Cosmos Flower Meaning in Floriography

Members of the aster family for their starry appearance and named after an orderly universe for their symmetrical petals, cosmos flowers will enchant any garden or bouquet with their colorful presence. Here, we’ll take you through everything you need to know about Cosmos flower meaning and its rich symbolism. We’ll also learn about their history, origins, and cultural significance today.

Cosmos Flower Meaning and Symbolism

Key Takeaways

Cosmos flowers most commonly symbolize order and harmony. This primary symbolic meaning of cosmos flowers comes from the flower’s name and its orderly arrangement of petals. Cosmos flowers can also represent balance, tranquility, peace, love, modesty, innocence, joy, and beauty.

Etymological Meaning

Spanish priests grew cosmos flowers in their gardens. They were so taken by the exquisite, orderly arrangement of the flowers’ petals that they named them cosmos from the Greek word kosmos, which refers to the decoration, order, and harmony of the universe.

Common Cosmos Flower Colors

Cosmos flowers most significantly symbolize order and harmony. This primary symbolic meaning of cosmos flowers comes from the flower’s name and its orderly petals. Cosmos flowers also represent balance, tranquility, peace, love, modesty, innocence, joy, and beauty.

Cosmos flowers’ symbolic meanings shift slightly depending on the color of their flowers.

  • Red – Red cosmos symbolizes love and passion.
  • Pink – Pink cosmos represents the most delicate aspects of love, such as kisses and hugs. Since pink is usually associated with femininity, these flowers sometimes also represent a mother’s love.
  • Yellow – Yellow cosmos flowers most commonly symbolize friendship, like most other yellow flowers. However, the yellow cosmos can also uniquely represent slighted love.
  • White – White cosmos flowers symbolize faithfulness and devotion in romantic love, in addition to the more traditional symbolic meaning associated with white, purity.

Cosmos Flowers in Myths and Folklore

Colorful pink cosmos flowers in bloom

Despite the orderly appearance that Spanish priests saw in cosmos petals, their leaves lend them a rather wild, untamed appearance. In folklore, cosmos flowers are said to attract faeries to the garden since their wild looks make these mythical creatures feel right at home.

Cosmos are also thought to be lucky. The luck associated with these flowers might be connected to the blossom’s ability to repel unwanted insects that might destroy other plants in a garden.

Cosmos Flowers in Mexican Traditions

From using marigolds to guide spirits on Dia de Los Muertos to associating specific flowers with deities, flowers have a prominent place in Mexican culture and traditions.

The chocolate cosmos (Cosmos atrosanguineus) has also been a prized flower in Mexico for its red color, which appears almost chocolate brown, and its cocoa-like fragrance, which matches. Like other varieties of cosmos flowers, the chocolate cosmos also represents order and harmony in Mexican traditions.

Greek Culture and Cosmos Flowers

A field of flowering cosmos flowers

Although cosmos flowers didn’t make their way to Greece early enough to be included in Ancient Greek mythology, they do get their name from the Greek word kosmos.

In Greek mythology, the gods believed that there was a special order or perfect harmony to nature, and the word kosmos, assigned to cosmos flowers later by Spanish priests, represents this idea.

Cosmos Flowers in the Victorian Era

During the height of floriography (flower language) in the Victorian era in England, cosmos flowers symbolized joy in life and love.

Cosmos Flowers in Religion and Spiritual Practices

Pink cosmos flowers blooming against a blue sky

Cosmos have a strong association with the throat chakra (or throat energy), and they are believed to remove energy and spiritual blockages.

As a result, they’re often used by public speakers to help open the throat and energize the throat chakra to improve the speaking voice.

Art and Literature

A popular flower represented in art and included in poetry and prose, cosmos flowers can symbolize order and harmony as they do in a bouquet. Thanks to their drought tolerance, cosmos flowers also sometimes represent longevity and resilience in literature.

Suitable Gifting Occasions

Along with marigolds, cosmos flowers are the official birth flower of October, making them a perfect choice for helping a friend celebrate their October birthday.

Cosmos flowers are also the 2nd wedding anniversary flower and are traditionally included in anniversary bouquets to celebrate two years of marriage.

Due to their associations with love and passion, pink and red cosmos flowers also make a wonderful gift for a romantic partner. Incorporate them in a bouquet or gift a packet of cosmos seed to represent the growing love you hope to cultivate with your partner.

Cosmos Flowers Add a Little Order to Your Whimsical Cottage Garden

While cosmos flowers are rarely regarded as show-stopping blooms, they do have an undeniable charm that plants perfectly in just about any cottage garden or container arrangement. Choose perennial varieties to enjoy year after year or annuals that you can change every summer.

Editorial Director | | Full Bio

Andrew is the Editorial Director at Petal Republic. He holds a BSc degree in Plant Sciences and has trained professionally at leading floristry schools in London and Paris. In amongst overseeing a global editorial team, Andrew's a passionate content creator around all things flowers, floral design, gardening, and houseplants.

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