The language of flowers: Flower meanings and birth flowers

A vintage botanical print of zinnias.

Whether it’s a bouquet arranged with love or dainty blossoms dusting an old country field, flowers are reminders that little things can give us great happiness. But did you know that in addition to being beautiful, different flowers have different meanings?

For example, birth flowers tell us something special about the month we were born and why we might have a laid-back personality or an animated one. And other flower meanings can help us speak a special language of love to the ones we care about. Keep reading to learn the symbolism behind the blooms that can add extra meaning to a floral gift for someone you fancy.


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The Language of Flowers  

We’re all unique, and it feels wonderful when others recognize our endearing and intricate qualities. And flowers are a gorgeous way to express how you feel about someone or let them know you recognize how beautiful they are. So, it’s no surprise that birth month flowers are so popular! 

If you like to go festive with florals on their big day, we’ve listed traditional birth flowers and their meanings to help you make their birthday bouquet even more special. Even better, you can discover your own birth month flowers to celebrate YOU.

Picking those birth month flowers  

If you’re looking for a specific month to celebrate, click on the links below to jump right to it. Otherwise, read on to learn all about the different birth flowers and their meanings.

January Birth Flowers  

Vintage botanical prints of January birth flowers carnation and snowdrop.


If a flower could be a dancer, it would be the carnation. Its tutu-esque petals and buoyant power to endure over centuries bring vibrancy to the new year. Because of its ability to bloom in colder climates, the carnation represents perseverance and loyalty. Most of all, it’s a symbol of unfaltering love. 



Bowing humbly to each passerby, the snowdrop is a gentle reminder of beauty, hope and innocence. The dainty white blossoms appear right on the edge of spring and indicate the idea of turning over a new leaf.

February Birth Flowers  

Vintage botanical prints of February birth flowers violet and primrose.


With heart-shaped leaves framing its rich, amethyst hues, the violet is a symbol of everlasting love. A flower dating back to Ancient Rome, many dreamers have believed in its healing powers to calm the mind and promote fertility (and if you were born in February, it obviously worked!). The violet’s timelessness also speaks of virtue, faithfulness and modesty.



There’s magic in the primrose, and if you see one, a fairy might be near. Pay attention, though—fairies’ wings are feathery-light when they brush upon your shoulder! This enchanting bloom also encourages young love, signifies immortality and tells us that spring has arrived.

March Birth Flowers  

Vintage botanical prints of March birth flowers daffodil and jonquil.


Lively markers of springtime, daffodils pop up with cheerfulness and optimism. Classically yellow, these eternal symbols of happiness are like bells ringing for sunshine, hope and fresh starts. Sharing family ties with the daffodil is the jonquil…



Both the jonquil and daffodil are of the genus Narcissus. Stemming from their history is the word narcissist, but don’t worry your pretty, little, sunshiny head about that. Jonquils are definitely delightful and enthusiastic and don’t require much in return—maybe just a smile.

April Birth Flowers  

Vintage botanical prints of April birth flowers daisy and sweet pea.


Delicate and charming, the daisy is two flowers in one! Its center is a teensy bouquet of florets, encircled by the lovely outer petals. This happy flower also symbolizes motherhood, so for all those April (baby) showers, it’s nice to bring a bunch of daisies.


Sweet Pea

Darling, fluttering blooms are just how you’d imagine a sweet pea to be. Synonymous with beautiful farewells, sweet peas are given as a gesture of gratitude, to thank a gracious host or to mark the close of a meaningful chapter.

May Birth Flowers  

Vintage botanical prints of May birth flowers lily of the valley and hawthorn.

Lily of the Valley

Like tiny bridal ballgowns in a shop window, the lily-of-the-valley conveys sweetness, purity and a return to happy times. If you see the tender, bell-like buds softly bobbling up and down, it just might be Apollo’s nymphs swishing by! But hurry—their blooms only appear for a short while, which makes lily-of-the-valley one of nature’s rarest gems.



For strength and protection, look to the hawthorn. Its resilient blossoms and bright red berries symbolize hope and a connection to other worlds. Some even believe hawthorn flowers can mend a broken heart.

June Birth Flowers  

Vintage botanical prints of June birth flowers rose and honeysuckle.


