Most popular flowers for funerals

Kate BucklandBlog, Uncategorized

When you’re grieving, choosing funeral flowers can feel like a huge task that you just don’t have the energy for so we’ve put together a list of the most popular flowers for funerals to help you along the way.

This article is designed to be a simple quick reference guide to funeral flowers, their meanings and the different type of arrangements that tend to be used at funerals.

Types of flowers that are popular for funerals

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Lilies – Lilies are one of the most popular, if not the most popular, flower for funerals. This is especially so for white lilies, which symbolise sympathy, purity and innocence being restored to a departed soul. They are a very popular choice for casket sprays.

Carnations – Carnations are popular choices for funeral flowers, and what they mean depends on their colour. Pink carnations are believed in the Christian faith to have been made from the tears of the Virgin Mary, and they stand for remembrance. White carnations are for purity and innocence. Red carnations stand for admiration and passion.

Gladioli – Strength of character, moral integrity, honesty. Go well in a standing spray arrangement due to their size and rigid stem.


Roses generally show love, respect, friendship and reverence. What they mean depends on their colour. White roses stand for purity, spirituality and innocence. Yellow roses signify friendship. Crimson or dark red denote grief (particularly in Christian and Muslim religions). Red and pink roses show love, appreciation and affection.

Australian native flowers are appropriate for the funeral of someone who was known to be very patriotic as these flowers invoke a sense of pride in our Australian homeland. Some examples of these include Banksias, protea and leucodendron. Due to their earthy colours and hardiness, they are also popular choices for armed services veterans and those who have battled long illnesses.

Chrysanthemums stand for tribute, and are associated exclusively with death, sorry and grief in many Asian and European countries. This often makes white Chrysanthemums, which are a sign of lamentation, a good funeral choice. Be aware, however, that in different parts of the world these flowers have different meanings. For example, in the USA, chrysanthemums are associated with happiness, celebration and cheerfulness.

Gerberas are used to express innocence and purity. Celtic people believed that this lovely flower could ease one’s worries, making them a good choice to celebrate someone who was always optimistic about life.

When it comes to the most popular flowers for funerals, it might surprise you to find that orchids are on the list. However, florists recommend staying with lighter coloured varieties such as dendrobium and phalaenopsis orchids as purple orchids are not generally associated with mourning. Orchids, particularly pink and white coloured, express everlasting sympathy and can add an exquisite touch to an arrangement or make a beautiful and long lasting gift for a grieving family.

If you would like to express sincere condolences to the family of the person who has passed away, potted hydrangeas are an appropriate choice. These hardy plants flower year after year and thrive under a wide range of conditions. The are also lovely if there is room to plant them next to the grave.

When you think about tulips and daffodils, you probably don’t think about funerals. However, tulips and daffodils are quite popular flowers for funerals. They are generally associated with spring and new beginnings, and in a funeral arrangement can be used to offer hope for the future for the grieving family.

Types of funeral flower arrangements

Casket sprays

A casket spray is a type of flower arrangement that is designed to sit on the top of the coffin. These are generally the most visible flowers at a funeral because of where they are placed. Flowers that are often included in a casket spray include lilies, roses, carnations, Australian native flowers and multi-coloured assortments.

Standing sprays

Standing sprays are funeral flowers that are designed to stand upright attached to either wire or an easel. They are often in the shape of wreaths, crosses and hearts, and are usually positioned at the front of the funeral service near the coffin. Roses, orchids and Australian natives are all popular choices for inclusion in standing spray arrangements.

Funeral bouquets

Bouquets of flowers are used for all kinds of occasions, and because of this, it’s perhaps the most recognisable. Bouquets can be presented in a vase or wrapped in paper.