Chinese Flowers – Meaning, Symbolism and Colors

One of the richest and oldest cultures on the planet is Chinese culture. Let’s be clear, the very basics of the Chinese culture are impossible in some aspects, as this civilization was affected by various influences – social, religious, and philosophical. We can see most of these ancient influences in modern China today, as these cultural elements are deeply rooted in their culture.

The Chinese model and their culture are different from Western models. People who have any job that is associated with China should have at least basic knowledge about social norms in China, as some of them have been gradually accustomed in the West too.

China developed rich flower symbolism and gave it a special place. Going from the Lotus flower to Peony glower, people from China enjoy and respect flowers in so many ways. You will rarely see a painting or a picture without flowers in it if you visit China. Plum flowers decorate many pathways in China and are the universal symbol of beauty and spring.

We will talk about Chinese flowers in this text and explain you in detail their meaning, symbolism, and color symbolism.

What is the Meaning of the Chinese flowers?

Chinese flowers carry various flowers. For example, Orchids are symbols of love, marriage, money, and fortune.

Lotus flower is a symbol of love, heart, harmony, and union, while Lilies are symbols of marriage, a harmonious marriage of partners, and relationships. Plum blossom symbolizes winter, but the very start of spring too, Orchids are symbols of spring, Lotus stands for summer, while the Chrysanthemum flower is a symbol of fall.

Some other Chinese flowers carry negative meanings, such as infidelity. Duckweed flower means bad relationships between relatives and bad roots and connection with ancestors. The Chinese believe that thorns represent pain and unhappiness.

The Etymological Meaning of the Chinese Flowers

Peony flower comes from the word Paean, which is mostly related to Greek mythology. Cherry blossoms’ name Sakura comes from the Japanese language, while the Chrysanthemum flower’s name also comes from the Greek language and is related to an ancient Greek character.

Lotus flower draws its etymological meaning comes from the word lots/lotus, which stands for something washed in an elegant and luxurious bath.

The Symbolism of the Chinese Flowers

Even though the Lotus flower grows in dirty water, it still remains intact, beautiful, graceful, and definitely stands out from the crowd. That is why the Lotus flower also symbolizes intelligence, wisdom, purity, and nobility all around the world, but especially appreciate it in China. Here they consider the Lotus flower as a symbol of Buddha’s throne. People from India also worship the Lotus flower, as it symbolizes universal beauty, eternal youth, and the life of royalties.

On the other side, the Lotus flower is a symbol of wealth in Hinduism but also stands for reservation. Lotus flower is truly special because it represents purity above all the sludge above it. This gorgeous flower stands out from the bad and impure things.

We can recognize the perfection of nature through this image and also spiritual growth and the huge potential of a man. Flower of the Lotus flower is in the air, facing the sun, its leaves are partially in the air and partially in the water, its stems are completely in the water, while the root is in the ground, which paints the association and perfect balance of all elements. Lotus flower is usually taken as a metaphor for man’s path and his life as a combination of both good and bad things.

Further, the Lotus flower is a symbol of openness of the heart and enormous, endless creativity, and hidden potential in us all. That is why the Lotus flower stands for the essence of life. Its petals symbolize the unity of body and spirit, even leading humans to the state of nirvana, where we regain our strength and energy for future challenges. Lotus flower is a plant that includes the past, the present, and the future.

Even though the Lotus flower is a poisonous plant, the Chinese use it as a cure for diseases. Other nations living in the East also use the Lotus flower to cure chronic bronchitis or acute one. Feng Shui suggests put the Lotus flowers into our homes, as it attracts fiery and strong energy that might encourage us on our ways of social, loving, and business relations, but also increases chances of material wealth.

Cherry blossom is the most lovable and most worshiped plant in Japan. From the moment when this beautiful plant opens its petals in March or April until the moment when it closes them, the cherry blossom flower is the main topic in all conversations among people of Japan. Sakura or the cherry blossom flower is represented in many verses and paintings of Japanese artists and many organizations are dedicated to this plant.

Hanami is the Chinese name for the cherry blossom. The Chinese set a custom of simply watching the cherry blossom and all generations accept it. The first cherry blossom flowers bloom on the islands, moving up to the north and east and then spreading all over the country. Special attention is dedicated to meteorological services that monitor the situation and keep the track with the weather around the time for the cherry blossom blooming, so everybody can enjoy this moment.

Delicate Cherry blossoms are a symbol of perfection, beauty, love, and gracefulness in China, but also represents the obvious and inevitable passing of life, as the cherry blossoms fall off after two weeks maximum. If you are familiar with the life of the samurai, then you probably know they identify the faith, hope, fragility, and fight for these values no matter of their lives.

