Mother’s Day Flowers: Which flowers symbolize motherhood?

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As Mother's Day approaches, we find ourselves seeking the perfect gesture to convey our love, gratitude, and admiration for the remarkable women who have shaped our lives. Among the myriad ways to express these sentiments, the language of flowers emerges as a timeless and eloquent choice. Flowers are the classic Mother’s Day gift for good reason. Not only are they a beautiful, sweet-smelling, and personal way to show mom your love and appreciation, but they are also rich with symbolic meaning. Across cultures, certain blooms symbolize motherhood, nurturing, gratitude, strength, and other sentiments perfect for a Mother’s Day celebration.

This guide will delve into the symbolic significance of some of the most popular Mother’s Day flowers so you can choose a bouquet that represents the special woman in your life.

Flowers That Symbolize Motherhood

There are several different types of flowers that represent motherhood, appreciation for mothers, and maternal love.


Carnations have long been considered a symbol of love and admiration for mothers. Often regarded as the official flower of Mother's Day, carnations embody enduring facets of motherhood such as love, admiration, and beauty. The tradition of wearing a carnation on Mother's Day was popularized in the United States by Anna Jarvis, the founder of the holiday, who distributed white carnations at the first Mother’s Day service in 1908 because they were her own mother’s favorite flower. White carnations are typically worn to honor a deceased mother, while pink carnations are used to celebrate a mother who is living. This distinction underscores the depth of the maternal bond and offers a way to express profound respect and gratitude. Beyond their historical significance, carnations are admired for their lasting freshness and subtle sweet fragrance, making them a popular choice for expressing timeless maternal love.

Carnations come in a variety of colors. The Beautiful Spirit Basket features pale pink carnations, roses, and lilies, as well as greenery, displayed in a beautiful basket. The Charm and Comfort Bouquet includes deep fuchsia carnations along with roses and snapdragons. And, the You’re Precious Bouquet includes red and pink carnations mixed with roses and alstroemeria.


Roses represent beauty and gratitude towards mothers, and are one of the most beloved flowers for all occasions.

Roses, with their intricate layers and timeless beauty, are deeply embedded in the celebration of motherhood and Mother’s Day. As one of the most beloved flowers worldwide, roses carry varied meanings depending on their color, each one conveying a different sentiment appropriate for this special day. Traditionally, red roses are given as a symbol of deep love and respect, making them a classic choice for mothers. Pink roses, on the other hand, are often chosen for their expressions of gratitude and admiration, reflecting the appreciation for the nurturing and care mothers provide. Yellow roses, symbolizing warmth and affection, are perfect for celebrating the friendship and joy between mothers and their children. In essence, roses offer a versatile and powerful way to communicate complex emotions towards mothers, celebrating everything from love and admiration to gratitude and joy. This makes them an enduring favorite for Mother's Day, as they eloquently convey respect and reverence for the profound influence of mothers in our lives.

Roses make a stunning gift on their own or in a mixed bouquet. To really wow your mom, you might consider sending a vase of 50 long stem red roses. For something less dramatic but equally beautiful, you might choose a mix of yellow, pink, red, and peach-colored roses, or a bouquet of long-stem pink roses, ranging in size from 12 to 36 stems.


Anemones are captivating flowers with a unique beauty that resonates deeply when celebrating motherhood. These elegant blooms are known for their delicate petals and bold, contrasting centers, making them visually striking in any floral arrangement. Symbolically, anemones carry a rich narrative that speaks to protection and anticipation—two qualities closely associated with motherhood. In floral language, anemones are often seen as a protective shield, reflecting a mother’s instinct to guard and cherish her children against the hardships of the world. Additionally, the anticipation element of anemones ties into the eager awaiting of a mother for the growth and blossoming of her children, much like the flower itself which awaits the spring breeze to bloom fully. This blend of beauty, protection, and forward-looking hope makes anemones a profound choice for expressing the deep, nuanced emotions of Mother’s Day, capturing the essence of a mother’s love and her dreams for her children's futures.


