When it comes to planting a garden or decorating your home with fresh flowers, some people love the classic roses, while others prefer sunflowers or lilies (personally, I’m a daisies and tulips kind of gal). We all have flowers that we’re drawn to, but do you know what your floral favorites actually symbolize? Some of the most popular flowers represent state and country histories, and many have cool unique meanings you may have never heard of.
Roses can have several different meanings depending on their color. Red roses symbolize love and desire, while dark red roses are a symbol of unconscious beauty. Pink roses mean grace, happiness and gentleness; white roses mean purity, innocence, reverence, and silence; yellow roses symbolize new beginnings, joy and friendship; orange roses symbolize desire and enthusiasm; and coral roses symbolize friendship, modesty and empathy. Lavender roses represent love at first sight.
What they say about you: You almost always think with your heart. Your aesthetic? Classic, timeless and never going out of style. You know how to make a statement and make it seem effortless.
Tulips can also have different meanings depending on their color. Overall, tulips are usually accepted to symbolize perfect or true love, and fame. Red tulips are considered a declaration of love, while yellow tulips are said to mean “sunshine in your smile.” Purple tulips symbolize royalty, white tulips symbolize worthiness and forgiveness, and variegated tulips represent beautiful eyes, according to Pro Flowers. Tulips are the national flower for several countries—namely Holland, Hungary and Kyrgyzstan.
What they say about you: You’re thoughtful and confident and your personal style changes a lot based on your mood, but is somehow always sleek and coordinated.
The origin of the word daisy is actually a perfect descriptor for the flower—it comes from an Old English word that means “day’s eye.” Daisies represent innocence, hope and purity. Gerbera daisies, which come in bright colors, aptly signify cheerfulness.
What they say about you: You’re an optimist who can find the good in any bad situation—and you’re probably a morning person, too. You always know what to say to make people smile.
Overall, lilacs symbolize youthful innocence, or the joy of youth, but they also can have different meanings based on their colors. Purple lilacs, for example, mean first love, while white lilacs symbolize humility and innocence. The purple lilac is also the state flower of New Hampshire, but if you really want to see lilacs in all their glory, you can head to Rochester, NY to attend the annual lilac festival.
What they say about you: You live for all things nostalgic—going through old photos from your past, poking around in antiques shops, watching old shows—and you’re all about infusing your style with vintage pieces.
The daffodil is one of the most popular flowers and symbolizes regard for someone, or friendship. Daffodils don’t represent any states, but they are the national flower for the Wales.
What they say about you: You put your friends and family first. You love to host events, especially if it’s a party for someone you love. Your style shows off your fun-but-laid-back personality.
Sunflowers signify adoration (because they turn to face the sun), as well as dedication or dedicated love, and pure thoughts. The sunflower is the state flower of Kansas, as well as the national flower of Ukraine, which is also the world’s largest exporter of sunflower oil.
What they say about you: Your favorite activity? Making new friends. You thrive around people and you love to be the center of attention. Your style is bright and warm, and you’re never without a bold statement piece.
Orchids symbolize exotic beauty, refinement, thoughtfulness, and mature charm. They’re also a symbol of proud and glorious femininity. Orchids aren’t a state flower, but many different types and species of orchids serve as national flowers for other countries and territories, including Belize, Brazil, the Cayman Islands, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Seychelles, Singapore, and Venezuela.
What they say about you: You’re both sophisticated and mysterious—you’re never the loudest or most glamorous person in the room, but people are still drawn to you. Your style is all about the details, and they’re always on-point.
Peonies have several different meanings, including bashfulness and compassion, indignation, or shame. They also symbolize a happy life, good health, a happy marriage and prosperity. The peony is currently the state flower of Indiana—although that wasn’t always the case.
What they say about you: You’re a positive person who’s always looking ahead at the future. You’re thoughtful and empathetic towards others. Your style? Bold, bright and elegant, but not overbearing.
In general, lilies symbolize purity and refined beauty, though their meanings also change depending on their color and type. White lilies symbolize modesty and virginity, yellow lilies represent gaiety or cheerfulness, and orange lilies symbolize passion. Calla lilies—particularly white ones—symbolize magnificence, beauty, purity and innocence, and are typically chosen for wedding bouquets. Lilies of the valley represent sweetness and purity of heart. Calla lilies are the national flower of Ethiopia, while lilies of the valley are the national flower of Finland and Yugoslavia. Other lily species represent Italy, Kazakhstan and Zimbabwe. The sego lily, another variation on the flower, is the state flower of Utah.
What they say about you: You’re a happy, impassioned hard worker and you’re not afraid to be proud of your accomplishments. Your style is always perfectly tailored, and you know how to stand out in a crowd.
According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, carnations mean “alas for my poor heart,” but The Flower Expert notes that carnations symbolize different things based on their color. Red carnations represent love, pride and admiration, for example, while pink carnations symbolize the love of a woman or mother. Purple carnations represent capriciousness, yellow carnations mean disdain or rejection, white carnations symbolize innocence and pure love, and striped carnations represent refusal. The red carnation is the state flower of Ohio, and variations of the flower represent several countries and territories, including the Balearic Islands, Sicily, Slovenia and Spain.
What they say about you: Your best quality is that no matter what, you remain down-to-earth. You have many moods, but regardless of how you feel, your style remains the same: simple but stunning.
Poppies also have different meanings depending on their color—red poppies generally symbolize consolation, while yellow poppies signify wealth and success. The state flower of California is the California poppy, which is known for its bright golden color. Variations on the poppy are also national flowers for a few different countries: Belgium, Bhutan, and Poland.
What they say about you: You’re fun, quirky and creative, and you love it when people notice that about you. Your style is bold and colorful, and you’re not afraid to try new trends that others shy away from.
Zinnias are unique and colorful flowers related to the daisy family that are said to symbolize thoughts of absent friends. The zinnia used to be the state flower of Indiana, but it was replaced with the peony in 1957.
What they say about you: You’re an intensely passionate person—you wear your heart on your sleeve, and sometimes you get a little stuck in the past. Your style is the perfect mixture of classic glamour and unique edginess.
Was your favourite flower in the list above?