White flowers may not have the advantage of a bright color to catch the eye, but that doesn’t mean these flowers are any less significant in the language of flower giving. The primary white flower meaning focuses on purity, innocence, and sympathy. Secondary symbolism for white flowers include new beginnings, spirituality, and harmony.
In Praise of White Flowers
Contrary to popular belief, the color white is not the absence of color, but the inclusion of all the colors on the spectrum. White flowers can be either relaxed and subtle, such as daisies, or elegant and refined like the white rose or tulip. White flowers are perfectly acceptable to give on their own or combined with another color to deepen the message your flower arrangement conveys.
White Flowers Meaning by Variety
Roses: The white rose became associated with weddings thanks to Queen Victoria. On her wedding day in 1840 she walked down the aisle holding a single, white rose. From then on the white rose became known as the bridal rose.
The symbolism of new beginnings in relationships is conveyed by this flower. The white rose was often given to women at the beginning of courtship or when the suitor proposed. Once the relationship became established, the preferred rose color became red for love.
Use white roses in a bridal bouquet or give to a special someone to indicate your interest.
Orchids: The white Orchid symbolizes faith, humility, elegance, innocence, and beauty. Due to their unique appearance, white Orchids are often included in bridal bouquets. This white flower meaning also aligns with religious ceremonies and the faith symbolism. The white Orchid is suitable to give to a romantic partner, family member, or close friend as a sign of your affection and admiration.
Carnations: The primary meaning associated with the white carnation is pure love, such as a Mother’s love. In fact, the white carnation is considered the official flower of Mother’s Day. Historically, the white carnation was also given to a woman to wish her good luck, making it a great choice to give at graduation ceremonies or to celebrate a new career event.
During ancient Greek ceremonies the white carnation was the traditional bridal flower as it symbolized a bright future ahead. The sentiments of loyalty and faithfulness are also associated with the white Carnation and were given to represent a young couple’s devotion to one another.
In the Netherlands, the white Carnation is worn in remembrance of the country’s war veterans who served in World War II.
Daisy: This white flower meaning centers around the traditional sentiments of innocence, purity, and new beginnings, along with true love. It’s common to see Daisies as part of a bridal bouquet.
In Norse mythology, the Daisy was Freya’s sacred flower. Freya was the goddess of love, beauty, and fertility. She was also Thor’s Mother. As a result, the Daisy came to symbolize motherhood.
In Roman mythology, Vertumnus, the god of seasons and gardens, fell in love with a nymph named Belides. Vertumnus pursued Belides relentlessly so she avoided his affections by turning herself into a Daisy. This myth is the basis of the scientific name for the Daisy, Bellis perennis.
Dahlias: The Dahlia is the official flower of the 14th wedding anniversary. The white Dahlia has the usual association with purity, innocence, and rebirth. During the Victorian Era, when flower language was at its height in popularity, the white Dahlia was a symbol of devotion, love, beauty, and dignity.
Today the white Dahlia is often used in wedding decor, as sympathy flowers, or to celebrate the arrival of a new baby. This flower is also often given as an alternative to roses on Valentine’s Day.
Tulips: Tulips are the flower associated with the country Holland, though they didn’t arrive there until the 16th century via the country Turkey. The white Tulip meaning is respect. This white flower is a great choice as a gift for a work superior or as a part of an apology arrangement. Due to the simplicity and elegance of the Tulip’s appearance, this white flower also makes a stunning bridal bouquet either alone or arranged with other flowers.
Hydrangeas: Purity, grace, and abundance are the messages sent with the white Hydrangea. These stunning blooms are popular at weddings or as a way to celebrate a new baby. They also make a beautiful “just because” bouquet because of how showy they are.
A word of caution, the Hydrangea has a negative connotation of being associated with bragging or being “just for show”. This unflattering meaning likely comes from the flower’s growth habit of creating large blooms but producing seeds that are very small and sometimes sterile. As a result, you’ll want to use caution when giving these flowers in certain situations.
Zinnias: The Zinnia is a symbol of affection, friendship, and remembrance. The white Zinnia is associated with pure, unaltered goodness, making it the perfect flower for new baby arrangements.
The white Zinnia also represents the divine and love on a spiritual level that transcends the physical. Give the white Zinnia to celebrate religious ceremonies, such as Catholic confirmation.
As you can see, there are plenty of occasions when giving white flowers is the perfect choice. Whether it’s as a part of a bridal bouquet, to honor someone who’s passed, or to celebrate a new life, the simple elegance of a white flower arrangement is hard to match. For your next celebration, find the white flower meaning that matches your message.
White Flower Meaning FAQ
The longest lasting cut flowers are Carnations and Zinnias. For an even longer lasting gift, try potted Orchids.
Yes, the white rose is associated with Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty.
Yes, white flowers are in the visual spectrum for bees, along with blues and bright yellow blooms. Plant white flowers among your other flowers to attract bees to your garden.
Some of white flowers with the most intoxicating fragrances are Jasmine, Honeysuckle, Sweet Alyssum, and Lily of the Valley.
Baby’s Breath, those tiny white flowers that are often included as additional adornment in flower arrangements, is the most common white flower used. Baby’s Breaths’ meaning is everlasting love and innocence.