5 Flowers with Surprising Meanings

Daffodils -the herald of springtime arriving

We give flowers for many different things – anniversaries, first dates, second dates, weddings, and more. Most of us choose an arrangement based on how the flowers look and smell, as well as the trappings of the arrangement, in some instances. For example, flowers for a funeral usually come with a stand or planter, while those for a wedding might be supported by an easel, or wrapped in silk. However, did you know that the flowers we give have meanings that go deeper than the personal sentiment we attach to them? Here are five common flowers with surprising meanings.


The herald of springtime arriving, there is no mistaking the brilliant yellow flower of the daffodil. They’re bright, cheerful, and welcome after a long, bleak winter. As you might imagine, the daffodil represents rebirth and new beginnings. Give them to someone who is starting a new stage in their life, or who is emerging from a dark time into the light. You might also find these flowers called jonquils.


Interestingly, the gladiolus is named not for the flower or the plant itself, but for the shape of their leaves. They resemble the Roman short sword, or gladius. They are representative of moral strength and strong character, as well as physical strength. As such, they can be used in a number of arrangements – graduation gifts, and even funeral arrangements work well with this particular flower.


The hydrangea was named not for its shape, scent or color, but because it needs copious amounts of water to survive. Hydro is Greek for water, and angos means jar, giving us the name “water barrel”. Not terribly romantic, is it? Surprisingly, despite that rather dull moniker, the hydrangea is closely associated with heartfelt emotions, particularly with love. However, it can also be used to express gratitude. With that being said, it can also be used in a negative sense – heartlessness is its meaning in this sense.


Exotic and enigmatic, the orchid is one of the most beautiful flowers in the world. They are highly coveted due to the difficulty in growing them. You will find a wide range of meanings associated with these stunning flowers. Most of all, they are associated with virility, particularly in Greek legend. However, they are also used to denote strength and luxury, as well as incredible beauty and heartfelt love (both romantic and platonic).


Bold and beautiful, the sunflower is an iconic representation of summer and all the joys that it offers. Believe it or not, sunflowers are actually related to daisies, and they were first grown not for their beauty, but for their utility – the seeds were used as food, as a source of oil, and more. With that being said, they do have meaning in the secret language of flowers. Sunflowers represent longevity as well as loyalty. In some instances, they are used to represent adoration.

There you have them – five common flowers with rather surprising meanings. What can you tell someone in your life through the secret language of flowers?

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