The Different Funeral Flowers and Their Meanings

Published On September 27, 2019 | By admin | Technology

Have you ever wondered how the long-standing tradition of placing flowers on the grave began? To say that this tradition started centuries ago is to understate things a great deal. The custom, which is over 2,000 years old, can be traced to ancient Greeks decorating their graves with flowers in a ritual called “Zoai.”

In more recent history, Decoration Day was established by General John Alexander Logan as a time for soldiers to honor their fallen comrades by decorating their graves with flowers, wreaths, and flags. Today, Decoration Day has become Memorial Day. The tradition is stronger than ever. 

In addition to being placed around headstones in Salt Lake City as well as in the different parts of the country, flowers are now often displayed in funeral homes and burial services. But what does each flower symbolize? Here, we cover the most popular flowers used on tombstones.


These are the flowers most commonly associated with funeral services since they stand for innocence and purity. There are a variety of different lilies. When it comes to their meanings, there are two important factors to consider: the type and color of the flowers.

  • The most popular white lilies represent purity and innocence.
  • White stargazer lilies mean sympathy.
  • Calla lilies represent beauty and fidelity.
  • Lily of the Valley signifies renewal and purity of the heart.
  • Peruvian lilies mean friendship.
  • Tiger lilies represent wealth.


As one of the most recognizable and famous flowers, roses are also widely used in many occasions, including remembering the deceased. Roses can have several meanings with each color, offering a different connotation.

  • Red roses mean love and passion, and they can also symbolize courage and respect.
  • White roses signify humility, innocence, and youthfulness.
  • A frequent combination of using red and white roses together signifies unity.
  • Light pink roses mean gentleness and sympathy.
  • Dark pink roses are the traditional roses for gratitude and appreciation.
  • Yellow roses symbolize friendship and strong ties.


These are the first flowers to blossom each year, and they generally represent simplicity, elegance, and grace. 

  • Red tulips mean deep and perfect love.
  • Pink tulips also symbolize love but probably not as strong as red tulips.
  • White tulips mean purity.
  • Yellow tulips represent cheerfulness.
  • Purple tulips represent royalty. 


These come in a rainbow of colors and are mostly added to an arrangement of assorted flowers. As with most of the other flowers, what hyacinths signify depends on their color.

  • White hyacinths symbolize prayers for someone.
  • Blue hyacinths mean true loyalty and sincerity.
  • Purple hyacinths are the flowers for deep sadness.


These flowers, with their ruffled petals, are a popular choice for funeral wreaths and standing sprays. They are long-lasting and have a sweet clove-like fragrance. They come in a rainbow of colors, each with a different meaning.

  • Red carnations evoke admiration and affection.
  • Pink carnations symbolize a mother’s remembrance and love.
  • White carnations are generally about pure love and faithfulness.

Placing flowers on graves is a beautiful and meaningful act of remembering the deceased. There are no hard rules in choosing the right flowers. But knowing the different meanings of these different types of flowers can help you express your sentiments to your loved ones.

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