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Flower Motifs
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An English rose, and an English Rose.

Picked the rose one early morn
Pricked my finger on a thorn
They'd grown so close, their winding wove
The Briar and the Rose.
— "The Briar and the Rose", Tom WaitsThe Black Rider.

Flowers are one of the most popular motifs in literature, film and television alike. Whether given as a gift or mentioned as a character's favorite plant, they're probably worth taking note of; they may well be saying something about the story's theme or someone's personality.

In the West, the popularity of flowers as motifs is probably rooted (no pun intended) in floriography — a Victorian practice where particular types of flowers meant different things. A woman rejecting a suitor might send him yellow roses (which mean "friendship"); a man leaving for overseas might give his girlfriend forget-me-nots (which mean pretty much what you think they do). Most people remember that red roses mean "I love you," but floriography itself has been largely forgotten. It occasionally turns up in literature, but since it takes a long time to explain the meanings of flowers, requiring someone to be Mr. Exposition if the flower is obscure in a particular country, it's largely omitted from television and film...

Additionally, gardening as a hobby has mostly declined in modern times: many see the garden not as a place for flowers, but as an additional "room", more likely to feature a swimming pool or a swing set than a flower bed. As a result, flower symbolism is used more generally, with "flowers" as a whole rather than specific species.

The system of hanakotoba is the Japanese system of flower symbolism — and it makes the occasional appearance in anime, especially in the form of Cherry Blossoms, white lilies, and sunflowers. More generally, shoujo manga and anime (and related genres) will have the background break out in unexplained flowers to emphasize a character's beauty, goodness, or emotional state.

Flowers usually serve the theme of romance and relationships; a bouquet is one of the standard romantic gifts, after all. However, often this changes when the symbolism is related specifically to a character. While animals are usually around to enforce the themes of kindness/cruelty, flowers represent care/neglect. A character who lets their dog starve is cruel, while a character whose garden is full of dead plants is probably just disinterested, forgetful, or careless.

A character's garden will also give the audience an impression of their personality, usually in conjunction with the state of their house or personal appearance. A garden that is extremely well kept, but with few or no flowers in it, suggests an orderly but clinical personality; a garden overgrown with weeds might suggest a cynic who doesn't see the beauty in life anymore, while a disorganized but thriving garden full of flowers probably belongs to a cheerful and badly-organized owner.

Can be expressed in Floral Theme Naming and Hanahaki Disease. Not directly related to Name That Unfolds Like Lotus Blossom, but especially flowery names may be both. Supertrope of Mystical Lotus, which concerns the use of lotuses to symbolize transcendence and mysticalness, Queer Flowers, which concerns floral symbolism revealing or otherwise symbolizing LGBT sexual orientations.


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  • In a 2018 Australian fashion promo video, there is a floral theme with all three models (Trekkies would recognize the black-haired one as Evan Evagora, the model-turned-actor who portrayed Elnor on Star Trek: Picard). The woman's hat is a stylized blossom, Evagora's suit features a very distinct floral print, while the other man has a flower brooch and his dress shirt has a flower-and-paisley pattern.

