The 13 Different Symbolisms of a Flower Tattoo

Beautiful woman with tattoos on arm against yellow background
© Liudmila Chernetska/iStock via Getty Images

Written by A-Z Animals Staff

Published: March 12, 2024

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Tattoo symbolism remains a diverse and dynamic landscape. Depending on the culture, background, life experiences, and heritage of a person, tattoo meanings change. They can also evolve over time.

When someone gets a flower tattoo, the symbolism is seemingly endless. Throughout history, many cultures cultivated a deep well of etiquette and affection for flowers. Victorian England, for example, placed so much symbolism on flowers that even the hand you gave a bouquet over with, or the color of ribbon, had a meaning.

Flower tattoos can symbolize so many different things, so we’re breaking it down by general sentiments for a more digestible list. Here are 13 abstract sentiments flower tattoos can symbolize.

Flower Tattoo Symbolism: Love

Flower Tattoo

Different flowers have different meanings.

©João Rabelo from Pexels/ via

Hundreds of books, resources, and educational materials exist about the symbolism of flowers throughout history. Love, it seems, is best described through different flowers. Depending on the color, size, shape, and method in which you send flowers, your love message may have different meanings. The same goes for flower tattoo symbolism — combining a flower that has a certain meaning with names, other flowers in a bouquet, or different objects can change the symbolism.

Below, discover several of the many different meanings of love flower tattoos can symbolize.

  • White lily, which might symbolize pure love.
  • Red tulip, which can symbolize a vibrant declaration of love.
  • Red chrysanthemum, which symbolizes deep, unabashed love.
  • Red carnation, which may mean that a person’s heart aches for another.
  • Apple blossom, which may symbolize that you prefer your partner over every other person and thing.
  • Yellow pansy, which can symbolize your partner being on your mind all the time.
  • Daisy, which can simply symbolize “I love you, truly.”
  • Honeysuckle, which often symbolized devoted affection.
  • White or pink hyacinths, a unique flower that symbolizes loveliness in these colors.
  • Aster, which is an international symbol of love and daintiness.
  • Baby’s breath, which symbolizes everlasting love.

Flower Tattoo Symbolism: Luck

Woman holding green four leaf clover in hand, closeup

©New Africa/

For some who enjoy the beauty of flowers, tattooing a flower on their body that symbolizes luck and prosperity gives them a “good luck charm” they can carry with them throughout their life.

  • Myrtle, which can symbolize luck in love.
  • Bells-of-Ireland, which are known to symbolize prosperity and good luck in the future.
  • White carnations, the symbolism of which often means a woman’s good luck gift.
  • Four-leaf clover, an international sign of good luck originating in Ireland.
  • Lupins, which symbolized good luck in Victorian England.
  • White heather, which symbolized good luck in Victorian England.
  • Ragged robin, which symbolized good luck in Victorian England.
  • Hollyhocks, which symbolized good luck in Victorian England.
  • Alstroemeria symbolizes good luck in important life aspects like friendship, love, and career.
  • Cattail, which symbolizes peace, elegance, and prosperity.
  • Peony, which may symbolize prosperity and a happy marriage in certain colors.

Flower Tattoo Symbolism: Protection


©jovan curayag from Pexels/ via

Some decided to tattoo flowers on themselves for a sign of protection. It might mean protection from an external force or signify the protection they carry within themselves and their minds to allow themselves to develop into the human they want to become.

  • Maias, specifically used in Portugal over doors, windows, and openings to protect from evil.
  • White heather, which may symbolize protection for your dreams and deep wishes.
  • Anemone, meaning “daughter of the wind” in Greek that offers protection against evil.
  • Queen Anne’s Lace, which symbolizes protection of the body on which it’s placed.

Flower Tattoo Symbolism: Loneliness

Depressed upset woman feeling hurt sad stressed troubled with problem

©fizkes/iStock via Getty Images

Not all flowers mean happy or wonderful things. Some flowers symbolize grief, sadness, and loss. Others turn that symbolism of loss or departing as a symbol of transformation.

  • Solidago, or the goldenrod, is a flower often given in support after a loss. 
  • Plum blossoms, which symbolize the transformation of seasons.
  • Butterfly weeds, which symbolize the loss of a chapter of life and transformation into a new one.
  • Lily, unless it’s white, that may symbolize the loss of a loved one.

Flower Tattoo Symbolism: Intelligence and/or Wisdom

An American Lotus blossoms above a lake. These flowers are native to America and can be found covering quiet lakes and ponds during the summer months.


Some flower tattoos communicate strength of mind, seek wisdom, or motivate the wearer to become more knowledgeable.

