We give flowers to celebrate a milestone, express thanks, and show sympathy. In fact, giving flowers is one of the world’s oldest rituals – scientists have identified flowers being used for memorials as far back as 14,000 years ago.
Flowers can help us to connect personally when we can’t find the words. This is especially true for funeral flowers. It can be difficult to know what to say to someone who is grieving, so the beauty and symbolism of a memorial bouquet can help show support and sympathy.
Different types of flowers have traditionally denoted specific feelings. For example, an aster means contentment, while a daffodil symbolizes hope and rebirth. Colour also holds meaning. Red shows love, strength and energy, while blue signifies serenity and peacefulness.
Your arrangement style can also help express your feelings. When choosing a floral tribute, take into account where the flowers will be sent: the funeral home, where many displays may be grouped together; the family home, where a vase can be a helpful addition; or the cemetery, where weather conditions can be a factor. Then, depending on your taste and budget, choose a style and incorporate the flowers and colours that best reflect the person’s character, who they were and what they meant to you.
It’s important to note that different religions have varied views on giving flowers in memorium. If you’re not sure what is appropriate, check with the family or funeral home.
The infographic below explores these topics, with a look at the meaning behind different flower types and colours, plus a guide to flower etiquette for different cultures.