    Anime & Manga 
  • White lilies are a common motif in Girls' Love manga. "Lily" is the original Japanese meaning of "yuri". And white, the color of sorrow (paired with the flower's classical literature association with death), probably foreshadows the characters' fate.
  • The red spider lily has associations with loss, abandonment, and reincarnation, since they usually bloom near cemeteries around the autumnal equinox, they are described in Chinese and Japanese translations of the Lotus Sutra as ominous flowers that grow in Diyu, or Huángquán (Simplified Chinese: 黄泉; Traditional Chinese: 黃泉), and guide the dead into the next reincarnation. E.g. in Mnemosyne and Canaan, an image of a red spider lily against a black background represents biological weapons.
  • In Alice 19th, one of the antagonistic masters has a Rose motif on her mask and flowers, in general, are used as an analogy for her about youth and how it disappears as she got older.
  • Anpanman has the Flower Kingdom, an entire kingdom of mostly women and girls each with a specific flower that they are patterned after and they tend to. The queen is a rose, and a few other motifs include thistles, moth orchids, and lilies of the valley.
  • In Berserk, the morning after having sex with Charlotte, Griffith leaves the princess the pendant she gave him before a major battle earlier and a piece of Lily of the Valley which represents returning happiness.
  • Bleach:
    • Each of the Gotei 13 divisions has a flower insignia assigned to them which can also be seen on the vice-captain badges. The flower will symbolise aspects of the division's character and even the captains will have personality traits that tie into the divisional flower and symbolism.
      • Squad 1: The chrysanthemum, which represents Truth/Righteousness. This division is the role-model division and sets the standard for the rest of the Gotei 13.
      • Squad 2: The pasque, which symbolises 'Seek Nothing'. This is the division that polices Soul Society and acts as an advance scout unit for enemy territory. The truth of a situation is much more important to them than obfuscating matters with idealism.
      • Squad 3: The marigold, which symbolises despair. This division's philosophy is that War Is Hell.
      • Squad 4: The gentian, symbolising 'Those Who Grieve are Loved'. This division is trained to fight but most of its duties revolve around medical support.
      • Squad 5: The Lily-of-the-Valley, this symbolises Pure Love, Sacrifice and Danger. Subverted since this is the division Aizen captained and Hinamori loved him unconditionally, placing her in the most danger of anyone by being his Number Two.
      • Squad 6: The camellia, which symbolises 'Pure Reason' and is the division of law-abiding Captain Kuchiki.
      • Squad 7: The iris, which symbolises courage, and which is led by a captain that teaches the philosophy of facing your enemies head-on if you have the strength to withstand direct assault.
      • Squad 8: The strelitzia, which symbolises 'Everything is Obtained'. Led by the Brilliant, but Lazy Captain Kyouraku who tends to wait for trouble to come to him rather than seeking it out.
      • Squad 9: The White Poppy, which symbolises 'oblivion'. This division takes a Martial Pacifist approach to fighting.
      • Squad 10: The narcissus, which symbolises occultism/egoism.
      • Squad 11: The yarrow, which symbolises combat. This division is the strongest direct combat division of the entire Gotei 13 and tends to take the front line in battle. It also has a reputation for producing the strongest fighters. Two of its members left to become vice-captains elsewhere (the 6th and 7th divisions) and the 11th division's current third and fifth seats (there is no fourth seat) are themselves vice-captain class.
      • Squad 12: The thistle = Vengeance, Austerity, Independence. This division is a loose cannon. The scientific division and their captain plays by his own rules.
      • Squad 13: The snowdrop, which symbolises Hope. This division is known for being led by the gentlest, most peaceful captain.
    • Individual zanpakutou can also have flower themes that tie into their owner's personality and abilities in some way. This applies to both shinigami and arrancar.
      • Byakuya's is cherry blossom themed, symbolism associated with aristocracy, samurai, and the transience of life (Byakuya is an aristocrat, military captain and widower).
      • Hitsugaya's zanpakutou can produce Glory-of-the-Snow (Scilla forbesii) in keeping with his ice/snow powers and theme.
      • Yumichika's produces lilies, which are symbols of rejuvenation, death and beauty.
      • Rose's zanpakutou is themed on the Golden Sal tree which is said to be able to detect witches in legend. Rose himself hates having his zanpakutou's kidou abilities associated with magic in any form, but his shikai abilities are both music and flower-themed.
      • Luppi is ivy-themed, and his resurrection creates 8 vine tentacles that he can attack with.
      • Charlotte Cuuhlhorne's zanpakutou is rose-themed. As a Magical Girl parody, a Villainous Crossdresser, Camp Gay, and Macho Camp all rolled into one, the rose theme of his clothing, zanpakutou, and resurrection abilities act as a huge Shout-Out to the Barazoku magazine which began the association of the rose with homosexuality.
  • The episode titles of Blue Drop are scientific names of flowers, which appear at a key moment in the episode, as a visual gloss alluding to the episode's main theme.
  • The eponymous Dahlia Academy in Boarding School Juliet is an Elaborate University High for children of the elite, so it's naturally named after a flower that symbolizes dignity and elegance.
  • In Brave10, Ishikawa Goemon has camellias as his motif. He was discovered hiding among the camellias by Kojuro and has loved them ever since. They are a flower that falls "purely", dropping all at once rather than petal by petal and were loved by the common folk but hated by the samurai for it. It's both a metaphor for his swift fall for Kojuro and his dying young and beautiful as he falls from the rooftop after battling Saizo.
  • Cardcaptor Sakura had a field day with this. Looking at the characters' flower names, their favorite flowers, and the flowers that show up around them give big clues to their characters. For example, Sonomi's favorite flower is nadeshiko; she adored Sakura's mother, whose name was Nadeshiko.
    • Cardcaptor Sakura's creator, the manga group CLAMP, is also largely associated with falling cherry blossoms (sakura), so much that it's a Signature Style.
  • Casshern Sins uses flowers throughout as a metaphor for the beauty and fragility of life.
  • A Cruel God Reigns: Flowers and other foliage are used for a variety of purposes; When Jeremy dreams of his mother Sandra, she is usually in a field of flowers until Jeremy finds out she knew he was being beaten and raped by his stepfather. When Jeremy is being sexually abused, the scenes in which it happens often switch to Jeremy being ensnared in vines and trees, as well as the thorns and flowers growing out of him (usually his head). Later on in the series, Ian compares Jeremy's mental state to being trapped and lost in a forest, unable to reach wide fields and flower gardens.
  • Danganronpa 3:
    • Kodaka has tweeted that the flower in the ending song for Side:Future is a gerbera. He specifically mentions that gerberas symbolize hope in the language of flowers and encourages the audience to keep that in mind, which goes along with the franchise's theme of holding onto hope even in dark times.
    • A flashback in Side:Future Episode 3 shows Kamukura staring at a vase of flowers he left on a desk. One of the flowers is a white daisy, which symbolizes "loyal love", and the other is a marigold, which symbolizes "despair". Appropriate, considering he was mourning Nanami, who has been dead for several years now.
  • In Dear Brother and The Rose of Versailles, there's plenty of roses motifs. To start, when Marie Antoinette arrives in France, several roses appear around her bejeweled ermine dress.
  • In Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, an author's description of Nezuko's thoughts on Zenitsu, Gotouge Koyoharu has stated that Nezuko, in her childlike mind, innocently sees Zenitsu as a funny-looking dandelion flower; Zenitsu's supernatural blond hair, and the way it stylized, does pass said impression.
  • In Dr. STONE, Gen is heavily associated with nightshade, which means "liar" in flower language. He proclaims it's his favorite plant.
  • Fruits Basket: In the 2019 anime's fourth ending, the twelve Zodiacs, Tohru, Kyo, and Akito are all given flower or plant imagery to represent some aspect of their character.
    • Tohru Honda: Sunflowers, which does well to represent her positive demeanor (at least on the surface), and how she symbolizes hope and happiness for the Sohma family.
    • Yuki Sohma: A white rose, symbolizing purity and silence.
    • Kyo Sohma: Bamboo; the way the bamboo stalks frame him look almost like prison bars, symbolizing how Kyo is trapped by his own issues as well as his fate of being locked away after he graduates due to his status as the Cat.
    • Shigure Sohma: The autumn maple leaf, symbolizing elegance, beauty, and grace...which he tries to have.
    • Akito Sohma: Red camellias (benitsubaki), which are a symbol of love in the language of flowers. This is also the kind of flower Shigure gave her when she was little and he confessed his love.
    • Kagura Sohma: Willow, which represents learning and growth, as shown how she goes through Character Development when Kyo turns her down for good.
    • Momiji Sohma: Red and yellow chrysanthemums. The yellow symbolizes optimism and joy, but also neglected love. The red represents deep feelings of love.
    • Hatori Sohma: Wisteria, symbolizing love and sensitivity. The fact there are many of them represents expanding consciousness.
    • Hatsuharu Sohma: Pine trees, symbolizing a hopeful future. The rose in his hand also represents love (in his case, for Rin).
    • Ayame Sohma: Irises, which have the ability to purify evil (which he tries to do for Yuki), and protecting oneself. It also alludes to his name, which is Japanese for "iris".
    • Kisa Sohma: The Japanese plum blossom, symbolizing the end of a cold winter and the beginning of a warm spring.
    • Hiro Sohma: Bush clovers, symbolizing melancholy and Unrequited Love.
    • Ritsu Sohma: Rice, representing an offering in a time of celebration.
    • Isuzu “Rin” Sohma: Peonies, symbolizing great rewards by taking great risks. They are also used as tattoos to represent a devil-may-care attitude.
    • Kureno Sohma: Cherry blossoms, symbolizing the fleeting nature of life.
  • In Flowering Heart, every girl has their own flower. Ari's is an azalea (greetings of love), Min's is a dandelion (happiness/gratitude), Suha's is a forget-me-not (true love/fidelity), and Syuel's is a snow beauty (nobility).
  • Roses are, of course, everywhere in ''Goodbye, My Rose Garden, and many rose-centric metaphors and similes pop up, usually in a melancholy context. Alice compares herself to a rose infected with black spot, Hanako muses on how Alice's distant smile was like a rose shrinking from her touch, and Edward uses a metaphor about roses casting darker shadows when bathed in brighter light to sow doubt in Alice's heart about Hanako. In particular, Alice's rose garden is both a place where she can escape from the world and a reminder of how she must constantly hide her true self deep within her. Her saying "goodbye" to her rose garden at the end of the series symbolizes her deciding to live as her true self, no matter the difficulty. Incidentally, the Douglas family manor is named Rosebarrow House, and Hanako's name translates to something like "flower child."
  • Hanayamata has loads of this, as befitting the title:
    • The main characters each have a flower associated with them, though this was made much more obvious by the anime's promotional material. Naru's is a cherry blossom, Hana's is a bluestar, Yaya's is a red rose, Tami's is a lily, and Machi's is a sunflower.
    • Official artistic stylization of the title "Hanayamata" has a flower in place of final stroke of "Ta" kana.
    • Google spoof "Zooglu" (ep. 1 in the anime) has a flower around its lettered logo.
    • Hana's recruitment posters for Yosakoi Club are adorned with simplistic flowers here and there.
    • The school surroundings are lush with various flowers at their fullest bloom and sakura blooms at the shrine.
    • After being coerced by Naru's cuteness to join the Yosakoi Club ("In name only!"), Yaya writes her name on the club application like an autograph, with a flower scribble at the end of final stroke.
  • In Hetalia: Axis Powers, one of the few things that reveal Psychopathic Manchild Russia's (almost nonexistent) softer side is his love of sunflowers, which according to him make him feel happy and relaxed enough to "dream of living in a warm place surrounded by them".
    • Also, Russia's subordinate Latvia shows his Yandere potential by attacking his best friend, Sealand, with a Lily of the Valley. It's never mentioned again.
    • Lithuania has rye fields as one of his motifs. In fact, in the scene right before Russia tells him of his love for sunflowers, he was dreaming of a rye field where he and his friends used to play as children.
    • France is always represented with red roses in canon. Even to cover his privates.
      • Sometimes, fanart gives roses to England as well (roses are England's national flowers)
    • Hungary and Taiwan use flower-shaped hair jewels as headgear. Hungary's pink flower symbolizes Lake Balaton aka the Hungarian sea; Taiwan's is a plum flower, which is the national flower of her lands. Their gender flipped versions also have them: male!Hungary wears a flower in his hair, while male!Taiwan puts on a plum-shaped pin on his jacket.
    • Japan's human first name, Kiku, literally means "chrysanthemum", a flower that has great significance and a connection with the Emperor in Japan. Naturally, a lot of fanart depicts him with chrysanthemums. Cherry Blossoms are also popular in them, especially since one anime episode actually introduced Japan in a flurry of them.
      • In the infamous Another Color arts, female!Japan wears a red spider lily on her hair.
    • Netherlands and Turkey are sometimes associated with tulips; Netherlands gives Japan a bouquet of them in one webcomic strip, and Turkey is depicted with them in his newest official profile.
    • In the movie, Homura is commonly associated with red spider lilies.
  • Honoo no Alpen Rose, as the title says. The Alpine Rose is both the flower and a song that is among the lead female's few memories of her past. The first page of the manga nicely explains the symbolism.
    "The Alpine rose is a red flower, also known as the Rose of the Highlands. Its flower can resist both snow and storms and has soothed those who live in the mountains. However, it also means a warning, danger, and greatness..."
  • Inuyasha: Kikyou is named after the Chinese bellflower. Word of God states the association was a deliberate choice made when she realised that the Chinese bellflower symbolised a love that could never be forgotten — in the manga, even death can't erase the love Inuyasha and Kikyou have for each other.
    • The anime's first ending uses red spider lilies liberally through the credits while focusing on Kagome and Kikyo. The red spider lily symbolizes death, along with reincarnation and resurrection themes, particularly when the latter breaks the stem (killing it) and that Kagome's soul is Kikyou's reincarnated soul.
  • In Kanon (Chiho Saito), gratuitous roses are included during at least one violin performance by the heroine.
  • Katanagatari:
    • Shichika's design has flowers all of the place. His hair resembles a maple leaf and his gloves, hamaka, and sandals have the same leaf motif. Not to mention all his Kyoutouryuu techniques are named after flowers.
