The Best Sympathy Flowers

During times of loss, flowers can be used to express sympathy, remorse and memorial for friends and loved ones. But not all flowers are the same, and some are more appropriate than others to show respect and sympathy for those closest to the departed.

White Poppy

Poppies are associated with sleep and death due in part because of their association with opium, a drug derived from a specific cultivar. But the Iowa State University Extension says white poppies in particular represent consolation. Like all oriental poppies, white poppies bloom during the late spring season and consist of large showy flowers on top of single stems. They have distinctive buds that are covered in a dark bristle-like hair. According to flower arrangement retailer Teleflora, flowers with large blooms are more appropriate to send to a memorial service or funeral home. White poppies are ideal. Some common white cultivars include Eskimo Pie, White King and Snow Queen.


Zinnias are a popular garden plant because they are easy to grow and a great cut flower. But zinnia bouquets in mixed colors are used in memorial of a lost friend or loved one. Zinnias are found in a wide variety of colors, even light green. In addition, they can be purchased as cut flowers and used in bouquets, or short varieties can be sent in small flower pots as a living memorial for a friend who has passed away. Teleflora says smaller flower displays, such as a mixed zinnia bouquet, are appropriate to send to a home in a show of sympathy.

Stargazer Lily

Stargazer lilies are a bold lily variety with a subtle fragrance. This pink and white flower is associated with a wide variety of meanings, including purity and sympathy. Flower arrangement retailer and resource ProFlowers says stargazer lilies, specifically the white varieties, are used to express sympathy as well as spirituality. These arrangements are appropriate for both funeral homes and church-related memorial functions.

Keywords: sympathy flowers, funeral flowers, flowers for loss

About this Author

Leah Deitz has been writing alternative health and environmental-related articles for five years. She began her writing career at a small newspaper covering city politics but turned to environmental concerns after beginning her freelance career. When she is not exploring the trails and outdoors of the East Coast, Deitz writes for a number of websites including, and Associated Content.