Sweet and simple, carnations are a flower shop staple for a reason. This popular and versatile flower looks lovely on its own as a single flower, or many in a bouquet of its own, or as a flower filler. What’s more is that carnations also come in a wide array of colour varieties, most of which exist thanks to the careful cross-breeding and cultivation done by humans. Many of the carnation’s colours also have a unique meaning and symbolism that derives from floriography. Floriography was a very popular method of communication during the Victorian era as it was used to convey subtle messages to friends, admires, and lovers. So next time you order flowers, consider each of these colour meanings to create the perfect and fun flower message for your recipient!
A Christian legend made the pink flower the symbol of a mother’s undying love, which is what makes the pink carnation a popular mother’s day gift, light pink ones especially. Dark pink carnations can express tenderness, fondness, and blooming new love.
Like the rose, the red carnation is a classic symbol of love, affection, and admiration. Combine red carnations with other colours of carnations, like a dark pink carnation, to add further depth and meaning to your love message.
White carnations have an air of elegance about them but they also symbolise purity and good luck making them ideal for weddings, graduations and birthdays. White carnations are particularly popular wedding bouquet flowers in Hong Kong and China.
Green carnations are often a creamy olive colour that are a delight to look at. While they don’t have a direct colour meaning, they’re a popular flower to wear on St. Patrick’s Day and were famously worn by the writer and playwright, Oscar Wilde.
Striped carnations may be eye catching but they’re colour symbolism doesn’t match their attractiveness. Striped carnations, in Victorian times, were used to reject a love interest or advance, though in modern times their more given for their beautiful appearance instead. Striped carnation can also be used to convey regret, making them a nice filler for an apology flower bouquet.
Purple carnations have a funny meaning in that they express capriciousness, impulsivity, and being unpredictable. Purple carnations, therefore, are best mixed in with other carnation and flowers with different floriography meanings to express sentiment. For example, combined with red carnations it could indicate an impulsive or adventurous love. If combined with striped carnations it could indicate a swift knee-jerk rejection or regret.
Traditionally this shade of carnation means rejection, disdain, or disappointment but they’re just too pretty of a shade to not gift and receive! Though if you were looking for a cheeky way to let someone know how you really feel about them giving yellow/orange carnations would do the trick! Try adding them to an apology bouquet with other flowers of similar meaning.