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The Symbolic Meanings Behind Popular Flowers

3 min read
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Flowers are one of the ways to share joy with your loved ones. Aside from their beautiful colours, shapes, and sizes, did you know that there are many different flower meanings represented by each bloom? When given for certain occasions, some may represent love, sympathy, friendship, and many other thoughtful messages to make your heartfelt gestures even more special. In this way, flowers could be even more meaningful by gifting them to loved ones with their messages in mind. 


To ensure you don’t make a mistake by sending any mixed messages, check out our quick guide about the symbolic meanings of some of our popular flowers.

Special Symbolic Flowers and Their Different Flower Meanings

White Lilies

White lilies are one of the most popular lilies. They are generally associated with purity and new beginnings. White lilies are most commonly used at weddings as white is an important symbol for marriage. Separate from this, it is common for lilies to be sent as sympathy flowers to the mourning family as a symbol of strength and support.

Pink Lilies

The colour pink has long stood as a symbol of femininity, love and admiration. Pink lilies are typically given as a gift to female friends and family members. In modern times, pink lilies have been given to symbolise support for someone who is going through a challenging time.

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Red Roses

The red rose is the classic symbol of love. For centuries, the red rose has represented love and romance and is the perfect flower gift for Valentine’s Day. It is important to note that not every red rose is the same. The deeper the colour of the red of the flower, the deeper the love is said to be expressed by the giver. 

White Roses

The white rose is known to symbolise purity and grace. They are popular wedding flowers as they represent young love and eternal loyalty. Today, the white rose has also been known to show fresh beginnings, making them the ideal flowers for funerals.

Yellow Roses

Yellow roses represent warmth and happiness. Their bright, sunny colour can put a smile on the face of your loved one instantly. Oddly enough, the yellow rose was once used to symbolise jealousy but today they are the ideal choice of flower to brighten up the day of a friend or family member.

Pink Roses

Pink roses symbolise gratitude and admiration. They’re a great choice of flower gift for the people you appreciate most, like friends or siblings. These symbolic flowers can also represent femininity and elegance, which makes them great for events like engagement parties and baby showers for a baby girl.

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Orchids are one of the most popular flowers to give as a gift today. Because of their delicate, graceful nature, the orchid represents love, strength, luxury and beauty. Orchids can be given to loved ones for many reasons such as weddings, anniversaries and housewarmings. They are easy to care for, making them a great choice for anyone. 


The gerbera symbolises purity, innocence, and beauty. These flowers are bright and colourful, bringing energy and joy to the people who receive them. Gerberas are great flower gifts to give as a way to lighten up someone’s spirits and give hope to people who are experiencing hardship or even just a bad day.



With their lush blooms, peonies are quite popular as exquisite gifts, bouquets, and floral arrangements for weddings and many other occasions. The symbolic meaning of flowers like these share love, prosperity, and good fortune. Their luxurious appearance reflects beauty and grace, making them meaningful blooms for expressing admiration or sharing well wishes. Peonies embody a timeless elegance that transcends words, adding a touch of romance to any occasion and creating lasting memories through their stunning, fragrant blossoms.

Red Carnations

Red carnations make ideal gifts, symbolising deep admiration and love for your special someone. Their vibrant hues express passion, making them perfect tokens for romantic gestures. As symbolic flowers of admiration, these blooms are meaningful and timeless gifts that beautifully articulate the intensity of emotions.

Pink Carnations 

Pink carnations embody sentiments of longing and affection. These delicate florals signify subtle yearning, making them ideal surprises for expressing emotions. These flowers capture the essence of affectionate feelings, serving as a tender gift that shares sentiments of love and desire.

White Carnations 

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White carnations are exquisite gifts that share the meaning of purity, innocence, and pure love. Symbolising pristine emotions, they serve as grand tokens of deep admiration and sincere affection. Additionally, these blooms are cherished as symbols of good luck for women. With their colour and timeless elegance, white carnations make versatile pieces for floral arrangements, radiating sentiments of love and luck, and celebrating the inherent beauty of innocence and genuine emotions.

Striped Carnations 

With their unique patterning, striped carnations serve as expressive messengers of refusal. Symbolising a gentle but firm "no," they convey sentiments of disagreement or the need to decline. The distinctive stripes on these flowers make them a subtle yet poignant way to communicate without words, adding depth to floral language.

