Traditionally certain flowers have symbolic meanings and that is especially true for the flowers we choose for funerals and life events.
Flora and fauna have long been a staple of poetry and prose, and certain characteristics have been associated with the natural beauty around us.
The bard himself, Shakespeare often used flowers to portray certain meanings, often bringing another dimension to an act. In Hamlet, Ophelia hands her brother rosemary for remembrance:
"There's rosemary, that's for remembrance; pray you, love, remember.” And:
"There is pansies, that’s for thoughts" In French, pansy means thoughts, and was often used in this respect.
With this in mind, we thought we’d explain some of the hidden meanings around popular flowers, which you may want to add to your funeral ideas or include in a bouquet for a loved one.
The white lily is said to represent sympathy, which is why they are such a popular choice at funerals. Lilies are also symbolic of innocence and purity.
We all know that a red rose is a symbol of love, but they are also said to reflect courage and respect, whilst the pink rose, love, grace and appreciation and joy. Yellow is for friendship and caring, orange for passion.
Never mind the red rose, tulips were once the most popular symbol of a great love. These springtime beauties also carry with them the connotation of fresh beginnings from the dark months. It is also said that the Ottoman Empire used to plant the bulbs for eternal life and heaven.
Self-explanatory? These pretty wildflowers are symbolic of love and loyalty as well as remembrance. King Henry 1V of England also used the flower as his lucky charm whilst in exile and they are commonly used to remember loved ones.
The stunning purple fleur-de-lys of the iris is said to represent hope and faith. In Greek mythology Iris is the goddess of the rainbow, bridging heaven and earth. The darker ones are also said to represent wisdom and royalty.
Known as the King of flowers in China and up to 1929 they were the national flower. Popular with ruling dynasties, they are said to symbolise positivity, wealth and nobility. If you are given a peony it is said to convey that you are important to the person giving it to you.
The flower of the gods! Its Latin name dianthus means just that. Dios means god and anthus, flower. They have many meanings in different cultures, with red flowers traditionally representing love. Pink carnations were said to spring up after Jesus died on the cross, and the term ‘incarnation’. There are many different associations for this ancient flower. So much more than ‘petrol station’ flowers!
We hope this has given you an insight into the meanings of different flowers. Our suggestion is to choose the flowers that are special to you and remind you of your nearest and dearest.