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The Symbolic Meanings of Sympathy Flowers and Their Colors

Posted on 02 April 2020

        The gifting of flowers to aid one’s pain is considered one of the most sophisticated gestures of love, comfort and friendship. The type of flowers you choose can express your various sentiments. Each flower has its own meaning and express different messages. The flowers even have their own language. In this blog you will learn the deep symbolic meaning of the most common sympathy flowers and verity of colors. After reading this you will be able to add your personal and sentimental touch to your next sympathy flower arrangement.


Starting off with the most popular kind of flower associated in funeral services, lilies feature a strong fragrance, a unique petal arrangement and brings a sense of peace to the room. They are known to represent the restored innocence of the soul of the deceased. The white stargazer lily symbolizes sympathy and the original white lily expresses purity and majesty.


Carnations are another very popular option, for their long-lasting blooms, fragrance and their beautiful array of colors, all which have different meanings.

Pink: remembrance

Red: admiration, love, yearning

White: faithfulness, innocence, purity, sweetness, untainted love

Yellow: friendship 



Also known as “mums,’ these flowers have a strong history connected to many European and Asian cultures by symbolizing death, rebirth and grief. It will be a very thoughtful choice if the deceased has ties to these cultures as it is the most prominent flower in their funeral services. In the United States the chrysanthemum colors mean: 

Red: love

White: Truth, innocence, purity


Gladiolis grow tall and often feature themselves in funeral spray arrangements.  The word gladioli derived from the Latin word for “sword,’ representing strength in character, integrity, morality, sincerity.


Roses are regarded as the most popular flower in the world. While usually associated with romantic love, roses can be a great addition to a sympathy flower arrangement with their colors having many different meanings.

Pink: admiration, appreciation, elegance, grace, love 

Purple: dignity, elegance 

Red: courage, love, respect

Dark Red: grief, love, sorrow

White: humility, innocence, purity, reverence, spirituality, youthfulness 

Yellow: devotion, friendship, loyalty


Expressing your sympathy through orchids will represent your everlasting, eternal love. Phalaenopsis and dendrobium orchids which comes in a wide range of colors are the most popular types of orchids used as sympathy flowers.

Now you will know how to incorporate the correct flowers into your arrangement to convey your sympathy more personally.  There are many other colorful flowers in the world with different meanings, the flowers covered above are the most commonly used today. Already decided which flowers you would like in your arrangement or not sure what type of arrangement to use it on? Read our blog on a difference between the common style of sympathy arrangements. Have any other flowers in mind you would love to know about? Comment below.




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