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Top 12 Flowers That Symbolize Protection

Top 12 Flowers That Symbolize Protection

Throughout history, flowers have taken on many different meanings and symbols, depending on where you are in the world and at what period of time.

For many, regardless of their ancient belief system, flowers represented the power of healing and, in some cases, would even offer protection from potentially evil spirits or life events.

Flowers that symbolize protection are still used in society in cultures around the world for both mental and spiritual healing purposes.

Flowers that symbolize protection are: Snapdragon, Verbascum, Baptisia, Yarrow, Witch Hazel, Tanacetum, St. John’s Wort, Masterwort, Erica, Wildflower and Malva.

1. Snapdragon (Antirrhinum)

Snapdragon (Antirrhinum).
Snapdragon (Antirrhinum)
Suresh Prasad, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The snapdragon is a well-known flower for its beautiful and vibrant appearance. Grown typically throughout Western Asia, Africa, and Europe, the snapdragon descends from the Plantaginaceae family.

The flowers themselves appear as a dragon with multiple lips, providing its fitting nickname for the flower itself.

Throughout history, these exotic flowers have been known as a symbol of grace, strength, and most often, protection.

In some cultures, however, a snapdragon may also represent indifference to a particular person or situation.

2. Verbascum (Mullein)

Verbascum (Mullein).
Verbascum (Mullein)
Image by John Tann from flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Mullein flowers are known to be native to Europe and Asia, and are considered perennials. From a genus of more than 100 species in the plant family Scrophulariaceae, Mullein truly stands out with its sauce-shaped petals and tall height.

Mullein flowers are yellow in color, and thrive in sunny, warm conditions. The mullein plant is known to represent optimal health, courage, as well as protection for those who come across them or plant them in their own yards and gardens.

3. Baptisia

Baptisia flower.
Dominicus Johannes Bergsma, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you are fond of flowers with pea-like spiked flowers and petals, the Baptisia flower is one flower that is just right while also providing a sense of peace and/or protection.

The baptisia flowers come from a line of more than 20 species from the Fabaceae family, which can be found throughout most of North America.

The word ‘Baptisia’ comes from the Greek word ‘bapto’, which can be translated to ‘immerse’. Baptisia is symbolic of protection from harm and potential danger.

4. Yarrow (Achillea)

Yarrow (Achillea).
Yarrow (Achillea)
Bff, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Yarrow, scientifically known as achillea, comes from the plant flower Asteraceae, which has a genus of more than 100 species in total.

The Asteraceae plant family is native to North America, Asia, and Europe. The flower itself is known for its fern-like appearance and its colorful, small petals surrounded by lush greenery.

The yarrow flower pets are small and scrunched together in clusters, making them ideal flowers for flower beds and rock gardens.

Yarrow, or achillea, comes from the Greek hero known as Achilles. In Greek mythology, it is known that yarrow flowers were used to treat wounded soldiers during the Trojan War.

Whenever yarrow is grown or come across, it is considered a symbol of protection, good luck, potential success, and in some cases, even healing.

5. Witch Hazel (Hamamelis)

Witch Hazel (Hamamelis).
Witch Hazel (Hamamelis)
Si GriffithsCC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Hamamelis, more commonly referred to as Witch Hazel, has always been known as a symbol of protection and healing.

Witch Hazel, from the plant family Hamamelidaceae, is native to North America as well as Eastern Asia. It also has a rich history with its name translating to the Greek words “hama”, meaning both “together” and “at the same time”.

Witch Hazel flowers appear spider-like, with lengthy petals that form in bunched clusters. Witch Hazel is also unique as its petals form between the fall and springtime each year, rather than at the beginning of spring.

In many ancient cultures and religions, Witch Hazel has been used medicinally to treat wounds and provide mystical healing properties to those in need of care.

Today, Witch Hazel, or Hamamelis, is often known as a symbol of healing powers, protection, and even magical mysticism.

7. Tanacetum (Tansy)

Tanacetum (Tansy).
Tanacetum (Tansy)
Björn S…, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Tanacetum, also known as Tansy flowers, appear similar to daisies but include button-like petals that are bunched together to form a circular floral bouquet.

The Tanacetum species descended from the Asteraceae family, which is native to more than 150 species altogether.

The Tansy flower can be found mostly in the Northern Hemisphere and can be sub-shrubs, perennials, and annuals, making them extremely versatile.

The Tansy flower not only has a button-like appearance when looking at the flowers from a glance, but some species of Tanacetum include no ray florets, while others have disk florets or both disk and ray florets. Tansy flowers are typically yellow but also come in white (with yellow accents).

