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Top 10 Flowers That Symbolize Forgiveness

Top 10 Flowers That Symbolize Forgiveness

Forgiveness is arguably one of the most powerful actions you can choose in your life, whether one forgives someone internally or if they confront and resolve the conflict head-on.

Forgiveness is extremely powerful, as it can provide peace in one’s life while allowing one to forgive themselves by the mere act of forgiving others.

Flowers that symbolize forgiveness do so due to their past or their place in history, as well as due to their genetic makeup and ability to persevere.

Flowers that symbolize forgiveness are: White Tulip, Hyacinth, Daffodil, Yellow Rose, Carnations, Ivy Plants, White Poppy, Violets, Aster and Gardenia.

1. White Tulip

White Tulip.
White Tulip
Image by R Boed from flickr
(CC BY 2.0)

Across most religions, belief systems, and cultures, the white tulip is used as a symbol of grace, harmony, and ultimately, forgiveness.

If you have done something wrong to another and you are unsure of how to express how sorry you feel, consider giving a bouquet of white tulips to present humility and sorrow without using your words.

The tulip, or the Tulipa, comes directly from the Liliaceae plant family, which is also closely associated with peace, forgiveness, calmness, and serenity.

Tulips are also often used to represent new beginnings and rebirth, which is why they are suitable for expressing sorrow and guilt, especially if you are interested in starting anew with someone you have upset or hurt.

2. Hyacinth

Vuong Dao Duy, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Hyacinth flower of the Asparagaceae plant family, is another flower that is known as the flower that asks for forgiveness, especially when giving a purple Hyacinth flower.

Whether you have hurt the feelings of someone you love or if you need to apologize for telling a lie to a loved one, you can do so with a Hyacinth flower.

Hyacinth flowers go way back and are native to the Mediterranean areas.

The Hyacinth flower also plays a role in Greek culture, as the name comes directly from Hyakinthos, who is also known as Apollo’s lover in Greek mythology. The name Hyakinthos is also known as the literal word ‘flower’.

3. Daffodil

Image courtesy:

The daffodil is a seemingly simple and positive-looking flower at first glance.

In fact, it is often bright yellow in nature, lending credence to its apparent sunny disposition. Daffodils, also known as Narcissus pseudonarcissus, come from the plant family Amaryllidaceae.

They are often considered springtime’s very first flowers, which is why they are typically linked with rebirth, new beginnings, and the forgiveness of others.

The Greek character, Narcissus, is also closely tied to the Daffodil, as the daffodil was once dubbed as ‘The Poet’s Flower’.

The origin of the word ‘daffodil’, can be traced back to the word ‘affo Dyle’, a Dutch word meaning “which comes early”.

Due to many associations of daffodil flowers and rebirth, starting anew, and brand new beginnings, many also associate daffodils with forgiveness and/or moving on.

It is important to note that if you are seeking forgiveness and want to give the gift of daffodils, you should always do so with a bouquet of daffodils.

Giving the gift of a singular daffodil is often thought of as a sign of bad luck or a potentially negative outcome.

4. Yellow Rose

Yellow Rose.
Yellow Rose
Lovely Pearl NagaCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The rose has many symbolic meanings throughout history. From representing love, lust, and romance, to representing friendship and forgiveness, there are many different ways that roses can be incorporated and put to use in our everyday lives.

The rose itself, or Rosa, is a direct descendant of the Rosaceae plant family lineage. Rose fossils have been dated as far back as 35 million years, although mass cultivation of roses began in China just 5,000 years ago.

Many roses, including white, pink, and red roses, often represent love or eternal love, depending on the color of the rose that is being used and in what context or scenario.

If you are interested in repairing a friendship or asking for forgiveness from a loved one or a friend, you can do so by presenting them with a single yellow rose or an entire bouquet of yellow roses.

5. Carnations

Thomas Tolkien from Yorkshire, UKCC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Carnations are also known as a flower that represents love, beauty, and for many, good fortune and future prosperity.

However, carnations, or Dianthus caryophyllus from the Caryophyllaceae plant family, also have another meaning: forgiveness.

Carnations do not have to involve romantic love, and can instead, gear towards asking for forgiveness in a friendly and innocuous way.

