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Carnation Colours and Their Meaning

Carnation Colours and Their Meaning

posted: 2019-10-18 16:00:00 +0800

Sweet and simple, carnations are a flower shop staple for a reason. This popular and versatile flower looks lovely on its own as a single flower, or many in a bouquet of its own, or as a flower filler. What’s more is that carnations also come in a wide array of colour varieties, most of which exist thanks to the careful cross-breeding and cultivation done by humans. Many of the carnation’s colours also have a unique meaning and symbolism that derives from floriography. Floriography was a very popular method of communication during the Victorian era as it was used to convey subtle messages to friends, admires, and lovers. So next time you order flowers, consider each of these colour meanings to create the perfect and fun flower message for your recipient!


Related: Language and Meaning of Flowers


Florist Flower Bouquet - Carnations Bouquet F - L182361 Photo

A perfect example of an exquisite Mother’s day flower bouquet, complete with pink carnations and violet-red forget me nots.

A Christian legend made the pink flower the symbol of a mother’s undying love, which is what makes the pink carnation a popular mother’s day gift, light pink ones especially. Dark pink carnations can express tenderness, fondness, and blooming new love.


Florist Flower Bouquet - Heart of Joy - P8645 Photo

A flower bouquet of 24 red and pink carnations.

Like the rose, the red carnation is a classic symbol of love, affection, and admiration. Combine red carnations with other colours of carnations, like a dark pink carnation, to add further depth and meaning to your love message.

Related: 10 Rose Colours and Their Meaning


Order Flowers in Box - Carnations flower box 1 - L36514304 Photo

This exquisite flower box come with white and green carnations, pink roses, an orchid, and small accompanying white flowers.

White carnations have an air of elegance about them but they also symbolise purity and good luck making them ideal for weddings, graduations and birthdays. White carnations are particularly popular wedding bouquet flowers in Hong Kong and China.


Florist Flower Bouquet - Olive Carnation Bouquet - L06844 Photo

A flower bouquet of cream and olive coloured carnations with accompanying greens.

Green carnations are often a creamy olive colour that are a delight to look at. While they don’t have a direct colour meaning, they’re a popular flower to wear on St. Patrick’s Day and were famously worn by the writer and playwright, Oscar Wilde.

Related: What Flower is Associated with your Birth Month?


Florist Flower Bouquet - Carnations bouquet 2 - L36668877 Photo

Pink and white striped carnations, orchids, and matching greens

Striped carnations may be eye catching but they’re colour symbolism doesn’t match their attractiveness. Striped carnations, in Victorian times, were used to reject a love interest or advance, though in modern times their more given for their beautiful appearance instead. Striped carnation can also be used to convey regret, making them a nice filler for an apology flower bouquet.


Order Flowers in Box - Carnations flower box 2 - L36514327 Photo

A round flower box full to the brim with purple and pink carnations as well as pink roses.

Purple carnations have a funny meaning in that they express capriciousness, impulsivity, and being unpredictable. Purple carnations, therefore, are best mixed in with other carnation and flowers with different floriography meanings to express sentiment. For example, combined with red carnations it could indicate an impulsive or adventurous love. If combined with striped carnations it could indicate a swift knee-jerk rejection or regret.


Florist Flower Bouquet - Carnations bouquet 3 - L36668881 Photo

A flower bouquet of orange carnations, eustomas and forget-me-nots.

Traditionally this shade of carnation means rejection, disdain, or disappointment but they’re just too pretty of a shade to not gift and receive! Though if you were looking for a cheeky way to let someone know how you really feel about them giving yellow/orange carnations would do the trick! Try adding them to an apology bouquet with other flowers of similar meaning.

This is a Hong Kong GGB original 'Carnation Colours and Their Meaning' blogpost.
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blog written by: # Danielle Roberts (90)
Danielle Roberts, Editor

Danielle is a Canadian freelance writer and ESL teacher who has called Hong Kong home since 2016.     > more...

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