you order a stunning fresh floral arrangement or a bouquet of handcrafted paper flowers, you will know the secret meaning of each flower type based on floriography—the language and of flowers.
Flower Types & Meanings
Different types of flowers carry implications and symbolism. Therefore, your gift of flowers can hold a special meaning for the recipient. Here are the secret significations of some of the most beloved and popular flowers—with links to some of our favorite floral gifts & cards:
Roses. One of the most classic and well-loved flowers, roses are notorious for conveying passion, admiration, and love. Different colors can make the meaning even more specific.
Tulips. Tulips' meanings are often derived from their colors. For example, red tulips signify true love, and yellow tulips express cheerfulness. White tulips symbolize forgiveness.
Daisies. Most commonly, daisies denote beauty, innocence, or new beginnings. A beautiful bouquet of daisies is also one of the most cheerful bouquets a person can receive.
Carnations. Like tulips, the meaning of carnations depends mainly on their color. Purple carnations represent capriciousness and are perfect for an adventurous loved one; pink carnations represent gratitude; white carnations are ideal for wishing someone special, 'good luck.'
Black-Eyed Susans. Black-Eyed Susans represent encouragement, motivation, endurance, and protection in many cultures. Sending a bouquet with Black-Eyed Susans is a pleasant way to share these thoughtful sentiments with the recipient.
Sunflowers. These favorite flowers are notoriously cheery. Resembling the sun, sunflowers symbolize love, loyalty, admiration, and cheerfulness.
Orchids. Orchids have various meanings, such as appreciation, respect, unity, or fertility. A bouquet of orchids is an excellent & meaningful gift. White orchids, specifically, symbolize new beginnings so they’re great for anyone starting a new chapter in their life.
Pansies. From Victorian England to modern-day America, pansies have carried a special meaning of love & remembrance. In Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, there was a love potion made of pansies. A bouquet of pansies is a great way to express your love or remembrance of lost loved ones.
Hibiscus. The tropical blooms of a hibiscus flower can symbolize delicate beauty, hospitality, or friendship. Like many other red flowers, red hibiscus flowers can symbolize passionate love. Tell someone special you think they're beautiful with a stunning pop-up hibiscus card.
Lotus. These stunning flowers often symbolize purity, rebirth, and overcoming adversity because of the breathtaking way that they grow from the mud without stains. A lotus bouquet can also prompt feelings of peace, harmony, and passion as a Buddhist symbol for purity & spiritual perfection.
Lilies. In Greek mythology, lilies are a symbol of femininity and fertility. According to Christian tradition, lilies represent purity, innocence, and rebirth. Devotion & purity are the most common connotations. However, you can send a pink lily as a token of affection, admiration, pure love—or a white lily for sympathy.
Peonies. A stunning favorite flower, peonies are often given to express goodwill and joy. In China and Japan, they represent wealth, honor, and fortune. Whether you want to say congratulations, send well wishes, or send a joyful, celebratory gift, you can't go wrong with a bouquet of pop-up peonies.
Lavender. This lovely purple flower is associated with devotion, grace, calmness, and a higher purpose. You can give lavender in a bouquet alone. Share your message with the most adorable Lavender Bicycle pop-up card.
Daffodils. Daffodils are rich with meaning. They often symbolize new beginnings, rebirth, and the arrival of spring. They're usually the first to pop up in early springtime. The ancient Greeks associated daffodils with self-love. In Victorian England, daffodils expressed admiration and respect. You can communicate hope, new beginnings, self-admiration, or affection with a bouquet of daffodils.
Flower Color Meanings
A flower's color can change its meaning or communicate a special message. Whether you spot a flower in a faraway field or the flower bed by your front door, you usually notice its color first.
Most people love planting flowers in all their favorite colors to enjoy & share with others.
Choosing colors based on meaning is an essential part of communicating with flowers. Here are some of the most common flower color meanings:
Red flowers are typically associated with true love, romance, and passion. However, they can express respect, courage, and desire. Some common red flowers include roses, tulips, alstroemeria, geraniums, and poppies.
Pink flowers symbolize love, happiness, and femininity; pink roses, lilies, peonies, carnations, tulips, and azaleas are some of the most popular pink flora. The stunning pink flowers on cherry blossom trees are lovely signs of renewal.
