Which Flowers and Plants Are Symbolic of Love?

Love is one of those endlessly emotional experiences. Whether it is familial love, passionate love, or friendly love, it is a warm and wonderful feeling.

Of course, because it is so deep and often so intense, it can also lead to other extreme emotions like grief and sorrow. Perhaps we know this even in the early days of love, which is why those feelings can be so strong.

And because of all this intensity, it is no wonder we have so many plants and flowers to symbolize those feelings.

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Plants and Flowers and Their Meaning Throughout History

Plants and Flowers and Their Meaning Throughout History

From our earliest days, humans have had a close connection to plants and flowers. They have given us life as a source of food, and they have the power to kill us. As a result, we have held plants and flowers in the highest regard as food, as medicine, and even as decorations for our homes and gardens.

For these reasons and so many more, we have placed symbols and power onto flowers and plants. We give certain flowers for grief and death, others for hope and strength, and still others for friendship.

And of course, we have dozens of flowers and plants that symbolize love.

Why Some Plants and Flowers Symbolize Love

There are so many types of love that a plethora of flowers and plants represent all different kinds of love. As noted above, love is such a strong emotion that we need to be able to express those feelings in any way we can. We give jewelry, chocolate, our time, our energy, and, of course, flowers.

Flowers are such a great way to show our love to friends, family, and our romantic interests. Indeed, they are a wonderful way to show ourselves love, too.

Thus, we can search through lists of flowers and plants that symbolize love and give them as gifts, grow them in our gardens, and keep them in vases where we will see them, so we are always surrounded by love.

For this reason, we’ve chosen the top five flowers that symbolize love, and don’t worry, they’re not all red. Because, again, romantic love is not the only kind of love.

Peruse the list and see find a plant or flower you can’t wait to find, give, plant, or keep for yourself.

Five Plants and Flowers that Symbolize Love

Red Roses

The red rose is the classic symbol of romantic love. Lovers have been giving red roses for thousands of years.

They are placed on graves of our lost loved ones, and they are set in vases to fill the spaces of those we feel the most strongly about. Red roses remind us of how deeply we feel for someone, and they encourage our passions and our intense sentiments.

They’ve taken on so much feeling, that we’ve even begun to symbolize the number of roses; seven roses mean, “I’m infatuated with you,” eight show support for loved ones, and nine represent a lifelong romantic love.

And everyone knows a dozen roses display adoration.

Red Lilies

Red lilies are such a unique flower that they are often associated with a particularly special kind of love, desire, and passion.

They also often represent courage in some societies, so giving red lilies to someone you love can be seen as aiming to overcome seemingly impossible romantic odds. Think Romeo and Juliet type love, with all the drama.

Red lilies can be given to an unrequited love and can show someone how hard you are willing to work to make a relationship work. When you’re determined to help a loved one see how devoted you are, this flower might be the best way to do that.


Another deeply romantic flower is the dahlia. It is Mexico’s national flower, and it holds incredible spiritual significance for the people of the country.

These flowers have interesting shocks of color with a bold, bushy appearance, and they can be a fun way to tell someone you love them. In Mexico, they are symbols of inner strength and beauty, so you can give them to someone you consider strong and beautiful to let them know you love them.

Indeed, the Aztecs, the native people of Mexico, have a myth that the Earth Goddess held a dahlia to her heart all night long. Talk about dramatic love.


Heliotropes are such pretty, petite flowers, typically in bright purple tones with white in the middle. As such sweet flowers, they are often given at weddings and anniversaries to represent an enduring love.

They have also been classically used in spiritual ceremonies for healing and to make candles.

In Greek mythology, Klytia was an ocean nymph who was loved by the god of the sun and then deserted. The sun god changed her into a heliotrope, which apparently turns its head in the direction of the sun throughout the day. As such, you can give heliotropes to someone you adore.



Forget-me-nots have an obvious symbolism: don’t forget me! They are popular gifts for brides as a sign of endless love between the marrying partners.

For centuries, forget-me-nots have represented romantic emotions like respect, fidelity, devotion, and true love. They are not only great to have in bouquets but also to plant in the garden bed of a couple’s new home.

The name comes from a German legend about a knight who threw the flowers toward his lover as he lay dying and begged her, “forget me not!” Pretty romantic, right?

Of course, these are only the top five flowers and plants that represent love. You can pick and choose among them, or you can branch out for something else unique to show the person you care deeply about just how much you adore them.

What do you think? Is your favorite love flower here? Or do you have another flower or plant that best represents the feelings of love for you? Let me know in the comments. I love to hear from my readers.

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