Dictionary.com

What Certain Flowers Are Saying

flowers, Mother's DayLike precious stones and tarot cards, flowers have symbolic meanings that only some understand. Different flowers represent sorrow, repentance, unrequited love, or beauty. Here are some of the most popular Mother’s Day flowers and their associated meanings. Do you know what these blooms are saying?

Most of us appreciate flowers just because they are beautiful and not for their symbolic meanings, but this year you can give your mom breathtaking flowers that are doubly meaningful!

daffodil, mother's day, narcissicus

Daffodil is the common English name of the flower otherwise known as Narcissus, after the Ancient Greek myth. Daffodil is a variation of the scientific name of the flower, Asphodel. They signify respect and admiration.

Chrysanthemums, death, mother's day

To many, chrysanthemums mean hope for the future. The word literally means “gold flower” in Greek. In parts of Europe and Asia, though, chrysanthemums represent death and are only on display during funerals.

Irises represent hope, faith, and wisdom. In Latin, the word “iris” originally referred to a prismatic type of rock crystal. The same word was applied to these flowers and to the irises of our eye.

lily

Lilies signify a return to happiness. The word “lily” comes directly from the plant’s Latin name, Lilium.

orchid, mother's day

Orchids typically represent refined beauty. To the Chinese, orchids represent having many children which makes them especially appropriate for Mother’s Day. Like the lily, the name of the orchid comes from its Latin name, Orchidaceae.

What kinds of flowers will you buy for Mother’s Day this year?

65 Comments

  1. MICHELE GMITROWSKI -  May 4, 2015 - 2:28 pm

    Today I got my very first Medium Reading, which I needed badly for the closure of my father’s passing back in 1980.

    One thing he kept bringing up were Apple Blossoms, and I just can’t think of what he was trying to say?

    Do you know what the meaning of the flower is, please?

    Reply
    • Sue aris -  February 12, 2016 - 11:44 am

      Apple blossom depict love and peace. Hope this helps

      Reply
  2. Shayes -  November 6, 2012 - 10:06 am

    I would love to give my mother some flowers, but that’s gonna be a problem when you have no car and she lives 6-7 hours away from you. My mother in law….. A homemade card and a piece of chocolate. I’ll buy me some things for mothers day in hope that will be. lol Getting pregnant is hard. :/

    Reply
  3. johnlovell -  June 7, 2012 - 9:56 am

    daisys mean i love you. and roses mean i miss you.

    Reply
  4. cherry -  May 30, 2012 - 8:44 am

    that is a good thing to do.even to the poor.it enspires them.telling them we love them

    Reply
  5. Lily -  May 27, 2012 - 12:33 pm

    I like the lilies best, the meaning and how they look (plus its my name!). Except wern’t lilies traditionally used in funerals?

    Reply
  6. yayRayShell -  May 23, 2012 - 4:31 pm

    Oooo. I bought carnations. :D

    Reply
  7. mary torres :)2 gud 4 u :) -  May 21, 2012 - 4:08 pm

    roses are my fave

    Reply
  8. MARY TORRES $CHA$HIN OUT4 -  May 21, 2012 - 8:21 am

    heeyyy yallll whats sup?

    Reply
  9. kudayah bukola -  May 20, 2012 - 11:31 am

    I love lilies.what does red hibiscus mean?

    Reply
  10. what -  May 17, 2012 - 2:27 pm

    what flowers say “You ruined my life!”?

    Reply
    • Kawaii Suesan -  June 19, 2015 - 10:59 pm

      Well common basil means I hate you and orange lily.Also I looked for more options garlic means no one is more evil than you,dried white roses means I rather die than be with you,yellow carnation means you are such a disappointment they. Also of you play with your words you might find better flowers than these.
      I’m sorry I hope this helped you or someone else out .I genuinely love the meanings of flowers and want to improve my knowledge on growing them and their unique meaning .Besides gifting them with meanings no one usually knows of .Also please excuse my grammar I was never good at English so it can be sore on the eyes in fact I hate to go back a few time to put theses in(.).