  • Iris, which is globally regarded as a symbol of wisdom, valor, and faith.
  • Sage, aptly named, symbolizes wisdom in all senses of the word.
  • Lotus, a flower symbolizing spiritual awakening in the mind.
  • Gladiolus, which symbolizes mental strength to many flower lovers.

Flower Tattoo Symbolism: Sadness

Zinnia, Flower, Agricultural Field, Growth, Summer

Zinnia flowers are beautiful additions to a Michigan garden.


Like the flowers that symbolize loneliness, these flowers may symbolize sadness or grief.

  • Cyclamens, which are a poisonous plant symbolizing sorrow, resignation, and goodbyes.
  • Purple hyacinth, which can symbolize regret or sorrow over a situation.
  • Periwinkle, which may symbolize nostalgia or sorrow for a lost time in the Middle East.
  • Zinnias, a popular funeral flower that may symbolize respect and remembrance of those who have passed.

Flower Tattoo Symbolism: Virtues

spring flowers narcissus isolated on white background

Fun fact: All Jonquil flower are considered Daffodils; however, not all Daffodils are considered to be Jonquils.

©Greens and Blues/

Some flower tattoos symbolize virtues that the wearers hold close to their hearts.

  • Violets, for those who want a symbol of their virtues of modesty and faithfulness.
  • Black-eyed Susans, for those who want to symbolize their pursuit of justice.
  • Daffodils, for those who want a symbol of their virtues of honesty and truth.
  • White chrysanthemums, for those who want to symbolize the respect and admiration they feel for others.

Flower Tattoo Symbolism: Femininity

Lupine wildflowers in Malibu Creek State Park in the Santa Monica Mountains in spring 2019

Wildflowers often represent grace.

©eric laudonien/

Female-identifying humans who want a tattoo to symbolize their femininity to empower themselves may choose one of the following for a flower tattoo.

  • Pink and purple peonies, which are a symbol of delicateness, grace, and femininity. 
  • Wildflowers, which can take their own meaning and symbolize independence as well as elegance and gracefulness.
  • Pussy willow, which is often associated with International Women’s day and symbolizes femininity.

Flower Tattoo Symbolism: Divinity

©You Uchida/

Those with deep ties to their spirituality, the divine, or religion may opt for a flower tattoo that holds divine significance.

  • Jasmine, which symbolizes mysticism and divinity to many cultures. 
  • Dianthus, which means “divine flower” in Greek and symbolizes general divinity.
  • Red roses, which symbolize Christ’s blood to Roman Catholics.
  • White lily, which can symbolize the Easter lily or hold special meaning to Judeo-Christian believers.

Flower Tattoo Symbolism: Freedom

Closeup on 2 false dandelion , Hypochaeris radicata in a field against a green  background

©Wirestock/iStock via Getty Images

For tattoo wearers looking to display their escape from a cage — whether it’s emotional, mental, or physical — they may choose one of the following flower tattoos that symbolize freedom.

  • Strelitzia, which is globally regarded as a “flower of freedom.”
  • Nerine, which symbolizes freedom and good fortune. 
  • Freesia, which symbolized independence and freedom in Victorian flower etiquette.
  • Dandelion, which can symbolize escape for achieving freedom from things that bind you.

Flower Tattoo Symbolism: Happiness and/or Joy

Blue Orchids

©Ulrike Adam/

Some flower tattoos are simply gotten as a reminder that happiness exists, to feel joy, or to look for the good and bright spots in every day.

  • Orchids, of which there are over 3,000 species, may symbolize the pursuit of joy and happiness in life.
  • Blue daisy, a rarer form of daisy that has come to symbolize trust, happiness, and growth.
  • Gardenias, which symbolize joy and happiness.

Flower Tattoo Symbolism: Friendship

Blue Butterflies on a Yellow Sunflower Against a Blue Sky

Because they discern blue and yellow well, dogs live in a more colorful world than many think.


Best friends may receive matching flower tattoos that symbolize their relationship and closeness.

  • Yellow roses, which symbolizes pure, happy friendship.
  • Sunflowers, which may symbolize loyalty and admiration.
  • Gerbera daisies, which symbolizes friendship and innocence.

​​Flower Tattoo Symbolism: Resilience

Ping flowers in the garden called Snapdragon or Antirrhinum majus or Bunny rabbits.


Flower tattoos of the flowers below may symbolize perseverance, resilience, and inner strength.

  • Echinacea, which may symbolize strength, perseverance, or healing.
  • Allium, a flower used in traditional Chinese medicine that may symbolize strength and perseverance.
  • Snapdragon, which works hard to blossom and grow despite its tough surroundings.

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