The Symbolic Meanings of Funeral Flowers

funeral flowers

Losing a loved one is never easy. Many people wish they could have one more conversation with the person that has passed, and although that’s not possible, there is a way for you to tell the deceased how you truly felt about him or her. The funeral flowers that you choose will speak volumes about your feelings for your loved one. What do you want to say to him or her? Find out the meaning behind these popular funeral flowers so you know which ones you should choose:


If you’ve ever attended a loved one’s funeral before, you’ve probably noticed that many of the floral arrangements were filled with lilies. Lilies are one of the most popular funeral flowers because they symbolize innocence and purity of the soul that has recently left this world. Although these flowers come in many different colors, white is the preferred choice for funerals.


funeral flowers

Roses are traditionally associated with romance and passion, but they are also appropriate for funerals. There are many different colors of roses, and each color has a unique meaning. In a funeral setting, red roses symbolize love and grief. White roses, similar to white lilies, symbolize innocence and purity. If the person who has passed away was a close friend, you may want to consider sending an arrangement of yellow roses, as these represent friendship. Light pink roses are typically not used at funerals, but there is a rare shade of dark pink that can be used to show your gratitude for everything that the deceased has given to you.


Florists often use carnations to create funeral wreaths because of their bold colors, affordability, and of course, their symbolic meaning. Just like roses, each color of carnations has its own meaning, so choose wisely as you select flowers for your loved one’s funeral. Red carnations are often used to show affection, while white carnations show innocence and rebirth. If the deceased was Catholic or Christian, it may be appropriate to send pink carnations because it is believed that the Virgin Mary created these flowers with her tears.


funeral flowers

Orchid plants may not look as impressive as a giant arrangement of roses or carnations, but they hold a deep meaning for those that are grieving over the loss of a loved one. At a funeral, an orchid plant symbolizes your everlasting love for the deceased. If you are giving an orchid plant to someone to express your condolences, it is recommended that you choose a white or pink orchid since these symbolize sympathy.


One of the most popular funeral flowers throughout the world is the chrysanthemum. The meaning behind these flowers varies depending on the country. For example, people in Asian countries such as Korea and Japan view the chrysanthemum as a symbol of death and grief. In the U.S., chrysanthemums are seen as a symbol of truth. Regardless of where you live, this is a great choice for funeral flowers and is often included in floral arrangements with other popular flowers.


funeral flowers

The gladioli is a timeless choice for funeral flowers, and should be used when the person who has passed away had great integrity and character. These flowers typically represent strength, strong moral values, and sincerity. Gladioli come in a wide variety of colors, but each color does not have its own meaning, so feel free to choose whichever you think is best.

Daffodils and Tulips

A funeral is hardly a cause for celebration, so you may be wondering why these bright and colorful flowers are often used at funerals. Both daffodils and tulips begin to bloom in the spring, and as a result they are often associated with renewal and new beginnings. Sending an arrangement with daffodils or tulips to the family members of the person who has passed away is similar to sending a card with words of encouragement. It tells them that they will get through this difficult time and find happiness again—and that you will be right by their side every step of the way.


funeral flowers

Violets were used throughout literature, including in Shakespeare’s Ophelia, to symbolize a death that came too soon. If a loved one passed away unexpectedly at a young age, it may be appropriate to incorporate violets into the funeral flowers.


The meaning of the hyacinth flower can be traced all the way back to ancient Greek mythology. Apollo, the god of the sun, adored a boy named Hyakinthos, who was tragically killed by Zephyr, the god of the west wind. After his death, beautiful flowers grew around Hyakinthos’s body, and Apollo named these flowers hyacinths after the boy whom he deeply cared about. Based on this story, many florists use hyacinths to symbolize a sense of deep sorrow and longing for the person who has passed away.

Forget Me Nots

funeral flowers

It’s not hard to guess what these flowers symbolize based on their name alone. Choose forget me nots if you would like to tell the deceased that you will always remember him and that he will live on in your memories forever.


Camellia flowers are breathtakingly beautiful because of their delicate petals and elegance. This flower symbolizes perfection, refinement, and excellence, so it is ideal for funerals of those you admired or truly respected.


funeral flowers

Bold and beautiful white magnolias typically represent dignity and perseverance. These flowers are usually associated with the southern United States, so you may not see them at funerals in other regions of the country.


The tropical hibiscus flower is a unique choice for funerals, but it is appropriate in some situations. Hibiscus flowers are brightly colored and feminine, and for this reason they are often used at funerals for a beloved mother, sister, daughter, or wife. They symbolize femininity, a quiet strength, and a delicate beauty.

Now that you know the meaning behind these popular funeral flowers, you can choose an arrangement that is appropriate for the relationship you had with the deceased. Use these flowers to express what’s in your heart and say a final farewell to your friend or family member.

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