Meaning of Herbs – Herbs and Flowers Have Meaning

meaning of herbs - herbs and flowers have meaning

When using herbs to decorate and to create gifts, such as tussie-mussies (an herbal bouquet with a meaning), you might want to consider the symbolization and meanings of the plants/herbs you are using. Below is a list of various herbs and flowers along with the traditional meanings that have been attributed to them. Some may surprise you!

The following list containing the meaning of herbs and flowers is not exhaustive, but it is extensive.

- A -

meaning of herbs - meaning of herbs and flowers - herbs and flowers have meaning

Aloe represents healing or shelter from harm

  • amaryllis symbolizes dramatic
  • American elm symbolizes patriotism
  • anemone indicate fragility
  • angelica symbolizes inspiration; magic
  • aloe represents healing; shelter from harm
  • angelica stands for inspiration
  • apple blossom stands for promise
  • arborvitae represents unchanging friendship
  • artemisia symbolizes happiness
  • aster indicates contentment; cheerfulness in old age
  • azalea represents abundance

    - B -

    • baby’s breath indicates festivity
    • barberry signifies sourness of temper
    • basil signifies love; good wishes. Interestingly enough, it is also used to signify hatred
    • bachelor button indicates anticipation
    • bay symbolizes achievement and fame
    • bay laurel symbolizes honor; reward of merit
    • beebalm represents virtue
    • begonia is used to represent deep thoughts
    • black-eyed Susan signifies encouragement
    • borage denotes bravery
    • bridal rose (Rubus rosafolius) indicates happy love

    - C -

    meaning of herbs - herbs and flowers have meaning

    This bright cheery face represents sadness and hopelessness.

    • calla lily indicate regal
    • calendula represents sadness; hopelessness
    • camellia symbolizes graciousness; unpretending excellence
    • carnation would indicate lively and pure affection; pride and beauty; pure love
    • Casablanca lily represents celebration
    • chamomile stands for wisdom; fortitude; energy under adversity
    • chervil is used to denote sincerity
    • chives indicates usefulness
    • chrysanthemum symbolizes cheerfulness under adversity
    • cinquefoil represents maternal or parental love
    • clover reminds someone to think of you; providence
    • coreopsis indicates always cheerful
    • coriander represents hidden worth
    • corn flower symbolizes delicacy; single blessedness
    • cosmos stands for peaceful
    • costmary is used to represent sweetness

      meaning of herbs - meanings of flowers

      Dill, with its light airy head, represents good cheer.

    • crocus indicates foresight
    • cypress represents despair

    - D -

    • daffodil indicates regard; chivalry
    • daisy represents innocence; innocence and beauty
    • day lily is used to indicate enthusiasm
    • delphinium stands for boldness
    • dill means good cheer; survival in the face of odds

    - E -

    • elder represents misfortune; zealousness; sympathy
    • eternal flower symbolizes eternity
    • everlasting indicates always remembered

    - F -

    meaning of herbs - meaning of flowers

    Digitalis, also known as foxglove, indicates insincerity.

    • fennel stands for grief; power and endurance; strength; worthy of praise
    • fern symbolizes magic and sincerity
    • fir or pine indicates philosophy; time
    • forget-me-not represents true and lasting love; remember me
    • foxglove indicates insincerity
    • freesia represent spirited

    - G -

    • gardenia stands for joy
    • geranium indicates comfort
    • geranium, ivy-leaved symbolizes bridal favor
    • geranium, lemon-scented stands for serenity; tranquility
    • geranium, oak-leaved indicates true friendship
    • geranium, scarlet says comfort and consolation
    • geranium, scented represents happiness
    • geranium, unscented signifies folly
    • ginger indicates being proud
    • gladiolus indicates strength of character
    • globe amaranth symbolizes immortality
    • goldenrod is used to indicate encouragement; precaution

    - H -

    meaning of herbs - meaning of flowers

    Hibiscus represents delicate beauty!

    • heather represents solitude
    • hibiscus represents delicate beauty
    • holly symbolizes domestic happiness
    • honeysuckle shows bonds of love; generous and devoted affection; fidelity
    • hyacinth indicates sincerity
    • hydrangea symbolizes boastfulness; heartlessness; perseverance

    - I -

    • iris characterizes pure heart; courage; faith; inspiration
    • ivy represents fidelity and marriage; friendship; wedded love

    - J -

    • jasmine indicates amiability; grace and elegance
    • juniper/juniper berries signifies protection

    - L -

    meaning of herbs - herbs and flowers have meanings

    Lavender represents devotion.

    • lady’s mantle stands for protection
    • larkspur indicates a beautiful spirit
    • laurel, bay symbolizes honor; reward of merit
    • lavender represents devotion. Interestingly enough, it also represents distrust.
    • lemon balm could be a symbol of sympathy; regeneration
    • lilac symbolizes first love
    • lily characterizes majesty; purity; purity and sweetness
    • lily of the valley indicates return of happiness
    • locust tree symbolizes elegance

    - M -

    meaning of herbs - meaning of flowers

    Marigold would be used to indicate despair or a desire for riches.

