Guide to funeral flowers meanings - Open Prepaid Funerals

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Guide to funeral flowers meanings blog

When a loved one passes away, it's common for funeral flowers to be used for the service - whether it's a funeral at a cemetery, or a crematorium. However, as funerals hopefully don't play a part of our lives too frequently, it can be difficult to understand the various different funeral flowers and their meanings.

Whether you're gifting flowers for funerals, or displaying them as part of the funeral service, our handy guide on the different types of funeral flowers and what they mean has you covered.

Types of funeral flowers


Typically, lilies are most commonly associated with funeral services - as this flower symbolises the soul of the loved one returning to a place of peace. It's especially common for white lilies to be used at funerals - with the white signifying purity and innocence, and white stargazer lilies symbolising sympathy.


Choosing carnations for your funeral service is also a popular choice - as these flowers can represent remembrance (red carnations), pure love and innocence (white carnations) and admiration (red carnations). These flowers are especially popular as they are long-lasting as well as fragrant.


One of the most globally recognised flowers, there are various colours of roses which all mean different things - especially if including them in a funeral service:

  • White roses - innocence, youthfulness and humility
  • Red roses - respect, love and courage
  • Pink roses - appreciation, grace and gentility
  • Dark crimson roses - grief, sympathy and sorrow
  • Yellow roses - symbolises strong friendship ties


Again, although orchids can be very popular flowers to give as gifts, it's important to consider the meaning of the colour orchid when giving it as a gift of sympathy. Choosing colours such as pink or white orchids traditionally symbolise sympathy - so types of orchids such as the phalaenopsis orchid and dendrobium orchid are suggested by florists as appropriate plants to denote sympathy.


Often, mourners are inclined to want to include bright coloured daffodils and tulips at funeral services to brighten up the day. These flowers can symbolise meanings of renewal, and fresh starts, which the deceased may have requested. These flowers are also suggested to bring encouragement to a person who is grieving - as yellow tulips can represent cheerfulness, while white tulips represent forgiveness and, typically, red tulips represent love.


In European countries - such as Italy, France and Croatia - Chrysanthemums are used as the symbol for death, and are only used for funeral services or on graves. However, in other countries such as the US, they are more associated with denoting meanings such as truth, positivity and happiness.


Seasonally a spring plant, giving hydrangeas as a sympathy gift is an appropriate present for a grieving family. This is especially appropriate for a sympathy gift as, when planted correctly, the mophead hydrangeas can continue to bloom for many years - which can act as a commemorative flower for loved ones. Its main meanings denote heartfelt sincerity, love, harmony and peace.

Now your traditional funeral flowers are in order, you might have a few more queries about funeral etiquette, or how much funerals cost. Get in touch with a member of our expert team for further information.

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