A Complete Glossary of Flower Meanings—and Which Ones to Give for Every Occassion

When it comes to flower meanings, we all know that red roses are the equivalent to texting someone the loveheart eyes emoji, but what about all the other options prettying up your local florist? Peonies, lilies, snapdragons, and tulips also hold significance that carries a meaning whenever you give them as a gift.

Some blooms are best suited to giving to your S.O., but others send a message of platonic friendship–and you definitely don’t want to get those two messed up. Oh, and then there’s the bouquet best suited to congratulating your BFF’s engagement, and a different flower suited to birthdays and baby showers.

Not sure which is which? Don’t sweat it, we broke down the meanings of 10 popular flowers right here!

Snapdragon Flower illustration

Aside from being just so damn pretty, legend has it that snapdragons make a person appear more fascinating and cordial, and they also represent deception and graciousness. They’re often given to party hosts–because who would turn down the chance to seem more fascinating at a dinner party?

tulip Flower illustration

This distinctive bloom generally represents perfect love, but different colors of tulips have their own meanings. Red is most strongly linked with adoration, while purple symbolizes royalty, and variegated tulips (the multicolor ones) represent beautiful eyes. They’re cheerful and instantly recognizable, making tulips a comfortable, failsafe flower choice for date night.

peony Flower illustration

When your BFF gets engaged, this is the flower you want to send. Peonies are the flower of riches, honor, romance, prosperity, good fortune, and they’re often uses in weddings as  an omen for a happy marriage.

Flower illustration

Carnations are a meaningful flower choice whose scientific name translates roughly to “flower of love.” Equally important: They’re the delicate, ruffled bloom that Carrie declared are making a comeback in “Sex and the City.” Symbolizing fascination, distinction, and love, carnations–particularly pink ones–are a common Mother’s Day gift.
Chrysanthemum Flower illustration

Chrysanthemums represent optimism, joy, life, and rebirth–four characteristics that lend them perfectly to baby showers and birthdays.

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pink rose Flower illustration

Pink roses are the MVP of the flower family, and can carry connotations of admiration, appreciation, grace, elegance, romance, gratitude, and even sympathy. For this reason they’re given for a bunch of different reasons, including romantic dates, special occasions, sad occasions, and simply to say, “thanks.”

sunflower Flower illustration

If you’re ever wanting to send someone a bunch of flowers just because, go for sunflowers. Symbolizing happiness, longevity, and sunshine, you can’t help but crack a smile when looking at these cheerful blooms.
Lily  meaning and Flower illustration

White lilies represent chastity, virtue, and innocent, and carry religious connotations as a symbol of the Virgin Mary. They’re commonly used as a funeral flower, but have started creeping into celebratory bouquets as well.
red rose flower illustration and meaningEveryone recognizes red roses as the universal symbol of love, but they also represent passion and gratitude. Are these the ultimate Valentine’s Day flower, or what?

Flower illustration and meaning of yellow roseUnlike pink or red roses, yellow roses are all about platonic love and friendship. Often sent as a get well gift, yellow roses also represent happiness, delight, and new beginnings.

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