Best Types of Flowers to Buy for a Funeral

If a friend or relative has recently suffered a loss, you may want to send them a floral arrangement as a show of sympathy and support, especially if you are not able to attend the service. We encourage you not to become too stressed over choosing traditional funeral flowers for the arrangement. The recipient will probably appreciate the gesture no matter what.

Nevertheless, it is true that some flowers are more common for funerals than others. The reason is that flowers and plants traditionally have symbolic meanings ascribed to them. The symbolism goes back centuries and sometimes varies in different cultures. Knowing the symbolic meanings associated with funeral flowers can help you send an extra meaningful message.


The mum is an example of a flower to which different cultures have ascribed different symbolic meanings. In the United States, they are generally regarded as cheerful and positive, representing truth. In many areas of Europe, mums are used exclusively for funerals or to mark graves because they symbolize death. The meaning of the mum in China, Korea, and Japan is dependent on its color, with white mums specifically being symbolic of grief and lamentation.


Carnations are popular choices for funeral flowers. They are long lasting and can be dyed almost any color. The colors chosen have symbolic significance. For example, pink carnations are common for funerals because they symbolize remembrance. White carnations symbolize innocence, while red carnations express admiration and affection.

Tulips and Daffodils

Being bright-colored flowers that bloom in the spring, daffodils and tulips represent hope and renewal. They are often given to help lift the spirits of someone who has suffered a loss and is grieving. Tulips come in many different colors that symbolize different feelings. Red tulips represent perfect love while white tulips signify forgiveness.


Orchids are a good choice for a funeral gift because they last for a long time compared to other flowers. There are many different types of orchids, and they come in many different colors. It is traditional to give Dendrobium or Phalaenopsis varieties of orchid to someone who is grieving, with white and pink considered traditional sympathy colors.


Lilies are among the most popular and traditional funeral flowers, so much so that some people have come to associate the smell of lilies with funeral homes. Lilies have an association with funerals in some religious traditions, and their symbolic meaning of innocence and peace also helps account for their popularity. Some people are allergic to lilies or averse to their strong scent. If you want to give a gift of lilies but do not want to risk aggravating anyone’s allergies, you can purchase special cultivars that have been developed to be scentless or request that the stamens be removed. You want to alleviate the recipient’s misery, not add to it.


Roses have many different meanings, primarily based on their color, but most incorporate an aspect of love. For example, a single rose in an arrangement of funeral flowers expresses enduring love for the individual who has passed on. Denoting sorrow and grief, dark crimson roses may be most appropriate for a funeral. Yellow roses symbolize friendship, red roses represent courage and respect, and white roses evoke innocence and humility.


Due to their majestic height, gladioli symbolize sincerity and strength of character, making them a good way to pay tribute to the moral integrity of the deceased. A fan spray of gladioli is a classic arrangement for a funeral that adds a touch of elegance.

While the symbolic meanings behind different flowers are interesting, and may help spark some ideas, we believe that that the best flowers for a funeral may not always be the most traditional. Above all else, the gift of flowers should show consideration and caring for grieving family members. For example, the most thoughtful gift may be flowers that were particular favorites of the deceased.

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