Top 9 Flowers That Symbolize Death – Discover the Meaning behind Funeral FlowersTop 9 Flowers That Symbolize Death – Discover the Meaning behind Funeral Flowers

Flowers have long been used to represent various emotions and occasions. When it comes to funerals, certain flowers have become popular choices due to the significant meaning they hold. In this situation, we have narrowed down the top 9 flowers that symbolize death and the 8 meanings behind them. So, let us delve into the south of flower symbolism!

Roses: Symbolizing Love and Mortality

Roses are sometimes associated with death, particularly in South American cultures. Their deep red color and delicate fragrance make them a powerful emblem to remind us of our own mortality. In some cultures, the rose is greatly symbolizing everlasting love, while in others it is used to commemorate the passing of a loved one.

Orchids: An Emblem of Lost Love

Orchids hold significant meanings in various cultures. In Victorian times, these elegant flowers were associated with Madonna and were considered the best flowers to express love and beauty. In some cultures, orchids are used to symbolize the loss of a loved one and can be seen at funerals today. The pink orchid is especially popular, representing affection and everlasting love.

Gladiolus: Symbolizing Strength and Sincerity

The gladiolus, with its range of colors and tall stature, is often associated with power and strength. Though it is more commonly associated with sympathy and empathy, it can also symbolize sincerity and a strong character. Its elegant blooms make it a fitting choice for commemorating a loved one’s life.

Marigolds: Resembling the Sun and Offering Comfort

Marigolds are incredibly popular in many cultures for their vibrant colors and powerful symbolism. In some cultures, these flowers are considered to be the flowers of the dead and are used to symbolize the passing of a loved one. The peach marigold is a symbolic representation of grief, while the blue marigold represents remembrance. These beautiful flowers offer a sense of comfort and consolation during difficult times.

Dahlias: Symbolizing Inner Strength and Grace

The dahlia is a favorite for funerals due to its meaning of eternal grace and inner strength. With their elegant and exotic petals, dahlia flowers bring a sense of tranquility and calmness, making them ideal for honoring a passing loved one. Some cultures also associate dahlias with dignity and elegance, paying homage to the beauty and strength of life.

Spider Chrysanthemums: A Sign of Love and Support

Spider chrysanthemums, with their unique, spiky petals, are often included in funeral arrangements as a symbol of everlasting love and support. These flowers have an emblematic association with death and are commonly used to express condolences. Their presence brings comfort and solace, reminding mourners of the love and support that surrounds them during difficult times.

Asphodel: A Flower of Remembrance

The asphodel flower has been associated with death and remembrance in various cultures throughout history. In Greek mythology, it was believed that the spirits of the dead resided in fields of asphodel. These flowers have a delicate beauty that serves as a reminder of the loss of a loved one. Today, they are frequently seen in funeral arrangements as a symbolic way to honor and remember the departed.

White Lilies: Symbolizing Purity and Innocence

White lilies have a long-standing tradition of being used in funeral ceremonies. These elegant flowers symbolize purity, innocence, and the very meaning of the soul. They are often associated with Madonna and signify the virginity and spiritual nature of the departed. The beauty and fragrance of white lilies bring comfort in times of grief and serve as a reminder of the eternal love that remains.

Pink Carnations: A Timeless Symbol of Undying Love

Pink carnations have long been a favorite choice for funerals. They symbolize undying love and affection, making them a popular choice for honoring a loved one who has passed away. These meaningful flowers bring comfort and solace to those left behind, serving as a reminder of the deep bond and affection that will forever endure.

When looking for flowers to express your sympathy and convey your emotions when mere words seem inadequate, consider the meanings behind these Madonna-like blooms. They hold a deep significance and can provide solace during times of grief and loss.

Discover the Meaning behind Funeral Flowers

Funeral flowers have been a well-known tradition for centuries. They serve as a way to honor and remember the deceased, while also offering comfort to the mourning family and friends. The use of flowers at funerals is a strong symbol of love, respect, and remembrance.

The Symbolic Meaning behind Funeral Flowers

Flowers have long been used in various cultures as a way to express emotions and convey messages. When it comes to funerals, different flowers hold different meanings and can communicate a range of emotions. By understanding the symbolism behind funeral flowers, we can choose the most meaningful ones to honor our loved ones.

