Known for their orange-gold color, marigolds appear in a variety of settings from cultural headdresses to festival floats. They have a bitter smell that contrasts their bright shade (and wards off garden pests). Personally, I will always associate them with autumn gardens.
Marigold Flower Meaning
Marigold (calendula officianlis) symbolizes passion and bravery. They’re symbolically aligned with several religions such as the Catholic tradition of placing flowers on Mary’s alter instead of coins. The name “Mary’s Gold” probably originated there. Other religions, such as hinduism and buddhism, have specific uses for the bloom. Also, in the middle ages, many love spells used marigolds for attraction.
In many cultures, the blooms are often used to remember the dead, seen in funeral wreaths and grave blankets. We’re all familiar with the vibrant marigold displays associated with Dia de Muertos.
Victorian flower language experts considered it a symbol of despair and grief. That’s probably the best-known meaning in America. Marigolds in English-language literature are mostly linked to death.
Furthermore, the shade of the marigold shifts the meaning slightly:
- Yellow marigolds exude feelings of positivity like happiness and joy
- Orange-red marigolds represent love, passion and romance
- Orange marigolds denote bravery and strong emotions
I like to think of it as a complex, bittersweet plant with a strong, bitter scent and a bright, cheerful bloom.
More Flowers and Their Meanings
I started studying flower meanings several years ago to give some focus to my journaling and doodles. I wanted to learn a little about the flowers for each month and it presented an excuse to study them. As I learned about the flowers, I would write about them in my journal and make doodles to accompany my notes. I also took the time to do at least one sketch that I could digitize. Then, I used this to make a pattern for a device wallpaper background.
I would post these on this site and pin them to Pinterest. I was surprised at their popularity. As they got more attention, a few shop owners reached out to me to ask about physical products. I decided to create a series of postcards.
In the end, it was a pack of 12 — one for each month.
My Flower Meaning Poster
However, I wasn’t ready to wrap up the flower study. So, I created a design that features my six favorite flowers and their meanings. I think flowers are such a beautiful language — communicating with blooms.
My Flower Meanings poster features six hand-drawn flowers with a note about what they represent. At 8×10 inches, you can frame or hang.
- Peonies represent prosperity and good luck. It’s fitting that they’ve become a popular bloom for weddings
- Gladiolus symbolizes honor and remembrance. I love how they stick out in tall stalks.
- Honeysuckle represents friendship and togetherness. They always remind me of summers at the beach with my grandmother.
- Aster represents charm and wisdom. I love finding these little purple blooms along walking paths and roads.
- Narcissus stands for good wishes. They’re a lovely bloom to share with a friend.
- Marigold symbolizes passion and bravery. It’s fitting that their orange and yellow tones are so vibrant.
Most of the time, I like to imagine a whimsical Anne Shirley life . I would pick floral arrangements with regard to the event. Then, I imagine planting honeysuckle by a side door to encourage drop-in visitors. Perhaps, I would send marigolds to someone fighting a chronic illness.
If this flower language speaks to you, you should check out my articles, where I often talk about the beautiful language of flowers.