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Top 6 Flowers That Symbolize Loneliness

Top 6 Flowers That Symbolize Loneliness

Who doesn’t like flowers? They’re aesthetically pleasing, smell nice, and come in various shapes and sizes. For that reason, flowers are popular gift choices. However, there’s more to flowers than just their appearance.

Various cultures and mythologies assign symbolic meanings to flowers. Take roses, for example. Most people know they symbolize love. Black roses, on the other hand, could mean despair.

You certainly don’t want to give your loved one flowers that convey negative feelings like loneliness and hurt. That’s why I’ll discuss six flowers that symbolize loneliness or emotions associated with it, like grief and unrequited love.

So, let’s dive right into them!

Flowers that symbolize loneliness are: Butterfly Weed, Lilies, Bleeding Heart, Daffodils, Yellow Chrysanthemum, and Plum Blossom.

1. Butterfly Weed

Butterfly Weed.
Butterfly Weed
Image by James St. John from flicker (CC BY 2.0)

Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) is a type of milkweed. Those perennial plants can take up to three years to flower. They produce clusters of bright yellow-to-orange flowers.

As the name implies, butterfly weed attracts butterflies. That’s why some people grow them in gardens to enjoy the beautiful scenery of those colorful, winged insects. For that reason, those butterfly-magnet flowers make a good choice for funeral flowers.

So, there’s a heartwarming and bittersweet meaning behind butterfly weeds, right? Well, not as gifts. Sure, inviting those colorful winged creatures is a spectacular way of sending off your loved ones.

However, butterfly weed symbolizes leaving. It can also mean letting go. Gifting those flowers to someone conveys the message “leave me” or “I’m leaving”—all of which result in loneliness. (1)

2. Lilies

Lilies.
Lilies
Image by Eleonora Sky from Pexels

There’s no doubt that lilies are popular all over the world. Those trumpet-looking flowers cover more than 80 species. Plus, they come in various colors.

For centuries, people have placed lilies on caskets and used them as funeral bouquets. That’s especially true for white lilies. That’s because white lilies symbolize purity and innocence.

In fact, Christian mythology believes that bouquets of majestic white lilies were found in the tomb of the Virgin Mary, three days after her burial. (2)

So, lilies can signify devotion and remembrance. That’s probably why it’s common to use Easter lilies in memorials.

3. Bleeding Heart

Bleeding Heart flowers.
Bleeding Heart
Rizka, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Asian bleeding heart (Lamprocapnos spectabilis) is a member of the Papaveraceae family. They’re famous for their unique appearance. The flowers have puffy, heart-shaped outer petals and droop from long, curved stems.

Beneath the outer petals protrudes a white, drop-shaped inner petal. As a result, the heart-shaped flowers look like they’re bleeding. The Asian bleeding heart comes in various hues, like red, pink, white, rose, and violet.

From its appearance, the bleeding heart holds some sorrowful meanings. The heart-shaped flower represents compassion and deep love. However, that passionate love is unrequited.

Additionally, the Asian bleeding heart symbolizes rejection, which can definitely make people feel lonely. (3)

4. Daffodils

Daffodils.
Daffodils
Image courtesy: piqsels.com

Daffodils, or Narcissus, are also trumpet-shaped flowers. They usually contain six large yellow petals. You can find daffodils references in popular arts and literary works.

Ever heard of the poem “Daffodils” by William Wordsworth? At first glance, the poem is about a lonely, sorrowful man who finds joy in nature. He dwells on the memory of dancing golden daffodils and describes that scenery as the bliss of solitude.

However, that’s not the first time daffodils have symbolized loneliness. On that note, I’d like to tell you the origin of the name Narcissus.

In Greek mythology, the river god Cephissus had a son named Narcissus. The boy was beautiful and would have lived a long life as long as he didn’t see himself.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. The pretty boy had the wrath of the gods because he was arrogant. He rejected the love of Echo, a nymph from the mountains.

As a result, the gods punished Narcissus by showing him his reflection while drinking from a pond. He fell in love with his reflection and ultimately died from unrequited love. A daffodil that bore his name grew up where the boy died. (4)

So, that’s why daffodils are commonly known as narcissus flowers and symbolize both loneliness and unrequited love.

5. Yellow Chrysanthemum

Yellow Chrysanthemum.
Yellow Chrysanthemum
Image Courtesy: pxfuel.com

Chrysanthemum, nicknamed “mums,” traces back to around 1000 B.C. Native to East Asia, those dazzling flowers have numerous small petals. However, each petal is a floret, an individual small flower.

The florets come in a wide range of colors, like white, red, violet, or yellow. The former three colors have pleasant meanings, such as deep love, honesty, and thoughtfulness, respectively.

Yellow chrysanthemums, on the other hand, are an entirely different story. Those dazzling flowers symbolize sadness and neglected love. However, the florets can occasionally mean happiness and celebration. (5) 

That makes sense since yellow signifies optimism and friendship. However, it also means jealousy, illness, and betrayal—all of which can bring loneliness.

That said, chrysanthemum symbolism varies from one culture to another. For instance, the chrysanthemum is Australia’s official Mother’s Day flower. Other traditions believe that the graveyard chrysanthemum brings bad luck and nightmares.

6. Plum Blossom

Plum Blossom.
Plum Blossom
wang leon from Nanjing, China, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Plum blossoms are delicate-looking flowers native to East and Southeast Asia. They have round petals of various colors, like white, red, and pink. The petals can range from five to multiple rows. Aside from their appearance, plum blossoms have a sweet, flowery fragrance.

Those fragrant flowers can represent loneliness, but not in a negative connotation. Let me explain why the blooming of plum blossoms is such a joyous occasion.

Unlike most plants, plum blossoms flower in mid-to-late winter. 

So, among all the wind, snow, and bare brown trees, you see the colorful petals of plum blossoms standing tall. It sounds lonely. Yet, that scenery gives a sense of resilience and hope. (6) That’s why Asian countries, such as Japan, celebrate the blooming of plum blossoms.

Final Thoughts

So, what are the flowers that symbolize loneliness?

Butterfly weeds and daffodils often symbolize loneliness. The former flower means leaving or letting go of someone. As for the latter, it can signify joy in solitude. 

On the other hand, daffodils can mean unrequited love. The bleeding heart and yellow chrysanthemum also have similar meanings. The heart-shaped flower symbolizes rejection, while the yellow chrysanthemum can mean neglected love.

That said, white lilies and plum blossoms can have a positive meaning. The former are sympathy flowers, which are popular choices for grieving. Alternatively, plum blossoms signify endurance and hope during times of loneliness.

References

  1. https://symbolsage.com/flowers-with-negative-meanings/#:~:text=poisonous%20it%20is.-,Butterfly%20Weed,-(Leave%20Me)
  2. https://www.appleseeds.org/easter-lily.htm
  3. https://florgeous.com/bleeding-heart-flower-meaning/
  4. https://www.britannica.com/topic/Narcissus-Greek-mythology
  5. https://www.ftd.com/blog/share/chrysanthemum-meaning-and-symbolism
  6. https://www.thespruce.com/plum-blossom-meaning-5270497

Header image courtesy: pxhere.com