When you give or receive flowers, most people don’t think too much about whether or not the flowers have any hidden meaning, but both the colour and the type of bloom could have far more meaning than you thought. Throughout the ages, people have attributed flowers with different symbolic meanings and that means that not all flowers are suitable for every occasion. Some flowers are associated with love and devotion, while others are more commonly thought of as flowers best suited for funerals. To make matters even more complicated, the colour of a flower can completely change its meaning. Whilst most people probably don’t know about these meanings, some do. So, before you send out your next bunch of flowers, check out below the hidden message that is hidden in some of the most popular flowers.

1. Chamomile

Today, most people think of chamomile as being a symbol of relaxation and that’s down the wonderful effects of chamomile tea. The actual meaning of the flower is patience and it is also said to attract wealth. That’s a far cry from its menacing in the 19th century, when chamomile symbolised energy in times of adversity.

2. Orchids

Orchids make a great alternative to roses on Valentine’s Day because they are said to symbolise love, beauty and luxury. If you do opt for orchids on Valentine’s Day, then red symbolises passion, pink means innocence and femininity, and white is for elegance and beauty.

3. Purple Hyacinth

Often given as a pot plant, the purple hyacinth named after the Greek god Hyacinthus who was accidently killed by Apollo while they were throwing a discus to one another. Unfortunately, the discus hit Hyacinthus on the head and he died, and that is why purple hyacinth is now associated with grief and apology.

4. Carnations

You have to be careful with the colour of carnations, because that changes the whole meaning of the flower. If you give someone a white carnation, it means they are sweet and lovely, while a pink carnation means “I will never forget you”. The carnations that have a bit of pink and white in them mean: “I can’t be with you”. Be careful who you send yellow carnations too though, because that’s a sign of your disdain for the person.


5. Tulips 

One of the most popular flowers in the world and the one most often associated with the Netherland are tulips, which are the ideal flower to give to someone who you really care about, because they signify perfect love. The colours of tulips change the meaning slightly, though. Red means true love and yellow means hopeless love.

6. Gerbera daisies

Gerbera daisies are the daises with wonderful, vibrant colours and they symbolise innocence, purity and beauty. Send a bunch of these colourful blooms and, not surprisingly, it will symbolise cheerfulness.

7. Sunflowers

Sunflowers seem to have quite a few meanings attributed to them, but the most popular is happiness and warmth. The bright yellow blooms are also said to symbolise faith, because of the way the flowers follow the sun as it travels across the sky. Alternatively, some people used to think that sunflowers were made of gold, which lead sunflowers becoming symbols of foolishness.

8. Lilies

Traditionally, lilies were said to represent devotion and humility, but their meaning as changed over time. Today, lilies are more commonly thought of as a flower that is used at funerals and its meaning that context is that it represents a return to innocence and peace. Be careful who you send lilies to, because some people simply associate them with death.

9. Gardenias

Gardenias were named after the rather aptly named Scottish naturalist Dr Alexander Garden and they signify purity and joy. They are quite expensive to buy and they are usually sold as a single bloom, so if receive a gardenia from a man, you can bet that he’s trying to tell you something.

10. Roses

While there is no secret about the meaning of a red rose, all the other colours of roses could take up an entire post of its own, but here are a few examples. Red, as we all know, symbolises love, orange expresses your admiration for someone, yellow conveys gladness, warmth and affection, and white symbolises purity and innocence. If you send a bunch of mixed roses, you have a whole new range of meanings! Red and yellow, for example, means happiness, while red and white roses symbolise unity. So, if the person you send flowers to is in the know, you’d better do your homework first.

What are your favourite flowers and their meanings?

Stay happy!