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Flowers Symbols and meanings

Flowers Symbols - Flowers Meanings

Floriography is the study of flowers and their meanings. Popular in the Victorian times, flowers were meant to symbolize a great deal of different emotions and served as a means of expression. And although some of the more popular associations have endured over time, such as the rose and its connection to love, others are not as well known. But flowers can represent so much, from longing to affection, devotion, remembrance and grief. The colors and the shape of flowers lend to their meaning, but cultures adapt these flowers and their meanings differently.

Some cultures may view a certain flower as negative, while others see it as a sign of love. And in different contexts and cultures, the colors of the flower also take on different meanings. And while some flowers are very literal in their associations, others have a more layered meaning. The most popular usage though, is in Victorian times where flowers served as a form of hidden communication. Flowers and floral arrangements served a distinct purpose: to communicate feelings that could not always be spoken out loud, especially when it came to courtships and romance. Where people felt unable to express themselves, flowers took on that power for them.

Nasturtium Flower symbol


Representing pride and patriotism, nasturtium has been popular for years as a symbol for patriots. It represents victory in battle and pride in conquests. Red nasturtium represents courage, strength and passion. Yellow nasturtium represents merriment, fun and joy. Orange nasturtiums symbolize energy and creativity.

Goldenrod Flower symbol


Goldenrods represent encouragement and growth. Often given in times of grieving and loss, goldenrods are meant to be a sign of positivity and support. Goldenrods are also seen as a sign of luck and good fortune. Goldenrods are also meant to be supported in times of depression, and to help alleviate some of its effects.

Honeysuckle Flower symbol


Honeysuckles represent devotion and love. Honeysuckles are a sign of sweetness and love. During the Victorian times, it was considered a representation of a “sweet disposition” likely because of its sweet smell. They are a symbol of devoted affection. The flower itself is often associated with a lover’s embrace due to its shape and the way petals fall.

Sweetpea Flower symbol


Sweetpea represents pleasure of all kinds. Some see it as a symbol of delicate pleasure, or fleeting pleasure. Others view it as a bittersweet memory of pleasure and departure, or pleasure before the absence of someone. The sweetpea flower was very popular during Victorian times for its pleasurable connotations as well as its sweet fragrance.

Valerian Flower symbol


Valerian is mostly known for its calming properties, but this herb also has another meaning. It symbolizes readiness, and awareness of what is to come. The meaning of valerian lies in the idea of being strong, and being prepared. It is used for many different herbal remedies, emphasizing its strength and power.

Iris Flower symbol


The iris flower has generally been associated with royalty. It is also associated with wisdom and respect. Yellow irises represent passion. Irises are seen as a symbol of courage, determination, and faith. The name iris comes from the Greek word rainbow and is linked to the goddess with the same name. The Greek goddess Iris was the personification of the rainbow, and served as a bridge between earth and the heavens.

Hollyhock Flower symbol


Hollyhock represents ambition, fertility and fruitfulness. The ambition association is mainly due to the fact that hollyhocks can survive a multitude of weather conditions and continue to bloom. It is also seen as a symbol of protection and safety, since it can stand its own to the harsh elements of nature.

Heliotrope Flower symbol


Heliotrope represents endless love. Often seen as a symbol for eternal love, heliotropes have endured over time to remain a symbol for undying love and passion. Heliotropes are also recognized in different religions as a symbol of salvation and devotion. They are also seen as symbols of prophetic dreams, healing and wealth.

Cornflower Flower symbol


The cornflower is linked to wealth and good fortune. Each bloom represents a single blessing. The cornflower is also known as the Bachelor’s Button. Cornflowers are associated with hope, remembrance, devotion, delicacy, anticipation, unity, fertility and love across different cultures and religions.

Jasmine Flower symbol


The jasmine is a flower signifying sweet love. Generally, the jasmine flower is associated with love, sensuality, beauty and longing. It is also seen as a symbol of purity, appreciation and good luck. As with other flowers, the meaning of jasmine flowers have changed based on different cultures and religions, leading to a wide array of associations with jasmines. But it generally has positive connotations across different cultures.

Camellia Flower symbol


A very popular flower among the Victorians, the camellia flower was considered lush and impressive. It symbolized the idea of “my destiny is in your hands.” Each color of the camellia represents something different. For example, the pink camellia is given to someone you miss. The white camellia is given to someone you like. A red camellia is given to a serious significant other that you care for deeply.

Violet Flower symbol


Violet is a symbol of loyalty, devotion, and faithfulness. They are also associated with modesty, spirituality, and humility. Violets have their roots in Greek myths, and were used as protection by Artemis for her nymphs to protect their modesty. Violets are also used in Christianity in association with the Virgin Mary to represent modesty and spiritual wisdom.

