When it comes to finding meaning in our birth month, we’re all pretty familiar with zodiac signs and birthstones. These symbols have long guided us towards an understanding of our individual personality traits, qualities, and emotional makeup.
But did you know that there are also unique birth flowers for every month of the year?
Like birthstones and zodiac signs, our birth flowers carry special meanings and represent certain characteristics we are believed to possess, based on the month we are born.
Birth flowers are particularly handy when you’re looking for a thoughtful, sentimental gift for a loved one. In this guide, we explore the history of birth flowers before diving into a list of birth flowers by month.
What’s a Birth Flower?
Birth flowers are a group of flower varieties assigned to each month. Each individual flower carries its very own special meaning.
The birth month flowers are believed to symbolise the qualities and personality traits of the people born in that month.
How are Birth Flowers Determined?
The birth flowers we know and love today were determined long ago. In fact, birth flowers are thought to have originated in the time of the Roman Empire, when people first started celebrating birthdays!
These early birthday celebrations included decorating the altars of Roman gods with flowers. People also gifted loved ones bouquets of flowers to celebrate their special day. We might be biased, but we’re oh so glad that this tradition came about!
Over time, certain flowers became associated with a particular month, and so the birth flower list was born.
In early 18th Century England, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu posited the idea that flowers could be used to communicate meaning without actually speaking.
At this point in history, each flower was assigned a particular meaning. Birth flowers were then believed to be representative of qualities or traits of people bor in that month.
It took around a century for floriography—the language of flowers—to really catch on.
During the Victorian Era, floriography gained popularity, as it allowed people to convey hidden messages of love and adoration without breaking social etiquette rules around displays of affection.
Birth Flowers & Seasons
Seasonality also plays a part in determining a birth flower. Traditionally, birth flowers are based on the seasons of the northern hemisphere. This means that, unfortunately, you might find your birth flower (or that of a loved one) isn't actually in season when your birthday comes around.
You may be able to still find their signature blooms at flower markets and florists, but be aware that these will likely be imported.
What Do Birth Flowers Mean?
Each birth flower holds a different meaning, which we'll explore a bit further down in this article.
The concept of a birth flower is similar to that of a zodiac sign, whereby each individual flower is believed to have a bearing on the character of those born in that month.
Because of these meanings, birth flowers can also be used to communicate a personal, meaningful message to your recipient. For example, you may want to gift someone their birth flower as a symbolic gesture that reminds them of the qualities you love about them.
What is My Birth Flower?
We’re almost at the very best part: unpacking what your birth flower means.
You may find you already had a particular predilection for your birth flower—after all, it was written in the stars (or, the petals)—or it may just become your new favourite flower!
What are the Birth Flowers for Each Month?
Below, we take you through a month-by-month guide to birth flowers and their meanings.
While it’s fascinating to learn about your own birth flower, it’s equally interesting to learn about the birth flowers of your loved ones. This comes in very handy when their birthdays roll around—you may just find yourself inspired to send them a bouquet featuring their birth flower!
January Birth Flower: Carnations & Snowdrops
If you’re a January baby, your birth flowers are carnations and snowdrops.
Let’s take a look at carnations first. Their colours range from red to yellow, pink, white and coral—a truly romantic flower. They have a distinct yet soft clove-like scent that carries through the home beautifully.
These ruffled, colourful blooms are symbolic of devotion, love and loyalty. They also symbolise perseverance, as they are one of the few flowers to survive from summer all the way through to winter. Interestingly, yellow carnations symbolise disappointment and rejection.
Snowdrops are a crisp white colour and symbolise innocence and purity. They are also representative of beauty and hope, as they are one of the first flowers to grow when winter comes to an end (although January, of course, is summer in Australia).
February Birth Flower: Violets & Primroses
Violets feature vivid purple and bright yellow heart-shaped petals, so it’s no surprise that they were traditionally used in love potions. They are delicate flowers that represent virtue, modesty, and humility.
Coincidentally, February's birthstone—amethyst—is also purple. But fear not, if you or your February-born friend don't like the colour purple, you've got a second birth flower to choose from, which comes in a whole rainbow of colours: the primrose.
Each colour has its own unique meaning, but primroses generally symbolise youth, young love, and everlasting existence. In fact, the name itself is derived from the Latin word ‘primus’, meaning ‘early’.
March Birth Flower: Daffodils & Jonquils
March is the month of bright, joyful flowers. Both daffodils and jonquils are a gorgeous mix of yellow, white and orange.
While jonquils look very similar to daffodils, the two flowers can be distinguished by their leaves. Jonquil leaves are more slender and their stems tend to be shorter.
Daffodils signify new beginnings and happiness, and are believed to be life-affirming. They are also said to represent strength and resilience, so they’re the perfect gift for that strong March baby you know.
Jonquils symbolise a desire for affection to be returned, as well as rebirth, vitality, and success.
April Birth Flower: Daisies & Sweetpeas
Daisies and sweetpeas are associated with the month of April.
While many of us are familiar with the classic white daisy, they actually come in a variety of beautiful colours, including bright pink, crimson, and vibrant orange.
Daisies symbolise purity, loyalty and innocence. They’re also considered a symbol of motherhood and are often gifted to new mums. They carry a light, sweet scent.
Sweetpeas appear in gorgeous pastel colours. Our favourite has to be a mauve sweetpea. They are often offered as a farewell gift, representing gratitude and blissful pleasure.
May Birth Flower: Lily of the Valley & Hawthorns
Lily of the Valley flowers are the perfect gift for a loved one born in May. These white, bell-shaped blooms are all about purity, sweetness and humility. In the Victorian era, they were considered representative of a return to happiness.
The Lily of the Valley is a very rare flower and only blooms for a short period of time in the spring. This, unfortunately, means they'll be out of season in Australia during May.
