Bells of Ireland flowers (Moluccella laevis) have striking branches of cup-shaped calyces that encircle perfectly delicate white flowers. They’re lovely to look at and are a popular accent for bouquets and dried floral arrangements. This guide will take you through everything you need to know about Bells of Ireland flower meaning and symbolism in the language of flowers.
Bells of Ireland Symbolism – Key Takeaways
In the language of flowers, Bells of Ireland most commonly symbolize good luck. They also carry the meaning of abundant wealth. Although they are not native to Ireland, they are associated with the country thanks to the plant’s vibrant green color and common name.
Commonly referred to as bells of Ireland, Moluccella laevis is one of eight accepted species of flowering plants that belongs to the Moluccella plant genus within the Lamiaceae (mint/sage/deadnettle) plant family. Other common names for the plant include Molucca balm, lady in the bathtub, and shellflower.
The genus name Moluccella refers to Indonesia’s Moluccan Islands, where bells of Ireland plants were initially thought to come from. The species epithet laevis is Latin for smooth or smoothed and might refer to the smooth texture of the plant’s calyces.
Although it’s not certain, the common name “bells of Ireland” is assumed to be a reference to the vibrant green color of the plant’s calyces, a color that is often associated with Ireland and its culture.
Bells of Ireland Colors and Their Meaning
Bells of Ireland produce white flowers with green calyces. So, the two primary colors associated with these blooms are green and white. In the language of flowers, these colors have their own symbolic meanings that can be combined with or considered along with the primary symbolic meaning of bells of Ireland flowers (good luck and abundant wealth).
In the language of flowers, the color white represents innocence and purity, making it a common flower color choice for wedding celebrations. White can also symbolize mourning and sympathy, so it’s also commonly used in floral arrangements for funerals.
Green flowers most commonly symbolize renewal, rebirth, good health, and good fortune. Green can also be associated with youthfulness or naivety.
Irish Wedding Traditions
As they do in just about every culture of the world, weddings hold an important place in Irish culture. As a result, several traditions are incorporated into Irish wedding ceremonies for good luck. This includes the bride and groom carrying various symbols of good luck, such as horseshoes, shamrocks, and bells of Ireland flowers.
Bells and ringing bells are also an important part of the ceremony, as ringing a bell is thought to keep evil spirits and bad luck away. Bells are also believed to ward off any discord in a marriage. Since bells of Ireland flowers are symbols of good luck and are bell-shaped, they are commonly included in Irish wedding ceremonies.
Celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day
Along with shamrocks and four-leaf clovers, bells of Ireland have a significant place in celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day and the “luck of the Irish” since they symbolize good luck and abundance. When gifting or displaying bells of Ireland on Saint Patrick’s Day, remember this saying that’s quite suitable for the occasion, “For each flower on Bells of Ireland, this brings a wish your way: good health, good luck, and happiness for today and every day.”
In fact, Saint Patrick’s Day is also the perfect time of the year to start growing bells of Ireland from seeds indoors. So, you can also celebrate Saint Patrick’s feast day by planting a packet of bells of Ireland seeds that you’ll soon be able to move to your garden and enjoy come summer.
Suitable Gifting Occasions
Bells of Ireland look beautiful in just about any floral arrangement. With the positive symbolism of good luck or abundant wealth, they make a great gift for just about any celebratory occasion when it would be appropriate to wish your recipient good luck or abundant wealth and success.
Some great occasions for gifting bells of Ireland include celebrating a graduation, a new job, promotion, a birthday, going away, moving, an engagement, or a wedding. With their Irish colors and association with good luck, bells of Ireland also make an excellent gift for anyone who especially enjoys celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day.
Bells of Ireland Flower FAQs:
Do Bells of Ireland Flowers Symbolize Love?
In the language of flowers, Bells of Ireland do not symbolize love, but they symbolize good luck and can sometimes also represent an abundance of wealth.
Do Bells of Ireland Flowers Come Back Every Year?
Bells of Ireland are annual plants, meaning they do not regrow and rebloom every year. They are, however, self-sowing. If the plants are left in place and allowed to go to seed, they will resow themselves and grow new plants the following season.
How Long Do Bells of Ireland Flowers Last?
Bells of Ireland flowers last about seven to 10 days in a vase, and their green calyces can stay fresh for up to two weeks.
Are Bells of Ireland Toxic?
Bells of Ireland are not toxic.
Wishing You Good Luck With the Bells of Ireland
With their showy spikes of bright-green calyces, bells of Ireland are beautiful to look at, and the fragrance of their flowers is wonderful to breathe in. So, you can enjoy all the good luck they bring (or at least represent) by planting them in your garden, sowing them indoors, or enjoying them in a cut floral arrangement.