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Types of Flowers for Corsages

Orchid cymbidium image by Azazirov from

A corsage, while originally referring to the bodice of a dress, is a small bouquet worn by a woman at the waist, on the shoulder or on the wrist. Ancient Greeks were the first to use corsages in weddings, as a way to keep evil spirits from the ceremony. The bride and other members of the wedding party would hold or pin flowers to their clothing to protect themselves. Today, corsages are used in many ceremonies as a way to celebrate the occasion or give special attention to the recipient. Almost any flower can be used in a corsage, but there are some that are considered more traditional.

Cymbidium Orchid

The exotic cymbidium orchid corsage symbolizes magnificence, love and refinement. According to FlowerSession, the cymbidium is resistant to moisture loss and heat, which makes it a good choice for corsages, particularly in warm weather. It's best used as a pin-on corsage because its petals are quite delicate.


Roses are used in corsages for their beauty, but they are not very long-lasting. While they will dry well and can be kept for a long time as a souvenir, corsage roses should be kept in a refrigerator until the last minute so they are fresh. Red roses symbolize love, desire, respect and courage; pink symbolize grace and love; yellow symbolizes friendship.


The red or pink carnation traditionally used in Mother's Day corsages because it symbolizes the love of a woman or mother. A white carnation used on Mother's Day symbolizes a mother who is no longer living. The carnation is quite popular in other corsages because it is sturdy and holds its beauty for a long time. A red carnation symbolizes love and admiration; white symbolizes innocence and pure love.

  • The red or pink carnation traditionally used in Mother's Day corsages because it symbolizes the love of a woman or mother.

Calla Lily

The snowy white calla lily is frequently used in wedding corsages and boutonnieres. It symbolizes purity and innocence. The calla lily is available year round, and it also comes in a wide range of colors from red to almost black.


Chrysanthemums have been used for decades in college homecoming corsages. Typically, the school colors are reflected either in the flower itself or in the ribbons attached to the corsage. In other situations, red chrysanthemums symbolize love; white symbolizes truth and loyal love; and yellow symbolizes slighted love.

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