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Mourning and the Symbolism of Flowers

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21Jan 2022

Mourning and the Symbolism of Flowers

Choosing Flowers for Mourning

During periods of mourning, different religions and cultures have assorted ways of paying tribute to the deceased. In many cultures, one of the most popular ways in which tributes are paid is with the gifting of flowers to the bereaved. If you are keen to know which flowers are the most appropriate to give before choosing condolence bouquets from the florist, or what kind of flower delivery is best for funerals, our guide can help. Discover the symbolism of flowers during mourning and funerals in our extensive guide.


These flowers are often seen in funeral bouquets with pink, white and red carnations being the most popular choices. Red carnations symbolise deep admiration, while pink conveys sincere condolences and are, therefore, appropriate as sympathy flowers. White carnations signify purity and innocence and are elegant options for funeral bouquets, wreaths, and coffin sprays.


When we mourn, we are grieving the presence of a person. Daffodils symbolise rebirth and new life, which is fitting for religious funerals that believe that the deceased will have a new life in Heaven or as a reincarnated soul. Most florists sell daffodils, and they are also considered cheap flowers that are acceptable to send to those in mourning.


Having flowers delivered in a pot for the bereaved to plant in their garden is a thoughtful way to express your condolences. A potted gardenia would be perfect for this sentiment, especially as the flower represents peace, purity, renewal and protection. The symbolism of being a flower of protection is particularly pertinent for those that believe the deceased will be looking down on them like a guardian angel.


Roses are not only romance or wedding flowers but are also used at funerals and in sympathy bouquets. With regards to the symbolism of roses in regards to mourning, red roses depict the deep love one has for the deceased. They also signify loyalty and dignity.


These are an excellent choice to include in sympathy bouquets as hydrangeas are the flowers of sympathy. These beautiful blooms can be found in many reputable flower shops and are a wonderful way to show the bereaved just how much you care.


Lilies are a popular flower at Christian funerals. This is perhaps because the lily represents the resurrection of Jesus Christ. White lilies are most often used but other varieties can also be used. These fragrant flowers are usually seen in funeral sprays, but can also be included in sympathy bouquets and arrangements.


Tulips are most commonly associated with perfect love unconditional love which is why they are a popular flower to gift on Mother’s Day. However, they are also seen as a symbol of mourning as they depict the perfect love one can have for someone that has died. Red tulips are associated with deep love, white tulips are sent as a sign of respect to those in mourning, and yellow tulips symbolise hope.


The orchid is an extremely elegant bloom and is given as a sign of admiration and respect. When sending orchids to someone in mourning, select pink, white or purple orchids as these colours are closely associated with sympathy.


The gladiolus is believed to symbolise integrity and is given in remembrance of people of high moral standing. If the deceased was known for their good deeds and altruism, gladioli are the perfect choice.

Knowing the symbolism of flowers can add an extra touch when sending sympathy flowers or choosing flowers for a funeral. Use our guide to help you select the ideal flowers for someone you love, and show them just how much you care.