Funeral flowers and what they symbolise

Sending flowers to a funeral or wake is second nature to us, but what do our floral choices really mean? We take a look at what each flower symbolises so that you won’t make any floral taboos. A quick disclaimer: never send red flowers, no matter how meaningful, to a Chinese funeral. Red is the colour of prosperity and considered utterly inappropriate for mourning. White would be the most suitable.



avasflowers-white-lily-sympathy-bouquet_maxWhen deciding on a selection of flowers to send for a funeral, you cannot go wrong with graceful white lilies. lily-2


This flower, especially the Calla lily, symbolizes the innocence that has been restored to the soul of the departed. That explains why it is one of the most popular choices for funeral arrangements.



White stargazer lilies represent sympathy and any type of white lily conveys majesty and purity, making them a safe choice.





Chrysanthemums, also known as mums, are traditional funeral flowers in many countries around the world.

In some European countries, chrysanthemums are symbolic of death and only found at funerals or on gravesites.

Classic-Pink-Rose-and-Chrysanthemum-WreathIn China, Japan, and Korea, white chrysanthemums carry a symbolic meaning of lamentation and grief.

In the United States, chrysanthemums symbolize truth and help to promote a cheerful atmosphere.




Although they are most commonly associated with romantic love, roses can be a great funeral flower too.

White roses evoke purity, reverence, humility and innocence. They are perfect for expressing condolences, no matter the relationship.
Pink roses stand for love, psqadsvfudb-S6-4215.jpg-detailappreciation, and grace. They are usually chosen for women.

Red roses convey respect, love, and courage. It is important to note, though, that they are usually given by people who had an intimate relationship with the deceased.

TF209_4_EHDark crimson roses denote grief and sorrow, making them common in sympathy arrangements.

Yellow roses are given by friends of the deceased as a symbol of their friendship and loyalty.

A single rose in a bouquet symbolizes enduring love for the departed.




Carnations are a favourite in sympathy arrangements because of their fragrance and longevity.

Red carnations evoke admiration, while white carnations symbolize pure love and innocence.

carnation-heart-750Pink carnations stand for gratitude and remembrance. They also represent a mother’s enduring love, are and commonly used for arrangements at a mother’s or grandmother’s funeral.




Orchids are sent during times of grief to convey everlasting love because they will continue to bloom long after other bouquets have wilted.Orchid-Heart-Wreath1

When giving an orchid plant as a gesture of sympathy, it is important to give consideration to color. Pink and white are traditional colors of sympathy.




Gladioli have a tall flower stem composed of multiple flowers that can measure up to 4 feet tall. They are typically used in fan sprays for traditional funeral services. The gladiolus embodies strength of character, sincerity, and moral integrity.


Tulips and daffodils


Bright yellow tulips and daffodils are a symbol of renewal and fresh starts. They are sent to bring encouragement and hope to a person who is grieving or unhappy. Sending them to the bereaved’s home to brighten their day might be a good idea.

Yellow tulips represent cheerfulness, white tulips represent forgiveness, and purple tulips represent royalty. The red tulip is said to represent perfect love.


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