1. Roses: Roses are a favorite choice for funeral flowers. The deep red color is often associated with love and passion, but it can also symbolize sorrow and grief. Roses are a classic representation of beauty and can bring a sense of peace and comfort to mourners.

2. Orchids: Orchids, especially the oriental variety, are often used in funeral arrangements. These elegant flowers have a rich history and symbolize love, beauty, and strength. Orchids can serve as a reminder of the timeless bond between the deceased and their loved ones.

3. Gladiolus: Gladiolus is another popular choice for funeral flowers. Its tall and grand appearance makes it a fitting tribute to the deceased. The gladiolus represents strength, integrity, and sincerity, making it a meaningful choice for honoring a loved one.

4. Lilium: Lilium, or lilies, are commonly associated with funerals. They are native to many parts of the world and have been serving as funeral flowers for centuries. Lilium symbolizes purity, innocence, and the restored peace of the soul of the departed.

5. Rafflesia: Although not a widely known flower, rafflesia is a powerful symbol in some cultures. Native to Southeast Asia, it is often associated with peace and serenity. Rafflesia can remind mourners of the preciousness of life and the need to cherish every moment.

6. Aconitum: Aconitum, also known as monkshood or wolf’s bane, is a flower that symbolizes mourning and sorrow. Its blue color is often associated with sadness and loss. Aconitum can serve as a reminder to grieve and mourn the passing of a loved one.

7. Hyacinthus: Hyacinthus, or hyacinth, is a flower that symbolizes deep sorrow. Its association with grief and mourning dates back to ancient times. Hyacinthus can help communicate the sense of loss and longing that one feels after the passing of a loved one.

8. Forget-Me-Nots: Forget-me-nots are small, delicate flowers that serve as a symbol of remembrance. Their name comes from the German word “Vergissmeinnicht,” which means “forget me not.” Forget-me-nots can bring comfort to mourners and remind them not to forget the memories and love shared with the deceased.

9. Marigolds: Marigolds have long been associated with funerals and are often used in wreaths and altars. These bright, vibrant flowers represent the beauty and fragility of life. Marigolds can serve as a reminder to cherish the present and find peace in the memories of the deceased.

Funeral flowers play a significant role in the grieving process by providing comfort and support to the bereaved. Each flower and its symbolic meaning can bring solace and meaning to those mourning the loss of a loved one.

Top 9 Flowers That Symbolize Death

When it comes to funeral flowers and memorial arrangements, the choice of flowers is often of great significance. Certain flowers have long been used to convey messages of mourning, sympathy, and remembrance, both in Western and Eastern cultures. In this article, we will explore the top 9 flowers that symbolize death and the meaning behind them.

  1. Lycoris: Also known as the “Spider Lily” or “Death Lily,” Lycoris flowers are native to Eastern Asia and are often placed behind altars during memorial services. The curious shape of the Lycoris resembles a spider or monkey, hence its nicknames.
  2. Lilium: Oriental and Asiatic lilies are another favorite choice for funerals. Their strong fragrance and elegant appearance make them a popular flower to be placed at the funerals of loved ones.
  3. Gladiolus: Gladiolus flowers, with their tall stems and vibrant colors, are often associated with sympathy and communicate the word “strength.” They are commonly used in memorial arrangements and are said to represent the strength and resilience of the deceased.
  4. Orchids: Orchids have become increasingly popular for funeral arrangements in recent years. The delicate beauty of orchids symbolizes everlasting love and is often used to commemorate the life of someone dearly missed.
  5. Dahlias: Known for their wide range of colors and shapes, dahlias are often chosen to convey messages of gratitude and respect for the deceased. Their bright blooms bring a ray of light to the somber atmosphere of a funeral.
  6. Aconite: Aconite, also known as “Monkshood” or “Wolfsbane,” has a long history of being associated with death. The flowers contain highly toxic alkaloids and are associated with a swift and painless death. They are rarely used in funeral arrangements, but their symbolic meaning cannot be ignored.
  7. Forget-Me-Not: Forget-me-nots are small, delicate flowers that are commonly used as reminders of loved ones who have passed away. Their vibrant blue color signifies remembrance and is often incorporated into sympathy bouquets.
  8. Chrysanthemums: Chrysanthemums are one of the most popular funeral flowers across cultures. In many countries, they are associated with mourning and are often seen at grave sites. In some cultures, white chrysanthemums symbolize death, while others see them as a representation of life’s cycle.
  9. Poppy: Poppies are often associated with death and are commonly seen at funerals. In many cultures, poppies symbolize peace in death and are placed on graves to honor those who have passed away.