Carnations make the perfect forgiveness flower for someone who wants to apologize for missing out on an event or when someone has made a mistake and embarrassed or humiliated a friend.

Carnations make an ideal forgiveness flower between friends more than anything.

6. Ivy Plants

For those who are seeking forgiveness from a unique plant that is a bit different from a traditional flower bouquet, consider gifting an ivy plant.

Ivy plants, from the Araliaceae family, are also scientifically known as Hedera. Ivy plants can be dated back as far as Roman and Greek mythology, and can even be linked back further than the history of the Druids.

Ivy plants are meant to represent connection, relationships, friendships, and even fidelity in marriages. The genus of the Ivy plant name can be translated into “the clinging plant.

It is said that ivy plants are excellent representations of the work required in order to make any type of relationship, romantic or platonic, last.

Presenting a bouquet of ivy plants to someone you have upset or lied to can convey the message that you are interested in working to improve the relationship you have with one another.

You can also gift ivy plants if you are experiencing deep sorrow or guilt due to actions you have taken that have impacted others in your life.

7. White Poppy

White Poppy.
White Poppy
Image courtesy:

The white poppy flower can be known as an excellent tool to ask for forgiveness.

White poppies are not symbolic of just purity and innocence, but they also help to convey that you are sorrowful or that you are extending your consolation to someone who is grieving.

According to Greek mythology, the white poppy flower was first originally created after Ceres lost her daughter, Persephone.

If you want to express your sorrow or grief to someone in your life, you can do so with a white poppy.

8. Violets

Image by liz west from flickr
(CC BY 2.0)

Violets, another extraordinarily popular flower, is derived from the Violaceae plant family and is officially named Viola odorata.

Violets today are native to East Africa, although they are cultivated in most Western parts of the world regularly.

Violet flowers are bright violet and bluish in color with a fragrant scent that can be extracted from the flower after the flower has been pressed or crushed.

Violets are known as extremely important and prominent flowers in Greek mythology. It is known in Greek mythology that violets were the flowers given to Zeus’ wife to make an apology.

Since the legend of Zeus’ apology, the flower has come to be known as an apology flower, especially to those who understand and know their Greek history.

9. Aster

শক্তিশেল, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Aster flower comes directly from the Asteraceae family and is derived from the Greek word ‘aster’, meaning ‘star‘ when translated.

The Aster flower includes tiny petals that are bunched together into the flower’s star-shaped look. Aster flowers come in purples, pinks, mauve, red, and even white, providing plenty of variety.

Because the Aster flower is known as an offering to the Greek Gods throughout ancient Greek mythology, the flowers can be used to ask for forgiveness or as a way of demonstrating self-sacrifice.

The Aster flower is ideal for making a simple apology or one that does not require in-depth conversations and actionable changes.

Aster flowers are ideal for small arguments and disagreements that you may have with close friends or relatives.

10. Gardenia

Gardenia flower.

The gardenia flower is another flower that can be linked to kindness and forgiveness. With more than 140 species and a member of the Rubiaceae plant family, the gardenia flower can be found on everything from smaller trees to growing bushes and shrubs.

Typically, gardenia flowers only flourish in native subtropical areas and regions, such as Africa, Oceania, Asia, and Australasia. The flowers themselves are often bright in color, typically appearing white or white and yellow in color when found in nature.

Gardenias are known for their extremely aromatic fragrance and glossy leaves, giving the flower a luxurious look and aesthetic.

It is believed that the gardenia flower was aptly named after a Scottish botanist named Alexander Garden, who also worked as a physician and a zoologist.

Throughout history, the gardenia flower has been associated with the symbols of purity, joy, sweetness, and innocence.

It can also be linked with family and children, which is why the gardenia flower is sometimes the most appropriate symbol to use when sending an apology or crafting a message that conveys sorrow to someone you love.


When you are familiar with flowers that symbolize forgiveness, you can seek out flowers for any occasion or conflict you find yourself in, depending on who you are in conflict with at the time.

Flowers that symbolize forgiveness can provide an overwhelming sense of peace while sending the message you intend to share directly from the heart.