Carnations are popular all over the world as they last for a long time after being cut and come in a wide variety of colors. They are regarded as “the flowers of God” because their scientific name has been coined from two Greek words, which mean ‘flowers’ and ‘God’. They are given on various occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine’s Day, mothers’ day and St. Patrick’s Day.
In general, carnations signify feelings like love and fascination. However like roses, carnations come in a rainbow of colors, each of which has a different meaning. The sender should thus, research the meanings of different colors of this flower before selecting the appropriate arrangement. This will help in making the bouquet or arrangement given, more meaningful. The meanings of different colors of carnations are mentioned below.
Red carnations signify love and admiration. They are thus, commonly exchanged between lovers. However, the different shades have slightly different meanings. Light red carnations represent admiration while dark or deep red ones denote deep love and affection. They can be given on Valentine’s Day or when someone wants to express love.
Pink carnations are the most significant and popular of all carnations. Pink carnations symbolize a mother’s undying love for her child and have been associated with a woman’s love over the years. It is believed that they first bloomed when Virgin Mary wept for Jesus as he carried the cross of his crucifixion. They are thus appropriate for mother’s day.
Purple carnations symbolize capriciousness, unpredictability, fickleness and unreliability. They are often given during times of significant change due to their symbolism.
Yellow carnations represent disappointment and rejection in someone. This meaning is quite different from the meanings of other yellow flowers. They can be given to someone, who has disappointed the sender. They are often not used with other colors in bouquets.
White carnations represent pure love and good luck. They can be given on someone’s graduation or when someone is going away. This color of carnations can also be exchanged between lovers, siblings and friends.
Green carnations are not natural. They are dyed every year on St. Patrick’s Day and given along with white carnations. They are also used as boutonnieres on this holiday.
Striped carnations mean regret and refusal. They can thus, be given as sympathy flowers when someone has died or to convey refusal of an offer to someone.