Symbolic Meaning of Funeral Flowers

Flower Guru
Symbolic Meaning of Funeral Flowers

Flowers have their own unique language and we’re lucky to have the opportunity to use this one-of-a-kind means of communication. Flowers can help us express what we feel when words seem to be not enough to define our emotions. Fresh flowers are especially helpful when communicating extreme feelings like intense love, deep gratitude, or heartfelt apology. These beautiful gifts from nature can also speak volumes when offering comfort and sympathy to people who are experiencing incomprehensible grief. If you are looking for information on flowers and funeral services please click here. For those looking for far more detailed information about what flowers to send to a funeral take a look at our complete funeral series.

Find the Perfect Sympathy Flowers

Struggling to choose the right flowers to convey your condolences? Take our quick quiz to discover the ideal sympathy flower that perfectly expresses your feelings.

Your Recommended Flower:

Recommended Flower VIEW

If you have a friend or relative who lost a loved one, convey your condolences through sympathy flowers. Lily’s Florist has a wide selection of flower arrangements that can express your sorrow and show how you share in someone’s grief. To help you find the best sympathy flowers to send, here is a quick guide on the symbolic meaning of popular funeral flowers.


Lilies have become one of the most traditional and popular flowers used in both funeral and sympathy arrangements. With their elegant trumpet-shaped blooms perched atop tall, slender stems, lilies create a striking yet comforting statement.

In the language of flowers, white stargazer lilies specifically symbolise purityinnocence, and virtue - an expression of the soul's restoration in the afterlife. Their subtle fragrance is evocative and soothing. Beyond white, pink lilies convey gentle femininity and admiration, while bright yellow lilies represent warmth and gratitude for happy memories.

With many hybrids and oriental varieties to choose from, lilies offer diversity in form, colour and fragrance. Yet certain attributes remain constant - their imposing size, their association with peace and solace, and their inherent symbolism of rebirthrenewal, and the continuity of life. For these reasons, sending lilies as an expression of sympathy has become a long-held tradition. The sight of their graceful flowers serves as a message of comfort and hope.

Symbolic Meaning of Funeral Flowers lilies


Roses have an enduring and beloved place in floral memorial tributes, conveying love, grief, celebration, and remembrance. As one of the most recognisable funeral flowers, roses offer diversity in colour and meaning to meet every emotional need.

Pure white roses symbolise reverenceinnocencepurity and spirituality - sending wishes of peace and blessings to the departed soul. Deep red roses represent passionate love and the pain of grief over profound loss. Softer pink roses communicate gentle appreciation and gratitude for a life well lived. Sunny yellow roses celebrate joyfriendship and the happy memories that live on.

Whether sent as single stems, paired with lilies, or incorporated into mixed bouquets, roses allow personalised expression. Their sumptuous petals, velvety fragrance, and thorn-adorned stems evoke all the passion and pain of the human experience. We grieve the beloved red rose's ephemeral beauty even as we find renewal in the perpetual rose bush that returns each spring to flower once more. In roses, the grieving find solace and hope.

Symbolic Meaning of Funeral Flowers roses


The exotic, delicate blooms of orchids impart a message of enduring love and support - perfect for funeral and sympathy arrangements. Available in a diverse range of colours and varieties, orchids offer great versatility to convey heartfelt emotions.

Stately white phalaenopsis orchids represent sympathy, respect, reverence and purity of spirit. Blush pink orchids communicate gentle femininity, grace and admiration for a life well lived. Deep fuchsia dendrobium orchids express esteem, passion and eternal devotion - saying "I will always love you." Purple orchids signify nobility, wisdom gained, and a soul moving onward to deep peace.

Beyond cut flowers, orchid plants make meaningful sympathy gifts that provide longer-lasting comfort. The living orchid serves as an ongoing reminder of the giver's care and affection. Whenever the bereaved tend and see the orchid thrive, it symbolizes hope, new beginnings, and the enduring bond with their loved one.

With orchids' exotic rarity and delicate beauty contrasting the finite nature of life, they impart profound meaning. Their distinctive flowers remind us to embrace each fleeting moment as precious. Few funeral flowers can match orchids' grandeur and timeless message - "My love for you remains forever."

Symbolic Meaning of Funeral Flowers orchids


Chrysanthemums, often referred to as "mums", are a popular flower that actually carries varied symbolic meaning in different cultures.

In European countries including Poland, Spain, Croatia, France, Italy and Hungary, chrysanthemums are a traditional funeral flower closely associated with death and grief. Their use in sombre displays on graves and in memorial arrangements reinforces their cultural symbolism of mortality and loss.

Similarly, in China and Koreachrysanthemums hold deep symbolic ties to lamentation and grieving. White and yellow mums feature prominently in cultural death rituals. They represent the grief felt over departed loved ones.

However, in Japan, the cultural symbolism could not differ more greatly. There, the chrysanthemum, known as Kiku, is considered the national flower and bears only positive associations. The Imperial family even uses a stylized mum crest. Kiku represent longevityrejuvenation and the sun, with yellow conveying noble perfection. On holidays, red chrysanthemums symbolize happiness and celebration.

This shows how profoundly flower symbolism can differ across cultures. The same chrysanthemum conveys grief in one region, joy in another, and revered nobility in yet another. Their varied meanings remind us to consider cultural context when selecting funeral or celebratory displays.