    • His sister Nanami has a theme of pink carnations, wearing one of her hair and Princess Hitei covers her room and outfit with pink roses.
  • Knight Hunters dabbles with flower motifs and hanakotoba; the four Hitman with a Heart protagonists work as florists as a cover job and are each associated with a particular flower, and they also use hanakotoba as a code language, allowing for an Out-of-Character Alert plot twist in the Verbrechen ~ Strafe OVA. Aya's real name, Ran, means "orchid," an association played upon in both the "Ranjatai" short story and the Dramatic Precious Radio Drama, and both Kritiker's Aoba Center team and La Mort use Floral Theme Naming.
  • Lapis Re:LiGHTs:
    • IV KLORE all have at least one red rose as part of their stage outfits, symbolizing the flower's frequent role in both fairy tales and horror, fitting for an idol group composed entirely of Demihuman members. It could also symbolize that no matter how pretty/cute they are, they are very much dangerous.
    • Aside from their name, Kono Hana wa Otome ("These Flowers are Maidens"), they have Japanese cherry blossoms on their stage outfits to symbolize their home country, Yamato (a Fantasy Counter Part Culture to Japan). Nadeshiko and Tsubaki also wear a different flower that represents their personalities while Kaede uses maple tree leaves.
    • Chloe of the now-defunct group Ray wears blue roses, which symbolize the impossible and alluding to Ray's reputation as one of the most powerful, popular, and legendary idol group that Flora Girls' Academy has produced.
    • Tiara of LiGHTS is a Caring Gardener but is especially fond of carnivorous and outright dangerous plants. If one of them hisses at hers and demands her blood, she coos over it like it's a pet bunny, and she's proud of her ability to listen to a mandrake's ear-piercing, paralyzing shrieks without any trouble. (She refers to it as their "singing".)
  • Flower motifs are used extensively in Maiden Rose
    • Wisteria: Wisteria and the counterpart of laburnum are figured central to the characters' meetings, starting with their first, and wisteria seem to have ceremonial significance for Taki.
    • Cherry Blossoms: These also appear from time to time, with no consistent meaning though, each depending on the situation (spring, transience, etc.).
  • Episode 13 of Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid is centered around one. First it's discussed when Saikawa gives Kanna a Shepherd's Pursenote  after finding out that it means "I offer you my all". After Tohru is abducted by her father, the camera shows the flower many times. It is finally echoed by Tohru after the Final Battle, where she tells Kobayashi she can have her all.
  • One Piece:
    • All the women of Amazon Lily have a flower name, including the island itself. From Boa Hancock, whose name comes from the Symphoricarpos Chenaultii Hancock and sweet, everyday girl Marguerite.
    • Admiral Akainu had a pink rose on his suit and a flower tattoo on his chest. It serves as an ironic contrast with his General Ripper attitude.
  • With a title like ''Only the Flower Knows', this trope naturally applies. Arikawa's birth flower is apparently the rose-gold pussy willow, which characterizes him as honest, open, and free. Misaki's is the sweet pea, which represents a delicate/sensitive beauty. Both are accurate character descriptions, needless to say. Then there is imagery of/references to other flowers throughout the manga since both characters deal with flowers in their agricultural work, and Misaki's treasured flower necklace.
  • In Ouran High School Host Club, every member of the host club has a different colored rose that represents them. They show up in both the Anime Theme Song and Ending Theme, as well as several other scenes. (This is particularly significant with Tamaki and Haruhi.)
  • The comic Poppies from magazine Oz story explains why Princess Ozma wears red poppies in her hair. The poppies are symbolic of the wildness of Oz itself and how some things so innocent looking can be dangerous.
  • While it's not uncommon for the Pretty Cure series to have someone to take up a flower motif (for instance, Yes! Pretty Cure 5 GO!GO! made use of roses to replace the butterfly motif of the original), HeartCatch Pretty Cure! took this motif and ran the entire nine yards. Main heroine Tsubomi Hanasaki's name literally translates to "blooming flower bud", her Cure name is Cure Blossom and she and her teammates must protect a certain person's Heart Flower, which is represented by various flower types, which Tsubomi expertly points out their meaning through the Language of Flowers.
    • Heart Catch Pretty Cure has flower motifs for all of the main characters: Tsubomi (flower bud), Erika (the Erica flower), Istuki (flowering tree), and Yuri (Lily). Doubles as Floral Theme Naming.
    • In Go! Princess Pretty Cure, this is Cure Flora's theme as all of her attacks are flower-based due to the fact that she is Princess of Flowers. Her civilian name, Haruka Haruno, also has the same motif as well because the "Haru" on both of her first and last names means spring in Japanese.
  • In Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Madoka wields a bow with a deep red rose on it. In the language of flowers, the deep red rose and its thorns have been used to symbolize both the blood of Christ and the intensity of romantic love, while the rose's five petals are thought to illustrate the five crucifixion wounds of Christ.
    • This image connects the other girls to flowers as well:
    • White daisies for Homura. The daisy brings a message of innocence and purity, saying, "You have as many virtues as this plant has petals," or, "I will consider your request." In Victorian times, young, heartbroken women who wished to be loved began a custom using the daisy. A young maiden would pluck a daisy's petals, one by one, and sing, "He loves me, he loves me not," as she pulled each petal. The last petal plucked would be the future of her relationship. This custom is still in use today.
    • Yellow lilies for Mami. They can say: 'Your friendship means so much to me' or symbolize passion In Ancient Greece, Iris, the Goddess of the rainbow, acted as the messenger between heaven and earth. Today, the flower named for her is considered a symbol of communication and messages. In the language of flowers, the three leaves of Iris represents faith, hope, and wisdom. Or, rather, mean something else.
    • Craspedia for Kyouko, which represents good health. Commonly known as just billy balls or billy buttons, they are cheerful, bright yellow flowers. The round pompom flowers are fairly inexpensive and a great accent flower when paired. Her transformation in Rebellion features Epiphyllum, the Orchid Cactus. A lone blossom, fragile yet beautiful, despite one finds this flower of humble origin, harsh environment, and prickly exterior.
    • Borage for Sayaka. It represents courage, bluntness, abruptness, and rudeness. An old adage, "I, borage, always bring courage." Since men who are civil and respectful when sober often become blunt and rude in manner when under the influence of warming cordials, this warming property may have led to borage being used as the emblem of bluntness and rudeness. It is indeed deemed a suitable representative of these characteristics on account of its rough and shaggy appearance the whole plant hanging loosely and being covered with rough hairs.
  • Princess Tutu has a few examples. First of all, there's a rose in a vase in the dorm room he and Fakir share. It starts off as a bud, then slowly begins to bloom as Mytho gets more and more pieces of his heart returned to him. However, when his heart shard of love is poisoned with evil Raven's blood by Kraehe, the rose begins to wilt. Also, Princess Tutu's powers are connected to pink flowers and vines which is later to be revealed because Mytho's powers involve flowers, and her powers come from one of his heart shards. The flamboyant Femio also gives out roses, probably as a symbol of his over-the-top, false chivalry and "love".
  • In Revolutionary Girl Utena, the characters couldn't go anywhere without coming across a rose. The rings that signified the duelists sported a rose crest, Ohtori's gate had a huge rose design on top of it, each duelist had a rose of their signature color as a target when they fought, and a group of antagonists were called the Black Rose duelists, to name but a few. In the movie, they up the ante, and the famous "dance in the rose garden" shows an Ohtori drowning in roses. Just to drive the point home, the Meaningful Names backed up the imagery: "Utena" and "Anthy" mean "calyx" and "flower," respectively.
    • The color of the duelists' signature rose generally links back to their hair color (with the exception of Utena's white rose). There may or may not be further symbolism behind the color choice: Red rose (Touga)= passion/lust; Orange rose (Juri) = desire (as in desire for Shiori to reciprocate her feelings), Yellow rose (Nanami)= jealousy which she exhibits towards anyone who would take Touga away from her; White rose (Utena) = innocence/purity. Saionji's green rose is more difficult; since it doesn't exist in reality, there's no meaning assigned to it...but green is traditionally the color of envy. Strangely, although "true" blue and black roses don't exist (except for the Halfeti rose, which is initially crimson, but turns black over time), they do have popular meanings: Black rose (black rose duelists) = death, blue rose (Miki) = impossible dreams/magic...which makes more sense in the manga, where Miki's dream is to remain "pure forever," which Anthy flatly states is an impossible dream, an illusion.
      • Believe it or not, green roses mean "I am from Mars" in floriography. This is probably not the meaning intended here. They do exist, as a mutant form that has extra sepals instead of petals.
  • SHUFFLE! Nearly every character, including the men, are named after flowers.
  • The manga Stepping on Roses (Hadashi de Bara wo Fume) has a good deal of flower imagery. The protagonist's relationship with the male lead can be compared directly to a rose... while he is beautiful, Sumi can get hurt whenever she gets too close.
  • In The Story of Saiunkoku, the symbolic gift of a flower from the Emperor (usually as a motif on a weapon or piece of jewelry, although Ryuuki sends actual fresh irises to Shuuei and Kouyuu since he's in a hurry, and later replaces them with more appropriate equivalents) is both a gesture of trust and an indication of what the Emperor respects from that particular subject's service; accepting such a gift is, in return, a gesture of loyalty to the Emperor who presented it.
  • Tokyo Ghoul makes subtle and not-so-subtle use of floral motifs throughout the series, primarily in artwork or backgrounds.
    • In the final episode of the anime, flowers are used extensively in Kaneki's hallucinations. The field is initially all white Carnations (Innocence) — flowers his mother filled their house with prior to her death. Rize's appearance prompts the flowers to transform into Spider Lilies, a motif that continues through the episode as Kaneki comes to grips with his past and accepts his nature as a Ghoul. As he awakens, the carnations transform into Spider Lilies as though a spreading pool of blood.
    • In his final appearance in the original series, Kaneki has a dream of walking through a field of Red Spider Lilies In his vision, he is accompanied by younger versions of himself while coming to grips with himself and resolving to "sleep for a while".
    • Daffodils feature prominently in the final chapters, as Kaneki faces Arima. A single Daffodil, as seen on the cover featuring Arima, means misfortune. On the other hand, Kaneki is repeatedly shown in fields of daffodils, which symbolize Respect, Rebirth, and New Beginnings. The flower is associated with the New Year.
    • Hinami is associated with Sunflowers, which symbolize Adoration. She wears them on her clothing, as well as her hair decorations.
    • Tsukiyama brings a bouquet of Rudobekia (Black-Eyed Susans) when visiting Kaneki's group to bring them information, and places one in Hinami's hair while talking to her. They symbolize Encouragement and Motivation. They are also noted as an attractant for Butterflies, which Hinami is associated with.
    • The other flower Kaneki is frequently drawn with is Osmanthus Fragrans, the Sweet Olive. It has associations not only with reunion and faithfulness, but knowledge and peace.
  • The first chapter of the Tokyo Mew Mew manga introduces most of the characters with specific flower backgrounds that give clues to their personalities.
  • Rinne's Transformation Sequence in ViVid Strike! prominently features a red rose at one point, and her magic takes the form of thorny vines when applying her Barrier Jacket.
  • Wedding Peach gives the Love Angels' flowers meanings, but other than Momokonote  they don't match well with either European or Japanese languages:
    • Angel Lily / Yuri note  "In the language of flowers the name of the pure lily is special. It means 'It will bloom and grant love'"
    • Angel Daisy / Hinagiku note  "The daisy is the emblem of the innocent heart. It will blow away the evil wind!"
    • Angel Salvia / Scarlet note  "In the language of flowers, Salvia means burning heart. Warrior of Heaven, Angel Salvia, is here!"
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds: Aki Izayoi uses a Rose Deck. She is mainly associated with the black rose and red rose. The black rose represents the dark side of her, as she's seen as a witch for the majority of her life. After making up with her family, the red rose becomes more prominent, representing her love for her family and her love for her friends. Her Black Rose Dragon represents both colors, being a black dragon with red rose petals as body parts, but it still attacks with black rose petals and black vines.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V:
    • Yuzu Hiiragi represents the flower aspect of the Kachou Fuugetsu theme, thus her deck has a flower motif. It's not as obvious as with the decks of her three counterparts, since the musical aspect of Yuzu's Gensō/Melodious Deck overshadows the flower motif instead of the other way around, but her Gensō no Hanakasei/Melodious Choir monsters, reflect Yuzu's flower motif the most.
    • Yuri has a carnivorous plant motif, representing his dangerous hunger for preys and power, thus he uses a Predator Plants Deck. As twisted as he is, he describes his plants as flowers, which isn't exactly incorrect. The theme is also present in Starve Venom Fusion Dragon, which is sort of a hybrid between a dragon and carnivorous plants. His evolution, Greedy Venom Fusion Dragon, still follows the carnivorous plant theme, but his more colorful body and beautiful wings make him appear more like a beautiful flower. After Zarc is detracted from Yuri's and Yuya's souls, Yuri loses his evilness and Starve Venom has also become benevolent. As Starve Venom fuses with Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon to become Odd-Eyes Venom Dragon, Starve Venom gets a fully purified form, gaining a beautiful violet and white body and trades his carnivorous plant theme for a Cherry Blossom theme, representing Yuri's and Starve Venom's Heel–Face Turn. Odd-Eyes Venom Dragon is so beautiful that even the Fusion-hating Asuka Tenjouin is astonished by his beauty alone, and once Odd-Eyes Venom uses his Monster Effect, his wings generate a pair of large energy wings, giving him the appearance of a beautiful "blooming flower".
  • YuYu Hakusho: Kurama generally uses plants as his weapons, but he's mostly associated with roses and his Rose Whip. The rose may represent his love for his human mother and his overall beautiful appearance, and the anime gave him red hair to empathize his rose motif.
  • Yuri Kuma Arashi is drenched in lilies, as befitting a setting where nearly everyone is a closeted lesbian.

