red carnations in vase - 20 most popular flowers

20 Most Popular Flowers – Their Types & Meaning

Not sure what flowers to send? Want to make sure you get it exactly right? Our list of the most popular flowers and what they mean is here to help. Let’s get right to it:

Popular Flowers that Symbolize Love

Carnations (Dianthus caryophyllus)

Carnations symbolize love and are one of the most commonly given flowers in the world. With their understated aesthetic, they always look like they belong in any setting. They come in many lovely colours and many colour combinations and they have a nice light scent that doesn’t overpower.

Gardenias (Gardenia jasminoides)

Gardenias have a long association with (especially secret) love, devotion and purity. Their sweet scent, white flowers and contrasting foliage make them popular as wedding flowers. Gardenias also make lovely centerpieces in the home and excellent gifts for partners who like flowers that are a little less run of the mill.

Jasmine (Jasminum officinale)

Jasmine flowers represent love and beauty. Although it has deep spiritual significance in some cultures, jasmine has most often been associated with the more sensuous side of love because the flower smells most strongly in the evening. Jasmine is highly sought-after for its scent and makes a luxurious gift for a lover or for yourself.

Lilacs (Syringa vulgaris)

The fragrant scent of lilacs is a sure sign of spring. The lilac’s association with spring connects it to love, attraction, affection and (if the lilac is white) innocence. Sprigs of these flowers are prized for their scent but they also create lovely effects when placed around the home.

Peonies (Paeonia suffruticosa)

The peony’s generous size and lush petals associate it with fortunate love, prosperity and happy marriages. It’s a sign of both honour and bashfulness, depending on culture. In any case, the peony is a beloved flower that makes for a show-stopping centerpiece or an extravagant gift.

Roses (Rosa rubiginosa)

The conventional symbol of love, roses are synonymous with romance and passion. Their iconic look and pleasant fragrance make them a welcome addition to any home. Roses come in a range of colours, sizes and petal types, which make them perfect for people who want a traditional flower but still appreciate the uncommon.

Popular Flowers that Symbolize Happiness

close-up bunch of chrysanthemums - 20 most popular flowers

Chrysanthemums (Chrysanthemum morifolium)

Chrysanthemums are a signal of autumn weather, and their bright, cheery colours represent happiness and health. Their many colours and petal types let us keep a variety of lively blooms with us, even as the cooler weather begins and other flowers die away.

Daffodils (Narcissus poeticus)

An iconic flower of spring, the sunny yellow daffodil is associated with birth and new beginnings. In the home, they add a touch of brightness, even on a cloudy day. Their cheerful disposition makes them an excellent gift for friends, new mothers and those who are healing.

Daisies (Leucanthemum × superbum)

The daisy is a symbol of purity, innocence and new beginnings. Its iconic white petals and sunny centre are the very essence of summer. These happy flowers add warmth to any living space and make excellent flowers for anyone who could use a little extra cheer.

Sunflowers (Helianthus)

Bold and dramatic, sunflowers represent positivity, long life, good luck and bonds between people. Their large size and bright yellow fringe instantly cheer up a room. Sunflowers are often given to friends and as gifts to those who need healing.

Popular Flowers that Symbolize Beauty

Calla Lilies (Zantedeschia)

The calla lily represents beauty, but also purity, faith and rebirth. It has traditionally been used in religious celebrations and weddings. The smooth, elegant profile and many deep colors of the calla lily bring a graceful touch to your home décor.

Gerberas (Gerbera jamesonii)

These vibrant, colourful flowers symbolize beauty, purity and innocence. Their range of bright colours make them the perfect natural addition to any room. Their neutral meaning and the fact that almost nobody dislikes these flowers make them a very safe bet as a gift.

Orchids (Orchidaceae)

Despite their delicate appearance, orchids have historically represented strength and virility. More recently they’ve taken on associations with beauty and with decadence. The dramatic loveliness of the orchid makes them an impressive gift, so choose the occasion wisely. In your own home, they make for a bold statement piece.

Snapdragons (Antirrhinums)

With all the lovely curves of their lion-mouthed flowers, snapdragons symbolize grace and also strength. On the flip side, they also represent deception. Their many vibrant colours and fun shape make them the perfect summer gift.

Tulips (Tulipa)

Simple and graceful, tulips have been highly prized in many cultures throughout history. They have conventionally represented the briefness of life and the beauty of paradise. A classic spring flower, tulips brighten up any room and make an elegant gift.

Popular Flowers with Many Meanings

Freesia (Freesia)

Freesias, with their delicate scent and lovely shape, represent innocence, friendship, trust and thoughtfulness. Popular in wedding bouquets, freesias come in a wide range of colours that make any room a little more special. Give these flowers to make someone feel a little more special, too.

Hyacinths (Hyacinthus orientalis)

A harbinger of spring, hyacinths have a range of meanings, including playfulness, sincerity, jealousy, apology and regret. What they’re really known for is their sweet, distinctive scent and their association with the new season. They’re a lovely way to signal springtime in your home.

Irises (Iris)

With their ruffled petals and bold colours, irises catch the eye of everyone who looks. The iris is named for the ancient Greek rainbow goddess Iris and has long been associated with royalty. It’s also a symbol of power, faith and hope. Irises make striking gifts for those who appreciate less traditional flowers.

Lilies (Lilium candidum)

Lilies carry many associations, all depending on colour. While the elegant white lily is traditionally associated with funerals and rebirth, lilies of every colour create stunning focal points in a room and make lavish gifts.

Magnolias (Magnolia virginiana)

Magnolias are most commonly associated with purity, nobility and femininity (which you can define however you like). Their gorgeous scent and large petals are often used in wedding bouquets, but magnolia blossoms will also beautifully accent a room or a significant other.

If you’re still stuck on what kind of flowers to choose, go talk to your florist. They know all the flowers and will have great ideas on the exact right ones to send.

feature image: monicore; image 1: saifullah hafeel

The Florist Guide