What are birth flowers?
The tradition of birth month flowers is thought to have begun in Roman times. Back then, flowers were used as decorations or given as gifts as a way to honor birthdays. As the "language of flowers" evolved in the 18th century and into the 19th century, certain flowers were used to send discreet messages through their various unspoken meanings.
Fast-forward to today, and each month still has at least one beautiful bloom to its name. Here's a quick overview of each birth month's flower—plus what it symbolizes and how to enjoy its gifts:
- January: Carnation
- February: Violet
- March: Daffodil
- April: Daisy
- May: Hawthorn
- June: Rose
- July: Water lily
- August: Poppy
- September: Morning glory
- October: Marigold
- November: Chrysanthemum
- December: Narcissus
Carnations are the birth month flower for January, coming in an array of colors with different meanings. Red carnations, for example, symbolize love, while white represents purity. Interestingly, yellow means rejection. The name of this flower is thought to come from the Roman word "corone," which means "flower."
According to registered herbalist Rachelle Robinett, the energy of February's birth flower is cool and moist. It has a long history of medicinal use and is thought to represent loyalty, as well as courage, wisdom, and faith. These little flowers are able to withstand harsh conditions, making them the perfect flower for midwinter.
Bright and sunny daffodils are a fitting birth month flower for March, when we begin to see the first signs of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. And just as spring represents new beginnings, rebirth, and joy, so do daffodils. They can also symbolize unrequited love and chivalry.
Daisies are the birth month flower for April, coming in a variety of sizes and colors. These flowers open up at the first sign of sunlight, aptly named "daisy" from the Anglo Saxon "day's eye." Daisies are thought to represent innocence, purity, and the keeping of secrets.
May's birth flower is hawthorn, and according to Robinett, there are almost 300 species of this flower. "It's most known for its actions on the heart, both physically and energetically," she tells mbg, noting that its less common name, "crataegus" is derived from Greek, kratos for "strength" and akis for "sharp," thanks to its thorns. "The Mayflower got its name from hawthorn, which symbolized hope, love, and intimacy," she adds.
The birth flower for June is the rose, which like carnations, also comes in a variety of colors that have different meanings according to the language of flowers. Robinett tells mbg this flower is one of the most widely used, accessible, and versatile herbal remedies on earth. Red roses represent love, orange roses represent passion, and yellow can mean friendship (or jealousy). White ones represent, you guessed it, purity, and pink represent softer emotions like admiration.
July: Water lily
Calm and serene, July's birth flower is the water lily, gracefully resting atop fresh water. These flowers are also known as Nymphaea, which comes from the Greek word nymph, aka a feminine spirit that inhabits rivers and woods. Like most of the white flowers we've mentioned, this is another one that represents purity but also majesty.
The brightly colored poppy is August's birth month flower, and it too comes in an array of colors. Nowadays, poppies are often used to honor those lost in battle, though they have different historical meanings. Red, for example, represents pleasure, while white is consolation, and yellow is success. Robinett tells mbg poppies have mild sedative effects and can be incorporated into relaxation rituals.
September: Morning glory
The beautiful purple morning glory can be seen on vines and cascading up garden walls, and it symbolizes affection. They're aptly named "morning glory" because they open up very early in the day and close up pretty early in the afternoon. Robinett notes that research has found morning glory to have a variety of healthy properties, containing vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
The warm, rich colors of marigolds make them a perfect flower for October, matching those autumnal vibes. They have an array of meanings, from grief and sorrow to jealousy to love and passion, depending on the context in which they're given. And according to Robinett, in herbalism, they're "versatile, gentle but very effective, and an absolutely beautiful flower to consume in any form—but especially as a tea."
Chrysanthemums, or "mums," as you've probably heard them called, are aromatic flowers that come in a variety of colors, Robinett says. Generally, mums are thought to symbolize friendship, joy, and positivity, though they're another example of a flower that has different meanings depending on their color. (Red almost always means love, and white almost always means purity.)
And last but not least, the birth month flower for December is the narcissus flower, which includes a variety of hundreds of species (including daffodils, actually). They represent sweetness, and giving them to someone suggests you think they're wonderful just as they are.
The bottom line.
Whether you relate to your given flower or are just looking for a great gift option for someone's big day, knowing about birth flowers can certainly come in handy. From their rich symbolism to their beauty to their soothing properties, it's no wonder bouquets of flowers have stood the test of time as the perfect presents.
Want to learn how feng shui can help you create a high-vibe home and set powerful intentions to manifest your dreams? This is feng shui the modern way - no superstitions, all good vibes. Click here to register for a free session with Dana that will give you 3 tips to transform your home today!