August Birth Flowers & Meanings: Poppies & Gladioli

August Birth Flowers & Meanings: Poppies & Gladioli

August has two birth flowers: the gladiolus and the poppy. Both are beautiful blooms with unique characteristics and interesting meanings.

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Is it just us, or are there a lot of August birthdays? There should be a saying: Either you know an August baby, or you are an August baby!

If you know someone with an August birthday and are wondering what gift to get them, you can’t go wrong with a bouquet that features their birth flower. The good thing is that you actually have options, because August has two birth flowers: the gladiolus and the poppy.

Both are beautiful blooms with unique characteristics and interesting meanings. Read on to find out more about the August birth flower: the gladiolus and the poppy.

Gladiolus Flowers

pink and purple gladiolus flowers in a field

Tall and showy, gladioli are truly fabulous blooms. It’s no wonder they’re Dame Edna’s favourite flower! They’re available in a wide array of stunning colours, including apricot, crimson, pink, purple and green.

The name “Gladiolus” comes from the Latin word gladius, which means “sword”. You’ll know right away why they were given this name when you look at them—it’s because of their sword-like shape! For this reason, gladioli are also known as sword lilies (although, they are not really lilies). 

Beautiful though they may be, gladiolus flowers are toxic to cats and dogs if ingested, so be careful when gifting them to a loved one with pets!

What do gladiolus flowers symbolise? 

The gladiolus flower is the traditional flower of a 40th wedding anniversary, symbolising faithfulness and infatuation. Gladiolus flowers are also said to represent integrity and strength of character. 

Aside from these two significant meanings, gladioli can symbolise different things, depending on their colour. 

white gladiolus against a blue and white cloudy sky

A white gladiolus symbolises purity

Like white roses or white lilies, white gladioli represent purity and innocence. You may find them in sympathy, wedding or new baby bouquets.

A yellow gladiolus symbolises happiness

Yellow gladioli convey happiness and friendship. Gift a bouquet featuring these to someone you’d like to cheer up, or to a friend you cherish.

A pink gladiolus symbolises non-romantic love

Similarly to pink tulips, pink roses and other pink blooms, pink gladiolus flowers represent platonic, maternal or non-romantic love. They’re a lovely flower to send from mother to daughter and vice versa.

A red gladiolus symbolises deep love

Unsurprisingly, red gladioli convey deep, romantic love. In fact, giving someone you love a gladiolus flower can be a way of telling them they’ve “pierced your heart” (in a good way!). 

When are gladioli in season in Australia?

salmon and purple gladioli in a field

Though they flower naturally during spring and summer, you’ll find gladiolus cut flowers in florists practically all year round.

How long do gladiolus flowers last in a vase?

Gladioli are fairly long lasting, surviving up to ten days in a vase. If you gift a loved one a bouquet featuring this august birth flower, you can be sure they’ll get plenty of enjoyment out of it.


Poppy Flowers

purple, pink, orange, white and red poppies in a field

August babies will be the envy of poppy lovers everywhere! The poppy is one of our most popular flowers, and it’s easy to see why. 

These dainty blooms have so much personality, with their wiry stems that can’t be tamed, and ruffled, crepe paper petals you just want to scrunch (but don’t, because they’re super delicate). There’s just so much to love!

What do poppies symbolise?

Poppies come in a variety of brilliant colours, from the traditional deep red of the Flanders poppy to the summery yellow, salmon and orange hues of the Iceland poppy. 

Like other flowers, the various colours can have different meanings. But poppies are perhaps best known, above all else, for being symbols of sacrifice and remembrance—in particular, red poppies.

Poppies as symbols of remembrance

red poppy symbolises remembrance

In Australia and elsewhere, red poppies are the flower of remembrance. During WWI, poppy flowers bloomed across the battlefields of France and Belgium. Since then, Australians have worn them on Remembrance Day and on Anzac Day in honour of the soldiers who gave their lives during World War I, and in all wars since. 

Red poppies are not the only poppies to symbolise remembrance. The black poppy is worn in remembrance of Black servicemen and women, while the white poppy is worn to commemorate all victims of war and to promote peace. Purple poppies, meanwhile, are worn to honour animal victims of war, such as horses, dogs and pigeons. 

Other poppy meanings

Aside from being traditional symbols of remembrance, poppy flowers are also said to represent imagination, dreams, regeneration and luxury.

yellow poppies symbolise success

The yellow poppy symbolises success

Yellow flowers often have joyful meanings, and yellow poppies are no exception. Representing renewal, prosperity and optimism, yellow poppies are great to send to someone who needs a bit of cheering up, or to whom you want to wish great success!

The orange poppy represents health and wellbeing

If you know someone who’s been unwell, send them a bouquet that features orange poppies. They symbolise health and regeneration. Plus, their bright hue is a guaranteed way to add a bit of cheer to someone’s day while they’re in recovery.

The pink poppy expresses non-romantic love

Like most other pink blooms, pink poppies represent platonic love, like that between best friends or family members.

The white poppy conveys sympathy

Similar to other white blooms, such as white roses, white lilies and white gladioli, the white poppy can be used to express sympathy and condolences.

When are poppies available in Australia?

pink and red poppies in a field

Poppies flower from winter to spring, but you can find them in florists from as early as autumn.

You’ll find poppies in our Wanda and Audrey bouquets, and we also have a Mixed Poppies bunch for pure poppy goodness! (These bouquets are seasonal, so may not be available at all times.)

How long do poppies last in a vase?

Sadly, poppies have a fairly short vase life of up to five days, at most. They are best placed in a tall vase with a narrow neck, and arranged facing different directions. Part of the poppy's appeal is its high drama and carefree attitude, so you'll want to show them off from all angles.

mixed poppies in a vase

How to open poppy petals

Because poppy petals are so delicate, you may receive them while they’re still partially or fully in bud. These can look really underwhelming! But those familiar ruffled petals are simply hiding underneath the outer green petals, known as sepals. 

To unleash the beauty of your poppy petals, gently peel the sepal from the base of the flower head to the top—that’s from bottom, to top. With those protective outer bits removed, your poppy petals will unfurl within a day or two.

Banksia: The Australian native birth flower of August

banksia in a bouquet of yellow and red blooms

While the poppy and gladiolus flowers are the traditional birth flowers of August, here in Australia we have our own unique flora. So, as a bonus, we thought we’d share with you what the Australian native birth flower of August is…

It’s banksia!

These ancient natives are instantly recognisable, thanks to their conical shape and layers of brushy bristles. Pollinators and birds absolutely love banksia, and so do we.

They are resilient, growing in harsh conditions and regenerating quickly after bushfires. It’s likely for this reason that banksia have come to symbolise rebirth and new beginnings. A bouquet featuring banksia can be a great gift for those about to embark on a new career journey or who are turning their life around after a challenging time. 

You’ll often find banksia in our Seasonal Natives bouquet or our Natives Posy. Once cut, banksia last a long time when placed in a vase—up to two weeks with proper care!



And there you have it, a brief guide to all the august birth flower options. Of course, if none of these flowers take your fancy, or if you can’t find them in any bouquets, you can always send your August loved ones flowers in their favourite colours or varieties. 

Explore our range of bouquets, posies and dried flower arrangements, and find the perfect flower gifts for your August-born friends and family.

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Or you can explore our Flower Delivery MelbourneFlower Delivery Sydney and Flower Delivery Perth collections to see what flowers we can deliver to your loved ones in these locations.