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

Color means so much to us as humans. It makes our world more interesting, more vivid, brighter, and bolder. And as we have long held plants and flowers in such high regard, whether for healing, for shelter, or simply for aesthetic purposes, of course, we also categorize our favorite plants and flowers into their separate colors.

Then we assign meaning to those colors. Purple is one color that stands out as one of the most powerful among the vast array of options.

It has, at various times, symbolized different things to many different people. Thus, it is an interesting exercise to study how purple flowers and plants have been shaped in the human mind.

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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

Plants and flowers can never truly be separated from humans and our history. They evolved with us as we evolved into humans from our ape-like ancestors, and since that time, or before, we have had a shared experience.

We are and have been, truly, shepherds of the earth. We have encountered plants and flowers and discovered our relationship to them, how they can heal us, harm us, or just stand next to us and coexist.

We have then assigned meaning to various colors of flowers and plants as we have developed a consciousness of the power of color.

Red, for most humans, means heat, passion, excitement, and even anger. Blue is a calming color, soothing, sedative, and deep.

Green is almost always associated with nature and abundance and therefore wealth and good fortune. And black, of course, with few exceptions, translates to death, remembrance, loss, and sorrow. On rare occasions, like in fashion and home design, black can mean elegance and class.

Purple is a fascinating color in plants and flowers because it has almost always been associated with royalty, nobility, and healing and health. An interesting combination.

Purple Plants and Flowers and Their Historic Symbolism

If rose is passion and black is death, purple is nobility. Kings and queens, emperors and chancellors, and even modern-day university heads hold purple as the color of power.

It represents a level of dignity that is either long-standing, thanks to generational wealth and nobility or hard-earned, thanks to years of study. As a result, you can find purple roses, lilacs, and tulips used to represent the upper classes.

At the same time, some of the plants most associated with health and healing are purple. Think of lavender, sage, and verbena.

Throughout history, those plants not only helped people improve their health, sleep, and digestion and provided anti-oxidant properties, but they are also beautiful, grow relatively quickly, and are fairly easy to care for.

Thus, we have this interesting mix of the noble and the healthy in purple flowers that cannot go unnoticed. It is worthy of understanding, so we can shower ourselves and our loved ones with an abundance of purple flowers.

We can show our friends and family we love them, we hold them in high regard, and that we wish them nothing but good health and total wellness.

Five Purple Plants and Flowers and Their Meanings


Lavender is at once one of the most powerful purple flowers in terms of representation and one of the most healing. People across societies and time have used lavender to ward off bugs in their homes or gardens, to drink in a relaxing tea, and to strike a beautiful pose in a vase.

It has healing properties, it dries well, and it grows quickly. For all its wonderful benefits, lavender deserves the spot at the top of the purple flowers and their importance to humans as a symbol and as a real-life remedy.


Hydrangea plants look like big puff-ball of flowers that grow among rather large leaves on rather tall stems. It is a dramatic plant, and one to grow, if you can, in your garden.

Purple hydrangeas symbolize deep feelings for a loved one and a desire to get to know that person and really understand them.

Medicinally, hydrangea has been used for bladder infections and infections in the urethra and prostate as well as for kidney stones. It can also be made into a tea to treat seasonal allergies.


Wisteria is an incredibly romantic plant, and you cannot help but imagine it dripping from arbors in the southern states of the U.S. and draping through Japanese gardens. The flower in eastern cultures represents a transcendence over death and a sign of good fortune and longevity.

In the Bible, wisteria represents the release of burdens. Medicinally, wisteria seeds are often used as a diuretic.


The lilac is such a fun flower, reminiscent of fairies and magic in gardens. It is sprightly for sure.

In history, purple lilacs represent intense spirituality and a faith in what we cannot see. No surprise there.

For health, lilac has been used to treat fever and anxiety as well as digestive issues. It has also been used in skin creams and oils to reduce wrinkles and improve skin health.



Verbena is the ultimate healing flower. As a small, purple bloom closely associated with prayer, community, creativity, and happiness, it has become a beloved flower across cultures.

It has been used to ward off evil, to protect against harm, and it is known commonly by the names “Holy Herb” and “Devil’s Bane.”

Lemon verbena is widely used medicinally as an anti-oxidant, as a protectant against muscle damage, and even to help with weight loss.

You can see purple flowers represent a variety of positions, meanings, and feelings as well as hold powerful healing properties. Thus, purple flowers can be grown or gifted for strength, nobility, happiness, healing, and any other emotion or message in between.

What do you think? Do you have a favorite purple flower? Let me know in the comments.

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