If you were born in October, or you know someone who was, and want to know what the October birth flower is, you’ve come to the right place!
October babies are blessed with two beautiful birthday blooms: the cosmos and the marigold. The two flowers share some interesting similarities, but are also very different from one another, especially in terms of their individual flower meanings.
Read on to learn more about each traditional October birth flower, plus discover a bonus Australian native October birth flower!
October Birth Flower #1: Cosmos
A favourite among many flower lovers, the cosmos is a dainty and delicate blossom that’s full of personality. They have a light, spicy scent and come in an array of pretty pastel hues.
Cosmos Flower Meaning
The cosmos flower gets its name from the Greek word kosmos, which means “world”, “order” or “a harmonious arrangement”. This is because cosmoses have very neatly ordered petals, reflecting the order and harmony of the universe— a.k.a the cosmos.
When you give someone a bunch of cosmos flowers, you’re giving them the universe!
Based on this, cosmos flowers symbolise order, harmony and balance. Cosmoses also represent peace, tranquillity, innocence, modesty and joy.
In the Victorian era, when floriography was at its height, cosmos flowers symbolised joy in love and in life.
In addition to being one of two October birth flowers, cosmos flowers are also the traditional flower of a second wedding anniversary. Once the honeymoon period is over, married couples may find themselves falling into a nice, orderly routine, and being in perfect harmony with one another.
Cosmos Flower Colour Meanings
Cosmoses come in beautiful shades of pink, red, purple, yellow, orange and white. As with other flowers, the meaning of a cosmos flower can change depending on its colour.
Red cosmoses symbolise love and passion, the same as red roses, red tulips and just about all other red flowers. Interestingly, there is a deep red-brown cosmos as well, known as the chocolate cosmos. It’s said to mean “I love you more than anyone could”, and smells like sugar!
Pink cosmos flowers symbolise the more delicate aspects of love, like kisses and hugs. They are also representative of a Mother’s love and femininity. This makes the pink cosmos a perfect flower to give to any woman in your life, such as your mother or grandmother, your sister or an aunt, your daughter or your niece, or any female friends or colleagues.
White cosmos flowers symbolise purity and faithfulness in romantic love. They’re a sweet gesture for anniversaries, engagements and other romantic occasions. As with other white blooms, white cosmoses can also represent innocence and purity in general.
Purple cosmoses symbolise strength, mystery, royalty and pride, as well as long-lasting love. Orange cosmos flowers represent success, enjoyment and excitement. And finally, yellow cosmoses symbolise friendship, but they can also be symbols of slighted love.
Cosmos Flower History & Insights
Cosmoses are native to Mexico, but over time they’ve become widespread in parts of Northern, Central and Southern America, as well as parts of Africa. They belong to the Asteraceae family, which also includes sunflowers, chrysanthemums, daisies and asters.
Cosmoses bloom from summer into autumn, which aligns perfectly with October in the northern hemisphere, but not so well in the southern hemisphere.
Cosmos flowers have fascinating medicinal properties. They contain the chemical compounds butein and quercetin, which are used to treat inflammation, to manage blood sugar levels, as cancer treatments, as antivirals and antibacterial agents and more.
Additionally, cosmos flowers are not toxic to pets. So if you’re giving flowers to someone with a cat or a dog, rest assured that cosmoses are a safe choice!
October Birth Flower #2: Marigold
October’s second birth flower is none other than the marigold.
An interesting fact about marigolds is that their name is a contraction of the phrase “Mary’s gold”. This stems from the Middle Ages, when marigolds were sometimes used in place of coins or gold to offer prayers and respects to the Virgin Mary.
Marigold Flower Meaning
With their vibrant orange, yellow and red petals, naturally marigolds are symbols of positive emotions, like joy and excitement. Marigolds also represent energy, good luck, warmth, creativity, prosperity, passion and more.
Conversely, marigolds may also symbolise grief, despair and jealousy and be associated with death, remembrance and resurrection.
In the language of flowers during the Victorian age, marigolds were symbols of mourning and were considered remembrance flowers.
Marigold Flower History & Insights
Confusingly, there are two plant genera that we call marigolds: Calendula and Tagetes. Both belong to the Asteraceae plant family and both flower in shades of yellow and orange, but the flowers are not botanically related.
The true marigolds are the Tagetes type. There are three main types of Tagetes marigolds, known as French marigolds, African marigolds and Signet marigolds.
Despite these names, Tagetes marigolds are actually native to parts of Central America and Mexico. Some varieties have quite densely packed petals, with a look similar to carnations. They bloom from late spring into summer and autumn.
Calendula on the other hand, which we call pot marigold, is native to parts of Asia, Europe and the Mediterranean. Calendula flowers more closely resemble other flowers in the Asteraceae family, like daisies and asters. These flowers bloom from early spring into autumn.
Calendula is sometimes used as an ingredient in body care products to soothe the skin and to treat wounds.
Calendula petals are edible, and are sometimes called the “poor man’s saffron”. They can be used as a garnish to add colour to a dish. They’re said to have a mildly sweet and citrusy yet also slightly spicy and bitter taste, so the flavour may not be to everyone’s liking.
Marigolds play a role in the Dia de Los Muertos holiday in Mexico, a.k.a the Day of the Dead, when people gather to pay respects to, remember and celebrate lost loved ones.
Despite not being native to the area, marigolds also play an important role in Indian culture. In Hinduism, marigolds are associated with the deities Vishnu and Lakshmi, “the ideal couple”, and thus feature frequently in Indian weddings to wish happiness and positivity towards the married couple.
Marigolds are also used to make torana, decorative wall hangings which are hung in doorways during Hindu festivals to please and attract Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity.
Australian Native October Birth Flower: Rhodanthe
Also known as the Australian paper daisy! There are roughly 40 species of Rhodanthe, flowering in shades of pink, white and mauve. They bloom from late winter and into late spring, making them the perfect birthday flower for October babies.
For a truly special experience, visit the Australian Botanic Garden in Mount Annan during the spring to see the daisy fields. You won’t be disappointed!
Now you shall wonder no longer about the birth flower of October! If you’re interested in finding out more about other birth flowers, check out our guide to birth flowers by month.