The Meanings Behind Sympathy Flowers

For centuries, flowers have been used as an expression of sympathy during times of loss. Sending flowers in honor of the deceased is a sincere way of expressing love, respect and sympathy. Flowers have a language all their own, conveying secret messages that can often speak louder than words.

Flowers represent and symbolize different characteristics, meanings, and emotions, with each flower and color symbolizing something different. Once you have decided what message you want to convey, you can customize your arrangement using the language of flowers. Below is a chart defining the hidden messages behind each flower:

Sympathy Flower Meanings

  • Alstroemeria: Symbolizes friendship
  • Carnations: Depending on the color the meanings change. Red stands for admiration. Pink conveys remembrance. White represents pure love and innocence.
  • Cherry Blossoms: Stands for innocence, spring and simplicity
  • Chrysanthemums: Represents truth
  • Cyclamens: Symbolizes resignation and farewells
  • Forget-Me-Nots: Represents faithful love and remembrance
  • Gladiolus: Conveys strength of character, sincerity and moral integrity
  • Iris: Symbolizes Christian resurrection
  • Lilies: Represent innocence, sympathy and purity
  • Sweet Marjoram: Stand for comfort and consolation
  • Roses: Depending on the color they have different meanings. White shows reverence, humility, and innocence. Pink represents grace and love. Red shows respect, love and courage.
  • Statice: Symbolizes remembrance

Any and all flowers are acceptable when sending sympathy arrangements. Here is a list of the general meanings behind the color.

Blue: Peace, serenity and calmness

  • Pink: Grace, youth, joy and happiness
  • Purple: Success, admiration and dignity
  • Red: Strength, love and desire
  • White: Modesty, innocence, humility and elegance
  • Orange: Enthusiasm, confidence and warmth
  • Lavender: Elegance, beauty and grace

Each month has it’s own birth-month flower, which could also be used to add a personalized touch to flower tributes. Sympathy flower arrangements come in different sizes, shapes and styles. Including these special meanings and colors is a great sign of sympathy and respect. Using birth-month flowers in funeral flowers is a great way to celebrate the life of a fallen friend or loved one.

  •   January: Carnation
  •   February: Iris, Violet
  •   March: Daffodil
  •   April: Daisy, Peonies
  •   May: Lily, Lily of the Valley
  •   June: Rose
  •   July: Delphinium
  •   August: Dahlia, Gladioli
  •   September: Aster, Forget-Me-Nots
  •   October: Marigold
  •   November: Chrysanthemum
  •   December: Poinsettia, Holly, Narcissus

Including a special note to go along with your flowers explaining the meaning behind your choices is a great way to express your love and sympathy to the recipient. Making sure that your flower poetry is understood and appreciated will leave a lasting impression and bring comfort to those is grief.


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