Popular Funeral Flowers and Their Meanings

Popular Funeral Flowers and Their Meanings

Funeral flowers act as a symbolic representation of our sorrow, sadness, affection, and respect for the deceased. In the past, people arranged fragrant flowers around the deceased’s casket to mask the scent of a decaying body while perfuming the surrounding area. Although we’ve found ways to slow down the decomposition of the body, the custom of sending flowers to the deceased hasn’t changed.

It’s challenging to choose a flower arrangement for someone close to you that has passed away. With so many different colors and varieties of flowers to choose from, it’s important to make sure you choose the right ones to honor the life of your loved one. The flower arrangement you choose should represent the nature of your relationship with the person you lost. In other words, what did they mean to you? Funeral Caring USA has put together a list of the most popular funeral flowers, along with their meanings, to assist you in making the right decision.


Depending on the color, roses have different meanings—white roses mean reverence, innocence, and youth; red roses symbolize respect, devotion, and courage; pink roses represent love, kindness, and gentility; crimson roses are symbolic of sadness and sorrow; yellow roses express friendship.


Orchids symbolize the love you have for the individual who has passed away. Send a pink, purple, or white orchid arrangement to express your condolences. Traditional orchid colors are pink and white, used to convey sympathy and reflect everlasting love. Orchids such as phalaenopsis and dendrobium are commonly known as sympathy flowers.



Lilies are among the most common flower options for funerals, representing the departed’s soul’s regained innocence. This flower is a potent reminder of a loved one’s soul, providing hope and inspiration to bereaved families. For a faith-based or religious service, white is an excellent color to give. 


Tulips are joyful bringers of spring, but including them in a funeral setting represents rebirth and renewal. Red tulips would be an excellent pick if the deceased used to be a lover since they symbolize eternal love. Purple tulips are associated with royalty, while yellow tulips are associated with happiness. White, on the other hand, should be used with caution because it connotes forgiveness and redemption.


Carnations are one of the most common sympathy flower choices. They are aromatic and long-lasting flowers, making them perfect for services that last more than a day.  White carnations signify true love and purity, red carnations represent gratitude and admiration, and pink carnations represent remembrance.


When a grieving family has ties to Europe or Asia, the chrysanthemum, also known as mum, is an excellent pick. White mums are used to represent sorrow in China, Korea, and Japan. Mums are only used as funeral flowers in many European cultures because they are indicative of death. In the US, these flowers are used to celebrate those who lived life to the fullest.


Not all funeral flowers are cut flowers. Sending a potted hydrangea plant is a good option when you want the family to have continued support. Potted hydrangeas can be planted outdoors when the family is ready, and they will bloom for years afterward.


Hyacinths are typically used in an arrangement of assorted flowers. There are many interpretations of the meaning of these flowers, ranging from sympathy to deep sorrow.  Hyacinth flowers give a sweet scent to the floral arrangement, which is why they’re included in the floral arrangement.