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Say it with flowers...

We turn to flowers during any important or momentous times in each other’s lives, because they are a beautiful way to convey our feelings and a symbolic way to express the inexpressible. Funeral flowers in particular can impact the atmosphere of a funeral by creating a background of warmth and beauty and a token of dignity for the deceased. The huge symbolic association with flowers means that each type and perhaps the different colours can have different meanings. This cut-out-and-keep guide to the symbolic meaning of flowers is a useful reference for any reason to gift flowers.


Traditional the Lily is most commonly associated with funeral services because it symbolises the ‘state of innocence which has been restored to the soul of the departed.’ Being known as a go-to funeral flower can sometimes put people off, but lilies also symbolise majesty, purity and radiance of the soul.


‘I will always love you’ is the universal meaning of an Orchid, whatever the colour. However, the colour of the Orchid also sends additional sub-meanings

  • White: Innocence, beauty, elegance
  • Pink: Grace, femininity and innocence
  • Yellow: Friendship, new beginnings, happiness
  • Red: Love, passion, courage


Just like lilies, roses are also very popular at funerals and like Orchids, each colour has a different connotation.

White roses are the ultimate symbol of spirituality, purity and innocence. Yellow roses show the bond of great friendship. Rare dark pink roses express thankfulness and the single red rose is given from their true love.


Talented florists create themed or personalised arrangements such as names, sports emblems or favourite activities. The colours tend to mean the same as roses with red for affection and white for innocence. Christians believe that pink carnations were created by the Virgin Marys tears and also stand for remembrance so are often a popular choice.


The symbolic meaning of a Hydrangea is true heartfelt emotions, which is not as well-known as some other flowers, but a perfect choice for a funeral service.


The tall stem of the Gladioli flower symbolises moral integrity, strength of character and sincerity and are available in a broader range of colours including; white, red, pink, purple, yellow, orange, salmon and green.


Being a delicate flower, the hibiscus often represents femininity and a delicate beauty


Not always an obvious choice, but the Camellia has very deep and personal meanings. Deep longing, perfection and excellence evoke longing, gratitude and refinement.


Because lilacs represent innocence and youth, they are often used at a young person’s funeral or even for someone with a childlike nature and good heart.


The violet is not a traditional funeral flower, but its deep-hued purple and airy petals symbolise modesty and delicacy.

Perhaps this inspires some to express their own choice of flowers at their funeral, to make sure the sentiment is just right. By using Beckford’s complimentary Expression of Wishes service, clients can plan as much or as little of their funeral arrangements at any time.