  • The Lady of Shalott (Holman Hunt): Crushed violets, symbolizing faith, hope, and wisdom, are on the floor, since the lady has abandoned her duty.
  • Millais' Ophelia is surrounded by numerous types of flowers which all have symbolic meaning.
    • The violets around Ophelia's neck symbolize faithfulness and chastity, but also death.
    • The willow above her head and the pansies in the water symbolize unrequited love and love in vain respectively, referring to her complex relationship with Hamlet.
    • The nettles represent pain.
    • The daisies by her hand represent innocence.
  • The Persistence of Memory: The denuded tree is an olive, which has historically symbolized wisdom and enlightenment. A bare olive tree thus means the absence of it, fitting for a surreal dreamscape.

    Comic Books 
  • Gambit and Rogue of the X-Men sometimes make use of flower symbolism. When they are reunited after Gambit's sojourn in Antarctica Gambit presents Rogue with a white rose, claiming it represents "new beginnings." Rogue is contemptuous though, pointing out that "white lilies mean death. Does that go for roses too?" In actual fact, Gambit is probably correct — white roses traditionally mean innocence/purity.
    • And then there's the fact that Gambit's ex-wife is called "Belladonna"...
  • In Runaways, Klara's plant-control powers are strongest with red roses. In floriography, red roses are associated with either romantic love or Christianity, and the two main things Klara is known for are her very close friendship with Molly and her strict religious upbringing.
  • Sleepless is chock full of poppies. Protagonist Lady Pyppenia is nicknamed "Poppy," and the flower appears frequently thanks to its associations with sleep and dreams.

    Fan Works 
  • Thanks to a tumblr prompt, there are a surprising number of fanfics on Archive of Our Own based on the premise of a character walking into a flower shop and asking how to use the language of flowers to give someone a passive-aggressive "Fuck you!" The solution tends to involve some combination of geraniums (for stupidity), foxglove (insincerity), meadowsweet (uselessness), yellow carnations (you have disappointed me), and orange lilies (hatred). One artist even drew what such a bouquet might look like.
  • Used in the Better Bones AU to represent the various competing political ideologies. Thistleclaw uses his namesake the thistle to demonstrate his philosophy of extreme violence and xenophobia, as shown by how attacking a thistle bush only leaves you wounded and the bush fine. Bluestar, the progenitor of the more compassionate "fire alone" ideology, and her True Companions use forget-me-nots as a symbol of their friendship which inspired their political beliefs. Traditionalists who believe in the Clans never helping each other but not upsetting the balance between them and destroying each other use the metaphor of a honeysuckle bush used in canon in The Last Hope to represent how the Clans' fighting makes them stronger but they all come from the same roots.
  • Burning Bridges, Building Confidence:
    • Marinette's favorite flower is established as the apple blossom. One thing these can symbolize is good fortune or the promise of better times ahead. Fitting for a story about her recovering from having Lila turn her classmates against her, building stronger friendships, and coming out all the stronger for it.
    • In the side-story Creation's Curiosity, Tikki examines some of the projects her chosen has been working on. Among them is a list of flowers that all symbolize warnings, rebuke, or outright insults, and she realizes that Marinette intends to use the arrangement to subtly chastise her classmates.
  • Camellias: The story's name relates to floral language. Upon first meeting as children, Blake gives Weiss camellias (which symbolize longing and faithfulness) as an apology gift after upsetting her. Weiss asks Blake if she understands their meaning. When Blake is unable to answer, Weiss gets mad and throws her out of her room. When they meet eight years later, Weiss gives Blake a bouquet of various flowers after accepting her as her future wife. By then, Blake fully knows the meaning of each one.
  • Child of the Storm:
    • In the sequel, Harry gives Carol a Viscaria (slightly squashed after some time in his pocket) as part of his asking her to the Yule Ball, since, as he found on a little consultation with those older and wiser than him (and as he explains in a hurried and dorky gabble) that a Viscaria means "will you dance with me?" The answer is yes.
    • Later, Hermione gets stuck inside Harry's mind for safekeeping (as her body is being possessed by an Eldritch Abomination) and notes that each 'door' to a significant part of his mind has an indicator of some form or another. In the case of his psychic connection to Carol, who he's been quietly not-so-platonically devoted to for a long time (and they're now an Official Couple), the door is littered with flower motifs: the aforementioned Viscaria, intertwined with flowering ivy (fidelity, affection, friendship, eternity) in an arch, adorned with three roses — red (true romantic love), yellow (caring, platonic love), and blue (mystery and impossibility in the West, perfectly fulfilled love in the East). Since Hermione does a lot of unnecessary background reading, she knows exactly what they mean and is fondly amused.
      • A reviewer suggested that alternatively, the roses can represent the three women Harry is connected to: Carol is the red rose (true love and respect), Jean is the yellow rose (caring platonic love), and Maddie is the blue (mysterious and unique). Word of God has it that that was a complete accident, but remarkably fitting.
      • It's also worth noting that ivy is tied to the myth of Tristan and Isolde, growing from their graves and intertwining no matter how often they were separated. It also symbolises marriage, and arches — particularly those decorated with flowers — are symbolically closely associated with marriage. Foreshadowing? Knowing the author, you can't rule it out...
  • Cellar Secrets: Marigolds, which usually represents grief and despair over lost love, likewise, it's also associated with cruel treatment towards a loved one. Besides initially wanting to name Ryuuko "Marigold", it was also mentioned that a photo of Soichiro and Ragyou had them dancing in a field of wildflowers, among them were marigolds, thus the significance of her name being that the flower reminding him of one of the happier moments of their lives before their marriage collapsed.
  • Cinderjuice:
    • Lydia gets a corsage from Beetlejuice. It includes deadly nightshade (which fits her love of dark and spooky things) and calla lilies (which symbolize "magnificence" and "beauty," have a long association with funerals and death, and more recently are sometimes used in wedding bouquets).
    • In the sequel, The Bug Princess, part of Lydia's project involves photographing meaningful plants based on the language of flowers. These include a forsythia ("anticipation"), a larch ("audacity"), a black poplar ("courage"), a juniper ("protection"), and a green locust tree ("affection beyond the grave"), all of which are meaningful in regards to her and Beetlejuice's relationship. Especially since BJ is about to propose.
  • Love Confessions: Sumire tries to confess to Lucia by giving her meaningfully crafted bouquets.
  • Double Agent Vader: Vader always orders the flower arrangements for Palpatine's Empire Day celebrations. Palpatine never learned Naboo flower language. Vader did, and there is enough of Anakin's sense of humor to use said arrangements to convey what he really thinks of the Emperor in a way that Palpatine wouldn't understand. Pooja Naberrie, who does, always has a good laugh at the decorations.
  • Fairest (Afterandalasia): While the Queen is recovering, Snow White delivers to her lavender, marigolds, and aspen leaves. Snow White's prince thinks that she's being nice and forgiving until he looks up the floral meanings behind them. All three are ominous: mistrust, cruelty, and lamentation.
  • Foundling: Yukari and her kimono with lycoris flowers embroidered on it, said flowers in question being associated with death, the which, in the and due to her past, she wished to take her away. Due to the fact that she hadn't died, said flowers came to represent her "defiant" sorrows, along with her overall bitterness of the past.
  • Infinity Train: Blossomverse: This is a recurring motif:
    • Infinity Train: Blossoming Trail: The lotus flower is a symbol of Chloe Cerise and her growth. Lotus flowers are all about rebirth, enlightenment and self-renewal, which reflect how Chloe is becoming a brand new her throughout her adventures in the Infinity Train. She names the group of her, Atticus and Lexi as the Red Lotus Trio because of how Atticus first called her "Chloe of the Vermillion" (as Vermillion is a shade of autumn red) and one fond memory she had in Vermillion City is seeing the lotus flowers at the park. During their stay in The Crayon Car, they take a boat across a pond full of lotus flowers and leaves floating on the surface.
    • Tokio is represented with zinnias. His last name (Chisou) is based on the Japanese name for the Zinnia (Hyakuchisou) and when he was on the Infinity Train, he was tattooed with a zinnia compass. Zinnias represent remembrance and lasting friendships, relating to his friendship with Goh and how he failed to be there for him due to a fever.
    • Goh Fujihachi is represented with wisterias. His last name in the story being Fujihachi ("Fuji" being the Japanese word for wisteria) and one meaning of wisterias are patience. The author's note sarcastically brings up how he's been ever so patient in his quest to find Mew to the point of disregarding everything else.
    • Atticus is symbolized with red tulips. Red tulips are symbolized with love which represents Atticus bonding not only with Chloe and Lexi but also how he misses his dear friend Tulip Olsen.
    • Hop is represented with Hyacinths. His last name is "Hyacin", and hyacinths symbolize power, pride and competition, which relates to Hop wanting to be a powerful Trainer like his brother Leon.
    • Infinity Train: Knight of the Orange Lily: Lillie gifts Gladion a bouquet of orange gladiolus lilies. Ash assumes the orange resembles the Alolan sunsets; he later learns from Lillie that they mean hatred as she's angry of Gladion basically keeping critical information about the Nihilego incident from her for years.
  • The King Nobody Wanted: House Tyrell's rose sigil comes in for discussion across the Narrow Sea where the Dothraki khals are commenting on Westerosi sigils. They conclude that, while flowers are pretty and seemingly harmless, they can grow back from grievous damage and conceal thorns amidst their leaves, and that men who use them as their symbols must be men to be wary of. This is supported later in the story when Garth Tyrell tells another character how he deliberately cultivates a reputation as a harmless oaf to disguise his political acumen and talent with poisons.
    Khal Peylo: Flowers are pretty, but hardy. A man can slash them with his arakh but they grow back more than ever. And they often bear prickles and thorns that can slash a horse's feet, so it throws its rider.
    Khal Drogo: And the flower khals are exactly like that.
    Khal Peylo: Men to be wary of.
  • The Legend of Royal Blue and La Sylphide: Gabriel Agreste lives at the Hôtel Camélia during his teen years. As the name suggests, the building and residents are associated with camellia flowers. It's a nod to the signature flower of Gabriel's namesake, Coco Chanel. There is a camellia bush in the courtyard, Frau Tannenbaum calls the local stray cat "Darjeeling," and paper camellias are worn at Monsieur Lévêque's memorial.
  • The Night Unfurls:
    • The workshop of the Hunter's Dream is surrounded by white flowers and gravestones. While Bloodborne doesn't specify as to what sort of flowers they are, the remastered version of the fanfic notes that these flowers are white asphodels. White asphodels are associated with mourning and death. Fitting for a melancholy yet tranquil place like the Dream, filled with memorials of hunters who have participated the Night of the Hunt. Its master has also caused and experienced death more times than he can count.
    • The lily is associated with purity, chastity, and, less commonly, rebirth. The character of the same name starts out as a nun of the Church, suffers a Rape as Drama, becomes Kyril's third apprentice, serves as Combat Medic during the war, and Takes A Level In Bad Ass. Quite the journey.
    • According to the remastered version, the Iris Knights, led by Alicia Arcturus, are the finest light cavalry forces of Feoh, where every member is expected to follow the ideal of the Knight in Shining Armor. Common meanings of the iris are royalty, faith, wisdom, hope, and valour.
  • Only Flowers Fall: Lillie gives her mother cyclamen (used for goodbyes) at the hospital. The meaning is lost upon the nurses, who just think that Lillie's being a doting daughter. Lillie had thought of giving Lusamine orange lilies (a sign of hatred) but decided they were too obviously aggressive looking.
  • Passing Days: Some Servants call the protagonist Vy "little flower" as a reference to her lotus-shaped Command Seals and how they see her as a blooming flower in the face of adversity.
  • Pokémon Crossing: The three main characters are represented by flowers:
    • Holly: Hollyhocks, fitting her ambitious personality. She names herself after the flower when she comes out as a girl.
    • Kidd: Pansies, which symbolizes love for another. Kidd's the most romantic one of the group, and he gifts the other two flowers when asking them out.
    • Tank: Camellias, which represent love and passion. He's the local Hoennian of the group (camellias are known as the Japanese rose), his mother's name is Camilla, and he's passionate about drawing art and training Grass-type Pokemon.
  • Total Drama Legacy:
    • Violet is associated with, and named after, violets. Not only are violets associated with lesbians and romance between women, which fits with how Violet is the only Total Drama Legacy contestant to have two mothers, but the violet is also the state flower of New Jersey, where Violet is from.
    • Emilia seems to be associated with roses, given that she has a rose in her hair and her racing helmet is decorated with roses and hearts in "Shut Up and Drive". This fits her well — not only because roses are associated with love, but also because of the phrase "every rose has its thorns", which fits her Silk Hiding Steel nature.
  • Walking in Circles: Evelyn is often associated with flowers, either as a small, unassuming but poisonous flower, or dried flowers that strung together, to be swayed by the winds helplessly, or little flowers that bloom strongly on rock walls despite their circumstance.
  • In the doujin novel, Zelda and the Manacle of Cahla, a plum blossom is the emblem of Zelda's hometown, Shion Village. Plum blossoms symbolize the coming of Spring in Japanese culture, so it may represent the end of Zelda's peaceful life in Shion (Winter) and the start of her adventure.

