Funeral Flowers: Colors and Symbolism

Funeral Flowers

Posted on February 23, 2016 by

The loss of a family member, friend, colleague or neighbor is always difficult. Selecting flowers to convey your emotions can be overwhelming especially when you’re unsure how to express your sympathy. Sending flowers is a meaningful gesture that can provide comfort to those who are grieving. There are typically two occasions when you would send sympathy flowers:

In the first instance, you may choose to send flowers to a visitation, memorial, or funeral service, adding a touching tribute. The type of flowers you choose can express your feelings.  Another area that would be appropriate to send flowers is the home or office. This can be a nice gesture to honor a colleague or friend. Plants and dish gardens are a nice gift that will last for months, or even years, as a token of remembrance.  

Flowers for Funerals and the Messages Behind Each

Many people don't know that there are different meanings related to the flower variety and color. The language of flowers provides a pure and heartfelt way to convey your feelings and send a meaningful message.


One of the most popular choices for use in sympathy arrangements is the carnation. Carnations come in various colors and each color often has different meanings. A red carnation evokes admiration, while a pink carnation stands for remembrance. White carnations stand for pure love and innocence.  


Also known as "mums", chrysanthemums are frequently included in arrangements of flowers for funeral services. This flower ads a unique feel to the arrangement. In the United States white chrysanthemums are often understood to symbolize truth.  


Also known as the "sword lily", the gladiolus is one of the oldest species of lily and can be found all around the world. Popular in the Roman times, the gladioli symbolizes honor and remembrance. strength of character, sincerity, and moral integrity. With such a powerful meaning behind each bud and flower, gladioli are perfect for honoring the many traits of your loved one.  


One of the flowers most commonly associated with funeral services in the popular mind is the lily. Lilies are often interpreted as a symbol of the innocence that has been restored to the soul of the departed. A white stargazer lily symbolizes sympathy and any type of white lily expresses majesty and purity.


As one of the most recognizable flowers, roses have a very classic look. They can be a beautiful part of an arrangement of funeral flowers. A white rose evokes reverence, humility, innocence, and youthfulness. Red roses convey respect, love, and courage. Love, grace, and gentility are the message of a pink rose.

Other Flower Meanings

If you would like to customize your arrangement of funeral flowers further, there are more flower meanings that might express your sentiments in this time of grief and remembrance. Though they may not be the traditional funeral flowers, any flowers that share your sympathy with the bereaved and celebrate the deceased's memory are appropriate for a funeral. If you are aware of flowers that were a favorite of the deceased or that a member of the bereaved family particularly favors, those blooms may also be a good choice for a funeral gift. Whatever flowers you choose to send, your thoughtful message of sympathy will certainly be a comfort to those who are mourning the loss of a loved one.

About the Author

ftd_logoThis guest article and the photographs seen above were contributed by FTD, the floral specialists. Your local FTD florist is a great resource to help you select the perfect tribute to honor a loved one. To find your local florist, visit our website to search and compare local florist that can help you find the perfect flowers to honor your loved one and offer condolences to friends and family.

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