14 Beautiful Flowers That Symbolize Gratitude and Say ‘Thank You’

Written by Patrick MacFarland
Updated: October 3, 2023
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In many societies, cultures, or religions, there is a belief that certain things can bring peace to a person, a place, or an entire family. This is also true about flowers, too. Different flowers can mean many or several things. Roses can mean love, but what about the rest of them? There are 14 beautiful flowers that symbolize gratitude and say “thank you.” Which ones are they? Let’s explore each and every one of them.

Note: The following article is not scientifically proven. Some statements are seen as myths, part of tall tales passed along from generation to generation, or they are simply cultural traditions steeped in folklore or history.

Sunflower

View of watering system watering huge field of maize and sunflower Auvergne Rhone Alpes. France

Ukraine’s national flower is the majestic sunflower.

©Wirestock/iStock via Getty Images

Sunflowers are decadent and cheerful yellow flowers that look like the sun and they follow the sun throughout the day. That’s the reason why they are good flowers to give when you want to show gratitude to someone. Sunflowers mean dedication and longevity, which is great to show your dedication and gratitude to a friend or family member.

Rose

Belinda's dream tight bloom pink rose

Slovakia’s national flower is the rose.

©Excelementals/Shutterstock.com

Ah, the rose. Roses are the essential flower to give to your significant other to show that you are in love. Roses, after all, are synonymous with love. But the rose can also mean other things, depending on the color. For example, yellow roses mean friendship. Red roses mean love. And pink roses mean gratitude and ensuring you are thankful for the person. Next time you want to be thankful for a loved one, pick up a bouquet of pink roses.

Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemum blossoms

One of the national flowers in Japan is the chrysanthemum. The other is the cherry blossom.

©Volodymyr Yakovyna/Shutterstock.com

Native to Asia and Eastern Europe, chrysanthemums represent several things like loyalty, gratitude, and respect. In China, if you give these to your family or loved ones, it means you are showing your gratitude. Next time you cross paths with a chrysanthemum, grab a cute bouquet for a loved one to express that you are grateful for all they have done for you over the years.

Carnation

Red carnations.

Spain’s national flower is the red carnation.

©iStock.com/rfranca

There are many colors of carnations, each of which can symbolize different things. Pink carnations mean a mother’s pure love, while white carnations can mean purity. Carnations originated in Greece and it is said that the carnation often symbolized gratitude and a show of thanks during ancient times. Carnations have a delicious fragrance that can liven the household, ensuring your gratitude is marked.

Iris

Dutch iris is also known as Iris hollandica

The national flower of France is the

Iris

.

©iStock.com/liuyushan

Irises come in many colors — blue, purple, pink, yellow, white — and each color can mean something different. Purple means respect and admiration, whereas yellow means friendship. In Ancient Greece, it is said that the goddess Iris would send messages of thankfulness to mortal humans from the gods above. At the end of the day, irises are a good flower to convey gratitude to someone who has done so much for you.

Hydrangea

Hydrangea macrophylla Endless Summer®

Hydrangeas come in several colors and there are more than 75 species of them.

©iStock.com/9632290_400

Hydrangeas are beautiful flowers that can symbolize several things. In Japan, for example, they symbolize harmony and grace. But they are also flowers that you can give to someone who means the world to you and some you are grateful for. Showing gratitude with a flower like the Hydrangea, which can last for a very long time, will show them that you care about them in a long-lasting way.

Sweet Pea

Field in countryside full of sweet pea plants with pink flowers also called as Lathyrus odoratus. Summertime herbs

Although sweet peas can symbolize gratitude, they were a bad omen for French brides.

©iStock.com/Leisan Rakhimova

This flower is definitely not green and it’s not a pea. These flowers are native to Sicily and they are bright pink, which means they can lighten up the room immensely. These flowers usually mean gratitude or thank you for spending quality time with a person. So next time you go to dinner or have an eventful evening with friends, why don’t you get them a bouquet of sweet peas to show gratitude?

Camellia

Japanese Camellia (Camellia japonica) in sunny spring. Pink rose like blooms camellia flower and buds with evergreen glossy leaves on shrub. Beautiful flowers.

Although camellias are native to Asia, it was a French botanist who decided to bring them to the United States.

©Alina_Miyazaki/Shutterstock.com

Camellias are native to China and Japan and they are bright pink or red flowers that can lighten up your day. Camellia flowers are very popular in their native countries for being used as tea. These flowers show your devotion to someone, which in effect can show how grateful you are to have them in your life.