    Films — Animation 
  • Frozen:
    • In Frozen, the crocus flower, a symbol of Spring, is the emblem of Arendelle. In trailers, Olaf pauses to sniff a crocus in the snow.
    • In the short film "Frozen Fever", there are sunflowers on Anna's outfit and her birthday cake.
  • In Barbie in the 12 Dancing Princesses, each of the twelve sisters is associated with a specific flower, and said flowers can be seen on their gowns and are printed on the front of their individual copies of their mother's storybook.
    • Ashlyn: Geranium
    • Blair: Larkspur
    • Courtney: Forget-me-not
    • Delia: Sunflower
    • Edeline: Honeysuckle
    • Fallon: Camellia
    • Genevieve: Pink rose
    • Hadley: Narcissus
    • Isla: Lily of the valley
    • Janessa: Jonquil
    • Kathleen: Daisy
    • Lacey: White lily
  • Coco: There are Aztec marigold petals covering the floor in Ernesto's tomb. They also form the bridge between the world of the living and the dead, and a petal is used to embody the blessing that can return a living person from the Land of the Dead. Truth in Television, since marigolds (known in Mexico as Cempazúchitl) are a symbol of Dia de Muertos in Mexican culture. Traditionally, a trail of marigold petals leading from the entrance of the house to the altar is used to guide the spirits of the deceased.
  • Turning Red: In the Cantonese dub, Mei's given name is transcribed as 美蓮 (Méihlìhn, or Mei-lin), meaning "beautiful lotus". In traditional Chinese literature, the lotus flower symbolizes purity and incorruptibility, as it is clean even though it grows in the mud, which may hint towards her mother's perfectionistic expectations towards her.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 8 Women: The opening credits present the eight actresses with a certain flower that symbolized their characters.
  • American Beauty is, in fact, a variety of rose.
  • Blue Bayou: The lily. Parker gets a Fleur de Lis tattoo, a symbol of Louisiana, and notes that lilies were her deceased mother's favorite flower. It is also (incorrectly) conflated with the water lily, an especially common flower in Parker's native Vietnam, and she notes it as a symbol of resilience.
  • The Brown Bunny: All of the women that Vincent Gallo's character meets in the film have the names of flowers.
  • Curse of the Golden Flower: Crysanthemums are a constantly recurring motif, up to the point that they're used as the badge for a rebellion army.
  • Darling, How Could You!: In this hysterical Morgan Freeman film, a teenage girl attends a melodramatic play in which the villain tries to charm the virtuous heroine with dark red roses. When her mother receives the same — plus an invitation to dinner — from a family friend, the girl assumes he's after her mom.
  • Don Juan DeMarco: This Motif is used several times. When psychiatrist Dr. Mickler is talking the title character out of a suicide attempt, he introduces himself as "Don Octavio de Florez." Coming to work after a night of romancing his wife Marilyn, Dr. Mickler cheerfully plucks tulips from the front of the mental institution and hands them out to the staff. When Mickler first proposes they go to "the Island of Eros", rather than their planned trip to the (antique) Pyramids, Marilyn is reluctant to take such a step: "I like it here, I like my garden." But the Island proves to have a far greater abundance of blooms: "It was like the Garden (of Eden) before the fall." A probable clue to the symbolism is this VO reverie near the movie's beginning:
    DON JUAN DEMARCO: "Every true lover knows that the moment of greatest satisfaction comes when ecstasy is long over. And he beholds before him the flower which has blossomed beneath his touch."
  • Imagine Me & You: One of the main characters is a florist who spends quite a bit of time explaining the symbolism of various flowers: most notably her Love Interest's favorite — the lily, which she translates as "I dare you to love me."
    • Relating the history of the botanical name of the Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia), which was named after Queen Charlotte (of Mecklenburg-Strelitz), who had a very close, long, and loving relationship with her husband, George III, indicates how much she prizes lasting relationships and fidelity, which was the reason for her misgivings about coming between Rachel and Hector, which is why she eventually decides to leave London.
  • Kate & Leopold: The Duke of Albany teaches Kate's brother how to send a message to the woman he's interested in using Victorian florigraphy.
    Leopold: "No, no, this will not do."
    Charlie: "Wha... Why? What is wrong with this one?"
    Leopold: "The orange lily implies extreme hatred. The begonia and lavender danger and suspicion, respectively." Every flower has a meaning, Charles. Might I suggest the amaryllis, which declares the recipient a most splendid beauty. Or the cabbage rose.
  • Letter from an Unknown Woman: Stefan gets one white rose for his date Lisa. It stands as a symbol for her pure, unadulterated love. Unfortunately, once she finds Stefan again, she brings him a bundle of white roses to try and make him remember her, but he doesn't.
  • Pink Floyd The Wall: The "frigging flowers" scene is disturbingly symbolic of the protagonist Pink's conflicts with his wife.
  • Paranormal Prison: It's stated in the movie that a collection of four roses is associated with Mary Beth Flake.
  • Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me: Played with. The significance of the FBI "blue rose cases" is never explained. The popular interpretation among fans is that it refers to cases involving the supernatural, though. Blue roses are sometimes used as a symbol of "the impossible/the unobtainable" (because they don't exist naturally and are the result of dyeing or genetic tinkering).
  • V for Vendetta: The vigilante known as “V” leaves scarlet carsons (a type of rose) as his calling card. It’s later revealed that he first learned about them as a prisoner; a woman in an adjoining cell scrawled the story of her life on toilet paper and slipped the pieces through to whoever was next door, in the hopes that someone would know about her. When V is finally killed by the authorities, his friend Evey Hammond places his body in a train and covers it with the flowers, before sending the train to blow up the Houses of Parliament.
  • White Noise: White lilies, a symbol of death and mourning, appear consistently throughout the 2005 thriller.
  • The White Orchid: White orchids traditionally symbolize innocence and purity. It's ironic here, as the woman called The White Orchid is anything but innocent and pure.

