What Flowers Are Proper for Funerals?

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What Flowers Are Proper for Funerals?
The white rose is commonly found in funeral arrangements. (white rose image by Artyom Davidov from Fotolia.com)

Traditionally, funeral flowers are used a means to express condolence and convey sympathy during an emotional time. Different flowers are symbolic of different feelings and sentiments, and flowers prevalently found in funeral arrangements usually represent eternal peace, remembrance or rest. As symbols of purity and innocence, white flowers are most common, but coloured flowers with special meanings are often included in funeral arrangements.

Red Poppy

The red poppy is one of the most popular varieties of poppy, and it is frequently used in funeral arrangements as a symbol of remembrance and peace. The red poppy became a symbol of eternal sleep after World War I, when barren battlefields suddenly filled with thousands of red poppies, creating a spectacular display, according to the website American Meadows. In today's society, the red poppy represents the American Legion and is distributed on Memorial Day in remembrance of lost soldiers. Red poppies are regarded as ideal funeral flowers as they signify eternal peace, tribute and rest for the deceased.

Calla Lily

The calla lily is the flower most commonly associated with both funerals and weddings. This large, white flower symbolises purity and innocence. The use of calla lilies in a funeral arrangement signifies that the departed has regained virtue with the onset of death, according to the website Teleflora. The calla lily also represents rebirth and resurrection, making it an appropriate choice during a funeral service wishing eternal life on the departed. Calla lily is particularly popular for funeral bouquets because they last for more than one week as a cut flower.

Blue Iris

Blue irises represent faith, hope and wisdom, as well as a bond heaven and earth, making them a popular choice for a funeral arrangement. The blue iris is named for its connection to the Greek goddess Isis, who served as a messenger among the gods and represented a link between mortal earth and heaven above, according to the website Organic Bouquet. The incorporation of blue iris in a funeral bouquet symbolises an eternal connection between the deceased and loved ones on earth.


Red and white carnations are a common choice for funeral arrangements, because of their long cut life, according to the Pro Flowers website. Carnations are associated with deep symbolism dating back to mythological times. White carnations represent sweet love and innocence and pink carnations symbolise remembrance. It is believed that the first pink carnation grew from the Virgin Mary's tears as a way of signifying her eternal love for her son. In a funeral arrangement, carnations symbolise lasting love and eternal memory.

White rose

The white rose, a symbol of innocence and purity, is commonly found in both wedding and funeral arrangements. A white rose symbolises innocence and purity, as well as honour and respect. When used in a funeral bouquet, the white rose signifies remembrance, as well as holiness and love, according to the Pro Flowers website. The white rose is a way to convey honour and reverence for the deceased, as well as to represent eternal memory of the departed.

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