Roses are red…but also pink, peach, yellow, white, orange, lavender and the list goes on. This iconic flower has multiple meanings based on its color, but the most classic interpretations of the rose are rooted in affection, passion and love. Science has estimated this popular perennial to be at least 35 million years old, making it one of the most eternal symbols of the heart.



Fragrant and sweet, honeysuckle brings back fond memories of nostalgic childhood summers. It’s also reminiscent of unabashed blissfulness and joy. The honeysuckle’s tough, twirling vines depict never-ending attachments and bonds that cannot easily be broken.

July Birth Flowers  

Vintage botanical prints of July birth flowers larkspur and water lily.


You might find elegant larkspur standing tall amongst other cottage wildflowers, graced by butterflies and hummingbirds. According to legend, larkspur is known to give protection against nefarious spirits. This garden guardian is also linked to positivity, dignity and devotion.


Water Lily

Gliding along sleepy ponds is the water lily. Exquisite, elongated petals mimic a ballerina ever-so-lightly pirouetting, while its variety of colors have many meanings, including wisdom and peace. Emerging from murky, dark depths and into the light, the water lily can also represent rebirth and understanding.

August Birth Flowers  

Vintage botanical prints of August birth flowers gladiolus and poppy.


With sleek, sword-like leaves, the gladiolus was the flower of victorious Roman gladiators and symbolizes courage, honor and integrity. Its flair for the dramatic makes the gladiolus a memorable bloom to receive. Depending on the color, meanings can range from those of compassion to friendship to fortune.



The poppy has a perky name but is known for calm and relaxation. It’s also symbolic of sleep, rejuvenation and dreams. As an icon of remembrance, wild poppy flowers grew on the battlefield where soldiers fought and died in World War I, indicating meanings of tenacity and enduring spirit.

September Birth Flowers  

Vintage botanical prints of September birth flowers aster and morning glory.


As summer fades into fall, the aster is there to brighten our paths. Meaning “star” in Greek, this pretty flower has connotations of faith, passion and even revolution. Asters come in many colors of the rainbow and were inspiration for Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet and Robert Frost.


Morning Glory

With its ephemeral blooms, the morning glory reminds us to appreciate the moment and savor our lives as they are now. These early risers open in the morning and close before dusk, attracting pollinators that seem to fancy these flowers quite a lot. Morning glories can weave up and around a trellis, which is why they’re a sun-kissed sign of hopefulness.

October Birth Flowers  

Vintage botanical prints of October birth flowers marigold and cosmos.


Like joyous, ruffled polka dots, marigold flowers will grow on the hardest of hearts. Typically orange, yellow and red hues, their bold colors align with strong character and steadfastness. Called “companion plants,” marigolds are connected to friendship, protection and prosperity.



For harmony and balance in the universe, the cosmos is your flower. This lovely garden delight is akin to abiding love and tranquility. Drawn to its whimsical nature, mythological creatures are thought to tiptoe amongst its winsome petals.

November Birth Flower  

A vintage botanical print of the November birth flower chrysanthemum.


Mum’s the word! Because they symbolize good luck, the only flower anyone needs for the month of November is the chrysanthemum. This autumn beauty is frequently found on porch steps and gifted as a wish for happiness in the home. 

It’s additionally linked to nobility and mourning someone loved. Mums might just be the secret to longevity, so it couldn’t hurt to add a few of its boisterous blooms to your life! 

December Birth Flowers  

Vintage botanical prints of December birth flowers pnperwhite narcissus and holly.

Paperwhite Narcissus

Okay, so maybe the narcissus is a bit obsessed with vanity…because this flower type also appears in March! Daffodils and jonquils are of the Narcissus genus, but what makes December different is that these florals are paperwhite for the wintry season. The Victorians considered this flower to mean “the only one,” while many see its gossamer white blossoms as a symbol of unconditional love.



One of the most well-known Christmastime flowers, holly is paired with “jolly” to make the season bright. As a classic festive decoration, rosy-red berries and edgy, evergreen leaves put merriment into the month and spruce up homes for the holidays. Holly is also very protective and defends against intruders, troublemakers and evil villains. Conversely, it’s a delicious winter treat for our bird friends.

Even More Flower Meanings  

If you’re looking to get extra creative with your newfound understanding of the language of flowers, we dug up even more posies for you to ponder over. Consider using them in a simple arrangement to express your emotions, a big bouquet to complement a BFF’s best qualities or even use them as inspiration for what to grow in your own garden.

