Daphne Flower Meanings & Mysteries Unfolded

Daphnes are gorgeous scented shrubs that flood the garden with fragrance during winter and spring. These deciduous or evergreen plants produce clusters of delicate-looking flowers that give off a famously heady smell. But daphnes aren’t just rich in fragrance – these stunning shrubs have some beautiful meanings as well. Daphnes are associated with qualities like honesty, immortality, and innocence. In this article, we’ll explore the various meanings and symbolism of daphne flowers.

Ultimate Guide to Daphne Flower Meaning & Symbolism

Daphne Flower Symbolism – Key Takeaways

Daphne flowers symbolize honesty and innocence. These shrubs are associated with Daphne, one of the mythical Greek naiads. Different daphne colors also convey various meanings. White daphnes symbolize purity, while yellow daphnes represent joy and happiness. Pink daphnes are associated with love.

Etymological Meaning

Daphnes received their name from an ancient Greek myth. Daphne was a naiad or water nymph. In most versions of the myth, her father was Peneus, the river god. Apollo, the god of the Sun, desired and pursued Daphne. To escape his unwanted affections, Daphne pleaded with her father to save her. Peneus responded by turning Daphne into a beautiful shrub – either a daphne or a laurel.

Daphne flowers have some beautiful meanings and associations. These fragrant white flowers are frequently associated with honesty and innocence. The story of Daphne’s escape from Apollo may also explain why daphnes represent immortality. Daphnes are also thought to symbolize fame and glory.

Daphne Flower Color Meanings

The Meaning, Symbolism, & Cultural Significance of Daphne Flowers

Daphnes come in several beautiful colors such as greens, pinks, purples, yellows, and white. Each of these colors can have a series of prominent meanings. Let’s take a look at some in more detail.

White Daphne Flowers

White daphne flowers traditionally represent innocence and purity. Because of these associations, white daphne blooms are a good choice for wedding bouquets. Weddings held in later winter or early spring can take advantage of the natural flowering season for daphnes.

One of the most popular white daphne varieties is the winter daphne (Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’).

Green Daphne Flowers

Green daphne flowers are likely to belong to evergreen varieties. This color ties in with the associations between daphne flowers and immortality. Green daphnes can also represent health, vitality, good fortune, and youth. Daphne laureola, also known as the spurge-laurel, is a popular green daphne variety.

Pink Daphne Flowers

Pink daphne blooms typically represent affection and love. However, this doesn’t just mean romantic love. Pink daphnes can symbolize platonic love and affection as well. Some common pink daphne varieties include Daphne cneorum (Rose daphne) and Daphne genkwa.

Purple Daphne Flowers

Like many purple flowers, purple daphnes have long been associated with dignity and nobility. Purple is often considered to be a royal color. Daphne mezereum (February daphne) and Daphne bholua ‘Peter Smithers’ are two gorgeous purple varieties.

Yellow Daphne Flowers

Yellow daphne flowers are bright symbols of happiness and joy. Even the ancient Maya attributed yellow flowers to positive emotions. One of the more popular and widespread yellow daphne flowers is the Daphne gemmata.

Daphne Meaning in Victorian Floriography

Daphne Meaning in Victorian Floriography

The Victorians loved flowers so much that they created an entire language of gestures based on flower meanings. Victorian flower language, officially known as floriography, was mainly used as a method of sending secret messages to people. These messages were usually exchanged between lovers.

Certain daphne flower species have specific meanings in floriography. Rose daphnes (Daphne cneorum) were traditionally used to say, “I desire to please you.” Winter daphne (Daphne odora) was a way of telling a love, “I would not have you otherwise.”

Suitable Gifting Occasions for Daphne Flowers

Suitable Gifting Occasions for Daphne Flowers

Daphne flowers make beautiful gifts for many occasions. The intoxicating scent of these flowers will be admired by recipients, while the colorful flowers are also pleasing. The colors of different daphnes make them suitable gifts for various occasions.

White daphnes make excellent winter or spring wedding flowers because they symbolize purity and innocence. Yellow daphnes are good gifts for people who need cheering up or are recovering from illness. Yellow daphne flowers can also convey sympathy for someone grieving a lost loved one. Pink daphne flowers are a lovely way to show platonic or romantic affection for someone, such as a friend or partner.

Daphne Flowers FAQs:

What does a Daphne flower symbolize?

Daphne flowers can symbolize honesty, innocence, and immortality. Different colors can also convey various meanings. Yellow daphnes are symbols of joy, while pink daphne flowers represent affection. White daphnes are associated with purity.

Are Daphne flowers lucky?

Green daphne flowers can symbolize luck and good fortune, but daphnes aren’t specifically known for being lucky.

Do Daphnes come back every year?

All daphnes, whether deciduous or evergreen, will come back every year as perennial shrubs.

How long do Daphne flowers last?

Daphne shrubs produce flowers during late winter and early spring. If used as cut flowers, daphne blooms should last for a week or two.

Do Daphnes flower more than once?

As deciduous or evergreen perennial shrubs, daphnes can flower more than once.

Wrapping Up

Gifting Daphne flowers are a lovely way of conveying messages and meaning. Their rich, powerful scents and beautiful, colorful flowers make these shrubs extremely popular. Daphne flowers typically represent innocence and honesty, especially in white varieties. Daphne flowers also have romantic meanings in Victorian floriography – making them a good gift for a partner.


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