A Guide to the Meaning and Symbolism of Flowers

A Guide to the Meaning and Symbolism of Flowers 

The following article explains;

  • - The history of gifting flowers and bouquets
  • - What the common flowers and colors represents?
  • - How do you select the best flower gifts for presenting for different occasions?

The History of Gifting Flowers & Flower Bouquets


 Presenting flowers to convey our emotions and feelings is considered as a noble tradition in all societies. The ancient Greeks made important influence in literature, dramas, sculptures and architecture. They used flowers and herbs for decorations often as part of their artwork. The tradition of gifting flowers can be seen in ancient Greek history and often it is connected with goddess and temples. This tradition gradually transformed into giving flowers to show the sentiments, bereavement and love.

Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_flower_arrangement


Another culture where we see the flowers as an important part of their social and religious life is ancient Egypt. Flowers were grown in gardens for preparing bouquets and other flower arrangements especially used in religious functions. Nefertum, in ancient Egyptian religion, is a youthful god associated with the lotus flower. Using dried flowers for garlanding is believed to be started by ancient Egyptians as many dried flowers, still in vases, have been found in many ancient tombs throughout Egypt. As in any culture, the myths will eventually start to influence the human behaviors and it is believed that the Egyptians started to use flowers as gifts to lovers and gods to show their love and affection.

Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gardens_of_ancient_Egypt


During Roman civilization, gardens and ornamental cultivation flourished throughout the Roman Empire. Roman civilization is believed to be influenced by creek civilization and therefore we can find many similarities in traditions related to flowers in both cultures. Flowers were the traditional symbol of rejuvenation, rebirth and tranquility both in Roman and Greek cultures. The Roman army used to celebrate the rose festival known as rosaliae signorum and during these festivals they garland the military standards with flowers especially roses.

Victorian Era:

The Victorian Era was a time of vast political reform and social change. There are many developments took place during this period like Industrial Revolution, railway and shipping boom, scientific discoveries and the first telephone and telegraph. The modern tradition of presenting flower bouquets, vases and other flower arrangements has flourished during this time along with other social reforms.  The special meaning behind giving flowers has been an important part of various cultures for thousands of years and during the Victorian Era, a language of flowers developed and it helped people share deep feelings and sentiments symbolically. This later spread throughout the world and other cultures adapted it to their customs and beliefs.

What the common flowers and colors represents? 

Traditionally flowers are deeply linked with symbolism and emotions. As per the botanical websites, there are over 400,000 known flowering plants in the world. It is nearly impossible to describe what each flowers and colors represent as we are not technically or scientifically analyzing them. In a true literary purpose we try to list most common flowers used for gifting and garlanding and what each one of them represents.

Red Roses:

Traditionally bold red roses are related to passion, affection, love and romance. Red also symbolizes courage and respect. Because of this attribute of red roses, it is being used widely around globe to convey the messages of love and affection

Red Aster:

Similar to the red roses, red aster also reflects undying devotion and love. In Greek mythology, aster flower is considered as symbol of love and it was used to be offered to the gods.

Red Chrysanthemum:

Red chrysanthemum like other red flowers reflects beauty, love and passion. Similar to red roses red chrysanthemum is also widely used for presenting to convey the romantic feelings around the globe.

White Roses:

White roses represent purity and young love, innocence and youthfulness. Its graceful petals are a true eggshell white color, which gives this rose a pristine fresh look. They are widely used in bridal bouquets and also while conveying sympathy and condolences.

White Orchids:

Traditionally white orchids symbolize purity, innocence, elegance and beauty. Also spirituality and faith have been associated with white orchids. Mixed with other white flowers and filler leafs, white orchids makes an elegant gift for anniversaries, birthday and for wishing a speedy recovery from illnesses.

White Lilies:

Lilies are often confused with orchids but both are different plant families and have distinct features and cultural traditions attached to them. Because of the Greek myth of Hera and Zeus, lilies are associated with rebirth and motherhood. White lilies symbolize purity, birth and sympathy.

Pink Roses:

Pink color is considered as representing feminity and is the common choice for mother’s day. Pink roses are generally associated with happiness, gentleness and gratitude and are given as a representation of gentleness, appreciation, joy, thankfulness, and elegance.

Pink Lilies:

The Oriental pink lily is known as universal symbol of beauty. It is also a symbol of Refreshing & Fertility. They make the perfect wedding bouquet, anniversary gift or wishing a get well soon. It will be a perfect gift to congratulate a friend for having a new born.


