10 Funeral Flowers: Flowers That Represent Death

Flowers are not only beautiful but also represent the symbol of life, happiness, death, and eternal life. People exchange flowers as gifts on many joyful events. But, talking about a demise moment, are there flowers that represent death? Well yes, there are.

Whenever an individual dies, flowers are sent to express empathy. However, one cannot just send any flower on a funeral. There are appropriate traditional funeral flowers, which one needs to be aware of while giving. In almost all the cultures around the world, flowers offer comfort during a grieving time like “death”.

Every flower has its meaning, and this has not been recently invented. Learning the language of flowers, also known as Floriography is something that was practiced by ancient Romans, Greeks, Chinese, and Egyptians. It was in the Victorian era when people devoted books on the various meanings of flowers. From them, the current cultures have derived their viewpoints.

10 Funeral Flowers: Flowers That Represent Death

Here are ten flowers that represent death and people have been customarily following them.

10. Black Roses

Symbolize: Death, bereavement, mortality, loss, and grief.flowers that signify deathBlack roses represent the color of death and exchanging these flowers in funerals is a traditional practice. Black roses are not exactly black. They are actually deep reds or maroons; so dark that they appear black to a naked eye. The color “black” has always been associated with mourning and death; thus, these roses signify farewell and sadness. Black roses became popular in the nineteenth century when the floriography code claimed that they signified hatred, revenge, and loss of life. Besides this, these dark-colored flowers also mean rebirth, rejuvenation, farewell, or a radical change.

9. White Lilies

Symbolize: Sympathy, death, and restore innocence in a deceased soul.

traditional funeral flowers

Have you heard people say – “the place smells like a funeral house.” This phrase is said when there are lilies nearby. White lilies represent the innocence that has been reinstated for the departed soul. Though lilies express purity and majesty, the white species indicate sympathy. That is the reason giving lilies on funerals are appropriate.

8. Light Pink Carnations

Symbolize: Remembrance, depart, unending love, and sympathy.

flowers for death

Though each carnation has its meaning, the light pink carnations are frequently used in funeral garlands or wreaths. As far as the Catholic and other Christian traditions are concerned, pink carnations serve as the appropriate flowers that represent death. According to their beliefs, pink carnations were formed from Mary’s tears. In France, giving carnations in funerals is a custom. They are offered in condolence for a departed loved one.

7. Hyacinth Flowers

Symbolize: Deep sorrow, in the memory of a living being, and sadness.

 flowers for a funeral

Hyacinth flowers not only emit a sweet smell but also are appropriate funeral flowers. They indicate deep sorrow and the source of this flower meaning dates back to the prehistoric Greek Mythology when the Sun God: Apollo and the West Wind God: Zephyr, both loved a young boy – Hyakinthos.

Both the gods spitefully competed for the young boy’s attention. At one particular day when the Sun God, Apollo was educating Hyakinthos about the art of flinging a discus, the Wind God Zephyr got jealous and blew off the discus forcefully that it struck the boy’s head and killed him. It was then from the Hyakintho’s blood bloomed aromatic and beautiful purple flower. In his memory, Apollo named the flower Hyacinth.

6. Forget-Me-Not Flowers

Symbolize: Memories, remembrance, true spirit, and faithful love.

flowers for death in family

Forget-me-nots are flowers that represent death and are often given during funerals to express the abiding affection of the departed soul. The flowers convey a message that the deceased will continue to live in the memories.

The origin of these flowers dates back to an ancient story where a knight was to be married. One day, wearing a heavy armor, he was riding along the river with his fiancée, where she saw some beautiful blue flowers on the waves. She requested him to pick a few of those flowers for her.

When the knight went to get them, he tripped and fell into the river. The armor stopped him from swimming. While sinking, he threw the blue flowers on her and shouted: “Don’t forget me” and that is how these flowers got the name Forget-Me-Not. The flower represents true love and remembrance of a beloved.

5. Yellow Zinnia Flowers

Symbolize: Lasting affection, remembrance, and absence.

funeral flowers

Zinnia is another funeral flower, which originated from Central America, Mexico, and southwestern U.S. These flowers are bright and long lasting; thus, perfect for a funeral service. The word Zinnia is kept after the German botanist named Johann Gottfried Zinn, who initially discovered them as scraggly wildflowers. He began cross-breeding the zinnias and came up with many forms.

As a result of hybridization, many can see zinnia flowers in different colors. White (for pure goodness), red (for familial ties), magenta (for long lasting affection), and mixed (for a missing or absent friend). However, for funerals, the yellow zinnia flowers are often used, as they represent daily remembrance.

4. White Poppy Flowers

Symbolize: Eternal peace, deep emotions, silence, sleep, consolation, and death.

flowers that represent death

Poppies come in varying colors. Though the red poppies are pretty common, for funerals, the white ones are appropriate. However, white poppy flowers are rare to find. Poppies, in general, represent death, consolation, peace, silence, and sleep. They are one of the long-lasting funeral flowers. They have bristled centers, thick & long stems, and white, papery petals, making it unique for flower arrangements.

3. Daffodils

Symbolize: Rebirth, Renewal, and inspiration.

flowers that represent death

Besides being a lively spring flower, daffodils also symbolize renewal. Due to this reason, daffodils are said to bring hope and encouragement to an individual who is sad, unhappy, or in grief. Hence, daffodils are one of the most appropriate flowers to express sympathy. However, the only moment where daffodils are inappropriate is during Islamic and Orthodox Jewish funerals.

2. Chrysanthemums

Symbolize: Death, Grief, Pain, and Unhappiness.

Flowers That Represent Death

Though these are among those flowers that represent death, they imply different meanings in different cultures. For example, in the United States, chrysanthemums represent innocence and truth whereas in European countries, they signify grief and death. Hence, these flowers are given when there is a death in the family.

1. Gladioli Flowers

Symbolize: Remembrance, moral integrity, strength, and faithfulness.

flowers that represent death

Gladioli flowers have tall stems, usually about 4 feet in height. The word gladioli is derived from the Latin term gladius (meaning: sword). Consequently, people started referring these flowers as sword lilies for the way they appear. However, they are traditional funeral flowers, which embody moral integrity, strength, sincerity, and remembrance.

If there are other funeral flowers, which you wish to share it with us, feel free to drop them in the comments section.

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