Symbolic Meaning of Funeral Flowers Chrysanthemums


Carnations are a popular funeral flower choice due to their wide range of colours and layered symbolic meanings. Their ruffled, full petals and sweet, spicy fragrance lend comfort and warmth.

In memorial arrangements and condolence bouquets, carnations convey love, fondness and admiration for the deceased. Pink carnations signify gratitude for a life well lived, while white blooms represent sweet innocence and remembrance. Red carnations evoke deep affection and respect for the passion and vibrancy of the departed's spirit. Purple blooms express capriciousness - acknowledging the ups and downs of any relationship.

With their diversity and full form, carnations allow personalized messages of care, celebration and commemoration of a loved one’s legacy. Their layered sentiments make them a versatile and meaningful funeral flower.


Funeral arrangements featuring dramatic gladioli blooms are traditionally sent to honour and recognize the deceased's utmost strength of character. The eye-catching sword-shaped flowers rising on tall, upright stems reflect virtues including sincerityhonestymoralityintegrity and righteous living.

In the language of flowers, white gladioli specifically symbolise gracepurity of spirit, and the act of overcoming life's challenges with quiet resilience. Cream or pale peach gladioli convey heartfelt gentleness and empathy for others. Meanwhile, crimson red blooms represent couragepassion, conviction and unwavering dedication to one's principles.

Standing prominent amid bouquets, funeral gladioli's towering height draws the eye upwards, much like the dynamic human spirit aspiring to lofty goals. The striking flowers remind mourners to appreciate the virtues and moral excellence of the deceased's journey, rather than dwell on loss. With impressive grandeur and symbolic elegance, gladioli naturally express esteem and honour for one who nobly walked life's path.

Symbolic Meaning of Funeral Flowers Gladioli


Funeral arrangements graced with lush camellias make a fitting tribute to honour someone of refined character and noble spirit. These flowers have long held deep cultural symbolism conveying admirationrespectdevotion and abiding love.

Treasured for their delicate beauty and elegance, lush camellia blooms feature ruffled petals in shades of pristine white, dusky pink and rich crimson. Their lush, abundant flowers and glossy leaves create striking displays when made the focal point of memorial wreaths and sprays.

White camellias specifically represent unpretending excellence - acknowledging a life lived with grace, dignity and quiet wisdom. Light pink blooms convey longing, gratitude and gentleness of spirit. Meanwhile, red camellias symbolize passion and deep desire for the one lost, as an everlasting flame continues burning in the heart.

With lush petals as intricate as origami, the camellia's beauty reflects on the depth and complexity encapsulated in each human soul. Their rich symbolism translates across cultures, cementing camellias as one of the most admired and fitting funeral flowers. When words fall short, camellias' sublime perfection speaks volumes.

Symbolic Meaning of Funeral Flowers Camellias


Though often used as filler flowers in funeral arrangements, delicate hyacinths carry profound meaning all their own. Their sweet, heady perfume and small clustered blossoms represent sorrow, lamentation and despair in the face of death's finality.

In ancient myths, the bold purple hue of hyacinths emerged from the blood of Hyacinthus, a Greek youth struck down far too soon by a cruel twist of fate. The aromatic blooms remind us life can be tragically fleeting and unfair, fuelling our grief. Yet their springtime flowering also symbolizes rebirth, hope and the endurance of the human spirit.

Beyond the classic purple variety, white hyacinths specifically convey the request "pray for me" - an appeal to the living to honour the deceased through ongoing remembrance. Soft blue or pink hyacinths add notes of gentleness, grace and deep regret over all that's left unsaid and undone.

With their profound emotional resonance, sweet fragrance and diversity of colours, hyacinth's small stature belies their immense ability to give voice to our sorrow. They impart a final farewell - as the bereaved wish the departed peace and the living, solace amidst the pain of forever parted ways.

Symbolic Meaning of Funeral Flowers Hyacinths

Then again, you can simply pick a funeral or sympathy flower arrangement based on the language it speaks. Lily’s Florist has sympathy arrangements, funeral wreaths and sheaths that feature the most popular funeral flowers mentioned above. Our wreaths are specially designed to symbolise the circle of life. Resembling a ring, this circle of flowers represents everlasting life; that physical death is just the beginning and not the end. Our hand-tied sheaths or sheaves, on the other hand, are designed to adorn a casket. Both our wreaths and sheaths are directly delivered to a chapel, cemetery or funeral home.

At Lily’s Florist, you can find sympathy and funeral flowers in different colour schemes. We have the classic white flower arrangements if you prefer a traditional symbol of your sympathy. Also available are more vibrant funeral flower arrangements that are designed to bring optimism and hope into a sombre event. Our colourful sympathy flowers are well-thought-of and are tastefully designed to suit formal and sombre funeral services. While these radiant and brightly coloured blooms cannot take away pain and sorrow, they can somehow lessen the gloom and inspire strength and hope to the grieving.

For as low as $100, you can arrange a delivery of sympathy wreath in standard size. Our wreaths are hand-arranged and hand-delivered and are available in four sizes. Lily’s Florist’s sympathy sheaths start at $70 for a standard design and can be handcrafted into an extra large sympathy flower gift for just $200.

Ordering sympathy flowers online is easy when you do it at Lily’s Florist. Order before 2PM Monday to Friday and we can swiftly arrange same day delivery.

Originally posted on 10.3.22. We posted again on 8.6.24 with a very cool update which allows our readers and customers to use a flower finder tool we made to assist in choosing the right flowers.