Flowers by Meaning and Occasion

Flowers make great gifts for any occasion. They can represent so many different things and emotions. There is no bad time to give someone flowers, but there are flowers that have certain symbols and meanings. Certain flower meanings make them perfect for different occasions. This guide examines the meanings behind some of the most popular flowers, and what occasions they are perfect for.

Calla Lily

Calla lilies represent beauty and magnificence. They are very regal flowers. The calla lily comes in many different colors, and each color represents it's own further meaning. White calla lilies represent innocence and purity. They are often used for weddings, particularly in the bride's bouquet. Calla lilies can also represent resurrection, which make them also commonly used in funeral floral arrangements. Colored calla lilies are smaller and more widely known as mini calla lilies. Pink calla lilies represent elegance, appreciation, and admiration. Purple, the color historically reserved for royalty, indicates passion or charm. Yellow calla lilies have double meanings; on one hand they signify gratitude and happiness, while on the other hand they can also imply falseness.

Calla Lily


Carnations are known as the flowers of the gods. The scientific name for carnations is Dianthus, which stems from the Greek word dios meaning Zeus and anthos meaning flower. According to legend, some Christians believe that carnations bloomed from the tears of Mary as Jesus carried the cross to his crucifixion. The carnation is another type of flower that can have varying meanings depending on their color. Overall, carnations represent women's love, pride, beauty, fascination, and distinction. Pink carnations signify a mother's love. They are often gifted on Mother's Day. Light red carnations display admiration, while dark red carnations characterize profound love, particularly women's affection. Purple carnations symbolize unpredictability, whereas white carnations suggest pure love and luck. Striped carnations denote denial or regret and yellow carnations represent rejection or disappointment. Green carnations are great for St. Patrick's Day.

Consider Carnations

The daisy is a very popular flower. It represents purity, loyal love, innocence, and new beginnings. Specifically, gerbera daisies express cheerfulness. Daisies have uplifting qualities. They make great housewarming gifts or get well soon presents.

Questions On Daisy


Gardenias are the perfect gift for the quintessential romantic. They are meant to represent secret love and are thought to say, "You are lovely." The gardenia represents sweetness and purity. Gardenias also express joy.

Common Gardenia - PDF


Lilacs are most often gifted in colors of purple or white. They convey confidence and youthful innocence. White lilacs are known to represent humility. Purple lilacs represent a first love and make great gifts for new or young romance. Lilacs are also the flower gifted on the eighth anniversary.

Lilacs - PDF


Lilies exemplify refined beauty. White lilies symbolize modesty and virginity, making them popular for bridal bouquets. The orange lily represents passion. Gaiety embodies the yellow lily while the Lily of the Valley characterizes sweetness. Lilies are commonly given as Easter gifts because the Easter lily represents the Virgin Mary.

Lilies Add an Exotic Look to the Garden


The orchid is the Chinese symbol for many children. It is a unique flower that gives off an aura of exotic beauty and flair. Orchids stand for refinement, mature charm, femininity, and thoughtfulness. They offer a sense of elegance and delicate beauty. Orchids are long lasting and make great gifts for virtually any occasion. Pink orchids are traditionally given for the fourteenth wedding anniversary and symbolize pure affection.

Smithsonian Orchid Collection


There are over 120 variations of roses. They are timeless and classic flowers that are beloved by many people. The rose is one of the most popular symbols of love. The kind of love the rose represents is dependent on color. Red roses are the most common representations of deep, powerful love. Red roses are perfect Valentine's Day flowers for a couple in love. They can also symbolize longing, devotion, or admiration. If the red of the rose is a very deep color, it can denote sorrow. The white rose characterizes chastity, purity, and new beginnings. Yellow roses are meant to express friendship, caring, and feelings of joy. They are platonic roses with no ties to romance. Pink roses are used to express emotions of admiration or gratitude. Passion and energy are associated with orange roses. They are on the same level as the red rose when it comes to conveying passion in romance. Purple or lavender roses mean love at first sight. Darker purple roses are known for their regal nature. Roses also come in blue color, but they are rare and not attained by natural means. They represent desire for something that one cannot have. Green roses represent harmony and fertility. They make great gifts for someone embarking on a new life journey. Black roses are also rare finds. Just as they are dark in color, they are also dark in emotion. They signify death or the end of a relationship.

Kinds of Roses - PDF


Sunflowers are known as the third anniversary flower. They represent adoration and pure thoughts. Sunflowers are also symbols of dedicated love. Their sunny natures make then a great gift to brighten up a home or cheer up a friend. In a negative connotation, sunflowers can also signify haughtiness.

Harvesting and Handling Sunflowers


The tulip is one of the most popular and loved flowers of spring. Tulips are most closely associated with the Netherlands. Due to their meaning of perfect love, tulips represent elegance and grace. They can be used to epitomize a declaration of love. They also embody fame, and can be broken down into more meanings based on color variations. Similar to color distinctions of other flowers, pink tulips represent caring while purple tulips represent royalty. Red tulips are most closely associated with deep love and yellow tulips are used for the hopelessly in love. White tulips offer forgiveness, violet tulips for faithfulness, and yarrow tulips bring hopes of good health. Zinnia tulips are reserved for thoughts of friendship and wisteria tulips mean steadfast.

Bulbs: Tips on Tulips