Peonies are a favorite for celebrating motherhood due to their lush, full blooms and soft, sumptuous petals, which convey a sense of luxury and beauty. In the language of flowers, peonies are often associated with compassion, maternal love, and the honor of one’s feminine lineage, making them especially significant on Mother’s Day. These flowers symbolize a wealth of virtues that are often attributed to mothers: the nurturing care, the bold strength, and the dignity that mothers embody. Their seasonality in the spring also adds to their appeal, as they are in full, glorious bloom just in time for Mother's Day in many parts of the world. Additionally, peonies are considered a good luck charm, believed to bring good fortune and a happy life, which are heartfelt wishes one might extend towards their mother. With their lush appearance and meaningful symbolism, peonies are not just a visual delight but also a deeply symbolic gesture of the rich, loving appreciation felt towards mothers.

You can send your mother a simple yet striking bunch of pink peonies in a glass vase, or a mixed bloom featuring the spring and early-summer flower.

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Other Flowers Associated with Motherhood

There are numerous other flowers that symbolize sentiments perfect for a Mother’s Day gift.


Known for their symbolic representation of heartfelt emotions and deep appreciation, hydrangeas are an excellent choice for expressing sincere sentiments on Mother’s Day. These voluminous blooms can vary in color from soft pinks to vibrant blues, delicate whites, and rich purples, each shade reflecting a different aspect of one’s feelings. Blue hydrangeas, for example, are often associated with gratitude and understanding, making them a fitting tribute to a mother's enduring support and wisdom. The lush, abundant nature of the flower clusters also symbolizes the abundance of emotions and thanks that a child holds towards their mother. Presenting hydrangeas on Mother’s Day thus becomes a beautiful, visual expression of appreciation and recognition of a mother’s expansive love and nurturing spirit. Choose from a simple hydrangea plant or basket, or a bouquet of blue or violet blooms.


Tulips are vibrant and elegant, often associated with the beginning of spring and the rebirth it brings. As a symbol of perfect love and nurturing qualities, tulips are especially poignant for Mother's Day, capturing the essence of a mother's unconditional love and tireless care. The variety of colors in which tulips come allows each hue to express a different dimension of this love—red tulips speak of deep love, pink shades convey care and affection, while white tulips symbolize purity. Their sturdy, yet graceful stems and smooth, cup-shaped flowers perfectly mirror the strength and gentleness of mothers, making tulips an ideal choice to show admiration and gratitude for mothers and maternal figures.


Daisies, with their simple yet cheerful appearance, evoke a sense of purity and innocence—qualities often nurtured in the relationship between a mother and her child. The classic daisy, with its bright white petals radiating around a sunny yellow center, symbolizes the purity of motherly love and the warmth of a mother's care. These flowers bring with them a youthful joy and simplicity, making them a heartfelt choice for expressing appreciation on Mother's Day. The daisy’s enduring nature and its ability to thrive in a variety of conditions is reflective of a mother’s enduring patience and resilience, offering a beautiful tribute to the motherly care that shapes lives from the earliest stages onward.


Lilies are flowers rich in symbolism and beauty, making them a profound choice for honoring mothers on Mother’s Day. Known for their striking appearance and enchanting fragrance, lilies are commonly associated with purity, motherhood, and renewal. The majestic blooms of the lily, which come in various colors, each carry distinct meanings: white lilies represent purity and virtue, pink lilies convey admiration and femininity, and orange lilies symbolize confidence and pride.

Particularly significant are the white lilies, which are often used to signify a mother's pure and unconditional love, her nurturing nature, and the sincere respect she garners. The elegant and serene appearance of lilies also reflects the dignity and grace with which a mother carries her roles and responsibilities. As flowers that bloom from bulbs that can regenerate for many years, lilies also symbolize the enduring nature of a mother’s love — a love that replenishes and revives through the challenges and joys of life. Thus, presenting lilies on Mother's Day not only celebrates the aesthetic and fragrant delight they bring but also honors the deep and lasting impact of motherhood.

Get Mother’s Day Flowers Delivered

FTD specializes in delivering flowers across the country. We get flowers to their destination quickly, expertly and with guaranteed freshness. When you want to show your love to someone a few states away, FTD is your best bet. If you are running out of time, feel free to shop our collection of same-day flower delivery for Mother's Day. If you have waited until the last minute, there are still plenty of beautiful flower bouquets to choose from in our same-day collection.