When it comes to choosing flowers for a funeral or memorial service, it’s important to consider the cultural and personal significance behind each flower. Whether you opt for traditional choices like roses and chrysanthemums or more unconventional options like lycoris and aconite, the flowers you select can greatly contribute to the atmosphere and meaning of the occasion.

Images sourced from Wikimedia Commons: gladiolus by Zakaria Al-Khairi and chrysanthemums by Szeke.

Asphodel: The Flower of the Underworld

The asphodel flower, also known as the orchids, often symbolizes death and is closely associated with the underworld. This flower has a fascinating history and a rich meaning behind it. Asphodel is not your typical funeral flower like the marigold or lily; instead, it is a flower that holds a much deeper and darker significance.

The Meaning Behind Asphodel

In Greek mythology, the asphodel flower was believed to grow in the meadows of the Underworld, and it was closely linked to death and the afterlife. The petals of the asphodel flower were thought to have a slight resemblance to the lovely lily flower, but its connection to death gave it a more somber meaning.

Furthermore, the asphodel flower became associated with mourning and memorials, making it a powerful symbol of remembrance. This flower is often depicted in artwork or used in funerary arrangements to honor and remember those who have passed.

The Use of Asphodel in Funerals

In some South American cultures, the asphodel flower is placed on graves as a way to honor the deceased and acknowledge their mortality. This practice serves as a reminder that life is ephemeral and that death is a natural part of the cycle of life.

Moreover, the asphodel flower is often used in combination with other funeral flowers, such as the orchid and the poppy. This combination represents the peaceful acceptance of death and the colorful memories of the loved one who has passed away.

In addition to its association with death and mourning, the asphodel flower can also symbolize friendship and loyalty. The asphodel flower’s range of meanings makes it a popular choice for funerals and memorials.

In conclusion, the asphodel flower, with its deep symbolism and association with the underworld, holds a unique and meaningful place in funeral rituals. Whether used as a standalone flower or combined with others, the asphodel serves as a powerful reminder of the ephemeral nature of life and the eternal memories we hold for those we have lost.

Understanding the Symbolism

When it comes to funerals and honoring the memory of our loved ones, flowers play a significant role in expressing our emotions. Each flower carries its own deep meaning and symbolism, allowing us to convey our feelings in a meaningful way.

One of the most popular flowers associated with death is the stargazer lily. The stargazer lily symbolizes sympathy and the restored innocence of the soul after death. Its vibrant colors and unique shape make it a beautiful blossom to accept and hold dear when mourning.

Another flower commonly used to symbolize loss and express condolences is the white lilac. Lilacs have long been associated with death and are often used in funerals and memorials to provide comfort and a sense of rest. The lilac’s delicate scent and elegant appearance grace altars and are reminders of the love we hold for those we have lost.

One flower that is well-known for its symbolism of death is the Madonna lily. The Madonna lily is a majestic white flower that symbolizes the purity of the soul and is often found at funerals and memorials. The lily’s beautiful petals greatly comfort mourners and serve as a reminder that our loved ones have found peace in their eternal rest.

Roses, a symbol of love, also find their place at funerals. The red rose represents a deep and passionate love that will never fade, while the yellow rose symbolizes the friendship that is now lost but will always be cherished. The black rose, though not natural, has gained popularity as a symbolic flower associated with death and passing. Its dark hue signifies a deep mourning and loss.

Hyacinths are another flower steeped in symbolism. Though they have a range of meanings, including rebirth and joy, they are often associated with death and mourning. The blue hyacinth, in particular, carries a peaceful meaning and is often used as a reminder of the calm that can be found in times of grief.

