Not sure what flowers to give? 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 Healing
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 flower types 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 (Bellis perennis)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Freesias, with their delicate scent and lovely shape, represent innocence, friendship, trust and thoughtfulness. Common flowers 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.
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.
(FAQAF) Frequently Asked Questions About Flowers
Popularity depends a lot on location. Gardeners in much of the U.S. and Canada love sunflowers, roses, calla lilies, hyacinth, gladiolas and lilies, to name a few. In the southern U.S., magnolias, azaleas, dogwood, roses and hydrangea are among the favourites. The most popular flowers in Australia include acacia, protea, eucalyptus, daisies, kangaroo paw and Canberra Bells.
Flower trends come and go, but classic wedding favorites include roses, ranunculus, gardenias and tulips. Wedding parties looking to make a big statement often choose hydrangeas, dahlias and peonies. The most popular kinds of flowers for bridal bouquets with an upscale look include calla lilies and orchids, while daisies and sunflowers are common choices for a rustic aesthetic.
Roses are the most popular flowers for Valentine’s Day, but they’re not the only flowers, of course. Ranunculus, orchids, alstroemeria, calla lilies and carnations are all beautiful choices. Sunflowers are also growing in popularity as Valentine’s flowers for those who want something a little less run of the mill.
On a top ten list of the most popular flower tattoos, roses win by a long shot, according to Flowercard. Lotus flowers are a distant second, followed by peonies, sunflowers, poppies, chrysanthemums, lilies, daisies, orchids and hibiscus, to round out the list.
Tulips are the most popular spring flowers around the world. Other springtime favourites include bluebells, daffodils, peonies, glory of the snow, primroses, hyacinths, irises, snowdrops and crocuses. Spring-flowering trees and bushes like lilacs and magnolia also have a special place in many a gardener’s heart.
Sunflowers, chrysanthemums, goldenrod and asters are common fall flowers that gardeners love. Lobelia and pansies are popular fall flowers, too—they fade in summer, but make a return when the weather cools. Many flowers bloom well into the fall, like dahlias, dianthus, black-eyed Susans, marigolds, helenium and even snapdragons.
Petunias, geraniums, marigolds, sweet alyssum and pansies are popular annual flowers with long blooming seasons. Begonias, zinnias and impatiens are common choices for the bright pop of colour they bring to a garden. Calendula, hollyhocks and sweet peas are beloved cottage garden picks.
Aside from roses and peonies, which top many gardeners’ lists, daylilies, lilies, hostas, salvia and hydrangeas are popular perennial flowers. Lavender, sage and sedum are favourites, as well. Gardeners who like a more naturalized look often go for daisies, echinacea, black-eyed Susans, blanket flowers and baptisia.
If you’ve made it through that whole list and still haven’t found what you’re looking for perhaps popular flowers just aren’t your thing. In that case, have a look through our A-Z List of Different Types of Flowers. This buyer’s guide to flowers features dozens of different flowers, and gives you the general cost, how long they last for and what they’re typically used for.
Feature image: monicore; Image 1: Quinn Dombrowski; Image 2: Living in Monrovia; Image 3: Justin Smith; Image 4: Pille Kirsi; Image 5: Taisiia Shestopal; Image 6: Jason Leung; Image 7: saifullah hafeel; Image 8: Aaron Burden; Image 9: Adalia Botha; Image 10: Mike Marrah; Image 11: Gini George; Image 12: Valleybrook Gardens; Image 13: Jon-Ade Holter; Image 14: Thanasis Papazacharias; Image 15: Gabriele M. Reinhardt; Image 16: Jocelyn Kinghorn; Image 17: Mariya; Image 18: Laura Evans; Image 19: Anna Mircea; Image 20: Couleur