Daisy

marguerite daisy

Denmark’s national flower is the Marguerite daisy.

©iStock.com/tamara_kulikova

Daisies are originally from Europe and they are super cute and small. What better flower to give to a friend that means the world to you than a daisy? They symbolize gratitude and dependability, which could highlight how thankful you are for the dependability and stability of your friendship. Perennis, which is in the flower’s scientific name Bellis perennis, means everlasting. That is an important part of gratitude and thankfulness.

Calla Lily

Zantedeschia Aethiopica

Two countries, Helena and Ethiopia, have the calla lily as their national flower.

©Fabrizio Guarisco/Shutterstock.com

The calla lily is a beautiful flower and calla actually means beautiful in Greek. These stunning flowers were made even more famous by artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. The calla lily can symbolize the gratitude of partners heading into marriage, ensuring they have an everlasting union. Often they are given to the brides by the grooms upon their wedding day.

Tulip

Yellow Triumph tulips (Tulipa) Golden Prins Claus bloom in a garden in April

Tulips are the national flower of several countries including the Netherlands, Hungary, and Turkey.

©Sergey V Kalyakin/Shutterstock.com

Made famous because of the fields of tulips in the Netherlands, tulips are gorgeous flowers of many colors. Tulips can symbolize many things but to show your gratitude to someone, it’s best to give them a bouquet of yellow flowers. Yellow signifies cheerfulness and happiness, as well as gratitude toward someone you care about.

Daffodil

Yellow daffodils in flower, Narcissus Pipit

The daffodil is the national flower of Wales.

©Andrew Fletcher/Shutterstock.com

Daffodils are usually associated with Narcissus and can signify rebirth, however, daffodils have taken another meaning of showing thanks and appreciation. This is partly because the United Kingdom associates the flower with gratitude and thanks. Daffodils are the flowers children give to their mothers on Mothering Sunday. In fact, at Eurovision 2023, Liverpool gave out 1,859 daffodils to show gratitude, solidarity, and appreciation to Ukraine (who had won in 2022 but were unable to host due to the war).

Primrose

primrose

Caterpillars love to eat primroses.

© K.Jagielski/Shutterstock.com

Primrose flowers are native to many places throughout the world and about half of the native species comes from the Himalayas region. Primroses are cute, small flowers that come in different colors, such as purple, yellow, or orange. They are cheerful flowers that can lighten up anyone’s mood, becoming the perfect flower to give to show your gratitude to someone.

Pansy

Wild Pansy

Pansies are the month of February’s flower and they are also edible.

©Shawn.ccf/Shutterstock.com

Originally, pansies were from Europe and West Asia. Now they are distributed worldwide, can be eaten, and are used for medicinal purposes. These cute, small flowers are a perfect gift for someone you are thinking of and want to be thankful for. You see, pansy comes from the French word penser, meaning to think. 

Conclusion

Flowers have been around for thousands of years and different cultures have emphasized certain flowers for certain occasions because of lore. You may or may not believe in the power of symbolism, but people appreciate the gesture of getting a bouquet. So the next time you pass by a flower shop, why not stop and get a bouquet for a loved one?

And if your family members don’t appreciate the effort to connect the dots to the occasion and the flower’s symbolism, don’t worry about it! Take comfort that they will make great centerpieces on your dining room table. They will also provide a more relaxing, colorful atmosphere at home.

14 Beautiful Flowers That Symbolize Gratitude and Say “Thank You”

FlowerScientific Name
SunflowerHelianthus
RoseRosa
ChrysanthemumChrysanthemum
CarnationDianthus caryophyllus
IrisIris
HydrangeaHydrangea macrophylla
Sweet PeaLathyrus odoratus
CamelliaCamellia
DaisyBellis perennis
Calla lilyZantedeschia
TulipTulipa
DaffodilNarcissus
PrimrosePrimula vulgaris
PansyViola tricolor var. hortensis

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Heynicepictures/Shutterstock.com


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About the Author

Patrick Macfarland is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering travel, geography, and history. Patrick has been writing for more than 10 years. In the past, he has been a teacher and a political candidate. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from SDSU and a Master's Degree in European Union Studies from CIFE. From San Diego, California, Patrick loves to travel and try new recipes to cook.

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