Giving someone flowers has long been a way of expressing different sentiments and emotions, from love to sympathy to happiness.
Over time, certain flowers became more closely associated with particular emotions than others. The red rose is probably the most obvious—everyone knows red roses are the ultimate expression of romantic love!
But which flower represents happiness?
The truth is, there are several. Just like red roses aren’t the only flowers that represent love (chrysanthemums and tulips have entered the chat), there is no single flower that represents happiness.
Read on as we take a look at a few different flowers that represent happiness.
These iconic golden yellow flowers are one of our all-time favourites here at Floraly HQ. They belong to the same flower family as gerberas, daisies, asters, chrysanthemums, dahlias and dandelions. Depending on the variety, they can be as small as 50cm in length, or grow up to be 5 metres tall. In fact, the tallest sunflower ever recorded was upwards of 9 metres tall!
What does the sunflower represent?
If ever there was a flower that symbolised happiness, it would be the sunflower. These blooms are sunshine personified. They remind us of warm, sunny days and fun summertime adventures. They bring instant joy to anyone who sees them!
Sunflowers also represent optimism and looking on the bright side. Even on a cloudy day, sunflowers are heliotropic, meaning they face the direction of the sun and follow its movement across the sky. They remind us not to give up because, even in dark times, there’s always light waiting on the other side.
Sunflowers are symbols of good luck and lasting happiness in Chinese culture. In Greek mythology, they are symbols of admiration and devotion.
The sunflower is the national flower of Ukraine, and has come to represent peace in the region. Sunflowers were planted at a missile base in Ukraine to mark the country’s official disarmament in 1996. In 2022, the sunflower as a symbol of peace is more important than ever.
Interestingly, sunflowers were also planted around the site of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986; sunflowers are hyperaccumulators and are able to safely absorb radioactive materials through their roots, effectively cleansing the soil around them. They were planted around the site of the Fukushima nuclear disaster many years later for the same reason.
When to give someone sunflowers
Sunflowers are the ultimate flower to send someone when you just want to brighten up their day. If they’ve been unwell or have gone through a rough time, a bunch of fresh flowers can be just the thing to bring them joy.
They’re also a great flower to send “just because”. Remember, you don’t always need a reason to send someone you love flowers!
Lily of the Valley
The Lily of the Valley is characterised by its uncanny bell-like shape. The flower is typically pure white, but in rare cases may also appear pink. It’s sweetly scented and flowers in late spring in the Northern Hemisphere, typically around late April and May, but sometimes as early as March following mild winters.
Let’s clarify one important thing: Lily of the Valley is not a true lily. Lily of the Valley is a member of the Asparagaceae family—a.k.a the asparagus family. This plant family split from the lily family some time ago and also includes the likes of hyacinth, bluebell, yucca, agave, and, of course, the asparagus you may know as a spring vegetable.
Unlike the asparagus, the entire Lily of the Valley plant is poisonous to both humans and pets if ingested. Use caution when handling it and take special care not to consume it!
What does the Lily of the Valley symbolise?
The Lily of the Valley is said to represent a return to happiness. It also has several other meanings, including sweetness, purity, and humility.
These meanings have all made Lily of the Valley a particularly popular (not to mention, expensive) wedding flower. The Duchess of Cambridge’s bouquet was made almost entirely of Lily of the Valley when she wed Prince William in 2011. Decades earlier, Lily of the Valley was also the flower of choice of Princess Grace of Monaco, during her wedding to Prince Rainier in 1956.
When to give someone Lily of the Valley
There is a custom in France to give a bouquet of muguet, or Lily of the Valley, to friends, neighbours and family each year on the 1st of May. This tradition dates back to the 16th Century, when a knight by the name of Louis Girard is said to have presented King Charles IX of France with a bouquet of Lilies of the Valley as a token of good luck, prosperity and friendship.
A bouquet of Lily of the Valley is a great choice if your goal is to simply wish someone happiness, perhaps after they’ve gone through a hard time, or in celebration of an engagement. Its meanings of purity and rebirth also tie in nicely here.
Lily of the Valley is also one of May’s traditional birth flowers, so it makes a thoughtful gift for anyone celebrating a May birthday.
Beyond what the flower represents, these bell-shaped blooms are just so pretty that they’re practically perfect for any occasion!
Throughout history, roses have been highly prized for their beauty, their delicate fragrance and even their medicinal properties. They’re possibly one of the most historically significant flowers of all, from Ancient Rome and China to medieval England.
They’re a common feature in gardens and in bouquets, but they’re also used in coats of arms (they were the symbol of the House of Tudor) and there’s even a series of civil wars named after them (The Wars of the Roses).
Nowadays, roses are the single most popular cut flower in the world. Every year, hundreds of millions of them are cultivated and sold during the Valentine’s Day period alone.
They come in many different shades, from white to green, yellow, purple, orange, red and pink. Each rose colour has its own meaning, but it's the meaning of pink roses that we're interested in today.
What do pink roses represent?
Red roses proclaim deep, romantic love and passion, and they do so rather loudly. There’s definitely no hidden meaning behind a gift of long-stemmed red roses.
Pink roses, on the other hand, are far more subtle and varied in their symbolism, depending on their depth of colour.
Pale pink roses symbolise admiration and gentleness, and can also be given as an expression of sympathy. Dark pink roses convey appreciation and gratitude. And bright, medium pink roses symbolise congratulations and cheerfulness.
When to give someone pink roses
If you want to send love and appreciation to someone, without it being a romantic gesture, pink roses are an ideal choice.
While a bouquet of pink roses is a sure-fire way to brighten anyone’s day, no matter the colour, bright pink roses would definitely be our top choice, based on the colour symbolism. You’ll find several bouquets featuring pink roses here at Floraly, including our best-selling Paris Bouquet and our Remi Posy, but we also have a single-variety pink roses bunch that’s rosy perfection.
Yellow flowers in general
The colour yellow is commonly associated with happiness and cheerfulness. That’s why most yellow flowers symbolise happiness in some way.
In addition to sunflowers, there are yellow lilies, yellow tulips, yellow daisies and yellow chrysanthemums—all of which are perfect choices if you want to send happiness to someone in your life.
Of course, we're firm believers that flowers of any kind are the perfect way to send joy to those you care about, whatever the occasion—and even when there isn't one!
No matter the flowers' symbolic meanings, we're confident any of our fresh or dried bouquets will help put a smile on the face of your lucky recipient, and bring happiness to their day.