Red Chrysanthemums 

Radiant and bold, red chrysanthemums symbolise declarations of love. These bright and bold blooms convey intense passion and affection, making them a powerful floral expression of "I love you." Gifted with red chrysanthemums, the sender articulates profound emotions, adding a touch of elegance to the timeless declaration of love through the language of flowers.

White Chrysanthemums 

White chrysanthemums, pure and serene, symbolise truth and honesty. Their pristine petals embody the essence of sincerity and integrity. Commonly gifted as bouquets, the symbolic meaning of  white chrysanthemum flowers is a commitment to truthfulness and authenticity, making them a meaningful floral choice for expressing genuine sentiments and maintaining a bond built on trust.

Yellow Chrysanthemums 

Bright and cheerful, yellow chrysanthemums express feelings of slight love. Their sunny hue share warmth and affection, making them a delightful floral choice for expressing feelings of fondness for your special someone. When given, yellow chrysanthemums radiate a sense of joy and subtle love, adding a touch of brightness to life’s sweet moments.


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Tulips are enchanting gifts, with diverse flower meanings of love and appreciation. With many bright colours, they express warmth, making an ideal floral surprise for conveying admiration or celebrating achievements. Particularly, red tulips symbolise perfect and deep love, representing passionate affection. As a versatile and graceful bloom, tulips could enhance any occasion, by sharing the combination of nature’s beauty and a touch of affection for your special moments with loved ones.


Sunflowers make exceptional gifts, radiating positivity and joy. These lively petals mirror the sun's brilliance, symbolising happiness and admiration. Sunflowers signify loyalty and longevity, making them vibrant surprises for friends or loved ones. These vivid blooms symbolise optimism and add a touch of brightness into any occasion. Embodying the enduring warmth of meaningful relationships, sunflowers will be a timeless favourite to add a burst of sunshine to anyone’s day.


With their captivating beauty, irises make splendid gifts symbolising friendship. Their vibrant colours convey warmth and affection, making them wonderful heartfelt gestures to express appreciation. Irises eloquently communicate the value of friendship, expressing the message "your friendship means a lot to me”.  As the enduring symbolic flowers for camaraderie, irises bring joy and beauty to meaningful connections.


Hyacinths, with their eye-catching hues and sweet fragrance, are symbolic flowers that share messages of sincerity and constancy. Their blossoms convey apologies, making them a thoughtful gesture to mend ties with one who has been unintentionally wronged. Additionally, hyacinths are perfect for celebrations, expressing congratulations for achievements, and even connecting with distant acquaintances or family members.

The Meaning of True Quality and Personalised Gift-Giving

Giving flowers as gifts will always have endless possibilities for your moments and occasions. At Interflora, we understand that giving blooms can be more than choosing floral arrangements for loved ones, it is also sharing thoughts and heartfelt gestures to make them feel special any day. 

With over 69 years of experience, Interflora not only ensures that you receive premium floral collections, but we continue to deliver and create floral works of art that add value to your symbolic flowers and the flower meanings they carry for your surprise. This is made possible with our team of local growers and florists who share their passion and craft for beautiful blooms. We create floral masterpieces that are nurtured in care, community, and quality and tailored to suit your budget and occasion. Our team is here for you, to make every moment count with personalised gift-giving moments for your meaningful connections.

Make Floral Gifts More Special with Every Meaningful Bloom

The beauty of giving flowers is that there are many possibilities to make your gestures and surprises even more memorable for your special moments. Interflora’s floral collections are all intentionally designed with only the finest quality of seasonal blooms. From striking red rosesgerberas to orchids, these floral arrangements can make perfect meaningful presents all year. 

In just a few clicks you can place your order for symbolic flowers, and also avail same-day delivery. For same-day flower deliveries, please place your order before 2 pm between Monday to Friday, or before 10 am on Saturdays in your recipient’s time zone. Please note that same-day deliveries are not guaranteed on public holidays.

Send flowers as a gift to a friend or family member, order your flowers through Interflora. Our gorgeous range of beautiful fresh flowers will have something for everyone and every budget. Share your flower gifts with us on Facebook or on Instagram. Tag us using the hashtags #AlwaysInterflora and #InterfloraAU.

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...