Clover Flower symbol


Clovers are a sign that others are thinking of you. They are often associated with luck and good fortune, especially four-leaf clovers. Often associated with male energy, clovers are also seen as a symbol of protection. It is considered to be a charm against snakes, hexes, and other forms of negative energy.

Verbena Flower symbol


Verbena have been used in religious ceremonies consistently throughout history. These small purple flowers are associated with prayer, and a request to others to pray for an individual. Verbena have been associated with healing, creativity, and happiness. They are also seen as protection against harm and evil. Verbena is also known as Holy Herb, Herb of the Cross, Devil’s Bane.

Tansy Flower symbol


A seemingly innocuous flower, the Tansy flower is actually a declaration of war. It is also seen as a symbol of immortality. Tansy flowers are associated with resistance, and hatred towards someone. The name Tansy is derived from the Greek word of deathless. This might be because of its own regrowth properties. The Tansy is able to thrive in difficult conditions, which is what its meaning may refer to.

Rhododendron Flower symbol


A dangerous flower, Rhododendron’s reputation precedes them. The Victorians labeled it as “beware” which is quite fitting, as the rhododendron is poisonous. The rhododendron is seen as a sign of caution, weariness and warning. It is seen as a warning sign, and harbinger of adversity to come. However, different cultures and traditions attach different meanings to the Rhododendron flower. Some see it as a sign of elegance, wealth, passion and abundance while others see it as a death threat.

Anemone Flower symbol


Named after the Greek word for wind (anemos), anemone are known for their short life span. They symbolize fragility and delicateness. However, anemone flowers are also seen as a ward of protection against ill wishes and spells as well as forsaken love. While some see the anemone as a bad omen, others see it as a sign of good fortune. Its meaning has seen many changes over time, and different cultures have adapted the meaning based on the way the anemone is viewed.

Forget me not Flower Symbol

Forget Me Not

A more literal flower perhaps, it is representative of memory and longing, the request is in the name of the flower: please don’t forget me. Forget me not is a symbol of remembrance, a sign of love and devoted affection. There are many stories and legends associated with forget me not, and its symbolism as a sign of true love between couples and the devotion of these relationships.

Yarrow Flower Symbol


Yarrow is a quirky flower, but it comes with a traditional message: as a symbol of love. It is also seen as a symbol of healing and inspiration. Hailing from a Greek legend, the yarrow is associated with Achilles. The legend states that the yarrow sprung forth after Achilles dropped a rusted part of his spear into the ground. The yarrow is a sign of new beginnings, new life and healing from the past.

Hyacinth Flower Symbol


Stemming from the Greek legend of Apollo and Hyacinthus, the purple hyacinth represents forgiveness. In Greek tales, Apollo accidentally killed Hyacinthus and its apology sprung these flowers. Generally hyacinths represent consistency and the importance of constancy in life. Blue hyacinths represent sincerity and devotion.

Poppy Flower Symbol


Poppy flowers are seen as a symbol of remembrance, and have been increasingly used to symbolize those lost in wars. It is seen as a symbol of respect, of sleep and as consolation for a death or loss in a family. It has been used in many countries as a symbol to remember veterans and those who have passed away fighting for their country. Poppies are seen as a symbol of eternal life. They are also associated with beauty, luxury and peace.

Chamomile Flower Symbol


Although in modern times, Chamomile has been associated with rest and relaxation, this has not always been the case. During the 19th century, chamomile was seen as a symbol of “energy during adversity,” or the idea of keeping up even though times may be difficult. Chamomile flowers are known for many of their health benefits, such as its anti-inflammatory and disinfectant properties. They are used in a variety of ways, but the most well known usage of it is as a tea to induce sleep in popular culture.

Crocus Flower Symbol


Crocus are the harbingers of spring, or at least that is what they are viewed as a sign of Spring’s quick arrival. They symbolize youthful happiness. Crocus is also a symbol of purity, truth, and happiness. They are associated with positivity, happiness, and glee. Crocus flowers are seen as an uplifting and happy flower. White crocus flowers are associated with purity and innocence. Purple crocus flowers are associated with dignity and pride. Yellow crocus flowers are associated with cheerfulness and joy.

Peony Flower Symbol


During the Victorian times, the peony flower was seen as a representation of anger. However, over time, the symbolism behind peonies has shifted. These flowers are now linked to romance, marriage, bashfulness, and shyness. The peony flower is also linked to happiness, prosperity and good fortune. Generally, it is seen as encouragement and happiness towards good marriages.