      Reply
  11. dajoura -  May 15, 2012 - 6:56 am

    tis is a kool pasege

    Reply
  12. roupam -  May 14, 2012 - 6:43 pm

    ROSE: Love, passion, perfection. The rose was named for the Latin word rosa which means red. its my favourite flower

    Reply
  13. hana -  May 14, 2012 - 3:18 pm

    flowers are aswem

    Reply
  14. BLAY -  May 14, 2012 - 11:27 am

    Infact,I like the meaning of lilly

    Reply
  15. Beauty -  May 14, 2012 - 6:58 am

    In the Philippines,Chrysantemums are always in the funerals…but so does beautiful red roses and tulips.

    Reply
  16. Ophelia -  May 14, 2012 - 5:02 am

    On the note of Chrysanthemums und “Death”, I have to agree with Autumn. The vicious cycle of life, as things, symbolically, do not end at death. Death is merely the prelude to rebirth. Rebirth would equivalently mean ‘hope for the future.’

    Und of course, google would list you better sites for a variety of flowers, with their colours for various divination’s, but they clearly said “Here are some of the most popular Mother’s Day flowers”, which obviously means they only posted a few.

    I completely understand why roses were left off the list, though probably the most popular flower – it is quite more than overused. The significance of the rose has lost it’s meaning since it’s a go-to flower. It’s quite common und I, personally, find it disappointing to receive a rose for any occasion because there was obviously little to no thought put into it past “let’s get her a flower.”

    There is a large variety of flowers, each with different significance as par with colour of the flower as well. I’m quite happy they posted this topic, shedding a beam of light on the subject to hopefully get minds delving more into gift giving when it comes to flowers. Though, maybe the person receiving them is none-the-wiser, at least whomever is giving them a specific flower due to it’s meaning/colour could illuminate them, thus making the notion by far more meaningful.

    Reply
  17. Annette -  May 14, 2012 - 3:56 am

    I like frangipanis. What are they supposed to symbolise?

    Reply
  18. Autumn -  May 13, 2012 - 7:53 pm

    For all of you who believe chrysanthemums to be hope or funeral flowers and cannot see the connection, they may be both. At a funeral, you want to have hope that you’ll see the person again or they will ‘cross-over’ well, or they will be happy, or whatever you believe. You want to rejoice in their life, not wallow in their death. In bringing the ‘hope’ flower to a funeral, you instill a sense of hope to those who know the meaning, and help bring peace and healing to the gathering.

    Reply
  19. J J Rousseau -  May 13, 2012 - 6:25 pm

    To be stung by some biting remark — when some tongue should go off on a lark, — think of the flower —— be relaxed by the smell — and the beauty of a walk in the park. Or escaping from a Pit Bull and stepping in it — much better by a remark being bit. — Since most of us live in the dark.. Roof.

    Reply
  20. a peep -  May 13, 2012 - 6:25 pm

    cool infoooo!

    Reply
  21. rita -  May 13, 2012 - 3:01 pm

    wowwww BLEH

    Reply
  22. FLOWERMEANINGS | BLOGCHI@mayopia.com -  May 13, 2012 - 2:59 pm

    [...] ‘Flower Meanings’ — A Petal Steel Guitar — A One Note Samba – with musical leanings: Daffodil, Chrysanthemum — Respect, admiration and hope. — Orchids and Lilies, refined happiness to cope. — Iris is our favorite for a Goddess she be — Of the Bridge between Worlds when a Rainbow we see. — There’s meaning in a Rock — whether crystal or droll — There’s music in everything with Lotus Flow on the Roll. –>>L.T.Rhyme [...]

    Reply
  23. assia -  May 13, 2012 - 2:57 pm

    i love flowers ,receiving any kind of flowers, even the wild ones, from someone i care about will make me joyfull

    Reply
  24. Mackenzie -  May 13, 2012 - 2:56 pm

    i meant to say lily is such a pretty name

    Reply
  25. Mackenzie -  May 13, 2012 - 2:56 pm

    totally true AbbyS. I have a friend named Abigail Schlein, I don’t think it’s you, though….haha

    Thanks dictionary.com, I had no idea about all these meanings. I’m getting my mom lilies!!!!