    • magnolia symbolizes dignity; love of nature
    • marigold represent despair; desire for riches
    • marjoram is used to signify joy; blushes
    • mint stands for refreshment; virtue
    • mock orange indicates fraternal affections; stands for memory
    • monarda says I value your sympathy
    • mountain laurel represents ambition
    • mugwort symbolizes pleasant journeys
    • myrtle symbolizes love

    - N -

    • narcissus embodies egotism
    • nasturtium stands for patriotism; heroism

    - O -

    • oak leaf symbolizes bravery
    • orange blossoms say your purity equals your loveliness; represents fertility; bridal festivity
    • orchid represents delicate beauty

    - P -

    meaning of herbs - meaning of flowers

    Palm symbolizes victory.

    • palms would indicate victory
    • pansy indicates loving thoughts
    • parsley represents merriment; lack of bitterness
    • passion flower indicates passion
    • peony symbolizes healing
    • peppermint represents cordiality; warmth of feeling
    • pine or fir represents philosophy; time
    • poppy would indicate consolation; evanescent pleasure

    - Q -

    • Queen Anne’s lace represents delicate femininity
    • quince symbolizes temptation

    - R -

    • ranunculus would indicate radiance
    • rhododendron indicates beware
    • rose indicates love; success; beauty
    • a rose, full-blown and placed over two buds is used to represent secrecy
    • rosebud represents pure and lovely
    • rosemary symbolizes remembrance
    • rue embodies grief

    - S -

    meaning of herbs meaning of flowers

    Scotch Thistle makes its point when representing retaliation.

    • sage is a symbol of long life; wisdom; domestic virtue; esteem
    • salad burnet represents a cheerful disposition
    • salvia symbolizes wisdom
    • santolina characterizes full of virtue
    • savory indicates interest
    • Scotch thistle would indicate retaliation
    • snapdragon symbolizes presumption
    • snowdrop indicates hope
    • southernwood denotes constancy
    • spearmint characterizes warmth of sentiment
    • spruces represents hope in adversity
    • stargazer lily is a symbol of ambition
    • statice is a sweet smelling flower that symbolizes success
    • sunflower indicates adoration; lofty thoughts
    • sweet pea represents departure; shyness

      meaning of herbs - meaning of flowers

      Tansy represents hostility!

    • sweet sultan symbolizes happiness
    • sweet William indicates gallantry
    • sweet woodruff symbolizes a humble spirit

    - T -

    • tansy would be a sign of hostility
    • tarragon represents a lasting involvement
    • thyme is a symbol for daring; activity; courage
    • tuberose indicates pleasure
    • tulip (red or otherwise) is a declaration of love

    - V -

    • valerian indicates an accommodating disposition
    • variegated tulip symbolizes beautiful eyes
    • veronica indicates fidelity
    • violet stands for modesty; devotion; faithfulness; faith

    - W -

    • water lily symbolizes being pure of heart
    • wheat stands for prosperity
    • wisteria indicates steadfastness
    • witch hazel represents a spell
    • woodbine indicates fraternal love

      meaning of herbs - meaning of flowers

      Yarrow represents good health.

    - Y -

    • yarrow characterizes health; good health; cure
    • yew indicates sorrow

    - Z -

    • zinnia stands for thoughts of absent friends


    According to and other sources the color of a flower carries much significance as well:

    meaning of herbs - meaning of flowers

    A purple tulip symbolizes royalty.

    • bronze chrysanthemum represents excitement
    • pink carnation represents gratitude
    • pink rose symbolizes friendship
    • pink tulip indicates caring
    • pink verbena represents family reunion
    • purple symbolizes royalty
    • purple tulip symbolizes royalty
    • red indicates passionate love
    • red carnation indicates flashy
    • red and white rose symbolizes unity
    • red tulip is a declaration of love
    • striped carnation stands for refusal
    • white carnation represents remembrance; talent

      menaing of herbs - meaning of flowers

      A red and white rose represents unity.

    • white chrysanthemum symbolizes truth
    • white rose indicates purity
    • white tulip represents forgiveness
    • yellow carnation signifies being cheerful
    • yellow chrysanthemum stands for a secret admirer; indicates thoughts of friends
    • yellow rose represents being zealous
    • yellow tulip indicates being hopelessly in love
    • white clover indicates lightheartedness; reminding someone to think of me


Check out the following sites for more information on plants/flowers and their meanings:

Photo credits: Photo 1 (bee balm), Photo 2 (aloe), Photo 3 (calendula), Photo 4 (dill), Photo 5 (foxglove), Photo 6 (hibiscus), Photo 7 (lavender), Photo 8 (marigold), Photo 9 (palm), Photo 10 (Scotch Thistle), Photo 11 (tansy), Photo 12 (yarrow), Photo 13 (purple tulip), Photo 14 (red and white rose)


Meaning of Herbs – Herbs and Flowers Have Meaning — 1 Comment

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