Floral Arrangements 101: What Each Flower Means

After the death of a loved one, choosing the right flowers may be the last thing you want to think about. Or maybe a friend has experienced a recent loss but you are not sure which flowers to include in a sympathy bouquet. There is a lot of meaning and symbolism behind flowers; culture and local customs can also play a large role in which flowers are selected for a service. Sometimes, it is a personal preference, such as in an instance where the deceased had a particular favorite flower. Usually, they are used to bring comfort for the bereaved. To make the process of choosing floral arrangements easier, we are sharing the meaning behind the most commonly used flowers for funeral arrangements.

  • Lilies
    The most common type of flower used during a funeral service, white stargazer lilies especially symbolize innocence and purity.

  • Gladioli
    Belonging to the iris family, gladioli (singular gladiola) represent a strong character, moral integrity, and sincerity.

  • Carnations
    Carnations are a popular choice for floral arrangements because of how long-lasting they are. Pink carnations show remembrance for the departed.

  • Roses
    Roses make for beautiful displays of enduring love, reverence, and humility. Different colors represent different things. Light pink roses show admiration and sympathy, red and white roses show unity, and red roses portray respect and enduring love.

  • Chrysanthemums
    White chrysanthemums add a loving touch to arrangements and symbolize truth.

  • Orchids
    If you want to say I will love you forever,” Orchids are the flower to choose.

  • Daffodils and Tulips
    Although these bright and colorful flowers may not be appropriate for every situation, they can bring hope and encouragement to the bereaved.

  • White Lilacs
    In the event of an untimely passing, delicate white lilacs represent innocence and are often used in arrangements for young children.

  • Forget-Me-Nots
    To show true love and remembrance, these dainty flowers are favored for their symbolism. A unique use of forget-me-nots is seed packets passed out during the funeral service, with directions to plant in memory of the loved one’s passing.

  • Peace Lily
    Sending a peace lily as a sympathy gift is often well-received because it is a potted houseplant, meaning it will last the bereaved for years, reminding them of their loved one.

It is important to note that there are some cases where flowers are not traditional gifts. For example, in the Jewish and Islamic faiths, flowers are not necessarily unwelcome but are not commonplace in the funeral process.

As you can see, there are many choices when putting together a meaningful flower arrangement. Experienced florists can also help you to choose flowers that are relevant and meaningful to the situation at hand. It can be comforting to choose flowers and colors that the departed loved one had an affection for. For example, if their favorite color was purple, it would be nice to have beautiful purple carnations during the service. Floral arrangements do not have to be difficult, but it is important to take time and consider the appropriate measures to take when planning a sympathy bouquet or funeral spray.



Ascension Funeral Group serves the Mobile, Alabama area and Saraland, Alabama area with funeral and cremation services, grief support, pre-planning, and more. Visit us online at www.AscensionFuneralGroup.com. Call us anytime at (251) 634-8055 or connect with Ascension Funeral Home & Crematory and Forest Lawn Funeral Home on Facebook and Twitter!

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