For Mother's Day: 7 Flowers and the Symbolism Behind Them

7 Flowers With Meaningful Symbolisms to Give on Mother’s Day

Flowers have symbolic representations too.

Image credit: Katy Anne

Mother’s Day is just around the corner and once again, we’re all left to think about what kind of bouquet we’re going to give our moms. What colours should the flowers be? What kind of flowers should you choose? These are seemingly simple questions, but it gets more interesting if you actually stop and consider the meaning or symbolism behind different types of flowers. If you’re not an expert on such matters, don’t fret. We’re here to tell you about the best types of flowers to give your mom on Mother’s Day, and what each one symbolises!

Also read: 12 Flower Fields in South Korea That Look Straight Out of A Storybook [Updated 2021]

1. Carnations

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They say that carnations are the official flowers for Mother’s Day. According to Ms. Anne Jarvis, who was the founder of Mother’s Day in the USA, the traditional colour to gift mothers is the white carnation as it represents all the virtues of motherhood. White carnations are also gifted to moms whose own mothers have passed on; they are meant to remind moms about good memories with their mothers. 

Meanwhile, moms whose mothers are still alive can also get pink carnations because they symbolise life. Be wary of gifting yellow or purple carnations though! The former represents sympathy while the latter unpredictability. Not exactly what you want to remind your mom about on her special day!

2. Gerberas/Daisy

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Gerberas are a type of daisy and daisies symbolise purity, motherhood, new beginnings, even fertility. Specifically speaking, gerberas also represent purity, beauty, and innocence. So a bouquet of daisies and gerberas is perfect for mothers-to-be, moms who are lighthearted, calm, and of course, beautiful. Let’s face it, we all think our mothers possess these traits, which makes daisies an easy choice when you’re arranging your bouquet of flowers for Mother’s Day!

3. Chrysanthemums

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Did you know that Australia’s official flower for Mother’s Day is chrysanthemums, which are nicknamed “mums”? Don’t worry, I was today years old when I realised the pun in the name too. However, chrysanthemums don’t represent anything you could attribute to mothers on their special day aside from the “mums” nickname.

That said, with their robust and glamorous bearing, chrysanthemums aren’t a bad option if you want to treat your mom like a queen on Mother’s Day. In fact, chrysanthemums are also considered the “Queen of Fall Flowers” in America, as they’re the largest commercially produced flowers in the country. 

4. Lilies

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Depending on the culture, lilies can symbolise many things. In Greek mythology, lilies represent motherhood and rebirth as reflected in the story of Zeus, Hera, and Hercules. Meanwhile, Christians tend to associate Madonna lilies with the Virgin Mary. So because of these strong influences, lilies became traditional flowers gifted on Mother’s Day in different parts of the world.

If you want to be picky with the colour, yellow and white lilies are the way to go. Yellow lilies signify thankfulness and a desire for enjoyment, while white lilies represent purity and virtue. 

5. Lisianthus

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Delicate and elegant, the lisianthus flower is one that is given on many occasions. Since this flower symbolises appreciation and a life-long bond between people, it’s often included in wedding or anniversary floral arrangements. So in case your dad’s mulling over what kind of flowers to give your mom on Mother’s Day, lisianthus flowers are the complete package.

On the other hand, children can offer these flowers to their mothers to express their appreciation as well. The best lisianthus colour for this occasion? Purple which represents beauty, and yellow which represents happiness.

6. Gladiolus

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You can’t forget to give some gladiolus flowers to your mom on Mother’s Day. If anything at all, the gifting of these flowers expresses admiration because gladiolus represents the strength of character or integrity, as well as faithfulness and honour. They’re the perfect flowers to show how much of you is made from your very own mother. Pink and purple gladiolus flowers best represent motherly love and grace. 

7. Roses

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Lastly, you can never go wrong with giving a mother, or any woman for that matter, a bouquet of roses. Although they’re often associated with passions and romance, the meaning of roses also differs per colour. For Mother’s Day, the colours ivory, peach, and pink are the way to go. Ivory represents thoughtfulness and grace, peach represents modesty, sincerity, and gratitude, while pink means femininity and refinement. Not a bad message to send to your mom, right? Sort all these roses accordingly, and you can create a gradient-themed bouquet!

Also read: The 10 Cutest Pink Flowers You Can Grow In The Summer!

Many symbolisms of our flowers have almost been lost to the wind, so it’s good to look back on them every now and again, especially on occasions such as Mother’s Day. If you have a type of flower in mind that wasn’t mentioned here or doesn’t bear a traditional meaning apt for Mother’s Day, no worries. 

What’s important is your own family traditions and the personal representations you put into each bouquet of flowers offered to your mom. So choose whatever flowers you think might please her. This guide to flowers on Mother’s Day will always be available to you should you need it. Good luck and Happy Mother’s Day to your mom!

Featured image credit: Carrie Beth Williams | Unsplash

About Author

Therese Sta. Maria
Therese Sta. Maria

Therese's close friends know that if they haven’t seen her around recently, then she’s probably having an adventure with her luggage and camera in hand. Though she loves staying at home and spending lazy afternoons with friends, there are times when she has to be "away from home to feel at home," — that’s when she’s bitten by the travel bug. See her travels on Instagram @reesstamaria.


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