Flowers for Grief

Updated April 17, 2017

Flowers are often called upon to help people deal with emotions, both happy and sad. When a loved one is grieving, you might want to send flowers to show you care. Certain flowers represent grief and can be sent to loved ones as a sign of understanding of their sadness.


The website Joelles Sacred Grove associates aloe flowers with grief. The University of California Davis Botanical Conservatory states that the genus Aloe contains about 400 different species of aloe, with the most commonly known being Aloe vera. Aloe plants come in a variety of sizes, from ground-covering to tall tree plants. Their native regions are warm, dry places such as Africa and the Middle East, but these plants adapt well to a variety of different climates. In addition to growing well in the wild, many aloe species adapt well to living indoors as potted plants. When in bloom, aloe plants produce tubular flowers that grow on stalks and come in a range of colours such as white and orange.

White Chrysanthemum

According to, white chrysanthemums represent truth in American culture, but for many Asian and European cultures, these flowers represent grief. They are common funeral flowers or flowers sent to grieving homes. Chrysanthemums, also known as mums, are flowers in the same plant family as daisies, sunflowers and asters. The Smithsonian Institution Gardens site notes that chrysanthemum flowers are composed of hundreds of smaller flowers. Hardy chrysanthemum cultivars are sold for use in flower arrangements or as cut individual flowers.


According to Joelles Sacred Grove, harebell flowers represent grief, as well as retirement and submission. Harebells are small, bell-shaped flowers that come in blue and white. This plant prefers moist, well-drained soil and partial shade, as mentioned on the website University of Illinois Extension Hort Answers. Several cultivars of the plant exist, with the plant being either tall or compact with white or blue flowers. Once cut for flowers, harebell flowers are low maintenance but can be short-lived in humidity or excessive heat.


Marigolds represent a number of more negative emotions, according to the Texas A&M University Aggie Horticulture site. Grief, cruelty and jealousy are all symbolic within marigold blooms. Marigolds are in the same family as chrysanthemums and daisies. These flowers, according to Auburn University Horticulture, range in size from 1 inch to 5 inches, with African marigolds being larger. They are often planted in annual gardens and used as cut flowers for arrangements. Flowers come in gold, yellow, orange, white and red.

White Poppy

Texas A&M University Aggie Horticulture notes that white poppies represent consolation, with the origin tied to mythology. Ceres is credited with creating poppies as a means to get over the grief of losing her daughter, Prosperpine. Poppies have a number of other uses, such as being used in medicine or turned into a narcotic, according to Purdue University Center for New Crops and Plants Products. As a wild flower, poppies are native to Mediterranean regions.

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About the Author

Ticara Gailliard is a college graduate with a degree in communications/film and video production from the University of Memphis. She has been a writer for over 15 years and has been published in local writing magazines such as "Grandmother Earth." She also edited two books for her high school.