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Flowers & Their Meanings: Orchids

3 min read

The orchid flower has many meanings attached to it across various cultures and religions, did you know that the gorgeous orchid could say this much? 

The Meaning of Orchids 

Exquisite and elegant, orchids are objects of perfect symmetry, with geometric shaped petals and root tubers from which the plant derives its name.

From the Greek word ‘orkhis’ – which refers to the ‘male anatomy’ shape of the tubers – the orchid has long been associated with virility and fertility. Ancient Greeks believed the root tubers could determine the sex of an unborn child. 

A symbol of beauty and spiritual perfection, the stunning orchid referenced a beautiful woman in Victorian England. Also considered a symbol of love, it was customary to give a gift of this exotic plant to someone for whom you held great affection.

It was also common in Europe – during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries – to use orchids in love potions.


The ancient Chinese considered the orchid the essence of human perfection and it was also associated with Spring Festivals, where the orchid was believed to keep evil influences at bay – particularly barrenness.

As a result, the Chinese further believed the orchid symbolised procreation, and acted as promises of fatherhood, especially of many children.  

Popular too in ancient Japan, the orchid was considered a symbol of wealth by royalty, who kept the flowers in their temples, and commissioned them in their painted scrolls.

Japanese warriors believed they were being rewarded for their bravery if they came across an orchid, while the Aztecs drank a concoction made with extracts from the vanilla orchid and cacao beans, which they believed enhanced physical strength.

In the Christian tradition, spots on particular species of orchid are said to represent the blood of Christ, and often decorate the altar at Easter, while Calayan tribes in the Philippines believe that orchids are the guardians of the forests.

Poetically, the Javanese describe jewel orchids as pieces that have fallen from the mantle of a fairy princess.

Representative too of peace, strength, and elegance, the magnificent orchid continues to fire the imagination with its fragile yet powerful symbolism.

This gorgeous bloom is as popular as ever, with an eclectic range of modern hybrids available. With a vast array of bright, unique colours, it is now possible to send your recipient a gift that means something special and truly shows how you feel. 

Shop our orchids here.

Interflora Australia has been operating across our country since 1954. Originally based in Adelaide, South Australia, we now operate out of Interflora House in Melbourne, Victoria. Interflora Australia is 100% Australian owned - via a licensing agreement, issued to us from Interflora in the United Kingdom...