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Birth Flowers: Everything You Need to Know

Birth Flowers: Everything You Need to Know

You know your star sign, your birthstone, you might even know your moon sign… But do you know your birth flower?

What are Birth Flowers?

Birth flowers have been around for generations and just like birthstones there are birth flowers for each month.

They’re tied to the season the flower blooms so, some months, there are two flowers – perfect for creating an extra special bouquet, weaving the two together.

Many flowers, like the carnation and the primrose, also have cultural or religious associations and come laced with historical facts. Find out what the flower for your birth month is below, what its history means alongside its translation in floriography (flower language). Watch out for some of these blooms in our boxes too. We like to think they’ll bring you some birthday luck… or at least provide a conversation starter.

January: Carnation and Snowdrop

Carnation – True flower power. The Carnation is known as the Flower of The Gods and their history dates back over 2000 years when Greeks and Romans used them for décor, art and to plant in their gardens. Back then, this bloom showed you were someone to respect. Furthering their Godly origins, the carnation is part of the dianthus family – a word thought to originate from the Greek word, ‘dios’ referring to Zeus, and ‘anthos’ meaning flower. You can find this super strong stem in our boxes.

Snowdrop – For many, the sight of them marks hope, as we know that once they show their hardy little heads, spring is around the corner. The snowdrop’s genus name, Galanthus, is derived from the Greek words gala and Anthos, translating to milk flower, and can be used to express both sympathy and celebration. During happy times, the snowdrop is thought to provide optimism but following a death or misfortune it symbolises compassion.

February: Violet and Primrose

Violet – Sometimes, we just need to let our friends know we’re going to be there for them. No matter what, they’ll find us by their side. The violet is a symbol of this, their heart-shape leaves that vary in colour, have been known to symbolise faithfulness and everlasting love. In Victorian times a gift of violets was a declaration that said you’d always be true. A far cry from today when a ‘like’ on our social media posts can make our heart flutter. Wouldn’t it be nicer to receive a violet instead?

Primrose – Spotted a large patch of primrose flowers on your daily walk? You could have discovered the gateway to the fairy realm. Or so said the ancient Celts who were convinced these flowers would bring you into the Tinkerbell and co’s secret lair. As for the Victorians, a gift of primroses meant young love while in the language of flowers they spell out ‘I can’t live without you.’

Daffodil and Jonquil

Daffodil: In need of a new start? The daffodil, one of the March birth flowers, has got your back. As it’s one of the first flowers to bloom in the spring, daffodils are seen as a representation of rebirth and new beginnings. They are also thought to represent inspiration, creativity and forgiveness… which is particularly apt as the only way to turn over a new leaf, is to forgive yourself for your past mistakes.

April – Daisy and Sweet Pea

Daisy: A delicate daisy chain, strung together and placed on the crown of your head may <look> like a virtuous halo, particularly as the daisy has long represented innocence, purity and true love. But, the daisy is also a flower given between friends that emphasises the keeping of a secret. See… it’s always the innocent ones hiding the biggest secrets…

Sweetpea: If you’ve had a glorious time with someone, a bouquet of sweet peas is the perfect way to express that. In the language of flowers, the sweet pea can mean blissful pleasure, good wishes, kindness, gratitude and friendship. So a gathering of sweetpeas is often given as a way to say goodbye, or thank you, for a lovely time.

May – Lily of the Valley and Hawthorn

Lily of the valley – The flower of unrequited love… according to legend, lily-of-the-valley fell in love with the song of the nightingale and only bloomed when the bird returned to the woods in May. Kind of like how we feel when Beyonce releases a new album, it signifies the return to happiness. It’s also been associated with motherhood, sweetness, purity and humility. But mostly we love this birth flower as its arrival means that summer is almost here…

Hawthorns – Within our endless news cycle, hope can be hard to find. But look to the hawthorn if you’re ever feeling low, as they’ve long been a symbol of hope. Ancient Greeks were said to use its branches during wedding processions and in Celtic lore hawthorns were thought to heal a broken heart. They could represent entering into a new chapter of your life, as they were also said to mark the entrance to other worlds.

June – Rose and Honeysuckle

Rose – A romance classic, we all know the rose is a symbol of love, beauty and affection. But what colour you choose of these birth flowers also makes a difference. A red rose means ‘I love you’ but a pink one represents happiness and admiration (perhaps for when you’re not quite <there> yet…). The white rose symbolises innocence and purity, but paired with the red it spells unity. If you’re more in the lust stage of romance, orange means desire and excitement, while yellow could be given to a friend, as it represents cheer and happiness… Although folklore thought the yellow rose represented jealousy. So, mixed messages then.

