Symbolism–Plants

Scroll down to see the symbolism images relating to plants and flowers.

Acanthus with Cherub

Acanthus

In Christianity the thorny leaves represent pain, sin and punishment. Acanthus symbolizes immortality in Mediterranean countries.

Tree of Life

Acacia

Acacia represents eternal life and resurrection – immortality of the soul.

The tree of life, at left, includes acacia to the right of the tree base.

Acorn

Acorn

The acorn is a symbol of fertility and life. Also see Oak Leaves.

Anthemion, Greensboro Cemetery, Hale County, Alabama

Anthemion

A classical ornament featuring honeysuckle or palmettes with foliage below – primarily decorative.

Serpent with Apple

Apple

An Apple is the fruit of salvation; health and immortality.

Bell flower, bluebell, rose, flowers

Bellflower or Bluebell

Constancy and gratitude. Sorrowful Regret. The harebell, Scottish bluebell, or bluebell of Scotland, is a species of flowering plant in the bellflower family.

Rose with broken stem

Broken Stem

A fully opened flower with a broken stem represents the death of a mature adult. A bud with a broken stem represents the death of a child — a life cut short.

Cemetery Symbolism Flower Basket, Calla Lilies, Tree Stump

Calla Lily

The Calla Lily represents marriage; fidelity; majestic beauty. Christian Easter services use the Calla Lily as a symbol for the Resurrection. “Calla” means “Beautiful.”

Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemum

The chrysanthemum symbolizes longevity, immortality, fullness and completeness.

Clover with Thistle

Clover

The clover is a symbol of the Trinity and a symbol of Ireland.

Corn, Grapes

Corn

Corn is a symbol of fertility and rebirth. Corn (maize) represents all the people as well as all the things in the universe for Native Americans.

Cradle Grave with Daffodils

Daffodil or Narcissus

According to the Greek legend of Narcissus, he fell into a pool of water and drowned while admiring his own image in the reflection. A beautiful flower emerged, now named the Narcissus. The triumph of divine love, sacrifice, and eternal life over death, selfishness and sin. Regard, Desire.

Daisy

Daisy

Daisies often indicate a child’s grave and represents the innocence of childhood and young people. The Daisy is also a symbol of the Virgin Mary.

Dogwood flower

Dogwood

Dogwood is a symbol of regeneration, divine sacrifice and triumph of eternal life.

Flower Basket, Calla Lily and Ferns

Fern

The fern is a symbol of humility, solitude and sincerity.

Fleur-de-Lis

Fleur-de-lis

The three segments symbolize faith, wisdom and valor. The Trinity, passion and love. Used as a symbol of the Boy Scouts of America.

Flower Bouquet

Flower Bouquet

Life’s frailty, brevity of life. A bouquet represents life cut short; grief.

Cemetery Symbolism Flower Basket, Calla Lilies, Tree Stump

Flower Basket

A basket of flowers represents nature’s blessing. A tipped basket represents life’s end. A basket my be simply decorative.

Garland Draping an Urn

Garland

Victory in Death. Also see Wreaths and Swags.

Grapes, Ivy and Oak Leaves

Grapes

Grapes, or Fruit, generally represent Eternal Plenty or Heavenly Abundance.

Iris

Iris

In ancient mythology, the Iris was a messenger of the Gods.

Ivy with Cross

Ivy

Ivy is a symbol of Immortality, Faithfulness and of Memory and Friendship.

Dove with Laurel

Laurel

Laurel represents special achievements, distinction, success, triumph of worldly accomplishment, and heroism.

Easter Lily

Lily

The Lily is a symbol of innocence and purity. The white lily is used to symbolize the resurrection of Christ and restoration of innocence of the soul. It is used at funerals to symbolize the restoration of innocence of the soul.

Lily of the Valley

Lily of the Valley

Lily of the Valley is for purity and innocence. Return of Happiness.

Lotus on Mausoleum Door

Lotus

Egyptian symbol of purity, resurrection, evolution, potential. Eloquence.

The lotus closes at night and sinks underwater. In the morning it re-emerges and blooms again. Thus the flower became a natural symbol of the sun and creation.

Morning Glory

Morning Glory

Beginning of a new life; youth or resurrection.

Oak Tree, Leaves

Oak leaves stand for strength, endurance, power, authority, longevity or victory.

Olive Branch

Olive Branch

The Olive Branch symbolizes peace as well as fruitfulness, strength, and victory.

Angel with Palm Frond

Palm

The palm signifies victory over death and rejoicing.

Palmetto

Palmetto

The Palmetto tree is on the state flag of South Carolina to represent the defense of the palmetto-log fort during the Revolutionary War.

Pansy, Star and Ivy

Pansy

Think of me, thoughts, remembrance, humility.

Papyrus

Papyrus

In Egypt, papyrus was a natural symbol of life itself and the primeval marsh from which all life came. Papyrus pillars were said to hold up the sky.

Passion Flower

Passion Flower

The Passion Flower symbolizes Christ’s Passion, Redemption and Crucifixion. “The Passion of Christ”

Pine Cone

Pine Cone

Ancient symbol for regeneration and fertility; immortality.

Pomegranate

Pomegranate

Rejuvenation, immortality, resurrection.

Poppies

Poppies

Rest, sleep, peace, immortality.

Primrose

Primrose

The evening primrose represents eternal love, memory, youth, hope and sadness.

Rose

Rose

A fully opened Rose may indicate that the deceased died in the prime of life. The rose also signifies love, beauty and condolence. A rose bud symbolizes a life cut short and is most often found on the graves of children. A rose with a broken stem represents a life cut short. A fully opened rose with a broken stem represents the death of a mature adult.

Rose Bud

Rose Bud

A rose bud symbolizes a life cut short and is most often found on the graves of children.

Rose with broken stem

Rose with a Broken Stem

A fully opened rose with a broken stem represents the death of a mature adult.

Sunflower

Sunflower

In Catholic iconography the sun represents the divine light of God and the Sunflower represents the devout striving toward God.

Thistle

Thistle

The thistle frequently represents someone of Scottish descent. It can also mean earthly sorrow or defiance.

Tree

Tree

A tree may represent knowledge as in the “tree of knowledge.” A broken tree branch may signify a life cut short.

Tree Stump

Tree Stump

A tree stump means life was interrupted. A severed tree branch symbolizes the end of life cycle.

Floral Mix with Urn

Venus Fly Trap

From David M. Habben: The Venus fly trap reminds us to keep our options open. To open our hearts. To not make hasty decisions.

Violets

Humility, faithfulness, modesty. A flower of spring represents youth; short life.

Wheat

Wheat

The divine harvest; old age, fruitful life, life fulfilled.

Willow

Willow

The willow tree represents perpetual mourning and grief.

Cherubs

Wreath

Victory in Death. Wreath of Roses – Heavenly Joy. Beauty and virtue rewarded in time.