What are the Birthday Flowers for Each Month?

Flower Guru
What are the Birthday Flowers for Each Month?

January Birth Flower: Carnation

January Birth Flower: Carnation

The carnation has been cultivated for millennia, making it one of humanity's oldest deliberately grown flowers. First appearing in Greek and Roman legend, by the Victorian era it had become a staple in intricate gardens. Today this hardy, long-lasting bloom carries connotations of fascination, distinction, and abiding love.

The carnation's botanical name, Dianthus, hints at its heritage as an emblem of romantic affection. The genus name references Artemis, Greek goddess of the hunt, forests and fertility - also known by her epithet Diana. According to myth, Diana fell for a shepherd named Dianthus. When he died tragically, she transformed him into the flower bearing his name - the carnation - as an enduring symbol of devoted love.

Over generations of cultivation, carnations have diversified into a spectrum of vibrant hues, each carrying unique meaning:

  • Red carnations invoke passion and fervent romance
  • White blooms signal innocence, pure affection, and good luck
  • Pink petals hold more gentle shades of romance, conveying gratitude and fondness

In the intricate "language of flowers" developed by the Victorians, striped carnations in particular carried the implicit message "sorry I can't be with you." This poignant subtext lives on whenever carnations are given today.

February Birth Flower: Violet

February Birth Flower: Violet

With its delicate, feminine beauty, the violet has long been an emblem of faithfulness, loyalty, and enduring hope. In ancient Greece, violets represented the dearly departed - especially the souls of women and children. Their use in funerary wreaths speaks to an essence of deep, quiet wisdom that transcends death.

Over the ages, violet connotations blended affection and spirituality. During the Middle Ages, Christians adopted the bloom to symbolise Christ's humility. By Victorian times, gift-giving etiquette used it to convey steadfast devotion or new, chaste love.

Today, color nuances define violet meaning:

  • Blue tones signify faithfulness and constancy
  • White petals emphasise purity - often of intentions over actions
  • Yellow hints at the golden warmth of true friendship

Beyond metaphor, violets do indeed offer wisdom. For centuries, herbalists used extracts of Viola, the violet's genus, for calming nerves, easing pain, and inducing sleep. Elements of this practical spirit endure in the bloom's modern legacy.

Violets also carry an emotional legacy unique among flowers - with their sweet, delicate beauty invoking nostalgia in the midst of spring.

March Birth Flower: Daffodil

March Birth Flower: Daffodil

The daffodil bursts forth each spring as an exuberant symbol of rebirth, new beginnings, and happiness. Also known as narcissus, this flower takes its name from the tragic figure of Greek myth who fell in love with his own reflection. But the vibrancy of the modern daffodil evokes only positive emotions.

Emerging from the earth just as winter frost retreats, daffodils have come to embody the very spirit of spring renewal and rejuvenation. Their hardy ability to push through cold soil seems almost miraculous - giving us among the first flowers of March and April. Many cultures draw festive New Year celebrations from the daffodil's arrival.

The visual qualities of this flower also lift the spirit. Golden yellow petals seem to actually shine with a glow that signals optimism and lighthearted contentment. White narcissus radiate hopeful simplicity and innocence.

Though often gifted between friends, the daffodil avoids implications of unrequited pining that the ancient myth carried. Instead it celebrates the sweet joy of reciprocated affections coming into bloom. Its cheerful presence insists spring and cheer will always return - making it the perfect birthday flower for March.

April Birth Flower: Daisy

April Birth Flower: Daisy

The humble yet vibrant daisy conveys innocent joy and genuineness - making it the perfect "birth flower" for springtime April. Though often considered common, the underlying structure of this ubiquitous bloom is actually unique in the botanical world.

Daisies contain two types of miniature flowers clustered together to create one blossom. Central disk florets constitute the bright yellow center, surrounded by radiating white ray florets that form the iconic petal-like shapes.

This gives the daisy a visual echo of the sun and its rays - evoking the surge of renewal spring brings after winter's cold darkness. They seem to embody youthful appreciation for sunlight and warmth restored to the world.

In the "language of flowers," daisies represent:

  • Purity of emotion with their bright white petals
  • The innocent joy of childhood in their simple form
  • Beauty that is fleeting but perpetually renewed

Red daisies add a flush of passion, while pink blooms nod to fairytale dreams of romance. Through all its shades, the daisy retains its essence of guileless cheer and humble sincerity. These qualities affirm its meaning as the birth flower for playful, bright April.

