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Celebrating Mother's Day: Flowers and Their Symbolism

April 8, 2024

Close up of a woman sitting at a table reading a card next to her UrbanStems arrangement.

As Mother's Day approaches, it's time to honor the incredible women who have shaped our lives with unconditional love, unwavering support, and wonderful advice (both sought out and unwarranted). And what better way to celebrate them than with the gift of flowers? From the classic carnation, the elegant lisianthus, vibrant tulip, to the ever-popular peony, each stem carries its own unique symbolism, reflecting the beautiful bond between mothers, mother figures, and their children of all varieties.

We are breaking down the meaning of each flower for Mother’s Day, so you’ll know the exact right bouquet to send this holiday. 

Mother’s Day Flowers and Their Meanings

  • Carnations: Maternal love and admiration
  • Lisianthus - Deep bonds
  • Tulips - Strength and loyalty
  • Peonies - Compassion and empathy

Carnations

Let's start with the quintessential Mother's Day flower: the carnation. With delicate petals and a sweet fragrance, carnations have often been associated with maternal love and admiration. In fact, the tradition of gifting carnations on Mother's Day dates back to ancient Greek and Roman times, where the flower was dedicated to Cybele, the goddess of motherhood. Today, carnations remain a beloved symbol of maternal affection, making it the perfect choice for expressing gratitude to the special women in our lives.

The English Rose

Lisianthus

Next up is the lisianthus, a stunning flower that represents the deep bond between mothers and daughters. The lisianthus, also known as the Prairie Gentian, is a heat loving plant that is often compared to roses. With its graceful petals and subtle elegance, the lisianthus embodies the tenderness and nurturing nature of the mother-daughter relationship. Whether it's sharing secrets over a coffee date or laughing uncontrollably at inopportune moments, there's nothing quite like the love shared between a mother and her daughter. And what better way to celebrate that unique relationship of mothers and daughters than with a bouquet of lisianthus?

The Wildflower

Tulips

But we cannot forget about the mothers and sons out there! To represent their unbreakable bond, the tulip is the perfect choice. Tulips are spring-blooming, full sun flowers With its bold colors and strong stems, the tulip symbolizes strength, loyalty, and admiration, making it an ideal representation of the bond between mothers and sons. From teaching us how to ride a bike to cheering us on from the sidelines, mothers play an invaluable role in shaping the men we become. And what better way to show our appreciation than with a vibrant bouquet of tulips?

Up close image of pink peonies held by a woman in a green dress.

Peonies

Finally, we arrive at the peony, the queen of flowers that represent the love and admiration between friends. We all have a close friend in our lives that is an incredible mother. Everyday we are wow’d by her and on Mother’s Day we’d like to recognize all of the hard work and sacrifice it takes to be a mom. While there is no flower directly dedicated to the friendship between moms, we’d like to nominate the peony for that honor. Peonies are full-sun blooms that only grace us with their presence April through June, just in time for Mother’s Day. Celebrate sisterhood and send the “Mom of the Year” some peonies this May 12th.

Of course, the beauty of Mother's Day lies not only in the gifts we choose to give but more so in the memories we create together. Whether it's through a bouquet of carnations, lisianthus, or tulips, we think showing appreciation for the unconditional love and support they have given us every step of the way is a non-negotiable. After all, there's no bond quite like that between a mother and child, and Mother's Day is the perfect time to celebrate just how special that relationship truly is. So here's to all the amazing mothers out there — thank you for everything you do.

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