What Is the Symbolism and Meaning of Orange Flowers and Plants?

If you’ve ever stopped to look in awe at a rainbow, you’re not alone. Walking through a field of bright, colorful wildflowers and responding with deep emotion is an innately human experience.

There is just something about color that holds meaning and purpose. Orange is one of the most interesting colors to explore because it’s not a commonly beloved one. And when you add it to flowers, where the orange hues are bold and vibrant, exploring the symbolism of orange flowers and plants can be a wonderful adventure.

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Plants and Flowers and the Meaning of Their Color Throughout History

Plants and Flowers and the Meaning of Their Color Throughout History

If humans attach meaning and purpose to color, we definitely do it with plants. We give roses for love, lilies for life, and mistletoe for kissing our sweethearts.

In our earliest days as humans, we had to figure out which plants would harm us, and which would help us. We were nomads, hunting and gathering, so plants could kill us or save our lives. And, of course, we had to figure out the dosages of plants that could do both. Belladonna is one example in which the difference is in the dose. A little can help you sleep; too much can make you sleep forever.

From those early days, humans placed a lot of power in plants, imbuing them with emotions like passion and strength, sorrow and hope. The symbolism we gave them has spread across cultures and is pretty universal for most plants and flowers.

Today, we can buy ourselves flowers or give them to our loved ones to represent how we’re feeling, or how we’re hoping to feel, and having them near helps us hold onto the power we placed in them and to keep moving through those emotions.

Orange Plants and Flowers and Their Historic Symbolism


The more well-known colors of plants and flowers are obvious – red often represents passion; black symbolizes death; green stands for fortune, and white represents hope and new life. But orange is a lesser observed color, so fewer people know the meanings and history behind orange plants.

In general, orange flowers and plants mean healing, energy, vitality, fun, creativity, and pleasure. After all, orange is a combination of red, with its intense passion, and yellow, with its warmth and comfort. Orange flowers and plants are kind of misfits among their more popular cousins.

Orange foods represent healing – think about tangerines and peaches that offer Vitamin C and sweet potatoes, pumpkins, and carrots that give us potassium and beta-carotene – so it makes sense that we would recognize the same healing properties in orange flowers and plants.

Ancient eastern traditions connect creativity to the color orange. The sacral chakra is where humans draw their creativity from and also a space for sexual energy, so we can give orange flowers and plants to send messages of creativity and intimacy.

Of course, each individual plant or flower is going to hold its own meaning, but these general concepts help you understand the larger context.

Five Orange Plants and Flowers and Their Meanings


One of the most popular orange flowers is the frangipani. It has been used in courtyards, temples, and gardens for centuries as symbols of a pure heart and unconditional love offered to the gods.

It has also been used in meditation ceremonies on the ideas of perfect love and perfect trust. In addition to being soft, lovely flowers, the frangipani also gives off a delicate, sweet scent that can be included in potpourri bowls to brighten up someone’s day.


One of the most obvious signs of the coming of the autumn season is the orange mum. Sure, you’ll see pumpkins and fall leaves at every turn, but you’ll also likely see pots and gardens full of orange mums –  which is short for chrysanthemum.

Perhaps fittingly, as fall is the season of letting go and preparing to slow down during winter, mums signify letting go, sympathy, loss, and grief. They can also represent hope, optimism, and longevity, sort of the flip sides of the first symbols.


Calendula is a word that means both joy and grief, and the flower can be used to symbolize both, which are often two sides to the same coin.

Historically, the flower petals have been used to dye textiles, hair, and even cheese and butter. Medicinally, the flowers have been used to make ointments and skin salves as well as soups and salads.

The healing properties soothe burns, cuts, and minor infections and have done a lot to help inflamed skin.

California Poppy

The California poppy is such a popular flower that an entire state decided to take it on as their official flower. The California poppy represents success, love, and peace for those who grow them, plant them, and give them as gifts.

Medicinally, this flower helps heal addiction and anxieties. Drinking it as a tea can help induce relaxation and sleepiness.

Orange Lily

Orange Lily

The orange lily is one of the most shockingly vibrant flowers, called the tiger lily for its black spots. It is perhaps the most powerful among the orange flowers, radiating vibrations of enthusiasm and positive energy.

It’s a wonderful gift to offer someone who is feeling low or has low energy. Or just keep them in your house or in your garden to remind yourself of how amazing you are and all the amazing things you want to do.

Ultimately, orange flowers and plants are awesome to have around, to give, and to receive. They can fill your garden almost all year round and provide shocks of color in vases in various rooms and spaces in your home or office.

What is your favorite orange flower and why? Let me know in the comments. I love to hear from my readers.

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