Carnation flowers are perhaps some of the most widely recognized flowers out there, and they’re beautiful at that! Besides being extremely popular, they also represent all of those born in the first month of the year: January.
The scientific name for these flowers is “dianthus”, coming from the Greek words “dios”, which refers to the legendary god Zeus, and the word “anthos”, which means “flower”. Thus, carnations are known as “The Flowers of God”.
As mentioned above, these flowers have maintained their popularity for years on end. This is at least partly because of the wide variety they come in. Blooming in a wide range of colors, each different hue represents a different meaning. We’re exploring the symbolism of these pretty petals in today’s post, as it’s the perfect time to get to know the birth flower for January!
The Symbolism of Carnation Flowers
Carnations symbolize different things in varying geographical locations and within different cultures. In the United States, carnations are the official flower of Mother’s Day and they are typically worn in corsages and boutonnieres for special events.
In Chinese culture these flowers are the most common flower used in wedding ceremonies. In Korean culture, carnations are used to foretell the future of young girls. This is done by placing three carnations in a young lady’s hair. Then, she must observe which of the three flowers will die first. Should the top flower be the one to perish first, it’s said to be an indication that the latter years of the young woman’s life will be filled with strife. If, instead, the middle flower is the first to die, it’s a foreshadowing that the subject will experience hardship during her younger years. If the lower flower is the first to fade, it’s an indication that there will be an abundance of challenges throughout this woman’s life.
Meanings By Color
Carnation flowers come in a whole rainbow of colors, which is one of the reasons they are so popular and widely purchased and gifted across the world! One of the most common hues of carnations is red. This color symbolizes a deep love and admiration towards whoever the flower is gifted to. Along the same vein, white carnations are said to symbolize pure love and good luck.
Other carnation colors have widely different meanings. For example, pink carnations symbolize a mother’s love. On the other hand, yellow carnations are known to represent disappointment or rejection. On a more uplifting note, green carnations represent the popular holiday of Saint Patrick’s Day. As you can see, carnations don’t discriminate when it comes to their meaning and significance across the board.
Botanical Characteristics of Carnation Flowers
Carnations can be used to relieve stress, fatigue, depression, insomnia, and even some hormonal imbalances found in females. These birth flowers for January are also used in massage oils as well as in products that treat skin irritations and that work to reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
These flowers are more than just a pretty face! Carnations are a versatile flower that have a range of meanings, have a presence in many cultures, and are symbolic of several holidays, too. Use these in your floral arrangements, gift them in a bouquet to a loved one, or enjoy them by themselves and you’ll love the look and meaning behind them!