What is the meaning of sympathy flowers?

Written by melanie l. marten
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What is the meaning of sympathy flowers?
Sympathy flowers send a message to the bereaved. (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Beverly)

Sending sympathy flowers to a funeral service or bereaved friend is a common practice. Learn the meaning of sympathy flowers to choose the appropriate bouquet or wreath to express your emotions.

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Popular sympathy flowers include roses, lilies and gladiolas. Larger sympathy flowers are best for funeral homes, and more elegant flowers work best overall. Flowers like daisies and carnations symbolise happier times.


Sympathy flowers are intended to express your sorrow for another's bereavement or give honour to the deceased person. Many arrangements are designed to decorate the funeral parlour.


Different colours and flowers are associated with particular meanings. White represents purity or peace, while blue symbolises serenity. Lilies represent a range of things from pride to sympathy and devotion, depending on the variety. Orchids show strength. Roses convey everything from love to gratitude.


Think of the recipient's pathway through grief when choosing flowers. Some sympathy flowers initiate a return to joy: yellow or pink daisies and freesia. Funeral flowers can depict either a celebration of life or a peaceful feeling.


Some consider extravagant flower arrangements to be the only appropriate type to send for sympathy or sorrow. But smaller bouquets or potted plants delivered to the bereaved at home can mean more than funeral wreaths.

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