Flower Meanings and Symbolism2018-02-04T20:21:24+00:00

Flower Meanings & Symbolism

Alstroemeria

Resembling a miniature lily, alstroemeria, often called the Peruvian Lily or Lily of the Incas, was named after its discoverer, Baron Claus von Alstromer, a Swedish baron who collected the seeds.

Amaryllis

Legend has it that the amaryllis – the stunning red flower we’ve come to associate with the holidays – began as a shy, timid nymph. Amaryllis fell deeply in love with Alteo, a shepherd with Hercules’ strength.

Anemone

The name anemone comes from the Greek word for “windflower.” According to Greek mythology, the anemone sprang from Aphrodite’s tears as she mourned the death of Adonis.

Anthurium

With their open, heart-shaped flowers and tropical disposition, it’s no wonder that anthurium have come to symbolize hospitality. Also known as the Flamingo Flower, Boy Flower, Painted.

Aster

With their wildflower beauty and lush texture, asters have long been considered an enchanted flower. In ancient times, it was thought that the perfume from their burning leaves could drive.

Birds of Paradise

Bearing an unmistakable resemblance to a brightly colored bird in flight, bird of paradise are native to south Africa and represent joyfulness and (not surprisingly) paradise itself. Also known as Crane flowers.

Bouvardia

Named after Charles Bouvard, the personal physician to Louis XIII and the superintendent of the Royal Gardens in Paris, modern varieties of bouvardia have names such as Pink Luck, Albatross and Royal Katty.

Carnations

With a history that dates back more than 2,000 years, it’s not surprising that carnations are rich with symbolism, mythology and even debate. While some scholars suggest that their name comes..

Chrysanthemum

With a history that dates back to 15th century B.C., chrysanthemum mythology is filled with a multitude of stories and symbolism. Named from the Greek prefix “chrys-” meaning golden (its original color).

Daffodils (Narcissus)

Symbolizing rebirth and new beginnings, the daffodil is virtually synonymous with spring. Though their botanic name is narcissus, daffodils are sometimes called jonquils.

Delphinium (Larkspur)

Derived from the Greek word “delphis,” meaning dolphin, delphinium are also commonly known as larkspur. Other names include Lark’s Heel, Lark’s Claw and Knight’s Spur.

Freesia

Named after the German physician Friedrich Heinrich Theodor Freese, freesia – with their bell-shaped blooms and sweet, citrus scent – are among the most popular fragrant flowers.

Gladiolus

Named for the shape of their leaves, gladioli – from the Latin word “gladius,” meaning sword – have a history than spans from Africa to the Mediterranean. Symbolizing strength and moral integrity.

Heather

Heather’s scientific name, “Calluna vulgaris,” comes from the Greek “Kallune,” meaning “to clean or brush,” and the Latin “vulgaris,” meaning “common,” as heather twigs were once used for making brooms.

Hyacinth

Legend has it the origin of hyacinth, the highly fragrant, bell-shaped flower, can be traced back to a young Greek boy named Hyakinthos.

Hydrangea

First discovered in Japan, the name hydrangea comes from the Greek “hydor,” meaning water, and “angos,” meaning jar or vessel. This roughly translates to “water barrel,” referring to the hydrangea’s need for plenty of water.

Iris

The iris’s mythology dates back to Ancient Greece, when the goddess Iris, who personified the rainbow (the Greek word for iris), acted as the link between heaven and earth.

Lilac

The story of lilac, according to Greek mythology, begins with a beautiful nymph named Syringa (lilac’s botanical name). Captivated by her beauty, Pan, the god of the forests and fields, chased Syringa.

Lily

Dating as far back as 1580 B.C., when images of lilies were discovered in a villa in Crete, these majestic flowers have long held a role in ancient mythology. Derived from the Greek word “leiron.”