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What are the Most Popular Funeral Flowers – and What Do They Mean?

Giving flowers at a funeral service is a long-held tradition. However, picking the best assortment can be challenging, especially with the range of beautiful flower species available.  

Before a funeral, the deceased’s family often give out the funeral home’s details to organise the delivery of the flowers. These are then placed with the coffin and pay a loving tribute during the service. Take a look at our guide on funeral flower etiquette for more.

White funeral flowers, including roses and lilies

But what are the most popular funeral flowers?  

Take a look at some of the best options to commemorate a loved one and discover the meaning behind these beautiful tributes.  


Lilies are typically known as the funeral flower. These beautiful and bold blossoms are highly aromatic and most commonly symbolise restored innocence. To elaborate, many believe this means the deceased’s soul is returning to a peaceful state.  

In Christianity, the lily is also said to symbolise radiance and purity. It is also believed that the Virgin Mary’s tomb was decorated in this flower.  


This flower species is often used for funeral wreaths and sprays as they last a long time compared to other flowers. Their small bloom creates a beautiful assortment when bunched together, giving a funeral wreath its fullness. They are also the perfect flowers to use for unique designs. For example, tributes with special logos or names are easier to craft in carnations.  

Carnation colours also have a special meaning. Pink symbolises remembrance, and white showcases pure love. Red also represents affection. Many tributes use an assortment of these colours, and the meanings blend beautifully together.  

Peace Lily plant  

A peace lily is a popular funeral plant to send to family members of the deceased. Similar to the flower meaning, a peace lily represents the rebirth of the deceased’s soul. Plants offer a long-lasting tribute to a loved one. They take pride of place within the home or office and act as a beautiful reminder of happy times and treasured memories. Choosing a plant also showcases your support and compassion at a difficult time.  


Roses are one of the most popular funeral flowers due to their beauty and meaning. Overall, we often associate roses with love, which translates perfectly when selecting this flower for a funeral.  

Colours are one of the main elements to consider when selecting your arrangement. Red roses are the perfect display of love and respect for the deceased. Pink offers love and appreciation. While deep red roses indicate your sorrow and grief. Yellow roses are also another choice and typically symbolise a strong bond.  

This flower is an ideal complement to a funeral wreath or spray. It sits well with other blossoms. In addition, a single rose within an assortment has a heartfelt meaning, whatever the colour – enduring love.  


The meaning behind this flower can vary depending on the country. However, across Europe and the US, chrysanthemums represent honour and sympathy. In contrast, Asian cultures often give this flower at baby showers as a symbol of rebirth.  

Again, colour plays a big part in their meaning. Red signifies love and white innocence. However, the colour variation always offers a vibrant tribute to celebrate life.  


Another popular funeral plant often given in place of sympathy flowers is the orchid plant. These gorgeous blooms represent eternal love and mourning no matter the colour you choose.  

Orchids offer a long-lasting sympathy plant that denotes love and support in this distressing time.  


This popular funeral flower is a thoughtful choice for sympathy gifts and casket arrangements. The overall meaning of this bloom represents fresh starts. However, they also signify hope and courage through difficult times.  

Again, colours offer further meaning behind your tribute choice. For hope and positivity, yellow is the best option. White asks for forgiveness, and red symbolises love.  

Hydrangea plant 

While this option isn’t typically a popular funeral plant or directly associated with funerals, it is used as a gesture of sympathy, heartfelt emotion and support.  

For this reason, the hydrangea makes an ideal gift for remembrance. You can plant it, and it will bloom for many years, offering solace and a place to remember your loved one.  

Flower arrangements for funerals  

When you’ve chosen your funeral flowers, there are many ways you can display the arrangement. Florists will typically organise this for you. It’s also something a funeral home can advise on. However, you can create a beautiful tribute that is unique to you.  

Popular funeral flower arrangements include: 

Floral baskets  

Floral baskets typically have a rounded and full display of blooms. Greenery and smaller sprays complement your chosen flowers. You can also opt for decorative additions such as a bow. Basket displays are usually displayed around the casket.  

Casket spray 

Floral casket sprays are larger assortments which lay directly on top of the casket. The immediate family usually arranges these blooms, and they include greenery that drapes beautifully over the sides of the coffin.  

Floral wreath 

A wreath is a popular tribute option. Flowers are arranged in a circular shape which has its own meaning of eternal life. Various blooms, greenery and decorative additions are common features. They also lay around the casket during the funeral or are displayed at the wake.  

Pillow or cushion funeral flowers  

A pillow or cushion tribute is a floral arrangement set on a pillow-shaped base. These are a popular option for personalised flowers and often symbolise the comfort of a loved one’s last resting place. This arrangement can be created using various flowers and colours. You can also choose unique shapes to achieve a similar floral effect. Pillow arrangements are generally laid beside the casket.  

Compassionate, personal funeral services in Bristol 

The right flowers can make a funeral truly personal. If you’d like help selecting suitable flowers for a funeral, our team of experienced funeral directors in Bristol can advise on the best options, taking into consideration the requests of the family.  

For more information about our services, get in touch with our helpful, compassionate team today. 

Member of the National Association of Funeral Directors The national society of allied and independent funeral directors

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