The Ultimate Guide To Flowers & Their Meanings

The Ultimate Guide To Flowers & Their Meanings

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, now is the perfect time to consider sending flowers to that special someone. However, with countless flower types at your disposal, how are you supposed to know which ones to get them? Roses are one of the classic flower types for this purpose, but what about the other types of flowers?

There are as many meanings as there are types of flowers out there, so don’t worry if you aren’t familiar with every single one. In this guide, you will learn about a few types of flowers and what they mean to people. So, without further ado, here is the ultimate guide to flowers and their meanings.


One of the most iconic flowers globally, there are over 150 species of roses. As for how many hybrids there are, the count for roses goes well into the thousands, and some archeologists found fossils dating back to over 30 million years ago with traces of roses. Persians, Greeks, and Romans grew roses for their color and fragrance in ancient times.

People still use rose petals in their medicine, as decorations for celebrations, and as the base note in perfumes. There are many different colors of roses, and depending on which bouquet you give someone, there could be various meanings.

For instance, a classic red rose is a universal symbol of passion, love, and romance. For this reason, red roses are one of the most popular colors for Valentine’s Day.

As for white roses, people give them as a token of reverence, remembrance, and spirituality. They typically give white roses out at spiritual events such as weddings or after someone passes away. You may also see black roses at funerals, but these don’t occur in nature; these roses are often a very dark crimson color or dyed black for the occasion.

Yellow roses used to symbolize infidelity and jealousy, but now they represent friendship and bonding because of their bright, uplifting appearance. People give yellow roses to friends to help cheer them up or wish them a speedy recovery after an accident or illness.

Orange roses stand for playfulness, enthusiasm, and energy due to their vibrant, punchy color. Consequently, they are a fantastic choice for an exciting occasion such as a birthday or an engagement party.

Lastly, purple roses convey a sense of enchantment and otherworldliness. With their celestial aura, they can express love at first sight, or they can represent creativity and the cosmos.


Lilies are another type of flower with a storied history. In ancient Rome, people used lilies to fill pillows and quilts and bring a pleasant aroma to their homes. Lilies became one of the flowers most associated with love due to their delightful fragrance.

In the present, people associate white lilies with chastity and virtue because they represent the purity of the Virgin Mary. Alstroemeria, better known as Peruvian lilies, represent devotion, loyalty, and friendship, making them the perfect gift for a 25th or 50th anniversary.

On the other hand, white lilies also make good gifts early in the relationship, such as a first or second anniversary. In addition to white and black roses, you might see lilies at funerals to symbolize someone’s soul achieving peace or the restoration of innocence after they pass away.


Another fantastic addition to any bouquet is carnations. This flower contains a tart, sweet fragrance, and you can find it in almost every color of the rainbow.

Carnations typically represent love and infatuation, but each color represents something different. For instance, white ones denote purity and good luck. Dark red symbolizes deep love and desire, while light red expresses gentle admiration.

Purple carnations are exciting because they imply impulsivity, capriciousness, and sudden changes. Carnations are also the birth month flower of January. People usually give them out to celebrate new beginnings, such as a first anniversary, a farewell party, or a graduation.


You can find iris flowers worldwide, and there are over 200 varieties of them out there with an abundance of colors. This makes their name, which means “rainbow” in Greek, most appropriate. Irises grow naturally in many different settings, but you can often find them on farms.

The French monarchy took a particular liking to them during the Middle Ages because Louis XIV, the king who ruled France the longest, was a fan. However, their history stretches back even further because kings in Ancient Egypt praised the iris for its exoticism. Archeologists found numerous drawings of iris flowers in Egyptian palaces.

For these reasons, people around the world associate the iris with royalty, faith, and wisdom. Iris flowers work well as gifts for a grandparent’s birthday, a commemorative ceremony, or a renewal of wedding vows.


The story behind how sunflowers got their name should come as no surprise. Their radiant appearance and resemblance to the sun are why farmers named them after the center of our solar system.

Also, their height brings them closer to the sun than most flowers. In fact, the scientific name for sunflower is Helianthus, which combines the Greek words for “sun” and “flower.”

Sunflower seeds are a delicious treat to enjoy at baseball games, but if you want to give the flower as a gift, you can use it to represent new life. Sunflowers make for wonderful presents at christenings, first birthdays, and after a loved one passes their final exams.


With over 25,000 species and 100,000 variations, orchids are one of the most populous flowers on Earth. You can find wild orchids growing on every continent other than Antarctica.

Orchids got their name during the heady days of ancient Greece, with the Greek word “orchis” translating to “testicle.” Their circular petals symbolize the body part, making them an icon of virility for the Greeks.

In addition, the Aztec civilization mixed chocolate with vanilla orchids to create a delicious elixir for building strength. Presently, people use orchids in perfumes, beauty products, vanilla ice cream, cakes, and soft drinks.


In ancient times, artists used tulips from Turkey and Persia for their diverse polychromatic appearance. Later on, Europeans started liking them, and now the country most associated with this flower is the Netherlands.

The Dutch had a famous Tulip craze during the 17th century that produced one of the most renowned market speculation bubbles in history. This demand created many new colors and varieties of tulips. Tulips represent perfect, holy love, and they work well for Mother’s Day, retirements, birthdays, and condolences.

Overall, there are so many flowers to choose from, and finding the perfect one for your loved one can be a challenge. However, if you take a look back at the ultimate guide to flowers and their meanings, you should have all the knowledge you need to make the best decision. Consider purchasing a bouquet subscription box if you can’t decide on just one type.

The Ultimate Guide To Flowers & Their Meanings