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Nothing can make up for the loss of a loved one. However, there are some things can lift one’s spirits and bring a little brightness into an atmosphere that is full of grief and sadness. Some things, by their very presence, can have a comforting effect on people that are grieving. They’re funeral flowers and by default, have a very gentle and calming demeanour about them.

With their natural beauty, refreshing presence, and symbolic meanings, flowers are an important tradition at funerals in the United Kingdom and throughout the world. Different blooms can express a range of sentiments, so the flowers you choose can help you send your feelings of sympathy and loss. Ultimately though, choosing the right floral arrangement(s) comes down to not just flower meanings but also personal taste and the relationship you had with the person who passed away. It is all down to individual tastes, but there is a standard language of flowers that can help you send the right message; one that’s both meaningful and personal.

S. Stibbards & Sons have created this guide to the symbolic meanings of the different funeral flowers, all of which are typically readily available at most florist establishments in the United Kingdom. The different types of flowers and arrangements can be used in combination with one another or mixed with the blooms you feel express your personal taste, sentiment or that of the deceased.


Lilies are the most popular choice of flowers for funerals in the UK, as they have strong ties to views about life after death. Lilies signify purity and luminosity. When you bring lilies to a funeral, you suggest that the deceased’s soul has been renewed to a state of innocence.

White stargazer lilies, especially, symbolise ambition, sympathy and compassion. Oriental lilies represent eternal life, and peace lilies suggest a rebirth following death. If you want to show your appreciation for the deceased one’s life, then consider Casablanca lilies, which symbolise positivity and celebration.


Roses are one of the most loved flowers in the United Kingdom and around the world for all manner of occasions, and each variety has its own special meaning. In the context of a funeral service, white roses symbolise purity, humility and innocence, whereas red express love and respect and pink represents gratefulness to the deceased.

A yellow rose is often given by friends to denote their deep ties, while the traditional dark crimson rose suggests deep sorrow and grief. A single rose in a bouquet of flowers is a particularly heartrending way to express abiding love for the deceased.


While all orchids symbolise love and beauty, the colour of the orchid can change the meaning and intention of the flower. Below is what each colour of orchid means.

  • Red. Red orchids symbolise affection and desire but can also express strength and bravery.
  • Blue. These orchids represent individualism and rareness.
  • Green. Green orchids are traditionally thought to bring good fortune and luck. They represent good health, nature and the longevity of life.
  • White. White orchids represent reverence, innocence and purity.
  • Yellow. Yellow orchids represent friendship, happiness and new beginnings.
  • Pink. Pink orchids symbolise joy and happiness and can also signify innocence and femininity.
  • Purple. Purple orchids symbolise admiration, appreciation and dignity.
  • Orange. Orange orchids symbolise boldness, pride and strength.


Gladioli have a long flower stem that is made up of multiple flowers and can measure up to 4 feet tall. They are most commonly used in fan spray tributes, which are classic and exquisite arrangements for a traditional funeral service. The gladioli flower embodies the strength of character, sincerity, and moralistic integrity. They are available in a broad range of colours, including white, pink, red, purple, yellow, green and orange, which are the most popular choice for funerals.


The Chrysanthemum flower symbolises friendship that is not only passable but a friendship that truly means something to you. This beautiful flower is an excellent representation of people who trust each other and consider each other to be good friends or even best friends. If you are looking for a flower to include in a floral tribute that is going to express the love you have for the deceased, then this is the best one to do so.

Chrysanthemum also symbolises rebirth and this symbolism was derived from ancient traditional stories that were linked to this flower. Additionally, since they naturally bloom in the spring and early summer, they are often connected to rebirth because of this.


The carnation is a symbolic and popular choice of flower for any funeral arrangement or service, as it is typically known for representing love and affection for those who have passed away.

  • White carnations. Represent innocence, youth and purity. An appropriate choice for the funeral of a child.
  • Pink carnations. Express remembrance and gratitude for the deceased. This type of flower is often used to symbolise a mother’s or grandmother’s enduring love during their lifetime.
  • Red carnations. Similar to red roses, help to express strong, deep feelings of true love and aspiration. It is an appropriate flower for a wife, husband or partner.


The hydrangea represents devotion, understanding and true friendship.  This beautiful meaning is exactly the reason why they are such a favourite choice of flowers for funerals around the world. The real meaning of their name originates from the traditional Greek words “hydor” (meaning water) and “angos” (meaning vessel).


You may be wondering why colourful flowers such as daffodils are often a popular choice for funeral services. Daffodils begin to bloom in the spring, and as a result, they are often affiliated with rebirth and new beginnings. Sending daffodils to the family members and close friends of the person who has passed away is similar to sending a card with words of inspiration and encouragement. It sends them the message that they will get through this difficult time, and eventually find happiness again after grieving the loss of a loved one.


Daisies represent innocence, and they are typically linked to children. These flowers are often used in flower arrangements and floral tributes for the funerals of children and new-borns.

The symbolic meaning of the daisy has a lot to do with positivity. By their mere appearance, they are a bright, cheerful looking flower. This is precisely why they are easy to understand and why they are symbolic of uplifting themes and happiness.

Our friendly and compassionate team can help you with choosing the most suitable floral tribute for a funeral service. If you would like to talk to us then please get touch through our contact page today.

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