Pink Carnation:

Pink carnation is a symbol of gratitude and fondness. A bouquet of pink carnation is generally presented to say, “Thank you” and also to boldly convey the message that “I will never forget you”. Light pink carnations represent love and gratitude that are similar to a Mother. Dark pink carnation flower boxes are gifted to a loved one as a first present. It symbolizes fondness and conveys the sentiments of blooming love.

Yellow Sunflowers:

Sunflower is considered as happy flower and therefore it resembles brightness, happiness and joy. Yellow color is traditionally associated with spreading happiness. By presenting yellow sunflower box , you can brighten someone's day and increase the positive energy.

Yellow Orchid/Cymbidium:

Yellow orchid is an optimistic colored flower and are often presented as a reflection of long lasting friendship, new beginning and joy. This brightened colored blossom is a wonderful present which is ideal for gifting to long-distance friends, encourage a new chapter in the recipient’s life, and spread optimism.

Orange Tulip:

Orange is an optimistic, high energy and youthful color. Orange tulips are used to convey a sense of belongings and admiration between two people, usually in a relationship. A gift of orange tulips perfectly knotted can mean that you feel both physically and spiritually connected to the recipient.

Orange Rose:

Orange roses represent energy, strength and enthusiasm. In fact, orange roses were created by florists by experimenting cross breeding of roses in 20th century.  Since the color represents energy and strength, it is an ideal gift for a family member to mend the relations or to brighten up an event in the family or friends circle.

Lavender Orchids:

A lavender orchid symbolizes feminine beauty, luxury and strength. A beautifully arranged flower bouquet with lavender orchids tell someone that you're enchanted by them. They also represent aspiration and love at first sight. In addition to being beautiful flowers, dried lavender flowers are being used to hung in rooms and wardrobes for spreading lovely aroma. Ancient Romans were known for adding lavender flowers to their baths.

Green Button Flowers:

Green flowers are traditionally associated with health, growth and good fortune. Chrysanthemum Green button flowers are common filler flowers used in flower bouquets, flower vases, and in other flower displays. It represents hope, optimism and truth.

Green Cymbidium/Orchid:

Green is associated with health, longevity and good fortune. The cymbidium green orchid resembles trust, happiness and friendship. Green flowers send a distinct message of hope and trust. So if you are thinking to send a special message in a situation to say that things will be okay, send green flowers.

Blue Hydrangea:

A blue hydrangea flower represents gratitude, understanding and regret. Since blue hydrangeas are a cool color, they are associated with cold emotions and are often sent to communicate a want for forgiveness or regret. Though traditionally the blue hydrangea was used to mend relations, in modern western culture, the blue flower is considered as a central symbol of inspiration for the romanticism movement. It also resembles desire and love.

Chrysanthemums Purple:

This flower is considered to be rare to find, purple blossom resembles thoughtfulness and care. Like the red flower, they can symbolize romance. Because of ancient connections between the color purple and royalty, they are often used to provide an elegant royal and luxury look to the gifts while presenting.

Carnation Purple:

The carnation flower resembles love and fascination. Currently, the florists use carnation flowers as an alternative to roses. It also makes vibrant fillers to any flower bouquet because of its long-lasting freshness and fragrance. People consider Purple carnations are an interesting flower as they symbolize unpredictability. It is a good gift to send to an impulsive or unpredictable friend or family member.

How do you select the best flower gifts for presenting for different occasions? 

Though the myths related to flowers and its languages are not so interesting to the millennium generations, the meaning behind flowers is a universally accepted concept and will remain forever. Depending on the event, day and relationship of the recipient, you will be able to identify best flowers and bouquets using the above guide lines. 

GreenCart was established as a planet friendly online store in Dubai, UAE, during the middle of year 2022. We are expanding our reach now to include online flower and gift delivery service across UAE. We focus on eco-conscious customers who are looking for planet friendly and sustainable gifts to express their love and emotions. Our specially selected flowers and gifts are a statement of your love and commitment towards your loved ones and to mother earth.

Whatever your preference is, we have the varieties available with us like Lilies, Tulips, Orchids, Blue Hydrangeas, White Roses and Pink Roses. You name it, we have them all. Whether the special occasion of your loved ones are celebrated or not, sending a gifts to them is like you are telling them that they are special to you. The occasion be birthday, anniversary, new born, wedding, GreenCart has the variety of gift items for all these occasions. You can select premium fresh flowers and other gifts through our online gifting platform GreenCart.ae/GCFlowers and we ensure a hassle free delivery of them to your loved ones according to the date of your preference.

If you need help sending flowers to your loved ones or anyone in UAE?


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