The genus name for the Tanacetum flower comes from the Greek word “Athanasia”, which can be translated into “immortality”.

This is symbolic, as the Tanacetum, or Tansy flower, is representative of health, healing, resilience, protection, and of course, immortality.

8. St. John’s Wort (Hypericum)

St. John's Wort (Hypericum).
St. John’s Wort (Hypericum)
C T JohanssonCC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Hypericum, commonly known as St. John’s Wort, is known as a healing herb and is one of the best-selling herbs around the world from the Hypericum genus. St. John’s Wort is known to help with treating everything from traditional wounds and bruises to assisting with anxiety, ADHD, and OCD relief.

The genus name of St. John’s Wort, or Hypericum, comes from the Greek word “hyper”, which represented “up”, or “above”. Additionally, Hypericum is also derived from the Greek word “eikon”, which can be translated into “picture”.

The nickname St. John’s Wort is named after John the Baptist, which represents the Feast of St. John.

Throughout history, St. John’s Wort was burned on June 23rd, also known as midsummer’s eve, to help ward off and protect against potentially evil spirits.

Today, Hypericum, or St. John’s Wort, is representative of its healing powers as well as its ability to offer protection to anyone who grows or uses the herb.

9. Masterwort (Astrantia)

Masterwort (Astrantia).
Masterwort (Astrantia)
Zeynel CebeciCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Astrantia, a star-like flower with small petals and bracts, packs a punch in terms of its beauty and overall vibrance.

From the family Apiaceae, the Astrantia, or Masterwort flower, is native to both Asia and Europe. The flower itself blooms throughout both summer and spring in a variety of colors, including pink, purple, red, and white.

Astrantia is derived from Latin. The word “aster”, is commonly translated into “star”, representing the shapes of the flower bracts and flowers themselves.

Masterwort, the nickname for Astrantia, is also derived from Latin. The word “magistrantia” is where “astrantia” comes from, meaning “master”, or in some cultures, “teacher”.

Throughout history, the Astrantia, or Masterwort flower was looked at as a flower from God, symbolizing courage, strength, and ultimately, protection.

10. Erica (Heath)

Erica (Heath).
Erica (Heath)
Leo Michels, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

A truly unique flower is the Erica flower, also known as the Heath flower. The Heath, or Erica flower, is a genus of more than 800 species from the plant family Ericaceae.

Most flowers and plants from the Ericaceae family are located in South Africa and are native to Africa. Although the Heath flower is often considered a shrub, as it appears oversized and large as it matures, it also includes beautiful bell-like flower petals and sepals that hang vertically, making them perfect for hanging pots or garden accent flowers.

The Erica, or Heath flower, can be found in a range of bright and vibrant colors, from hot pink and Fuschia to off-white and bright green.

The genus name of the Erica flower comes from the Greek word “ereike”, which can be translated into “to beak”.

Throughout history, the Heath/Erica flower was used to help relieve and dissolve bladder stones, which is why those who are familiar with the Erica flower today understand why it symbolizes protection and good fortune.

11. Wildflower (Anemone)

Wildflower (Anemone).
Wildflower (Anemone)
Zeynel CebeciCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you are a lover of flowers, you have likely heard of the wildflower, also known as the anemone flower. The anemone flower is a genus of more than 120 species in total and is a descendant of the Ranunculaceae plant family.

Typically, wildflowers can be found all throughout North America, Europe, and even in Japan. The wildflower appears with 5 oval-shaped petals and three leaflets below each individual flower that buds.

The genus name of the wildflower, anemone, comes from the Greek word “anemone”, which translated into “daughter of the wind“.

In history, the wildflower represents new beginnings, the chance of a new life cycle, and protection or good luck.

12. Malva (Mallow)

Malva (Mallow).
Malva (Mallow)
Zeynel Cebeci, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Malva, which is often known as the Mallow flower, is a gorgeous oversized flower from the plant family Malvaceae, which can be found throughout Northern Africa, Europe, and some parts of Asia.

Known as a descendant of more than 30 species, the Malva plant creates stunning eye-catching petals that are flowy and lightweight in nature.

Not only are the mallow flowers impressive at first glance, but they also come in a variety of colors, from white and purple to light and hot pink.

The genus name for the mallow flower, or malva, is derived from the Greek word “malakos”, which is translated to “mellow”, or “soft”.

The plant itself is considered to be a protector or guardian of the home, which is why it symbolizes health and protection even today.


Flowers that symbolize protection can be found in home decor items, bouquets, or even in special teas and elixirs that have been created.

The use of flowers that symbolize protection goes back centuries, if not millennia, which is why they are so significant in our culture, even today.

Header image courtesy: Steve Evans from Citizen of the World, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons