What is a traditional funeral flower?

Written by cameron delaney
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What is a traditional funeral flower?
A funeral wreath can include carnations. (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Jackie)

Traditional funeral flowers such as carnations, lilies and gladioli add special meaning to expressions of sympathy for a loved one's death. These flowers can highlight a variety of arrangements.


Roses, carnations, lilies, chrysanthemums and gladioli are some of the most commonly used flowers for funeral arrangements.


You can choose a traditional flower based on its colour. Red roses can stand for love or bravery, while gladioli stalks symbolise character and integrity. White lilies, roses and carnations suggest purity and innocence.

Cultural Traditions

In Japan, Korea and some European nations, white mums represent grief and death, making them appropriate for funerals. Americans associate white mums with truth and honesty.


You can arrange funeral flowers in several traditional ways, including a standing wreath, easel spray, pillow or casket blanket.

Non-traditional Flowers

Non-traditional flowers can show your special connection to the deceased or function as a symbol of her life. Add nasturtiums, which symbolise patriotism, to a soldier or veteran's funeral arrangement. Forget-me-nots can represent good memories of a friend.

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