  • The Accursed: This Joyce Carol Oates novel compares The Ingenue Annabel to a narcissus when she is first introduced. In the same chapter, she meets Axson Mayte while he is cutting narcissi in her family's garden, foreshadowing the fact that he will be her corrupter and cause her death. Axson himself is associated with the "angel trumpet" flower, which is highly poisonous, causing death or mental deterioration (and, incidentally, also looking like a lily, thus associating to funerals).
  • Angel Child, Dragon Child: Hoa-phuong is a flower that blooms in Vietnam and is used as a symbol of Ut’s connection to her home country. Her precious matchbox, which has her mother's photo inside, is decorated with one of those flowers.
  • Aunt Dimity: Many and recurring throughout the series, partially justified by the setting and ties to England generally and the Cotswolds specifically. Many of the residents of Finch are devoted amateur gardeners, and gardening and flowers are frequent plot points. A partial list:
    • Dimity's favourite flowers are white lilacs, which according to some sources stand for youthful innocence and memories. Some of them grow at her cottage, and bouquets of them (sans cards) appear at weddings, funerals, and other special occasions both before and after her death. The twins' first nanny Francesca is welcomed by the scent of white lilacs in the cottage.
    • The cottage is also covered in ivy (particularly outside the study where Lori keeps the glue journal), which is variously described in the sources as referring to friendship, matrimonial bonds, and dependence.
    • Early in Aunt Dimity and the Duke, Emma Porter is an American amateur gardener who is taking a tour of English gardens after a decade-plus relationship ends. She meets the Pym sisters at a garden maze and has a lengthy conversation with them on the subject, not realizing that it was a job interview of sorts. She takes their card and their suggestion to visit the gardens at Penford Hall and is soon tasked with restoring a walled garden on the estate. She also finds her personal life sorted out as well.
    • Lori's favourite flowers are blue irises. She is astonished to find a vase of them on a coffee table in the Willises' Boston parlour (in a cold and slushy early April) the day after she first met the attorneys. Irises are associated with the Greek messenger goddess of the same name, and blue irises specifically stand for faith and hope.
    • The unkempt vicarage garden is a problem in Aunt Dimity Digs In, not to mention cover for a burglar. Emma Harris takes the place in hand, with an ebullient eight-year-old Rainey Dawson to assist her. The cleanup provides a clue to one of the minor mysteries of the book.
    • Later on in the same book, Rainey has an arrangement of orange lilies to surround her stuffed tiger for a local contest until she causes a mishap that knocks over the vase. Not only do the orange flowers go well with the tiger, the flowers can mean passion.
    • The weeping willows around the village war memorial (symbolizing mourning) are replaced with holly (meaning foresight and/or domestic happiness).
    • Miranda Morrow has a garden chaotically filled with unusual plants that other gardeners might term weeds (including references to marijuana, though nothing is proven). Miranda is an independent-minded sort (the village's only known practising Wiccan) who prepares medicinal poultices, teas, and infusions.
    • The Pym sisters are associated with lavender (meaning variously serenity, grace, calmness, devotion, or distrust); the scent of lavender water permeates their cottage.
    • When we finally meet Bree Pym in Aunt Dimity Down Under, she's wearing a greenstone pendant in the shape of a koru (an opening fern frond), and when she finally rises from her seat to leave the park with Lori, she "unfolded like an opening fern frond". Bree also has several flower tattoos:
    • Willis Sr. eventually retires and moves to an old estate near Finch. He cultivates orchids in his greenhouse, just as he had in the hothouse of his Boston home. Orchids are symbolic of refined beauty, and Willis sr. is nothing if not refined.
    • A botanical artist of great renown features in Aunt Dimity and the Village Witch. A subplot turns on a particular painting of hers (a spring crocus symbolizing youthful gladness) and the language of flowers, and the exposition of its meaning fills in some of Willis Sr.'s Backstory.
  • Beauty and the Beast: Almost all versions and retellings focus on roses, which are not only the flowers Beauty asks her father for that trigger his fateful meeting with the Beast but also a famous symbol of love. Two retellings that add extra layers of symbolism and meaning to this flower motif are Beastly, which emphasizes that white roses mean true love and has the Beast plant a flower called "Little Linda" in his greenhouse in honor of the Beauty's arrival, and Rose Daughter, which goes all-out on the rose motif by decorating every single thing in the Beast's castle with it and having Beauty's major motivation at the castle be reviving the Beast's near-dead rose garden.
  • Circle of Magic: Justified, as one of the main characters is a plant mage. He even named himself after a flower. Briar Moss is a prickly character who hides his affection for his "sisters" behind barbed words. His knowledge of plants is useful when flowers hint at more than his magic though: when talking to the Empress of Namorn, she explains that her favorite plants include orchids — to which Briar admits he thinks of them as "parasites." The empress's liking for a plant that lives by killing others is a big clue to her character.
  • Conan the Barbarian: The black lotus and the gray lotus are often used in dark magic.
  • Chrysanthemum: Used negatively until the end. Chrysanthemum is indeed named after a flower but she does not like her name because her classmates make fun of her for it ("I'm named after my grandmother! You're named after a flower!"). As it turns out, the music teacher, who her class deeply admires, is also named after a flower; this is what gets them to stop.
  • The Da Vinci Code: Depictions/mentions of roses repeatedly show up as symbolic synonyms for the Holy Grail, most notably inlaid on the wooden box that holds the Priory Keystone.
  • Discworld: Parodied in the book Nanny Ogg's Cookbook, where after discussing how a man was once sued for having an obscene garden, Nanny Ogg gives a list of "pretty flowers and their meanings". The list itself is not present, however, because Nanny Ogg being who she is, the publisher inserts a note declaring they've yanked the list for being overly suggestive. (Though considering ALL flowers are plant reproductive organs, Nanny may have had a point...)
    • Note that the above is actually Truth in Television: the founder of the Hellfire Club, Sir Francis Dashwood, landscaped his garden in such a way that, from the church on the hill, it would look like a naked woman.
      • That'd be a literal obscene garden, whereas the one Nanny cites merely translated as obscene (or so the complaining party claimed) when interpreted via floriography.
  • Esperanza Rising: Roses are representative of Esperanza's father Sixto and their family ranch, El Rancho de la Rosas. After the ranch burns down and they flee to America, Miguel and Alfonso save some of the roots and plant them behind the new house as a way to keep his memory alive.
  • The Exiles: In Ruins of Ambrai, the rebels send secret messages to each other using flowers.
  • Harry Potter: Many characters are named after flowers, which is usually indicative of their personality and/or role in the narrative.
    • Harry's deceased mother, Lily Evans, is named after a flower which symbolizes death and mourning. They are also associated with Easter, and Lily herself is something of a Messianic Archetype, as she gives her life for Harry despite having the choice to not die.
    • Lily's sister, and Harry's aunt, Petunia is named after a popular garden flower, which actually falls into the same family as deadly nightshade. They represent resentment and anger, as well as (somewhat ironically given her attitude to her sister and nephew) demonic powers.
    • The Hogwarts school nurse, Poppy Pomfrey. Red poppies are a popular sign of remembrance in Great Britain and the Commonwealth countries, usually sold by the Royal British Legion around early November in the run-up to Remembrance Day, to support veterans/current soldiers and their families, with white poppies (for peace) being a sometimes controversial alternative. To say that they are Serious Business would not even begin to cover it. More pertinently, they're also the source for the opioid family of painkillers, including codeine, morphine, and derivatives thereof. "Pomfrey" is an old-fashioned name for Pontefract cakes, a liquorice pastille made in Pontefract, Yorkshire — liquorice (which is a plant used to flavor the eponymous candy, so it also counts as this trope) was once thought to be medicinal.
    • Padma Patil, Ron Weasley's date to the Yule Ball in Goblet of Fire, is named after the Sanskrit word for lotus flower.
  • Heart of Steel: A relatively subtle one occurs when Alistair takes Julia to lunch in one of his greenhouses, they discover that A.I. Arthur has decorated their eating area with yellow tulips, for reasons that he declined to explain to Alistair. Yellow tulips indicate "hopelessly in love", accurately reflecting Alistair's infatuation with Julia. Later, their dinner is decorated with red roses, indicating that his crush has turned into real love.
  • The Hunger Games: Flowers are seen everywhere in Suzanne Collins’ trilogy, both as actual plants and symbolic indicators. While in most instances the symbolism is played straight, meanings are occasionally inverted to create a more dramatic dissonance between the plant and its associated character:
    • Buttercup: Primrose Everdeen named her cat after this flower due to the muddy yellow color of his coat. While buttercups are typically small and delicate, this cat is anything but; over the course of the series he proves himself unexpectedly tough and tends to communicate purely by hissing to anyone whom he distrusts.
    • Dandelion: Although the association starts off as largely coincidental, Katniss Everdeen strongly connects these flowers with Peeta Mellark. They crop up numerous times in reference to her fellow tribute, and by the end she views both the flower and Peeta himself as symbols of hope and healing after all the trauma she’s been through.
    • Katniss: The heroine’s name is taken from a plant with arrowhead-shaped leaves (alluding to her archery skills) and edible tubers. As a child, Katniss learned how to forage for food in the woods, including digging up these plants as a potato substitute.
    • Posey: The namesake of Gale Hawthorne’s younger sister, though the word can refer to both a specific type of flower or a bunch/bouquet of assorted flowers.
    • Primrose: The namesake of Katniss’ younger sister, who's described as fresh-faced and lovely. She’s also the inciting incident for the whole series, as Katniss volunteers for the Games to protect her sister from being (in all likelihood) killed.
    • Rose: President Snow’s favorite and which he typically wears in his lapel. In Katniss’ eyes, the typical symbolic meanings of love and beauty become completely inverted, due to the flowers’ association with and frequent use by her enemy as a weapon against her.
      • In the prequel novel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, it’s revealed that Snow’s grandmother grew roses on the roof of their apartment building, and that his mother perfumed herself with rose-scented powder, so clearly roses run in the family.
    • Rue: Katniss’ ally in the arena of the 74th Hunger Games shares a name with a flower that grows near her home in District 12. Described as nearly identical to Primrose in height and stature.
    • Hawthorn: Gale's family bears the surname Hawthorne (which may be an allusion to the author), but which resembles katniss and is associated with May (Katniss's birth month), fertility, and matches Gale's thorny personality.
  • Kushiel's Legacy: Each of the houses/themes of the Night Court are inspired by flowers.
    • Additionally, Phedre's marque, a full-length back tattoo, is of a briar rose, symbolizing her relationship with pain.
  • In the Korean novel Lady To Queen, the Peggy Sue protagonist Patrizia has to take part in a contest to be the future empress in her ill fated twin sister's place. During the embroidery contest she embroiders lavender flowers in a handkerchief for the emperor. Lavander means distrust, in the first timeline the emperor and his mistress executed Patrizia's entire family on trumped up charges.
  • Little Women: While Laurie and Amy are taking a walk through a rose garden, Laurie gets pricked by a red rose he tried to pick while thinking of Jo, whom he last saw when she turned down his marriage proposal. Amy then gives him a thorn-free white rose. Laurie instantly thinks of the color symbolism — red roses are for romance, white roses are for funerals, and he wonders if this is either a sign about his changing feelings for the two sisters or an omen of death. He chides himself for being so superstitious and laughs it off, but since eventually he and Amy fall in love and Beth dies, it doesn't sound so funny.
  • Madgie, what did you do?: The symbolism of flowers is usually there, often in the form of lilies, which are mostly associated with innocence and death (like most portrayals). In the 56th story, we get lycoris flowers, which are often associated with death (said flowers being planted in and around graveyards), at the same time, they are also associated with not seeing someone again or lost memories.
    • Similarly, in an unrelated story, Broken Gate, we also have lycoris flowers, the which are related to Nezumi and her rather bleak situation considering that she dies in the end, the which being foreshadowed by it being mentioned that she had them growing around her home, her minion bringing her siblings a lycoris flower and their grief, and, not too long before her demise, she gathers up a large group of them and replants them around the titular gate.
  • Maria Watches Over Us has quite a few Flower Motifs, especially when it comes to roses.
  • Miss Marple: A short story relies on this. A letter from an unknown person called Georgine was sent to an ex-The Mole who'd taken out a German secret society that would inform the society's mole in his household to kill him. This was done by spelling out "DEATH" with the names of varieties of dahlia. At the end, Miss Marple comments that Georgine is German for Dahlia, which in the language of flowers stands for deceit and treachery (the killer was the agent's niece).
  • October Daye: In the novel Rosemary and Rue, Luna had given Connor a basket filled with love-lies-bleeding and love-in-idleness; since he's her son-in-law, he's sure it's a message. She is begging him to love her daughter. Who is insane due to both traumatic imprisonment in childhood and contradictory biology.
  • The Pirate: In this Poul Anderson novel, Trevelyn notes that the aliens who built the ruins loved floral motifs above all other forms of decoration.
  • Purple Hibiscus: The titular is an experimental strain of the (normally red) plant, which stands for change, hope, and freedom; everything the main characters are struggling for.
  • Sad Cypress: There's a prominent motif of roses. Elinor likes red roses and Roddy likes white ones, which eventually makes her realize they aren't meant to be because their characters are too different. And the thornless red roses in Elinor's aunt's garden end up being a crucial clue: Poirot realizes one of the suspects is lying about having pricked her hand on a thorn and has in fact injected herself with apomorphine to throw up the poisoned tea.
  • Shadowrun: A Victoriana-obsessed decker from the first anthology named his cat Tansy, then set her beside his deck each time he began a hacking mission because the wild tansy is a declaration of war in floriography.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: The winter rose is a symbol of doomed and forbidden love for the Starks.
  • Teardrop: Eureka has a vision of a man kneeling in a field of jonquils, which are a symbol of mourning (for Ancient Greeks), as well as desire (Victorian interpretation). Both meanings are important in the context of the novel, as the man is in mourning over his father and then his desire causes the downfall of Atlantis.
  • V. C. Andrews' Dollenganger Saga features titles related to flowers and plants. Flowers in the Attic, Petals on the Wind, If There Be Thorns, Seeds of Yesterday, and Garden of Shadows. The flowers are a loose theme in the series as well: in the first book, the children make paper flowers to replace the real ones they're not allowed to see, and flowers (delicate, complicated roots, dark earth, and so on) are a motif throughout the rest of the books.
  • Louise Glück's poetry collection The Wild Iris is themed around various garden flowers throughout the seasons, and Glück mixes their visuals with various emotional themes like longing, mystery, and death. For example, "The Silver Lily" is about accepting death, and the eponymous poem is about what comes after.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In The Addams Family, Morticia sometimes prepares bouquets of roses minus the flowers, leaving only a display of thorny stems. (Not botanical but worth mentioning: Morticia has a sister named Ophelia. This is probably a Meaningful Name; see theatre, below.)
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Tara finds a sprig under her pillow and smiles at what seems to be a romantic gesture from her fellow witch and lover Willow. But she later looks up the plant and finds it's called Lethe's Bramble, used in spells of forgetting and mind control. In Greek mythology, Lethe is the river of forgetfulness in Hades, and a bramble is known for its tangled, prickly stems.
  • Edelweiss, the national flower of Switzerland, has some symbolism in the tail end of Crash Landing on You, as Switzerland is where Jeong-hyuk and Se-ri first met. In the finale, Jeong-hyuk leaves Se-ri edelweiss seeds and tells her they'll meet again where edelweiss blooms.
  • The Doctor Who story "Planet of the Spiders" features a lot of flowers — Tommy is introduced showing off a 'pretty flower' and reads books about children watering the flowers, the Doctor's machine for reading minds is called an IRIS, virtually every set features them, Sarah wears daisies on her lapel during the final regeneration.
    • The story "The Time Monster" features the Doctor recounting a childhood experience in which a hermit behind his house consoles him by wordlessly urging him to view a daisy on the barren ground, a parallel to the Zen Buddhist allegory of the flower sermon, recounted below. The Doctor calls it “the daisiest daisy I had ever seen”.
  • Game of Thrones: The sigil of House Tyrell is a golden rose on a green field. Everyone in the family wears clothing with a floral pattern, and this extends even to armour and accessories (like belts and brooches).
  • Ice Fantasy: Lotuses pop up again and again. The Hidden Lotus is the main MacGuffin in the first season. In the second season the Blood Red Lotus is even more powerful. And Lian Ji's name means Lotus.
  • Appears in Lois & Clark: Clark gives Lois yellow roses, telling her "yellow is for friendship" (This after a villain had been using more romantic gifts as Trojanhorses for his crimes, and to make her miserable). Also, a running gag involves Lois' inability to keep the plant on her desk alive; and during Season 1, we saw Lex Luthor meticulously trimming a bonsai tree.
  • Used in Mad Men as a nod to women's lives. Whether if it's about romance, the traditional roles of wife and mother, marriage, sadness, or in the case of Stan and Peggy, a blossoming relationship.
  • Guinevere from Merlin is closely associated with flowers, to the point where cast members make gags that Gwen is usually seen "arranging flowers". She takes bouquets to people, she wears them in her hair, and on one occasion, Arthur brings her a red rose.
    • Perhaps mixed with color motives. She wears white flowers (for innocence) inside her hair when she decides to take care of it, and becomes an innocent victim later on the same episode. The flowers she carries to Morgana are purple, perhaps also symbolizing Morgana's royal origins (coincidentally, she ends up wearing purple much more often after discovering that she is a princess).
  • Many British murder mysteries make reference to flowers — Belladonna (deadly nightshade) is a favorite as a poison. Rosemary & Thyme takes this to the next level though. Not only are the protagonists named after herbs, but the contents of their garden often provide a clue to the murder...or at least serve as inspiration for the aesop at the end.
  • Star Trek: Picard: The Coppelian synths embrace a floral theme. Dahj was named after a yellow-and-pink orchid (Orchidaceae Dahj oncidium), she and her sister Soji have memories of their father breeding orchids, Beautiful Flower is the male Ambassador who encountered the USS ibn Majid, and the ship-disabling vessels which look exactly like giant flowers are called Orchids. The staff weapons held by Codex and Rune vaguely resemble long floral stems, and the tips are styled like petals that haven't bloomed yet.