May Birth Flower: Lily of the Valley

May Birth Flower: Lily of the Valley

The lily of the valley flower conveys sweetness and the joy of returning happiness in springtime May. Its delicate white blooms nod gently upward from lush green foliage, exuding humility in their small stature but rich enticing fragrance.

Despite its diminutive size, the lily of the valley is highly unique in its biology and loaded with symbolism. Its genus name Convallaria derives from the Latin convallis, meaning "valley," echoing the anonymity and peace found in mountain glens far from society’s pressures.

True lilies boast imposing height and brilliant colors. By contrast, the lily of the valley demonstrates quiet grace by blooming close to the shaded woodland floor. Rather than demanding to be seen, it must be discovered. When stumbled upon, its heady perfume stops the wanderer in their tracks with an aura of bewitching sweetness.

Sadly, the humble lily of the valley hides an ironic toxicity making it potentially lethal if consumed. Yet in the "language of flowers" it retains connotations of joy and renewed possibility after life’s trials.

Its pure white petals convey:

  • Purity of intent
  • A return to innocence after hardship
  • The simple, sweet pleasures of being alive

There is triumph in the lily of the valley’s unconquerable reemergence each year, making it the perfect floral symbol of life’s renewal in springtime May.

June Birth Flower: Rose

May Birth Flower: Lily of the Valley

No other flower rivals the cultural cachet of the rose when it comes to symbolising love in all its forms. With thousands of cultivars boasting every hue, the elegant but thorny rose incorporates beauty, passion, and the ever-present possibility of pain which accompanies all great loves.

As one of humanity’s most ancient symbolic flowers, roses have gathered layered meanings over millennia of literary and botanical cultivation. Most roses originated in Asia and came to prominence in ancient Persian gardens. By 500 BCE, rose water was a mainstay in elite Middle Eastern food, medicine, ritual, and perfume for its sweetly intoxicating aroma which hinted at eroticism.

When Roman nobility adopted floral motifs, the rose became an emblem of secrecy and confidential passion worn on signet rings used to seal sensitive documents. The Latin injunction sub rosa (literally "under the rose") came to signify discreet romance revealed only in private confidence.

In the Victorian era, giving different rose colors communicated complex concepts:

  • Red symbolised romantic passion
  • White indicated virtue and purity
  • Yellow roses signified friendship
  • Pink blooms conveyed gentler affection like sympathy or gratitude

This nuanced floral lexicon persists today in the symbolism of June’s rose, enriching its meaning as the quintessential flower emblem of human love.

July Birth Flower: Larkspur

July Birth Flower: Larkspur

The bold blooms of larkspur arrive in July, their towering shapes seeming to herald the climactic heart of summer. Also called delphinium, the name traces to the Greek word for dolphin and suggests open blue seas and soaring spirit.

Larkspurs embody July’s peak of warmth and color with their vibrant shades of pink, lavender, white and blue. In the coded “language of flowers,” each hue holds poignant meaning:

  • Purple connotes first love and powerful bonds
  • Pink hints at fickleness, sweetness and joy
  • White signals happiness and positivity

At over six feet tall, larkspur’s height and volume gloriously proclaim the lush days of high summer. Yet there is elegance in those tapering spires, which form long-lasting cut flowers gracing vases indoors.

That sculptural dignity echoes larkspur’s role as ancient heraldic motifs signifying esteem. In modern times they continue bringing stately beauty to summer gardens, where they draw bees, butterflies and admiring eyes.

Sadly every part of delphiniums are toxic if eaten, from roots to seeds. But the electrifying sight of their blue blossoms nodding in summer breezes outweighs any perils - making larkspur an apt floral emblem for July’s vibrant spirit rising toward its peak.

August Birth Flower: Gladiolus

August Birth Flower: Gladiolus

The eye-catching vertical spikes of gladiolus make a bold statement in summer gardens and as cut flowers. Their towering shapes inspired the Latin name meaning “sword,” hence the popular moniker sword lily.

That sense of drama and vibrancy reflects some gladiolus flower meanings:

  • Ceremonious occasion
  • Infatuation
  • Honor

At the same time, the structural integrity of their tall stems signals virtues like steadfastness, strength of character, and upholding moral principles.

Gladiolus flowers come in a diverse palette mirroring the transition into autumn. The most common pure white, pink and red shades reference:

  • White - purity and innocence
  • Pink - sweet romance, grace
  • Red - passion and excitement

But we also find intriguing fall hues - rich purples, oranges, yellows - and multicolor varieties etched, spotted or delicately rimmed in contrasting shades. They seem to gradually shift summer’s bright cheer into more introspective tones.

