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What Different Funeral Flowers Really Mean: Expert Tips for Selecting the Proper Remembrance Arrangement

BY // 07.13.17

While any kind of flower looks beautiful and adds a touch of warmth to a home or house of worship as you honor the life of a person who has passed, it is important to understand the meaning behind the blooms you have selected for a funeral. Types and colors of flowers convey different meanings, so you want to be sure that you are choosing an arrangement that reflects the proper sentiment.


 Lilies are commonly associated with funerals, as they represent the innocence of the soul of the person who has passed. White lilies also signify sympathy, and convey majesty and purity.


 These tall blooms can grow up to four feet tall, and create a classic and elegant look when placed in a funeral arrangement. They typically represent strength of character, sincerity, and integrity, making them an appropriate choice for a funeral service. They come in a range of hues, including white, pink, salmon, green, yellow, and red.


 These flowers are a popular choice, as they are both long lasting and sweet smelling. Pink carnations indicate remembrance, while white ones signify love and innocence. Red carnations evoke admiration. These blooms are a popular fixture in funeral arrangements, and work well for both male and female displays.


 Mums are another staple of funeral arrangements for both men and women. In some countries — such as France, Italy, Spain, and Poland — chrysanthemums represent death and are used solely for funerals. However, in the United States, these blooms have come to represent truth, and are viewed in a positive light.


 Though roses are one of the most popular and widely recognized flowers, they also have a place when it comes to honoring those who have passed. They can evoke feelings of humility and innocence, and can also indicate feelings of love and courage.

Dark crimson roses indicate grief and sorrow, while yellow roses are often presented to the family of a friend who has passed. A single rose that is present in a bouquet is meant to indicate an enduring love for the person who has died.


 Orchids have come to symbolize eternal love, and are an important part of sharing sympathies after the death of a loved one. Florists typically recommend orchids for those who are hoping to send a floral arrangement as a means of offering condolences.


 The hydrangea plant is a seasonal spring plant and can be enjoyed indoors or planted outside, making it a smart choice for a funeral arrangement. The plant will continue to bloom for many years, and can become a powerful symbol of that person’s life for those who loved him or her.

Daffodils and tulips

These flowers are bright and cheerful, and represent a renewal or a fresh start. Sending these blooms can provide support and encouragement for those who are coping with the loss of a loved one. They make a great choice for a sympathy arrangement.

If you are unsure what type of flower would be most appropriate for a floral arrangement for a grieving family, consult with your local florist. They can offer insight about the meanings and symbols behind the plants, ensuring that you make the right choice.

Michael “Tripp” Carter is the co-founder of Houston’s most prominent funeral home, and an advocate for funeral services that provide warmth, support, and compassion for families during their time of bereavement. His Bradshaw-Carter funeral home exemplifies elegance and style, mirroring the sophistication of the services offered within. Carter champions beauty as an antidote to sorrow, and works to ensure that the funeral home provides support to all who need it — not just the city’s elite. Additionally, Carter is the author of “Ask Tripp,” a popular column that appears every Sunday in the Houston Chronicle. More information is available at bradshawcarter.com.

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