During the difficult aftermath of losing a loved one, flowers are a uniquely beautiful way of expressing our sympathies, love and loss. As symbols of our feelings and memories, they’re an important part of funeral arrangements.
When arranging a funeral service, many of us default to traditional funeral flowers or our loved one’s favourite bloom - if it’s known. But opting for seasonal funeral flowers tends to be not only easier and more affordable, but also adds a special, poignant touch of nature to the service.
A Guide To Seasonal Funeral Flowers
It’s no surprise that spring is a great season for flowers. To start with one of the most common funeral choices, lilies – particularly white lilies – represent sympathy and the newfound innocence of the soul of the deceased. While many lily varieties are available all year round, the goddess lily, lily of the valley, Callia lillies and the Amaryllis lily are all spring bloomers.
Another traditional funeral flower, the ever-iconic rose, is similarly associated with love, respect and, for yellow roses at least, friendship. They’re also a popular flower available all year round but some varieties – such as David Austin roses – bloom in October through to April.
Summer tends to bring brighter flowers, making these blooms a natural choice for sending off those with colourful personalities. For instance, though sunflowers are not a classic funeral flower, they can work well as symbols of adoration, loyalty and power. For those with the right temperament, a sunflower can help create a more uplifting, optimistic atmosphere even on this most challenging of days.
The beautiful statice flower, commonly found in dried flower arrangements, is another less traditional choice nonetheless perfect for funerals, as it represents sympathy and remembrance. Blooming in summer, the statice comes in white, lavender and pink colours and is well paired with white lilies and roses in funeral wreaths.
The elegant white tuberose blooms from December to February and again in August to September and is used as a funeral flower around the world. It’s commonly seen as part of a casket spray, whether on its own in a pure white ensemble or paired with pinks and purples.
Autumn offers a variety of traditional funeral flowers and more unusual options. For starters, the stunning violet – representing love and faithfulness, and purity for white violets – is rarely seen at funerals but is a beautiful addition to a basket bouquet. The striking dainty shape and colour patterns of the iris (blooming from May to October) also works well in funeral wreaths and bouquets alike.
Blooming between March and November, the stock is a hidden gem of a flower, with a delicate scent reminiscent of cinnamon and clove. Most commonly seen in its cream and white colourings, this flower is typically associated with happiness and contentment, but it also represents spiritual purity.
Then there is the poppy. In bloom from April to August, the red poppy’s distinctive shape, bright colour and historical links with World War One make it deeply resonant for military funerals, where it is often handed out as a single stem and worn on guests’ lapels as a sign of respect.
The uplifting yellow daffodil is on offer at many florists all year round, but at their most readily available and affordable from June to September. Though not a standard funeral flower, in representing new hope and life, they offer a more positive touch to a funeral ceremony. However, they don’t mix well with other blooms so are best showcased alone in funeral arrangements.
Similar yet smaller, the pretty jonquil is another popular winter flower with a beautiful fragrance. Despite blooming in warm tones of yellow, orange and white, jonquils represent sympathy toward someone in a difficult situation – marking a thoughtful funeral floral tribute.
At the other end of the colour spectrum, the large-flowered blue, pink, purple or white hyacinth is a classic funeral flower for a reason: it is used to express deep sorrow. In season between April and October, they’re a beautiful and evocative option well suited to a funeral standing spray arrangement.
Whatever time of year we must sadly say goodbye to a loved one, flowers in all their varieties and arrangements can play an important part in any funeral. They express sympathies, love and respect for the dearly departed, but also help those of us in mourning feel happier, at peace and more connected with our loved ones around us. To assist you to plan a personalised funeral service befitting your loved one, download your copy of the Funeral Planning Checklist below.