Yellow flowers are like sunshine you can hold. They are hands down the cheeriest flowers around! They delight with happiness, joy, and friendship; you can feel the energy lift with a bouquet of sunflowers, yellow roses, lilies, or daffodils.
Blue flowers are the rarest and often conjure feelings like peace & tranquility. Our favorite blue flowers are hydrangeas, morning glories, and cornflowers. Our Bee-utiful Pop-Up Flower Patch Card is both cheery & calming.
Purple flowers symbolize royalty, admiration, and tradition. The most popular purple flowers are the iris, bellflower, and clematis. Our Ornate Purple Rose Bloom Card perfectly expresses admiration for someone magnificent.
Lavender flowers are lighter in color and represent grace, elegance, and youth. Daisies, orchids, lilacs, jacaranda flowers, and petunias bloom in beautiful lavender hues.
Green flowers are often associated with rebirth, good fortune, renewal, or youthfulness. There are many beautiful green flowers that you can add to a bouquet, such as hydrangeas, carnations, gladiolus, zinnias, and orchids.
Orange flowers signify excitement and enthusiasm as some of nature's brightest, boldest flowers. Orange flowers are beautiful when added to an arrangement; some favorite varieties include zinnias, marigolds, Gerbera daisies, chrysanthemums, and Asiatic lilies.
Birth Flower Meanings
Birth month flowers represent each month of the year and have special meanings that can relate to the birthday girl or guy—or you may find that they're just fun to give. In that way, they're similar to birthstones, which you may be more familiar with.
And this idea of birth flowers isn't new. Some historians believe that birth flowers originated in Ancient Rome; the Romans loved to give flowers as gifts and were one of the first civilizations to celebrate birthdays.
Understanding and assigning importance to flowers—or anything, really—is a source of joy & meaning for many people & cultures. Knowing & gifting someone's birth flower adds extra meaning to your celebration.
So, let's get into the fun birth flower meanings, so you can get busy finding the perfect bouquet or flower-themed gift!
Which flower represents those born in January? For centuries, the carnation was often called the "flower of the gods." Carnations have long been used to create art, decor, garlands, wine spice, perfumes, and medication.
Carnations typically convey fascination, distinction, and love. Pale red symbolizes admiration, while dark red sends a message of passionate, unforgettable love.
The ancient Greeks used the super cool violets (also known as violas) in love potions, herbal remedies & pain relievers, and wine. Persians used violets to calm against anger & headaches.
Since the Victorian age, giving someone violets has been a sign of loyalty & dependability. Native to Europe and Asia, today violets represent faithfulness, modesty, and everlasting love.
The daffodil is the first to bloom in spring, typically in March. It makes sense that it's the official flower for those born at the beginning of the season. The daffodil represents rebirth, new beginnings, inspiration, and creativity.
In China, a daffodil blooming on the first day of a new year is believed to bring wealth and good fortune; in Wales, the first person to see a daffodil that year will be blessed with wealth.
Share these blessings with a loved one born in March, but remember: giving just one may be seen as a bad omen. So definitely deliver a whole bunch!
April's birth month flower, the daisy, is a representation of innocence, purity, and true love. Two flowers comprise the daisy; the center is called the disc floret, and the petals are the ray floret. They work together in perfect harmony to create the most cheerful blooms.
Different colored daisies represent different sentiments. For example, white daisies symbolize purity & innocence; yellow daisies stand for joy & friendship; pink daisies mean affection; red ones signify romantic love.
May: Lily of the Valley
Lily-of-the-valley, May's official birth flower, represents sweetness & purity. But, surprisingly, these aren't lilies at all—but members of the asparagus family. One beautiful legend says that lily-of-the-valley fell in love with the nightingale's song and only bloomed in May when the bird returned to the woods.
This flower reminds people of a return to happiness and brighter days ahead; May tends to make many people feel the same.
Roses are one of the most recognized flowers in the world, coming from around the world. Different varieties are from North America, Europe, and Northwest Africa.
Notorious symbols of love, beauty, and affection, each color also holds a different meaning. Red roses say, "I love you." Pink roses express happiness & admiration, and white roses represent innocence & purity.
Of course, sending an assorted rose bouquet for someone born in June would be super-special.