The second May birth flower, hawthorns, are also a beautiful soft white, though some varieties come in a soft pink hue. Hawthorns symbolise protection and love; their meaning was actually first founded in Irish folklore. Hawthorns have delicate flowers and also hold berry-like fruits, which symbolise fertility.
June Birth Flower: Roses & Honeysuckles
It goes without saying—roses need no introduction (but we’ll introduce them, anyway). They have been cherished for over 5,000 years for their elegance and classic beauty, and have long been connected to love and passion.
Each rose colour represents something different. Pink roses symbolise happiness and platonic love, yellow roses symbolise friendship, while red roses are perfect for your partner as they symbolise romantic, passionate love.
Honeysuckle flowers are most famous for their deliciously sweet smell. We love the backstory behind these blooms. They grow from very resilient climbing vines, so they have traditionally represented devotion and everlasting bonds.
They flower in shades of yellow, pink, and white, and are some of the strangest yet most incredible looking flowers you've ever seen. Honeysuckles broadly symbolise pure happiness, affection, and sweetness.
July Birth Flower: Larkspurs & Water Lilies
July’s birth flowers are bold in colour and are known for their unique shapes and structures.
Let’s start with Larkspurs. These blooms are a fantastic addition to the garden, because they grow upwards, tall and straight.
They are an eye-catching purple-blue colour, but beware—Larkspurs are poisonous. Keep your little ones and four-legged friends at a safe distance to prevent any snacking on the beautiful petals.
Larkspurs are associated with dignity, positivity, and an open, welcoming heart. Gift them to your fun-loving July-born friend.
Water lilies symbolise rebirth, fertility, and enlightenment, which is fitting given they emerge gracefully from the mud! Their fragrant petals are perfectly arranged in a spiralled design, and the flowers sit upon waxy-coated leaves with long stalks.
August Birth Flower: Gladiolus & Poppies
Gladiolus flowers were named after the Latin word ‘gladius’ (meaning sword) because of their distinct, pointy shape.
These striking flowers bloom in a wide range of colours and symbolise strength, moral integrity, and generosity. People born in August are considered strong, independent, and fiery. Ringing any bells?
Poppies, meanwhile, have long been adored for their colour offerings—appearing in bold red, orange, coral, pink and yellow hues—and their delicate, crepe paper-like petals.
They symbolise remembrance as well as imagination and dreaming, recovery and luxury, and are believed to have calming and healing properties. They are the perfect gift to bring a sense of peace and calm into a home.
September Birth Flower: Asters & Morning Glories
Asters are a close cousin to daisies; they even look the same! These dainty beauties represent love, wisdom, valour, and faith. A fun flower fact: they’re actually names after the Greek word for ‘star’ because of their star-like shape.
Morning Glories are a striking cobalt blue colour and have a funnel-like shape. They represent love, affection, and the essence of life, making them the perfect gift for your September-born loved one.
Fun fact: September is the most popular month for births in Australia!
October Birth Flower: Marigolds & Cosmoses
Marigold flowers are reminiscent of a morning sunrise. Orange and yellow ruffled petals explode out from the stem and form a kind of bright, golden sphere, just like the sun.
They’re one of the hardiest flowers, so they represent will and determination. In fact, one of the earliest uses of the flower was by the Aztecs, who attributed magical, medicinal, and religious properties to them. Historically, they were used medicinally for relief of inflammation and skin conditions.
Cosmos flowers are stunning, pastel-coloured blooms that carry a light, spicy scent. They symbolise order and harmony, peace and tranquillity, though they’re also associated with sincerity, loyalty, and never-ending love. They are the perfect gift for a special October-born someone.
Cosmoses are also the official flower of a second wedding anniversary.
November Birth Flower: Chrysanthemums
Chrysanthemums are the official November birth flower. They come in loads of different types, from "big mama" disbud chrysanthemums to daisy-like spray chrysanthemums.
These character-filled flowers have won the world over thanks to their mesmerising petals. They come in a whole host of colours, from a rich red to a dazzling blueish-purple, so there’s a chrysanthemum for every November baby, no matter their colour preference.
First cultivated in China in the 15th century, chrysanthemums are thought to bring good luck, joy, and happiness to the home. Chrysanthemums are also one of the most popular flowers for Mother's Day—they even have "mum" in their name!
There's also a second, lesser-known November birth flower: the peony. Available for just a short length of time each year, which happens to fall around November in Australia, peonies are some of the most sought-after flowers whenever they're in bloom.
December Birth Flower: Narcissus & Holly
While the narcissus species of daffodils and jonquils are associated with March, the other well-known Narcissus bulbs known as paperwhites are one of December’s birth flowers.
These are an early-flowering bulb that features six white petal-like tepals. They symbolise new beginnings, rebirth, rejuvenation, and faithfulness due to their ability to bloom year after year.
Paperwhites are all the more special because they are one of few flowers capable of blooming in the cold winter months. While December falls squarely in this territory in the northern hemisphere, it does mean paperwhites may not be available in Australia at this particular time of year!
And finally, it will come as no surprise that holly is the other birth month flower for December. Holly is commonly associated with Christmas, but also symbolises life thanks to its evergreen leaves. When in wreath-form, holly represents friendship and faithful love.
Finding Meaning in Birth Flowers
If you’re searching for a meaningful gift for a loved one, or looking to treat yourself to something on your birthday, birth flowers are the perfect option.
Not only will they infuse your home with brightness, life, and a glorious aroma, but they also tell a story. They make for a truly special and heart-warming gift.
At Floraly, we believe that the right bouquet of blooms can convey everything that words sometimes can’t. Whether you're looking for a specific birth flower or just some beautiful birthday blooms, you can order your special bouquet online today.