What Is a Traditional Funeral Flower?

A funeral wreath can include carnations.

Traditional funeral flowers such as carnations, lilies and gladioli add special meaning to expressions of sympathy for a loved one's death. These flowers can highlight a variety of arrangements.

1 Types

Roses, carnations, lilies, chrysanthemums and gladioli are some of the most commonly used flowers for funeral arrangements.

2 Significance

You can choose a traditional flower based on its color. Red roses can stand for love or bravery, while gladioli stalks symbolize character and integrity. White lilies, roses and carnations suggest purity and innocence.

3 Cultural Traditions

In Japan, Korea and some European nations, white mums represent grief and death, making them appropriate for funerals. Americans associate white mums with truth and honesty.

4 Considerations

You can arrange funeral flowers in several traditional ways, including a standing wreath, easel spray, pillow or casket blanket.

5 Non-traditional Flowers

Non-traditional flowers can show your special connection to the deceased or function as a symbol of her life. Add nasturtiums, which symbolize patriotism, to a soldier or veteran's funeral arrangement. Forget-me-nots can represent good memories of a friend.

Cameron Delaney is a freelance writer for trade journals and websites and an editor of nonfiction books. As a journalist, Delaney worked for wire services, newspapers and magazines for more than 20 years. Delaney's degrees include a bachelor's degree in journalism from Pennsylvania State and a master's degree in liberal arts from University of Denver.