Morning Glory Flower Symbol

Morning Glory

Morning Glory is a symbol of affection. It is also viewed as a symbol of unrequited love, and its restrictions. Morning Glory has also been associated with mortality and death. In Victorian times, morning glory was often left beside graves to signify unrequited and unfulfilled love. In other religious connotations, it is seen as a representation of life and its finiteness.

Lily of the Valley Flower Symbol

Lily of the Valley

Lily of the Valley represents sweetness. It is used in religious ceremonies, world celebrations, perfumes and in gardens most commonly. Lily of the valley is seen as a symbol of purity, chastity, innocence and grace. It is rooted in Christianity as a symbol of Eve’s tears. It is also found in folklore across the world, and used as protection against evil. Lily of the valley is used as a guard against evil spirits, and an emblem of good luck.

Lilac Flower Symbol


Liliac differ in meaning based on their shade and hue. A true lilac shade represents the first emotions of love, a new relationship budding. Magenta lilacs represent passion and a deeper love, one that is growing and serious. Lilacs symbolize happiness, peacefulness and tranquility. They have also been regarded as magical by some cultures, such as the Celtics due to its lovely scent. In Victorian times, lilacs represented an old love, and were worn by widows at the time.

Zinnia Flower Symbol


Zinnia are a reminder to keep absent friends in mind, at least during Victorian times. Over the years, its meaning has shifted a bit to represent remembrance, affection and those who have a place in your heart. Zinnias are seen as a symbol of endurance, as it blooms even during adverse weather conditions.

Daffodil Flower Symbol


A symbol of new beginnings, the Daffodil represents what is to come. Generally gifted when someone is at a new chapter of their life, such as buying a home, celebrating a new job or welcoming a new addition to the family, daffodils are a symbol of good tidings to come. Daffodils and the future are very intertwined, and most of its meaning is derived in that feeling of what is to come, and to encourage good tidings. Daffodils are also associated with spring and rebirth.

Rose Flower Symbol


Roses have long been a popular flower to signify love and romance. However, each color represents something different. Red roses are a sign of deep love, and enduring passion. White roses are a representation of humility and innocence. Yellow roses are a sign of friendship and affection. Orange roses are seen as a sign of enthusiasm and joy. Pink roses are generally given as a sign of gratitude.

Black-Eyed Susan Flower Symbol

Black-Eyed Susan

Black-eyed Susan flowers represent justice. They are seen as a symbol of encouragement and motivation. Black eyed Susans are used as a way to remind one to turn around bad habits. It is a symbol of encouragement to stay on a path of wellbeing and pursue what is best for them. They are also seen as a symbol of childhood wonder and imagination, and are used as encouragement to pursue whimsy and wonder in life.

chrysanthemum Flower Symbol


The chrysanthemum represents honesty. They are also seen as a symbol of grief, and are associated with sorrow in some cultures. During the Victorian times, the chrysanthemum was used as a symbol of friendship and well-wishing. Over time, other cultures have associated with long life, while others with remembrance and memorials.

Pansy Flower Symbol


The Pansy is a flower of remembrance. It is also a symbol of thoughtfulness. The word Pansy originates from the French word Pansee. They are a symbol of loving thoughts, thinkers and dreamers, and idealism. Pansies are seen as a sign of remembrance and affection, especially towards those that may be lost in thoughts and dreams. During Victorian times, the pansy flower was used as a sign during secret courtships. The pansy flower was used as a way to express emotion and to let the other know that they were being thought of.

Tulip Flower Symbol


Tulip signify perfect love. As with other flowers, different colors of tulips possess their own significance. For example, red tulips are associated with love. Purple tulips, on the other hand, are generally associated with royalty. White tulips are seen as a symbol of forgiveness, or to claim worthiness. A very easily recognized flower, tulips hold a lot of significance across different cultures and traditions. Yellow tulips have seen an evolution in their meaning. Once known as hopeless love, yellow tulips now signify happiness, cheer, and sunshine.

Sunflower Flower Symbol


Sunflowers have a little bit of a storied past. Legend states that when Spanish explorers reached the Americas, they were fooled by these brightly colored flowers. Believing them to be real gold, the explorers were very disappointed when they found out the truth about sunflowers. This is why they have been dubbed as “false riches”.

Carnation Flower Symbol


Carnations may not have the best reputation, but they do symbolize a great deal. Depending on the color, carnations have different meanings. White carnations signify sweetness and loveliness. Pink carnations are a promise to remember the other. Two-toned carnations are a symbol of parting, i.e. “I cannot be with you.” Yellow carnations signify a disdain for the other, and a general dislike.

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