    Lily is such a pretty!

    LILY POTTER ALL THE WAY!! I’m on Team Ron Weasley…..

    GO HARRY POTTER FANS

    Reply
  26. randomness -  May 13, 2012 - 2:10 pm

    Whew! I gave my mom irises and orchids, good thing they have good meanings!

    Reply
  27. klem39 -  May 13, 2012 - 1:48 pm

    Ladies If you want to wear one in your hair. Note, over your Left ear it is to replace your Heart that you have lost to your lover.
    Over the Right ear, you are free and open ( to offers?)

    Reply
  28. Jacob -  May 13, 2012 - 1:23 pm

    It said in certain parts of Europe and Asia chrysanthemums represent death, not all parts, and this is true. Lillie’s, btw, can represent purity, especially in Western tradition, which is why the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph are often depicted with them.

    And yes, this list is missing a couple of very important Mother’s Day flowers, in particular roses and carnations. That’s not speaking with a “sharp tongue,” but is a valid and constructive criticism.

    Reply
  29. NikiGurl -  May 13, 2012 - 12:56 pm

    Chrysanthemums are also the flower of November. I can’t see how it’s a symbol of death either but I guess the dream of growing a bunch with my paraniod boyfriend is out…

    Reply
  30. Bonnie -  May 13, 2012 - 10:42 am

    I finished reading THE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS by Vanessa Diffenbaugh a few weeks ago…cried rivers of tears and now look a flowers in a very different way

    Reply
  31. Anonymous -  May 13, 2012 - 8:46 am

    As a native-born Hungarian, I could never have imagined that chrysanthemums could represent anything remotely like hope; they’ve always been funeral flowers to me. It’s really weird to see that other people feel that it’s the other way round.

    Reply
  32. Andrew -  May 13, 2012 - 8:21 am

    Anybody out there who’s read Proust? Orchids definitely symbolize something, but it’s not “refined beauty” per se.

    Reply
  33. Anastasia -  May 13, 2012 - 8:07 am

    AbbyS like that.

    Reply
  34. Anastasia -  May 13, 2012 - 8:07 am

    Wow, thanks! I never knew that. But where are the roses?

    Reply
  35. AbbyS -  May 13, 2012 - 6:45 am

    How about you give a little respect to the website? It’s not yours to put all this crap on here like you are, Rustgold. Remember, a sharp tongue is not an indication of a keen mind.

    Reply
  36. patricia aimable -  May 13, 2012 - 6:20 am

    lovely mothers day flowers I love the pink one are they for me.

    Reply
  37. 2nd -  May 13, 2012 - 5:44 am

    White roses and red roses mean blood and bandages so dont get those together.
    Im getting orchids.

    Reply
  38. Nshera -  May 13, 2012 - 5:30 am

    That’s nice to know! :-)

    Reply
  39. Sylva Portoian, MD -  May 13, 2012 - 4:19 am

    Happy Children’ Day with Mothers Day
    “Without being a Mother
    You can’t incense any flowers…!”

    Flowers are flowers
    Whatever colors they possess…

    Their petals are meaningful
    And not theirs…lamentful…
    Or lamentless Latin names…

    We all will sigh…After we lived
    Whatever incenses will be throw on Us
    We will never smell…feel…!

    Let us embrace with our flowers…
    We have…Our offspring…
    I hope they will live
    Longer than flowers
    We have received…!

    Sylva-MD-Poetry

    May 13, 2012

    Reply
  40. Pamm -  May 13, 2012 - 3:27 am

    Sorry, it is a Red Carnation not a Red Rose.

    Reply
  41. Pamm -  May 13, 2012 - 3:22 am

    I did a google search and it said the official Mothers Day flower was a Red Rose to represent love. FYI

    Reply
  42. Leonardo -  May 13, 2012 - 1:51 am

    yeah, orchid comes from Orchidaceae. nice latin word….. oh, wait a minute, it looks greekish! oh yes! The name comes from the Greek ὄρχις (órkhis), literally meaning “testicle”, because of the shape of the root

    Reply
  43. Ike -  May 13, 2012 - 1:44 am

    LOVE IT. KEEP IT UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  44. Ike -  May 13, 2012 - 1:43 am

    Awesome. Love it

    Reply
  45. Sylva Portoian, MD -  May 13, 2012 - 12:40 am

    Happy Children’s Day with Mothers Day
    Without being a Mother
    You can’t receive any flowers…!

