While almost all types of flowers can be pretty to look at, many are putting on a false facade across various cultures.
This is because even though they are beautiful to behold, they are also flowers that symbolize death.
So before you send a bouquet to your grandmother for her birthday thinking that they are plants of good luck, you might want to ensure that you don’t send something that is deeply associated with death. After all the elderly tend to be more superstitious than the younger generation.
1) White carnations
For many people, learning that white carnations symbolizes death can be a shock as red carnations are often sent as gifts to mothers on Mother’s Day.
The thing is that the meanings that carnation flowers carry depends on the colors of the flower itself.
While red and pink carnations represent love and affection to a living mother, white carnations are meant more as a tribute to a mother that is deceased.
Imagine the shock when a mother who knows these stuff receives an arrangement of this plant on her birthday.
Colorful carnation baskets, which are sometimes referred to as rainbow, are also sometimes sent by those who are unable to attend funeral services to pay their last respects.
Lillies are one of the favorite flowers for feng shui display items at home due to it’s general auspicious symbolism.
However, as gifts for seniors, they are in appropriate as it’s one of the most common flowers used in funeral processions.
Even though the presence of lily plants in these functions is meant to convey peace and a higher power, the fact that they often make appearances during funerals don’t exactly sit well with those of traditional values.
If you still insist on lilies, then you must avoid the white and stargazer lily as they are most strongly linked to funerals when one expresses sympathy for the loss of life. This is especially so with white peace lilies.
The marigold plants actually has breathtakingly gorgeous flowers when in bloom.
So it can surprise many to see it as a plant that means death.
This relation comes from the wide use of the flower during burials in South and Central America.
Part of this reason is due to a special attribute of the flower which folds up it’s petals and bows after the sunset. This symbolizes respect in mourning.
Sometimes also referred to as the Asian magnolia, the frangipani plants grows beautiful white flowers that have a remarkably similar appearance to the general magnolia flower that most people are familiar with.
They also emit an unmistakable aroma that you’d be able to identify if you had smelled it before.
Frangipani flowers are strongly associated with spirits in various cultures in Asia. So much so that many people with personal stories about their experiences with the supernatural often claim to be overwhelmed by the fragrant smell of frangipani during their encounters. This is part of the reason why it is the flower that is the most frequently known as the flower of death compared to others.
While this plant is not directly related to death, surely you don’t want invite spirits to make friends with your senior relatives and friends.
Amusingly, it is also sometimes associated with love.
Whatever the case, it is better to err on the side of caution and gift a different flowering plant instead.
It’s no coincidence that poppy plants are often found in cemeteries. They are meant to convey remembrance of the dead and wishing peace for the departed.
They are sometimes mistaken for roses. But can be easily differentiated by it’s lack of thorns.
This species of flowering plants can also come in a wide array of bright colors. So don’t let that cheerful persona fool you into thinking that it’s an auspicious plant.
6) Yellow tulips
While tulips don’t directly carries the meaning of death, the yellow tulip is usually used as a symbol of renewal for a grieving family after the death of a loved one.
The same can be said of daffodils.
It must be said that on other occasions other than funerals, yellow tulips can represent cheerfulness. But it’s better not to take that chance when gifting someone a flower basket.
7) Black rose
The black rose is infamous for it’s negative symbolism all over the world.
And some of that symbolism includes the loss of life, hatred and tragic romance. No wonder there are pop songs and books based around these strong connotations.
It is one of the unluckiest flower gifts to send someone as it would meant that you wish bad things to happen upon the receiver.
8) White hydrangea
The hydrangea flower is another plant with a diverse array of colors to select from.
Many homeowners like the unique look of the plant so much that they nurture them in their their gardens.
However, white hydrangea is linked to passing away and should never be presented as gifts, especially to those who are ill.
It’s no secret that chrysanthemums make great tea after a heavy dinner.
But pink and purple chrysanthemum is associated with death across various regions, especially in Europe and Asia.
They are often found sitting on graves brought by people who are paying their respects to the departed. This has also earned itself the moniker “flower of death”.
Orchids are generally great for feng shui placement around the house.
However, as gifts, dendrobium and phalaenopsis orchids (moth orchid) that comes in shades of pink and white are also commonly used to symbolize sympathy for someone’s loss of a loved one.
So while they are great at sprucing up the interior decorations, offering them as gifts can be viewed by some cultures as very inauspicious.