  • The folk song "The Seeds of Love" contains a series of flower motifs:
    My gardener was standing by,
    I asked him to choose for me,
    He chose me the violet, the lily and the pink,
    And it's them I refused all three.
    • The violet symbolises modesty, the lily chastity, the pink (pink rockrose) courtesy. The protagonist eventually chooses a red rose (romantic love), but unfortunately "gains the willow tree" (sorrow or death) instead.
  • Many Child Ballads, but especially "Scarborough Fair", due to its modern popularity. The refrain in "Scarborough Fair" (a.k.a. "The Elfin Knight") seems to represent a love spell:
    • Parsley: Provokes lust. Associated with witchcraft and fertility.
    • Sage: Wisdom, longevity.
    • Rosemary: Fidelity, memories.
    • Thyme: Used in folk herbalism to discern the identity of your true love; also a popular component in The Lady's Favour.
  • The eponymous gardens in the Irish song "Down By The Sally Gardens" are willow gardens (genus Salix), associated with sorrow.
  • The song Green Fields Of France has the line "and the red poppies dance". Red poppies after WWI became the symbol in floriography for fallen soldiers after they grew in the war-torn fields after the fighting stopped.
  • Mother Mother's song "Oleander" is about a Destructive Romance. This fits the floral meaning of the titular flower ("caution").
  • Flowers form a recurring theme in Depeche Mode's album covers; Violator features a high-contrast image of a red rose on a black background (with the "Enjoy the Silence" single using a white silhouette of the rose against a blue background), Exciter features a photograph of a foxtail bud, and The Best of Depeche Mode Volume 1 uses a white rose (with the single for "Martyr" using a negative of the same).
  • hinayukki's works commonly use flower imageries to symbolize the Mono no Aware themes depicted in the songs.
    • "Floriography" uses the forget-me-nots to commemorate the singer's dead lover, and symbolizes the lingering memories of their time spent together, even after the body has withered.
    • "Hana no Namida" directly compares life to a flower—beautiful, yet transient.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • The Flower Sermon, said to be the origin of Zen Buddhism, is a story in which the aged Gautama Buddha is said to have revealed the true nature of things wordlessly to one of his disciples by holding up a white lotus.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Hanafuda are a type of Japanese/Korean playing cards that use pictures of flowers instead of numbers. Each flower represents a different month of the year. They were popularized by Nintendo — yes, that Nintendoin the late 1800's.
  • Magic: The Gathering: Cards with "lotus" in their names produce mana of any color, going back to the overpowered "black lotus" from the first edition.
  • Nobilis: in the setting of the game, flowers are something like the programming language Heaven used to write the universe. Using flowers — according to their floriographical meaning — in ritualistic ways allow the characters (both the Nobles and the Excrucians) to mess directly with the fundamental forces of reality. Furthermore, Nobles incorporate flowers related to their Domain in their heraldry to signify which concept their personify. Awareness of the language of flowers is crucial to being a Noble (and a player of the game).

