Color is such an important part of our lives, so much so that we feel empathy for those who are colorblind, for those who show up in mismatched outfits, and we envy those with a sense of style when it comes to color.
We get a thrill every year when wildflowers bloom in the spring, and we never give up on trying to develop a green thumb and perhaps grow our own colorful gardens at home. There must be something intuitive and instinctive about our love of color and our longing to designate symbolism and meaning to various colors of plants and flowers.
Blue is perhaps one of the most interesting colors for flowers because it is not widespread. We love rarity in nature, and the meaning and symbolism of blue flowers throughout history proves it.
Table Of Contents
Plants and Flowers and the Meaning of Their Color Throughout History
History has much to say about the meaning and symbolism of flowers and plants. From Asia to Africa, from Rome to the New World, flowers have held various meanings for humans.
We not only assign meaning to a flower but also to the color of the flower. Red roses have long meant passion and romance. Black flowers symbolize grief and sorrow, loss and, interestingly, class and elegance. White flowers and plants often designate purity and innocence. The list goes on.
Indeed, some cultures even place great meaning on the way flowers are delivered, how they are held, and in what position they sit.
In Victorian England, when a proposal was made, one could answer the proposal by the position and the hand in which they held the flowers. Flowers held in the right hand meant “yes,” and flowers in the left hand meant “no.”
If someone delivered flowers upside down, it held the opposite meaning from the one it held if delivered upright. An obvious example is red roses, which usually mean love and passion, but when delivered upside down are a signal that you want to turn someone down.
Clearly, the colors of flowers and plants matter, and their meanings tend to last generations and even millennia. Pink sends soft, feminine notes. Red exudes passion. Green signifies luck.
But what about blue?
Blue Plants and Flowers and Their Historic Symbolism
Anyone who has paid attention to color with any level of depth knows that the color blue has long been recognized as a calming color. Studies show people feel tranquil, at peace, and serene when surrounded by blue.
It’s no wonder then that restaurants, hotels, and bed and breakfasts often drape their walls and furniture in the color blue. It is a relaxing color.
Likewise with blue flowers and plants, the symbolism behind them often sends messages of peace, of compromise, of making up after a fight, and of a gentle love.
While some will tell you that blue is not a true color in flowers, this opinion is not based in fact. Plenty of flowers and plants have true blue pigmentation.
Just wander out into any field of wildflowers, and you are sure to come across the color among them. For this reason, blue flowers have been symbols in mythology and legend across cultures.
Ancient Egyptians considered blue flowers sacred, particularly the blue water lily, which can be found in temples, across arches, and on pillars from thousands of years ago. Wolfsbane is a blue flower that held power for the Ancient Greeks, from Ovid’s poetry to the times of war; soldiers tipped their arrows with wolfsbane to better poison and kill the enemies and wolves they hunted.
The blue iris is the flower of the goddess Persephone, and the blue delphinium was the flower of the god Apollo.
The Romans believed the blue borage flower could cure depression, which may be the height of the mythology behind blue flowers.
Today, we have five powerful blue flowers we hold dear in modern cultures – the blue orchid, the periwinkle, the blue aster, the forget-me-not, and the morning glory.
Five Blue Plants and Flowers and Their Meanings
The blue orchid is a symbol of rarity. Orchids are unique and fascinating enough, but finding one in the color blue only adds mystery and enchantment to the flower. It was originally found in the early 1800s in the deep hills of India and has been considered a rare treat ever since.
Give this flower to someone you believe is beautiful on the inside and out, and it will impart the message of deep appreciation and value.
The periwinkle in Christianity means purity and chastity. It is a flower of deep innocence and sweet love. The periwinkle, in its calming shades of blue with notes of pink, is an intimate and feminine flower.
Give this flower as a symbol of friendship and affection.
A perennial flower that grows wild in fields and open prairies, the blue aster represents faith, trust, and abiding respect and love.
In mythology, the blue aster is said to have been created from the tears of the Greek Goddess Astraea, who was distraught over the lack of stars in the sky. As her tears fell, the blue aster bloomed, like stars on the earth.
Give the blue aster as a gift to a highly respected friend or companion.
Forget Me Nots
Another flower whose significance lies in love and respect, the forget-me-not’s Greek name is Myosotis, which means “mouse’s ear” in Ancient Greek. The flower is tiny and delicate and also goes by the common name of scorpion grass because of the way the flower curves as it grows, like a scorpion’s tail.
In legend, a Medieval French knight was picking these flowers for his lady love when his armor grew too heavy to bear, and he fell into a river and was swept away by the current. Before he disappeared, he threw the flowers ashore and called out to his lady, “Don’t forget me!”
Give this flower to someone as a symbol of remembrance or as a promise to never forget them.
The morning glory holds tremendous symbolism of love, life, and death, and sometimes unrequited love or love in vain. This pretty, blue flower is a climbing plant that opens up with the sun every morning then curls up into itself, “dying” every night.
Because of its tendency to “die” and be reborn every day, the morning glory is a wonderful gift to give to someone you believe in, sending a message of resilience and resurrection after a trying time.
What do you think? Do you have any experience with the symbolism behind blue plants and flowers? Let me know in the comments. I love to hear from my readers.