A vintage botanical print of an azalea.


Indisputably a head-turner, the vivid azalea isn’t shy about looking its best. This flower is indeed the fancy pants of the garden! Because of the generous array of color, azaleas are associated with abundance and are a great housewarming or hostess gift.

Balloon Flower

For a forever kind of love, send balloon flowers to an adored pal or partner. If you’d like a more natural balloon option for your party, this flower’s celebratory name fits the bill. Maybe you want to reconnect with a long-lost friend, and in that case, a balloon flower indicates the sentiment of “Can we begin again?”

A vintage botanical print of a begonia.


A bunch of begonias is perfect for an anniversary present or just to tell someone how unique and special they are. A fanciful floral, the begonia’s bewitching presence stirs introspective thinking. If you like to speak “in code,” use this punchy floral to signal a loved one to heed cautiously or let their heart be their guide.


What could be more magical than a forest floor filled with bluebell blossoms? (Also, what could be more of a tongue twister!) This dreamy flower means kindness and appreciation. So, it would be ever-so-thoughtful to give as a gift of gratitude or just because you love a fellow kindred spirit so very much.

A vintage botanical print of a buttercup.


With its lovable name and sunny color, the buttercup just may be your cup of…butter. This happy-go-lucky wildflower is native to the English countryside, peppering the landscape with buttery bliss. A spirit-lifter, give the buttercup to someone who needs a boost.


So beloved, edelweiss even has a song written about it! It has meanings of deep adoration and devotion while also appealing to those of noble character. In some regions, this “blossom of snow” is protected in the wild, so keep that under consideration before picking and delivering to your dearest.


Are you smitten with someone who doesn’t know it yet? Then the gardenia is the ideal flower to express what’s on your heart. Meaning “secret love,” give the gorgeous gardenia to your crush! If you need help remembering this garden wonder, it starts with “garden”! 

A vintage botanical print of a hyacinth.


For all the athletic types, the hyacinth is specifically linked to sports. Go, hyacinth, go! Congratulate that special athlete in your life after a big game or tournament with an armful of this multi-bloomed beauty. 

A vintage botanical print of hydrangea and iris.


Flowers are always a nice touch if you need to say sorry—and the hydrangea is the perfect pick. Symbolic of apology and contrition, this garden favorite droops down when in need of care, but responds enthusiastically to proper nurturing. Give a thoughtful bouquet of hydrangeas to soften a weary heart.


Looking like a maiden sashaying in her petticoat, the iris brings us hope and signifies faith in life’s blessings. When you see an iris, it could be a sign of positive change coming your way. Blooming in a variety of colors with different meanings for each one, it’s a flower that inspires innocent, blissful imagination.

A vintage botanical print of lilac and orchid.


There’s something wistful and wonderful about lilacs. The soft lavender-colored lilac represents first love, while the fiery magenta conveys passion. Also reminiscent of old love, widows have worn lilacs to remember lost soul mates; the aromatic scent represents a memory that lingers. 


No one can deny the intrigue of the orchid. Genteel yet courageous, this sophisticated beauty represents reverence, romance and sensuality. For someone who’s an extraordinary, one-of-a-kind person, choose a blue orchid to show them how rare and wondrous they are.

A vintage botanical print of sunflower and tulip.


Lifting its head to the sky, the sunflower has a long history rooted in spiritual devotion. It also symbolizes pleasure, intellect and companionship. Most think of vivid yellow sunflower fields, but this bright-eyed showstopper comes in many colors. For instance, a white sunflower means reincarnation and a yearning for new things. 


There never has been and never will be a tulip that didn’t bring joy. This cheery spring gift usually pops up among friends, creating a splendid display. Tulips also come in a mosaic of colors, including purple, which indicates royalty, and red, which is a sign of deep, eternal love. 

A vintage botanical print of zinnias.


The extrovert of flowers, the zinnia is the life of the party! Zinnias come in many bold colors and are perfect for any celebratory event. They are associated with friendship, love that never fades and the unbreakable bond between two souls even into the afterlife.

From birth flowers to flowers just-because, these gifts of nature are the perfect gifts for those you love. Order from a creative florist or use these flower meanings to create your own unique masterpiece. And don’t forget to treat yourself—you’re worth a thousand bountiful blooms!