    Flowers are flowers
    Whatever color they possess
    Their petals are meaningful
    And not their names…

    We all will die…After we lived
    What ever they throw on Us
    We will never feel…

    Let us feel with our flowers… We have
    That means our offspring…!

    Sylva-MD-Poetry
    Written instantly

    Reply
  46. kitty0521 -  May 12, 2012 - 11:17 pm

    I don,t know but I made flowers instead with pipecleaners.

    Reply
  47. Lemon -  May 12, 2012 - 11:08 pm

    Roses!!!!

    Reply
  48. cjsdragon -  May 12, 2012 - 10:16 pm

    Thank you so much, I had no idea :-)

    Reply
  49. Dani -  May 12, 2012 - 9:28 pm

    Marigolds represent sorrow in Japan. Can’t say I know why though.

    Reply
  50. AureateUmbra -  May 12, 2012 - 8:56 pm

    Agapanthus- devotion
    Apple Blossom- hope
    Camellia- perfect loveliness
    Carnation- devotion of pure, deep love
    Edelweiss- courage, nobility
    Foxglove- insincerity
    Freesia- innocence
    Ivy- eternal fidelity
    Jasmine- grace, elegance
    Lilac (purple)- first love
    Lilac (white)- youthful innocence
    Poppy- imagination
    Rose (coral)- desire
    Rose (red)- love, passion
    Rose (white)- innocence
    Rose (yellow)- friendship
    Stephanotis- marital happiness
    Sweet Pea- delicate pleasures
    Tulip- passion

    I just love this whole concept <3 secret meanings in the flowers you choose that reflect your passion for those you love, or to tease those who don't know any better… often times it's just so romantic. But that's just me. Secretly, I'm just a hopeless romantic who fantasizes about being swept off her feet by a dashing young man with a blood-red carnation, even if I don't necessarily act like it :3

    Reply
  51. Jennifer -  May 12, 2012 - 8:54 pm

    chrysanthemums represent death? A lot of buddhists buy those for new years so i don’t think it is!

    Reply
  52. doki_raiden -  May 12, 2012 - 8:54 pm

    Slightly wrong about chrysanthemums. In Asia, especially Japan, they more so represent autumn.

    Reply
  53. truwerq kebede -  May 12, 2012 - 8:52 pm

    tanx u are the best .

    Reply
  54. Rustgold -  May 12, 2012 - 6:39 pm

    Rather short in knowledge. Isn’t roses very popular, and don’t different coloured roses mean different things. Was this blog simply something to fill in space? I think google search might be more useful.

    Reply
  55. BennyBeagle -  May 12, 2012 - 3:31 pm

    What does edelweiss and foxglove mean?

    Reply
  56. Amy -  May 12, 2012 - 2:54 pm

    I’ll probably try getting Orchids, or Lilies.

    Reply
  57. Muhammad -  May 12, 2012 - 2:53 pm

    I don’t buy flowers for Mother’s Day.

    Reply
  58. BLEH -  May 12, 2012 - 2:19 pm

    I’m getting the chrysanthymum cuz my moms asian :P

    Reply
  59. Betsy -  May 12, 2012 - 1:43 pm

    wait – chrysanthemums represent death? how can a gold/purple/pink/red flower represent death?

    we have chrysanthemums in our front garden, right by the fence. they’re deep purple. we also have lilies (St. Joseph’s Lilies, Easter Lilies, day lilies…) and I think we have irises.

    Reply
  60. Alan Turner -  May 12, 2012 - 12:54 pm

    Is there a flower which represents the utter boredom of having to grow them?
    All that digging, preparation, planting and tending leaves me hollow. Let the grass grow.

    Reply
  61. Shadow Rider -  May 12, 2012 - 11:50 am

    Thats very cool!

    Reply

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