> Traditional Mother’s Day Flowers and Their Meanings

Mother's Day Red Rose

Mother’s Day celebrations and customs vary around the world and so do the traditional flowers associated with this special day. In many parts of the world, carnations are regarded as the quintessential Mother’s Day flowers, but in Australia, it’s chrysanthemums that hold this honour! While it’s nice to gift your mum popular Mother’s Day flowers, you might also want to match your choice of blooms to her personal preferences and personality.

So let’s take a look at the flowers that have traditionally been the best picks for Mother’s Day.

Why Flowers on Mother’s Day - A Brief History

Your seemingly simple gesture of sending mum floral wishes on the second Sunday in May has a rich history behind it! In 17th century England, the fourth Sunday of Lent was celebrated as Mothering Sunday, where people attended a prayer service in honour of Virgin Mary, followed by giving their own mothers gifts and flowers.

The idea caught global attention in American in 1908, when Anna Marie Jarvis, held a church memorial for her peace-activist mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, and distributed white carnations, her mother’s favourite flowers. Over the next few years, Anna campaigned for a day to celebrate mothers. Her efforts bore fruit in 1914 when President Woodrow Wilson declared the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day.

In Australia, Mother’s Day celebrations were first held after the country lost soldiers in World War I and is celebrated by sending flowers and gifts to mum.

What Mother’s Day Flowers Should you Pick?

Each flower has a unique meaning associated with it and which flower you choose expresses a certain sentiment for mum or the special lady in your life. Read on to know more about what Mother’s Day flowers in different colours mean.

Carnations as Classic Mother’s Day Flowers

Carnations Mother's Day Flowers


Carnations are regarded as a symbol of the eternal love that a mother has for her children. In many countries across the world, Mother’s Day celebrations are incomplete without carnations. Pink or white carnations, with their distinctive and delicate petals, are a popular choice for Mother’s Day.

While pink carnations symbolise a mother’s undying love, white carnations are often worn by people in memory of their mother. Light red carnations are yet another popular choice for Mother’s Day as they symbolise admiration. Dark red carnations are a good idea if you’re sending flowers to your partner on Mother’s Day.


Pink carnations 

- Motherhood and gratitude

Light red carnations

- Admiration

White carnations

- Purity and remembrance

Dark red carnations

- Love and affection


Chrysanthemums for an Aussie Mother’s Day Celebration

In Australia, chrysanthemums are the most popular Mother’s Day flowers, not only because the flower has the word “mum” in it but also because it is abundantly available in May. Symbolically, chrysanthemums are associated with friendship and support from one’s family.

You might want to keep it simple and gift mum a bouquet of chrysanthemums or splurge on an extravagant arrangement with chrysanthemums - either way, it’s the sentiment that counts! But before you send mums to your partner, mother or mother-in-law, here’s what different colours of the chrysanthemum symbolise:


Pink chrysanthemums

- Honest love

Red chrysanthemums

- Motherly love and gratitude

White chrysanthemums

- Honesty and loyalty

Yellow chrysanthemums

- Sorrow and neglected love


- Get well soon


Tulips as a Contemporary Gift for Mum



Tulips, with their many enchanting colours and graceful petals are suited for both elaborate cut flower arrangements and bouquets. It’s little wonder then that tulips have emerged as one of the world’s most loved flowers - your mum will love them too!

When opting for tulips as a contemporary Mother’s Day gift, colours such as pink, yellow, or purple go well with the theme. Pink tulips denote happiness making them ideal to celebrate motherhood. Looking to cheer up mum who’s been facing tough times of late? Then yellow tulips are best as they represent cheer and hope. Purple tulips might not be your first choice for Mother’s Day, but did you know they express admiration? If you’re ordering a bouquet of tulips for your partner to celebrate Mother’s Day, you could even choose red tulips, which represent deep love.


Pink tulips

- Happiness

Yellow tulips

- Cheer and hope

Purple tulips

- Admiration

Red tulips

- Deep love


Lilies for Regal Mother’s Day Wishes

Few flowers come close to the timeless beauty of a lily. It’s a flower that holds a special place in many different cultures around the world. The lily as a Mother’s Day gift is no different as the flower symbolises fertility and motherhood in many cultures!

There are hundreds of lily varieties around the world but the Oriental lilies are preferred because they last longer, come in a wide range of colours, and carry a distinctively regal look.

While white lilies symbolise purity and modesty, orange lilies symbolise zest and passion. If you want to give thanks to the special lady in your life on Mother’s Day, send her yellow lilies! Pink lilies, on the other hand, are a great choice if you want to wish mum a year full of abundance and prosperity.


Pink lily

- Prosperity

Yellow lily

- Gratitude

White lily

- Purity

Red lily

- Love and passion

Orange lily

- Pride and confidence


Roses as a Classic Floral Gift for Mum

Pink Roses


Roses aren’t just for Valentine’s Day! When you want to pamper that special person in your life, a bouquet of fresh roses never fails. Make your Mother’s Day flowers truly memorable by going beyond the grocery store roses. Why not order a bouquet of premium roses online and have them delivered to mum in style?

Tell mum how much you love and appreciate her with a bouquet of pink roses. If you want to add more depth to your message, send her white roses as they stand for purity and dignity. Yellow roses exude happiness and joy. Rainbow roses are also apt for the day if mum loves something unique and colourful! Read our guide to gifting roses by colour and meaning for more.


Pink rose

- The softer side of love

Yellow rose

- Friendship, happiness, celebration

White rose

- Dignity, purity, remembrance

Red rose

- Passionate love

Orange rose

- Pride and desire

Lavender rose

- Enchantment, majesty

Make Mother’s Day special not just for mum, but also for your aunts, sisters, partner and mum-in-law by choosing flowers to that express your sentiments!


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