Flowers Commonly Used in Funeral Arrangements

Flowers Commonly Used in Funeral Arrangements

As you browse funeral arrangements online, you’ll notice that several types of flowers show up in arrangement after arrangement. This is due to availability, tradition and the symbolism of certain flowers.

We’ve put together this list of flowers that are commonly used in funeral flower arrangements so that you can quickly find a suitable flower type or arrangement. All the images on this page feature arrangements from the top 3 online florists that deliver in the US —,, and

These 3 online shops offer: 24/7 customer service, a satisfaction guarantee (or your money back), a 7-day fresh flower guarantee, same-day or next-day delivery, and a secure checkout process (unlike ordering with small, local shops where you have to give your credit card number to a complete stranger over the phone!).

If you’d like to read about the online shops that deliver in the UK, click here.



Click on any image to be taken to that arrangement’s shop page (a new window will open that will take you to another site).

Carnations in Funeral Arrangements

Carnations have been an important flower in human history for over 2,000 years. The flower’s name, depending on which scholar you ask, either represents the Greek crown (thus royalty) or hints at divinity and the incarnation of God. Carnations come in many colors, thanks to science and engineering, but you’ll see only a handful of colors in funeral flower arrangements: pink, red, purple, yellow, green, blue (usually dyed) and white.

Because every flower and every color has a meaning, you can’t just pick a random funeral arrangement and assume it’s appropriate for the service. No. Your relationship to the deceased matters. It determines what you want to communicate and which flowers you should choose to send exactly the message you want to convey. Here’s a quick breakdown of the three most used colors of carnations and what they symbolize:

Pink Carnations Pink carnations convey gratitude and remembrance of the deceased. They also symbolize a mother’s enduring love which is why they are commonly used on Mother’s Day and for flower arrangements at a mother’s or grandmother’s funeral.

Red Carnations Similar to red roses, red carnations express strong feelings, yearning and true love.

White Carnations White carnations symbolize purity, faithfulness and innocence.

Chrysanthemums in Funeral Arrangements

Frequently referred to as “mums” for short, chrysanthemums were first cultivated in China as a flowering herb as far back as the 15th century BC. Today there are more than 40 species of mums.

Across many cultures, chrysanthemums are associated with death and grieving.

For this reason, chrysanthemums are one of the most commonly used accent flowers. You’ll see white mums, pastel hues, green, and vibrant colors. Unlike with other flower types, color symbolism doesn’t seem be as important with chrysanthemums. The flower’s significance, and symbolism of loss, is what matters (not the color).

As you browse funeral arrangements, you’ll notice that mums are included in almost every design, no matter the arrangement type or who it’s intended for (dad, mom, a child).

Gladioli in Funeral Arrangements

The gladiolus embodies strength of character, sincerity, and moral integrity.

Gladioli have a tall flower stem, composed of multiple flowers, that can measure up to 4 feet tall.

Available in a wide variety of colors, Gladioli are typically used in classic casket or standing sprays for traditional funeral services.

Lilies in Funeral Arrangements

Lillies symbolize the innocence that has been restored to the soul of the departed, so it makes sense that the tropical flower is one of the most important plants in funeral arrangements.

Lilies come in a wide range of colors, but white, pink and orange are the colors most florists use in funeral flowers. You’ll also see multi-colored lilies in some arrangements.

White Lilies
White lilies symbolize purity and appear at funerals more often than other varieties (this is especially true of the Calla Lily variety, a very common funeral flower).

Stargazer Lilies
Stargazer lilies symbolize sympathy, which makes them an appropriate option for the loved ones of the recently departed.

Oriental Lilies
Oriental lilies symbolize eternal life, making them the perfect option at religious services commemorating the departed.

Orchids for Sympathy and Funeral Arrangements

With their exotic mystique and delicate, sculptural beauty, orchids carry an unrivaled suggestion of refinement. A truly unique flower, orchids have been historically prized for various reasons ranging from healing powers to aesthetic rarity. Even today they are a sign of luxury and refined taste.

Orchids are sent during times of grief not only because of the flower’s treasured beauty, but also because it is a lasting gift that will continue to bloom long after other bouquets have wilted. For this reason, sending an orchid conveys everlasting love.

Don’t concern yourself with the color symbolism of orchids. Unlike with roses and carnations, there doesn’t seem to be any color symbolism in gifting orchids.

Another bonus with this flower is that it’s not overtly feminine or masculine, so it’s a pretty safe gift.

Rose Funeral Arrangements

Roses are one of the most significant flower varieties in funeral arrangements, especially for casket sprays and standing arrangements. They come in dozens of colors, but you’ll mostly see white, pink, purple, red, yellow, orange. We’ll explore the symbolism of each color below.

A side note: Including a single rose in a bouquet expresses enduring love for the deceased.

White Roses:
White roses evoke purity, reverence, humility and innocence. Other than red roses, they are the most commonly used rose for funerals. Unlike red roses, they are not associated with more passionate emotions, which makes them perfect for expressing condolences, no matter the relationship — aunt or uncle, cousin, boss, friend, and so on. White roses are also appropriate for the funeral services of children. In this circumstance, they are used alone or mixed with light, pastel-hued flowers.

Red Roses:
Red roses convey respect, love, and courage. They are commonly used in casket sprays and stands, especially for men. Red roses are usually chosen by people who had an intimate relationship with the deceased — immediate relative, spouse, lover or very close friend.

Pink Roses:
Pink roses signify love, grace, elegance and admiration. They are the lighter side of red roses, in color and symbolic meaning. Pink roses are commonly used for casket sprays and standing arrangements for women and children.

Dark Red Roses:
Dark crimson roses denote grief and sorrow.

Yellow Roses:
Yellow roses are given by friends of the deceased to symbolize their strong ties.

Purple Roses:
Purple roses symbolize dignity and success. Traditionally, the color purple is associated with royalty. Perhaps for this reason, or the soft beauty of this rose, it is a common funeral arrangement choice for grandmothers. It’s also chosen for people with February birthdays as a way to honor their life.

Other Pages — Funeral Flowers Ideas

We’ve written a few guides to help you find funeral flowers for your mom or dad, or for a man or child. There’s also a page on floral arrangements for urn services.

We’ve also put together some information on how to send flowers to a military funeral service and buy funeral flowers with a patriotic theme.

If you’re interested in learning more about funeral flowers in general, we’ve grouped funeral flowers by color, explained the symbolism and meaning of funeral flowers, listed common types of flowers used in funeral arrangements, and described the different types of funeral arrangements. We’ve also looked into the history of funeral flowers.

And, we’ve compiled some ideas for what to say on the sympathy message sent with the flowers.