Dahlias and orchids are also often used as reminders of love and remembrance. Dahlias, with their wide range of colors and petal shapes, can convey a variety of emotions, including gratitude, admiration, and remembrance. Orchids, due to their exotic beauty and delicate nature, are often used to symbolize the fragility of life and the transient nature of existence.

Lastly, the rafflesia flower, known for its large size and distinctive appearance, has a different kind of symbolism. Native to Southeast Asia, the rafflesia flower is often associated with death and decay. Its foul odor and monkey-like appearance serve as a reminder of the impermanence of life and the circle of birth, death, and rebirth.

In conclusion, the symbolism of flowers in relation to death is vast and meaningful. Each flower carries its own unique message and can provide solace and comfort during times of mourning. Whether it is the peacefulness of the hyacinth, the love represented by roses, or the fragility of orchids, flowers allow us to express our emotions and honor the memories of those we have lost.

The Historical Significance

The choice of flowers to convey messages and emotions has a long-standing tradition in many cultures around the world. The use of specific flowers to symbolize death and mourning has been a common practice for centuries.

In ancient China, for example, chrysanthemums were widely regarded as a symbol of death and were often placed at gravesites to honor the deceased. The significance of these flowers is still deeply ingrained in Chinese culture today.

Lilacs, on the other hand, have been linked to death and mourning in European folklore. It was believed that if lilacs blossomed out of season, it was an omen of death.

Orchids, with their delicate and exotic appearance, have long been associated with death and mourning. In the Victorian era, orchids were often placed on caskets as a gesture of remembrance and sympathy. Today, orchids continue to be a symbol of mourning in many cultures.

Dahlias, with their vibrant colors and intricate petals, have also been said to symbolize death. During the war, red dahlias were often given to soldiers departing for battle as a reminder to never forget them.

Marigolds, known for their bright orange and yellow blooms, have deep historical and cultural significance as well. In Mexico, marigolds are often used during Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations to honor and remember deceased loved ones.

Forget-me-nots, with their small blue flowers, hold a special meaning of remembrance and undying love. These flowers became a popular symbol of remembrance during World War I and are still commonly associated with the memory of soldiers who lost their lives in service.

Wolfsbane, also known as aconite or monk’s hood, is a flower that symbolizes friendship and trust, but also carries a deadly poison. It serves as a reminder that sometimes even the best intentions can have unintended consequences.

Flowers such as lilies and carnations have long been associated with death and mourning. Lilies are often used at funerals to symbolize the innocence and purity of the departed. Carnations, with their diverse colors, can convey a range of emotions from love to sympathy.

Orchids, often referred to as the “Madonna of the Flowers,” symbolize eternal beauty and love. They have been used in funeral arrangements and wreaths as a tribute to the loved one who has passed away.

When looking at the historical significance of these flowers, it is clear that their symbolism and meaning behind death and mourning have stood the test of time in various cultures and societies. Whether through ancient rituals, folklore, or personal sentiment, flowers have become a universal language of love, remembrance, and grief.

Today, these flowers continue to serve as a powerful reminder of our loved ones and the emotions associated with mourning. Their beauty and symbolism offer solace and comfort in times of loss.

It is important to remember that the meaning behind funeral flowers is not limited to the aforementioned flowers. There are countless other flowers with their own unique symbolism and significance when it comes to death and mourning.

If you are curious about the meaning behind a specific flower or are looking to choose the perfect arrangement for a funeral or memorial service, it is always a good idea to consult with a florist or do some research.


Which flowers symbolize death?

There are several flowers that symbolize death, including lilies, chrysanthemums, roses, carnations, and hyacinths.

What is the meaning behind funeral flowers?

Funeral flowers are often used to express sympathy and condolences to the grieving family. They can also symbolize the cycle of life and death.

Do all cultures use flowers to represent death?

No, not all cultures use flowers to represent death. However, many cultures do have specific flowers that are associated with death and are commonly used in funeral rituals.

Why do lilies symbolize death?

Lilies symbolize death because they are often used in funeral arrangements and have been associated with death and mourning for centuries.

What flower represents eternal sleep?

The flower that represents eternal sleep is the poppy. In many cultures, poppies are associated with sleep and death.