The beautiful purple-blue blooms of the larkspur are lovely symbols of positivity, loving bonds, and dedication. Native to the Mediterranean, Africa, and Europe, many believe that the larkspur's name came from its resemblance to the meadowlark's claw.
Blue larkspurs represent dignity & grace; pink ones represent fickleness; white larkspurs symbolize joy; and purple ones signal first love. Once it came to the U.S., Native Americans used larkspur to create dyes and insect repellent.
You can send a bouquet of larkspur to your loved one born in July, but note that these flowers are toxic if ingested by animals or people.
The gladiolus is a beautiful late-blooming summer flower representing strength, love, and remembrance. A member of the iris family, the gladiolus is native to Africa, the Mediterranean, and southern Europe.
These flowers are trumpet-shaped & grow in a rainbow of colors. Share your love for your August-born loved ones with blooming gladiolus flowers or a printed photo or card featuring them.
Asters are colorful members of the Daisy family that provide brilliant color in the late summer & early fall. Aster means "star" in Greek because the flowers are star-shaped.
Like other flowers, asters of various colors hold different meanings. For example, purple asters symbolize royalty & wisdom; white asters represent innocence; red is for passion, and pink symbolizes love and kindness.
Marigolds' striking colors make them well-known flowers originating in the Americas. These flowers are often associated with death & the afterlife; many cultures have believed that their bright colors can help guide departed loved ones to the afterlife.
When you think of fall flowers, you probably automatically envision a chrysanthemum—or 'mum.' The original chrysanthemums were gold, but now they come in various colors, from yellow, white, and orange to purple, pink, and red.
Originating in China, these vibrant and valuable flowers have made salads, teas, artwork, and even medicinal remedies for headaches, high blood pressure, and inflammation.
Share a beautiful fall 'mum with your "Mum" or other loved ones born in November.
Lastly, the paperwhite Narcissus is the flower most often associated with December birthdays; it stands for purity, respect, faithfulness, and unconditional love with its beautiful white blooms.
In Victorian times, a Narcissus given as a gift meant that "you are the only one." A bouquet of these all-white beauties is a perfect expression of pure & unconditional love.
Choosing the Best Flower Gift
Choosing the perfect flower to share with a loved one can depend on the occasion, your relationship, and what they like! So ask yourself these questions to narrow down the thousands of possibilities when considering flower gift meanings.
What's the occasion?
There are many flowers & flower meanings, so get creative and maximize the opportunity to send flowers—or floral-themed gifts—appropriate for the life event or moment you're commemorating.
For example, cream, white, or pastel flowers are ideal for sympathy; think lilies, roses, carnations, orchids, daffodils, and forget-me-nots. On the other hand, tulips, yellow daisies, and pink roses are ideal for expressing gratitude.
And each wedding anniversary also has an appropriate flower; examples include calla lilies for the sixth anniversary, dahlias for the 14th, and yellow roses & violets for the 50th or "golden anniversary."
What's your relationship—or what do you want it to be?
Since flowers can communicate everything from passion to longing to friendship to gratitude, understanding flower meanings can help you give the most appropriate bouquet or gift.
Share roses with someone you feel passionately about, especially red roses. A bouquet for someone you secretly admire could contain orange roses, which signify desire; carnations for passion and romance; and pink roses, which come across a little less strongly than red.
For a dear friend, you will find that yellow roses, daisies, pink peonies, or sunflowers convey adoration, gratitude, and happiness.
What do they like?
It's nice to get something someone else thought would be nice—but getting a gift you love is terrific. So although we've dedicated this entire post to flower meanings & how to choose them, all that goes out the window when they have a favorite flower or color, and that's what they’d prefer!
And do they have pets?
Some flowers and plants are toxic to pets, so double-checking the varieties you send is always a good idea. The bouquet might not be so sweet if they're worried that Garfield will get sick—traditional lilies can be lethal for cats. Still, other lily-like varieties like alstroemeria are safe for feline friends & family.
Another way to play it safe is to send a pop-up flower bouquet; they'll last longer and won't make any dogs or cats sick!
Flowers are a favorite present for many friends & loved ones. Your gift means even more when you know the meanings of different types & colors of flowers. You will make your friend feel extra-special when you choose flowers because of their specific importance—or their birth month.
You may send a beautiful fresh flower bouquet or choose a long-lasting & meaningful bouquet from Lovepop. Happy celebrating!