Orchid flower is widely considered to be an ideal flower in the world, as this flower certainly possess unusual beauty but it is simple and diligent at the same time. People with an inborn sense for aesthetics and design highly appreciate the Orchid flower.

However, the color of the Orchid flower might be a bit tricky, so make sure to get familiar with the color symbolic of the Orchid flower before giving it to someone special. For example, the blue Orchid flower sends a message to a person, telling them how unique, rare, and peculiar they are.

The blue color of the Orchid flower might be a symbol of love, but it stands for spirituality and unusual connections more.

On the other side, the white Orchid flower is a symbol of elegance, beauty, innocence, and purity and you can gift it to any person that is dear to you. As we all know, the red color is a color of passion, desire, unconditional love, determination, perseverance, but lighter shades such as pink will emphasize gentle side, femininity, and romance.

Red and pink are absolutely suitable colors for a person you are in love with and towards whom you feel attraction. If you, on the other hand, want to surprise a friend with an Orchid, gift that person the yellow Orchid flower, as it represents new beginnings, friendship, joy, happiness, and positive energy. If you want to gift this gorgeous flower to your mother, go for the Orchid flower in a lavender color, as it represents motherly love, femininity, elegance, and grace.

A darker shade of lavender – the purple Orchid is definitely extravagant, worth admiration, related to respect and authority, so you can gift a bouquet of purple Orchid flowers to someone you respect deeply.

Whatever is your intention and the message you want to send through the Orchid flower, you can’t make a mistake now that you know the symbolism of each color and shade. After all, who would refuse or reject the Orchid flower as a gift, right?

Peony flower is widely used in Feng Shui as it is considered to be a symbol of romance and love, but it also represents a woman’s laziness. If you are with your partner for some time, Feng Shui advises not to take the Peony flower into your bedroom, as it is believed to attract younger women and adventures within men. Mongolia, China, and India worship the Peony flower highly and use in on postal stamps. Peony flower also symbolizes a happy and long marriage, romance, lust, and good luck. If you are entering a marriage, you can decorate your home with the Peony flowers, as they will attract happiness for you and your partner in your future life together.

Some brides also choose the Peony flower to be a part of their wedding bouquets. Peony flower represents 12th anniversaries, so you can gift it to your partner if you are celebrating your anniversary, but still, keep it away from the bedroom.

Did you know that the Chrysanthemum flower has a nickname – the golden flower? This is one of the gorgeous flowers that originate from China. Chrysanthemum flower symbolizes good chances, happy circumstances, and attract power into our lives.

People from the East believe the Chrysanthemum is a symbol of autumn and simplicity on one side, but also represents Yang energy and leads us towards the Sun. The Chinese grew the Chrysanthemum flower back in the 15th century BC, but people from Japan have been planting this flower for a couple of centuries too. There is a celebration of the Chrysanthemum flower in Japan and it is popular as the Feast of Happiness.

Chinese Flowers – Color and Meaning

Chinese flowers come in a wide range of colors and shades so you have a great choice here. Red, pink, and white colors are specially represented among the Chinese flowers as these colors have a special meaning in their culture.

The color of white images death and ghosts in the Chinese culture, which is oppositely from the Western culture where the color of white stands for purity, faith, and innocence.

The pink and red colors of the Chinese flowers symbolize love, passion, and celebrate life and new occasions.

Botanical Characteristics of the Chinese Flowers

If you decide to plant the Lotus flowers, go for 1.5 depth of the water and cover the bottom with mud. You can also grow the Lotus flower in pots but go for a dwarf sort in this case.

Planting the Chrysanthemum flower requires having a cutting that should be planted outside, sometime in April or until the end of June. Provide your Chrysanthemum flowers with rich humus and keep them in a sunny place.

Cherries are mostly grown for consumption, but they also have gorgeous flowers that are famous all over the world. Cherries are used in the fresh state, but in the confectionery industry too. It is no wonder that the Japanese and the Chinese admire this tree and its flowers. If you want to grow a cherry tree, you should get a cutting and place the plant in a sunny place and provide it enough water.

Chinese Flower – Fun Facts

Roots of the Peony flowers are used in Chinese medicine to cure convulsions.

Midnight picnics underneath the cherry tree and its flower is called Hanami picnic.

Lotus flower might be a perfect gift for a partner whom with you have a long-distance relationship, as it says you two will reunite and be together soon.


Chinese culture worships many flowers, as they know the messages hiding behind their appearance. The hidden messages beneath them tell us to pay attention to self-care and achieve a connection between our minds and our bodies, as material things only seem to be important, while the other values – the ones within us are the ones who matter.