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Flowers in Pop Culture

5 min read
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Flowers play a featuring or supporting role in many films, artworks, and books...

Flowers play an important role in our lives; present at births, weddings, graduations, celebrations, and funerals. They mark important milestones as well as impart sentiments such as; “Happy Birthday”, “Congratulations”, “Thank You”, and the most romantic of all, “I love you”.

If art imitates life (or vice versa) it only stands to reason that such an important part of our culture would also appear in numerous films, poems, and artwork.

Pop culture acts to reflect what is currently valued in mainstream society, and from their continuous inclusion in our media it is safe to say that flowers hold a secure place in our hearts.

We’ve compiled a list of our favourite flower cameos and star appearances in pop culture…

Flower Films

Beauty and the Beast

One of our favourite more recent Disney remakes, Beauty and the Beast is really all about a rose. When an enchantress dressed as a beggar offers a rose for shelter she is turned away, and she turns the cold-hearted prince into a beast. His only way out is to find true love before the last petal on the now cursed rose falls. We don’t think regular roses have quite this much power but they certainly can show your love for someone.

American Beauty

It’s impossible not to notice red roses throughout this film, especially when Mena Suvari floats on a bed of them. Vivid red roses are a recurring motif in this Oscar-winning drama starring Kevin Spacey, with their inclusion in almost every scene. There are many different interpretations of this film and the meaning of flowers within it, with many suggesting that they represent lust and desire. Roses have always held meanings around love and desire, you can read more on the meaning of roses here.

Alice in Wonderland

Flowers that talk, white roses being painted red, fields of beautiful living creatures, this film is overflowing with flowers! This movie tops our list of favourite Disney remakes alongside Beauty and the Beast, and the flowers are a huge reason why.

Wizard of Oz

We’d love to venture along the yellow brick road in Wizard of Oz, meeting curious characters and taking in the beautiful sights along the way. Few scenes in this film were more stunning than the one that features Dorothy falling asleep amongst a field of poisonous poppies.


The Hitchcock classic repeatedly features flowers, using them to further tell the story. A newly retired detective is employed by an acquaintance to follow his wife. At the beginning of the film, she buys a delicate bunch of flowers that are said to be representative of the character. Later in a fragile moment she tears the flowers to shreds. While we don’t love the idea of pulling apart beautiful flowers, we would love to be able to set foot in the magnificent florist shop she buys them from!

Floral Artworks


Flowers, Andy Warhol

Flowers are a repeated motif for Andy Warhol, appearing in many of his works. His most famous of flower paintings was a series based on a photograph of hibiscus blossoms. A quartet of blossoms against a background of undergrowth drenched in bright colours, created a psychedelic feel. In true Andy Warhol style, this work was repeated in multiple colour schemes.

Sunflowers, Van Gogh

Van Gogh’s artworks are experiencing a resurgence in popularity of late, with a recent exhibition at NGV in Melbourne focusing on the importance of the seasons to his work. Arguably the most well-known of his works, his Sunflowers series featured the flowers in different stages of life and across various tones of the yellow spectrum.

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Blue Water Lilies, Monet

Monet reportedly took more pride in this garden than he did his art, especially a pond of waterlilies he grew at Giverny. He must have been proud of his beautiful artwork series of approximately 250 pieces depicting his beloved white flowers. The pieces were his main focus throughout the last 30 years of his life and have brought joy to many viewers of his work ever since.

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Flower Thrower, Banksy

Located in Jerusalem, this Banksy subject appears to be involved in a riot, with a bouquet of flowers in place of a weapon. The work is believed to represent peace in a place of destruction. The anonymous Bristol artist is known for his street art style that often provokes thought around political issues.

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Flowers In A Vase, Jan Brueghel the Elder

Brueghel produced many flower still lifes, depicting flowers typically arranged in a vase or other vessel. He is regarded as a contributor to the emerging genre of flower art, earning the nickname ‘Flower Brueghel’. Although he often sought out rare flowers, he used certain blooms such as tulips and roses repeatedly to anchor his arrangements. Interestingly, he often featured flowers that did not bloom in the same season.

Blooming Reads


The Black Tulip, Alexandre Dumas

When a respectable tulip-grower trying to cultivate the elusive black tulip is accused of high treason by a bitter rival, he is condemned to life imprisonment. Together with the jailer’s beautiful daughter they concoct a plan to grow the black tulip in secret. It entwines many different themes with the phenomenon of ‘tulipomania’ that gripped seventeenth-century Holland.

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White Oleander, Janet Fitch

This novel turned into a film featured the oleander flower, as poisonous as it is beautiful. The flower is used to represent some of the themes in the book, to describe the mother of the main character, imprisoned for murder, as well as their relationship.


In Full Flower, Gemma Ingalls and Andrew Ingalls

The gorgeously photographed hardcover book celebrates the most influential floral designers in the US today. Speaking with over 20 floral artists and featuring over 300 colour images of inspiring floral works, this book has been an instant hit with lovers of beautiful blooms.


Flowersmith, Jennifer Tran

The anticipated Flowersmith is a guide to handcrafting and arranging life-like paper flowers. With beautiful photography and expert styling, this stunning book has elevated paper flowers to an art form.

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