For these reasons gladioli make ideal floral emblems for August birthdays. Their striking presence celebrates the accomplishments of summer at its peak, while looking ahead to autumn’s more meditative mood. Their sword-shaped arrivals cut to the heart of late summer’s impermanence - an poignant concept suiting August’s place on the turning wheel of seasons.

September Birth Flower: Aster

September Birth Flower: Aster

Asters usher in autumn with a diverse array of lively blossoms that seem to echo the starry nights soon to sweep across autumn skies. Their name even derives from the ancient Greek for "star," linking them literally and symbolically to this time of seasonal change.

Though asters come in many varieties, most have bursts of tiny petals spreading out like fireworks from a central disk. Some kinds resemble colorful daisies with bright yellow focal points, but most asters don lavender, purple, red and white outer petals that form a stellar halo.

These cooling shades mirror autumn's transition toward winter's depth, making the aster an emblem of change and maturity. Their spectrum of pastel colors carries additional floral meanings:

  • White signals purity and innocence
  • Purple conveys wisdom and respect
  • Pink nods to romance and love

While summer wilts into fall, asters rise up with renewed vibrancy - reminding observers that cycles of life and beauty go on. This hopeful, patient essence suits the transitional nature embodied in September's seasons and makes the versatile aster an apt birth flower for autumnal change.

October Birth Flower: Marigold

October Birth Flower: Marigold

Bright marigolds sustain some summer vibrancy well into October, their warm shades seeming to radiate from within. These flowers bloom in a range of yellow, orange and red hues that reflect fall foliage in all its glory before winter sets in. The marigold's richness of color mirrors the creative energy and passion associated with this birth flower.

Marigolds possess an aura of warmth and comfort. Their late-season blooms add striking beauty to autumn days. As one of the easiest garden flowers, they retain a wholesome humility while blaze with harvest shades.

The orange and yellow color symbolism attached to marigolds includes:

  • Orange - enthusiasm, creativity, determination
  • Yellow - sunshine, optimism and friendship

In many cultures marigolds also represent death and remembrance. Their fiery colors alchemise loss into celebration, which is why they're often used ornamentally during Dia de Los Muertos festivities.

Marigolds manage to bridge the energy of late summer with the meditation of early autumn. They remind us that the vibrancy of life and renewal don't disappear, but transform when seasons change. These qualities make marigolds an excellent birth flower for October.

November Birth Flower: Chrysanthemum

November Birth Flower: Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemums bloom late each year, their rich colors and lush shapes seeming to glow with warmth even as autumn chilled. These qualities made "mums" a natural choice for November birth flowers when Victorians adopted the custom of assigning botanicals to birth months.

Today chrysanthemums symbolise friendship, longevity, loyalty and honesty - virtues amplified by the flower's late-season vitality. Their name even hints at this life force, derived as it is from ancient Greek words for “gold” (chrysos) and “flower” (anthemon).

Shades of chrysanthemums offer further symbolic meaning:

  • Red conveys love and passion
  • White signals unblemished purity
  • Yellow, especially popular in mums, represents neglected love or sorrow

Chrysanthemums also serve as the official flower emblem for the city of Chicago, nicknamed “The Windy City” for its changeable weather. Tying deep symbolic meaning to a place renowned for volatility hints at the mum’s ability to withstand life’s ups and downs.

This hardy capacity for thriving when other blooms surrender their vigor makes the chrysanthemum the perfect representation for steadfast, loyal Scorpios born in November as the weather turns.

December Birth Flower: Poinsettia

December Birth Flower: Poinsettia

The showy red and green poinsettia evokes all the festive joy and celebration of the holiday season in December. Originally from Mexico, these plants display huge colorful bracts that resemble bursting fireworks - fitting symbols to mark winter solstice merriment before the new year arrives.

In their native range, poinsettias represented success and purity to the Aztecs, who called them "cuetlaxochitl." But America renamed them after Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first United States Ambassador to Mexico. He introduced the plant into North America in 1828. An eponymous red variety was later named in his honor.

Today poinsettia color symbolism carries more Christian overtones, with red evoking Christ’s sacrifice and green signifying renewal. White poinsettias represent purity and innocence befitting winter snows. More romantic pink blooms convey affection perfect for seasonal gatherings.

Whatever their shade, poinsettias usher in winter celebrations across the world for a range of religious and secular communities. They remind us even the coldest, darkest days hold possibility - renewing our spirit as we close one year and prepare for warmer seasons ahead.


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