Mourning and the symbolism of flowers

How to choose the right flowers for a funeral

Sometimes flowers say what you can’t say yourself. At a funeral, for instance, or another time around the death of a loved one. But what flowers do you choose? There are no strict rules - what’s most important is that it feels right.  Maybe they represent a memory, or you choose the deceased’s favourite flower or colour. Another good option is to choose on the basis of symbolism. We’ve listed below what each flower means.

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Agapanthus’ nickname is ‘the flower of love’ from the Greek words ‘agape’ (love) and ‘anthos’ (flower). For someone that you love a great deal.



Alstroemeria symbolises an enduring friendship. A beautiful choice when creating a funeral bouquet for a good friend.



Calla represents purity, sympathy and beauty. The shape of the flower, with its stylised ornate calyxes, lends itself well to a horizontal funeral arrangement.



White and yellow chrysanthemums are widely used to say goodbye, particularly in Asia. This 'golden flower’ is packed with meaning in those countries. 



This stylish orchid is a special gift for friends in China, because Cymbidium symbolises a valued and respected friendship.



Dahlia symbolises wealth, , strength and the message ‘forever yours’. This latter in particular is lovely message for a deceased partner.



Alongside the dahlia, the lightly scented freesia is a nice choice when a partner dies. The flower symbolises unconditional love.


hortensia |


Hydrangea symbolises gratitude, grace and beauty. The colours of the hydrangea represent love, harmony and peace, making it a good flower for a funeral bouquet.



You were probably expecting to see the lily in this list. It symbolises transience and the flower’s pure look expresses emotions in times of loss and mourning.



Lisianthus represents appreciation, gratitude and charisma. With this flower you say ‘thank you’ to the deceased.


orchidee |


The orchid symbolises pure friendship and - just like the Alstroemeria - is a fitting flower if you need to say farewell to a beautiful friendship.



If there’s one flower that expresses love, it must be the rose. That makes the flower a loving feature in a memorial bouquet, or to bring loose to a funeral.


solidago |


This flower gives support in difficult times, and is therefore a thoughtful gesture for the relatives. Of course you can also treat yourself to a consoling bouquet featuring Solidago.

Other possibilities

If the flower you’ve chosen isn’t available this season or you’re looking for more inspiration, we’ve interviewed a florist who gives tips about the use of colour, bouquet shapes and other suggestions to consider.