Whether you're looking to add some special meaning to a new flower garden or just searching for the right way to speak to a loved one without using words, flowers can say it all. Nearly every color of flower imaginable has some kind of meaning behind it, and is suitable for certain occasions.
Blue is typically a calming color, often representing the tranquility that's found under a clear blue summer sky. Blue flowers were popular in Europe during the Romanticism movement, where poets and artists used them to represent a serene, otherworldly beauty.
As the Industrial Revolution gained momentum, blue flowers were seen as a soft, gentle alternative to the cold steel of cities; the blue flower represented a calm, beautiful nature during a time when industrialists turned their back on that serenity. Even now, blue flowers can also represent the creativity and inspiration of artists.
Common blue flowers include the morning glory, fuchsia and hydrangea.
When most people think of the symbolism of flowers and their colors, often the first one that comes to mind is red--especially red roses. Red roses--and other red flowers, such as tulips, poppy and lotus--stand for passion, strength and romantic love.
Red is the color of blood, and as such it's often representative of the life's blood that makes everything worthwhile: love. Red is also the color of the root chakra, from the ancient idea that there are centers of energy in the body that are the focus points for energy and strength. This chakra represents security and basic human instinct as well as sensuality and sexuality.
If you know someone in need of some cheering up, a bouquet of yellow flowers is almost sure to do the trick. That's no coincidence--yellow flowers symbolize happiness and friendship, meant to evoke the lighthearted feelings of happiness associated with the bright summer sunlight. In fact, one of the most popular yellow flowers symbolizes just that: the sunflower.
Yellow is also associated with prosperity and sustenance. Just as the sun provides life to everything on earth, gold is the foundation of the world's wealth. In a less monetary perspective, the ancient Mayans saw corn as the foundation of their diet, associating the yellow color of the vegetable with life and well-being.
Common yellow flowers include roses, sunflowers, lilies, daffodils and daises.
Attend a wedding and you'll most likely see bouquets of white flowers. That's because white flowers traditionally represent purity, innocence and reverence--all characteristics associated with the ideals of a wedding. A white bouquet is one of the most elegant looking of all colors of bouquets, and are used for occasions of solemnity and dignity.
White is a cleansing color; just as a fresh blanket of snow removes all flaws and blemishes from any landscape, white is typically seen as a bright, healing color.
White flowers commonly seen in bouquets include roses, lilies, lily of the valley and gardenias.
Purple flowers are frequently seen in bouquets that are destined for celebrations, whether it's the celebration of the achievement of a graduation or promotion, or the celebration of a life at a funeral service.
Purple has long been associated with royalty; as the color of Roman rulers and as the color worn by high-ranking members of the Christian faith. As such, it has come to represent honor, dignity, achievement, spirituality and reverence. Purple flowers include violets, orchids, lavender, clematis and pansies.
Green flowers such as ivy, carnations and eucalyptus represent the power and elegance of nature. They are also the symbol of rebirth, as green is the color of the springtime. As the color of Mother Nature, green represents hope, renewal and youth.
Green also means that the earth is coming back from a long winter, and means that plants and trees are alive and healthy. In pagan Britain, druids recognized the bright, vibrant hues of the springtime green to mean that all was well with the world and that the bounty of summer was returning. Verdant ivy was especially revered.