Honeysuckle – The birth flower for when things have become ‘official’ the honeysuckle has traditionally symbolised happiness and affection for a new love, as they are meant to bring positive energy into your life. But, for those who really know their flower language, it could also be sending the message you’re not quite over your ex – as it’s been known to represent nostalgia for first loves or old flames. When planted near homes they honour loved ones who have passed.

July – Larkspur and Water Lily

Larkspur – Each colour holds a different meaning, blue means dignity and grace, pink symbolises fickleness, white represents happiness and joy and purple is a sign of first love. But don’t fret too much if your larkspur seems to be sending the wrong message as overall the larkspur has long symbolised positivity, loving bonds, dedication and sincerity.

Waterlily – Your flower arrangement can be innocent, even if you aren’t … The waterlily has long symbolised purity and chastity.

August – Gladiolus and Poppy

Gladioli – Forget coy flirting or buying them a drink, the best way to get your crush's attention is to send them some of their birth month flowers, Gladioli. In Victorian times romantics believed that the beauty of the gladiolus could pierce another’s heart with love. In floral meaning, it also symbolises infatuation, love at first sight and faithfulness. It also expresses that you are trustworthy – as it’s been associated with moral character, remembrance and intelligence. Accompany that with it being a symbol of strength, victory, healing and honour so really, what else do they need to fall head-over-heels?

Poppy – Alongside being a proud and respectful symbol of remembrance, the poppy is also associated with sleep and death. In Greco-Roman myths poppies were part of the offering to the dead, and were found on tombstones to represent eternal sleep. Gifting a poppy doesn’t always have to represent that the worst has happened though, they also symbolise relaxation and recovery. According to Greek mythology the poppy was associated with Demeter, the goddess of agriculture. It was believed if poppies grew in your field, a bountiful crop would follow.

September – Aster and Morning Glory

Aster – Those born in September were born under a lucky star, as in Greek, aster means “star.” This references the flower’s starlike appearance and the flowers have long been a symbol of love, wisdom, patience and beauty. Found in our boxes, the aster is also associated with faith, friendship and purity.

Morning glory – Depending on your frame of mind, the Morning Glory could be seen as romantic… or tragic. As they’ve symbolised both a love that was never returned and seen as a sign of undying love. There are other meanings depending on the colour found… blue represents enduring love, desire, and power; purple symbolises grace, wealth, and hopefulness; pink is a sign of gratitude and energy; red means passion and strength; white, like many other flowers, symbolises purity and innocence.

October – Marigold and Cosmos

Marigold – They’re so much more than the colour of your washing up gloves. The bright yellow sends a message of optimism, prosperity, cheer, joy, love and even wealth and success. They’re also the flower used to worship Buddha, while in Hinduism they’re associated with the sun and used in marriage celebrations.

Cosmos – For when things feel slightly unsettled, Cosmos could provide much needed clarity. The genus name comes from the Greek word kosmos, meaning order and harmony of the universe and they’re said to bring balance. Others believe the flower is a sign of peace, love, joy and innocence while the colour could also spell a different meaning. Apart from being a birth flower, pink is ideal for Mother’s Day as it represents a mother’s love, red cosmos are love and passion, yellow for friendship and white as a sign of faithfulness and devotion.

November - Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemum – One of the oldest known flowers, first recorded in 15 century BC, when you gift a Chrysanthemum you’re also gifting a piece of history. They were first grown as flowering herbs in China and then given as gifts by Buddhist Monks because of their powerful Yang energy. To receive one was something really special as, during the years of Imperial Reign in China, normal people were not allowed to grow blooms, only nobility. Today, Chinese Feng Shui says flowers bring happiness into a home, and, as the name chrysanthemum is derived from the Greek words chrysos, meaning gold, and anthemon, meaning flower, it’s the perfect November flower to bring to anyone, representing joy and optimism.

December – Narcissus and Holly

Holly – A beautiful Christmas table centrepiece, holly symbolises hope, wealth, happiness and peace, as well as being a lovely gift for a friend trying for a child, as they also represent fertility. Many see the plant as a representation of protection and defence, but others view holly’s spiky leaves as a symbol of combativeness, pain and trickery.

Narcissus – Tell someone they’re the only one for you with this December birth flower, as in Victorian times and arrangement of narcissus meant just that.

Posted on 27th May 2024

The Flower Team

Our in-house team of flower experts can teach you all about the flowers we use and help you get the best out of your arrangements

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