  • The image of the briar and the rose is all over Tom Waits' rock opera The Black Rider. "The Briar and the Rose", quoted at the top of this page symbolizes Wilhelm's realization that he can't marry Käthchen (the rose) without help from Pegleg (the briar). Then, in one of Pegleg's many Villain Songs, "Flash Pan Hunter", he gloats over his impending victory with the line "The briar is strangling the rose back down." And when Käthchen dies, what's the song? "The Last Rose of Summer Is Gone".
  • In The Glass Menagerie, the phrase "blue roses" becomes an important motif. Jim calls Laura "blue roses" because he mispronounces pleurosis, the name of her illness. A blue rose is a pretty and fascinating idea that can't exist in reality. So is Laura.
    • Also, Amanda spends a good monologue raving about the summer when she went mad for jonquils, symbolizing the high days of her youth, which she's constantly trying to relive. Jonquil is a name found in the American Southeast for the narcissus.
  • Ophelia gives the court of Denmark a botany lesson in Hamlet IV.v. Her tragic image of a mad young lady distributing flowers made her extremely popular among the Victorians, who were nuts about floriography. Some scholars, though, say that you should strip away the symbolism and look at what the flowers are used for: most of them are herbal abortifacients.
    Ophelia: "There's rosemary: that's for remembrance. Pray you, love, remember. And there is pansies: that's for thoughts."
  • In Patience, though Bunthorne confesses in his soliloquy that a "languid love for lilies does not blight me," he is careful to keep his public image, like Oscar Wilde's, associated with the flower.

    Video Games 
  • In A3 every character is associated with a different flower based on their personalities. Flowers are a big theme in the game, as locations are named after them (Hanasaki High, Ouka (bulb), St. Flora, and even 'Mankai' means 'Full bloom' (満開)).
    • Sakuya — Sakura/Cherry blossom note 
    • Masumi — Violet note 
    • Tsuzuru — Dandelion note 
    • Citron — Jasmine note 
    • Itaru — Gerbera/African Daisy note 
    • Chikage — Lily of the Valley note 
    • Tenma — Sunflower note 
    • Muku — Chinese Bellflower note 
    • Yuki — Lily note 
    • Misumi — Dahlia note 
    • Kazunari — Hibiscus note 
    • Kumon — Morning Glory note 
    • Banri — Cosmos note 
    • Juza — Red Spider Lily note 
    • Omi — Carnation note 
    • Taichi — Pansy note 
    • Sakyo — Chrysanthemum note 
    • Azami — Thistle note 
    • Tsumugi — Narcissus note 
    • Tasuku — Orchid note 
    • Azuma — Camellia note 
    • Hisoka — Anemone note 
    • Homare — Rose note 
    • Guy — Ranuncle note 
  • The cover art of Amnesia: The Dark Descent depicts a single rose in a puddle on the basement floor. In-game, roses appear to symbolise memories; rose petals appear in the air whenever Daniel remembers something, and background details in the game imply that rose oil is one of the main ingredients of the potion that gave him amnesia in the first place.
  • Battle Realms: This manifests as an actual faction in the game. The Lotus Clan is the most magically specialized faction in the game. Its units are all afflicted with some sort of corruption until they transform into a Warlock, at which point they violently expunge this corruption away. This symbolizes the flower's tendency to bloom in the mud, and how it seems so clean despite living in such a filthy place.
  • Bayonetta: The titular character is tied to rose motifs. The rose shows up when she receives heavy blows from enemies, and its petals fall all over the screen when she dies. Her mother's name was also Rosa. Jeanne has similar visual effects but her flower is the lily.
  • Dark Parables: Flowers, most notably roses and ivy, are a recurring theme in most installments of the parables.
  • Detention has daffodils, which represent prosperity and good fortune, but can also mean vanity and death. Like Ray's betrayal of the forbidden book club, which was motivated by selfish desire and ended up causing the deaths of most of the game's characters, with Ray herself committing suicide out of guilt when she realized what she'd done.
  • Diablo IV: Wherever Lilith appears, clusters of her own blood fall from the sky in the shape of rose petals. The rose symbolizes her maternal love for humanity, for they are the descendants of her children the Nephalem, and she would save those loyal to her as their Dark Messiah.
  • Fatal Frame V: Maiden of Black Water: Shiragiku has a flower motif associated with her. Her journals have cherry blossoms on them and her black kimono is adorned with higanbana flowers.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • In Final Fantasy VI, Cyan is something of a floral hobbyist, as demonstrated by the dozens of handcrafted silk flower arrangements in his room in the World of Ruin. Makes sense, given that ikebana (the traditional Japanese art of flower arrangement) was popularly promulgated among samurai.
    • In Final Fantasy VII, Aerith's association with flowers in general (lilies in particular) represents her connection to the earth, her pure heart, and her ability to bring life even to dead lands where nothing should grow.
    • Beatrix from Final Fantasy IX is associated with roses throughout the game (even her leitmotif is called "Rose of May"), probably in association with her status as a Lady of War.
    • In Final Fantasy X, Yuna, as well as being the Okinawan word for 'night' (contrasting Tidus' 'sun'), is also the Japanese name for the sea hibiscus, and hibiscus patterns are seen on her skirt, obi, and necklace. Her unique dressphere in X-2, Floral Fallal, also references this.
    • Yeul from Final Fantasy XIII-2. She is often seen with a daisy; a pretty flower that blooms and fades quickly.
    • The Primal Tsukuyomi in Final Fantasy XIV is heavily associated with the red spider lily, an autumn flower symbolically linked to death, lost memories, and abandonment. Half of her kimono flares like the petals of the lily and her Signature Move "Nightblossom" is shaped like a spider lily, all of it related to the suffering Yotsuyu endured in her life, including her brief period of amnesia, that lead her to become a Primal.
  • In Fire Emblem Fates, each of the warring realms has a flower symbol. The Medieval Europe-inspired Kingdom of Nohr has purple roses, the Medieval Japan-inspired Kingdom of Hoshido has Cherry Blossoms and the secret Kingdom of Valla has water lilies.
  • In Fire Emblem: Three Houses, you can give students gifts in order to raise support points with them and giving them flowers is a quick way to do so since flowers are easy to obtain. Certain characters have favourite flowers that tie into a personal motif of theirs:
    • Bernadetta states in a conversation with Byleth that she loves carnivorous plants, so her favourite is Pitcher Plants.
    • Dorothea's flowers are roses, symbolic of beauty and love, which fits with Dorothea's goals to use her looks to find a potential spouse nicely.
    • Petra's flower is the Sunflower, which represents loyalty and pride, tying into her loyalty to her homeland of Brigid.
    • Hilda's favourite flower is Anemone, which can mean expectation and fragility, which is very fitting as Hilda tries to make herself seem weak so people won't expect anything of her.
    • Constance likes Lily of the Valley, meaning "return to happiness", which is appropriate to her goal of restoring her fallen house.
    • Lysithea's favourite flower has a very dark irony to it, as lilies are traditionally associated with death.
  • In Grim Fandango, the whole idea of flowers is subverted. The plot takes place in the Land of the Dead and one of the only ways to make someone Deader than Dead is by using a special chemical that makes flowers grow on their bones. The game also features a character who manufactures these weapons, and likens himself to a florist rather than a weapons manufacturer, believing plants to be a symbol of life rather than death.
    • It seems that those who were florists in life are the only ones who can produce "sproutella" in the Land of the Dead. In fact, it's commented by at least one of the characters that it must be very psychologically painful to be a florist in the Land of the Dead, where the rather innocent and beautiful hobby that you had devoted yourself to in life becomes a horrifying weapon of beyond-murder. Many end up with their minds breaking from this knowledge.
  • .hack: Do you know what honeysuckles symbolize? Devoted affection. Cue Yowkow/Alkaid turning as red as the PS2 graphics allow.
  • In Harvest Moon: Light of Hope, the local florists, Carol and her son Dean, often talk about the meanings behind flowers. In one event, Doc asks the player to deliver Carol a cosmos flower for him. In return, Carol sends him a white rose to reject him.
  • The Hitman series and its protagonist, 47, have a stylized lily as their symbol.
  • Ib uses roses as Life Meters and they begin wilting when you take damage. Each main character has a different rose color: Ib's rose is red which represents courage and passion, Garry's rose is blue which represents mystery, and Mary's rose is yellow which represents friendship and jealousy.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • Kairi's Keyblade, Destiny's Embrace, uses one, and she's seen picking flowers as a child in Birth by Sleep — in fact, the flowers she gives Aqua unlock the Destiny's Embrace Keyblade for Aqua to use. This carries over to Kairi's abilities in III, where all three of her abilities as a party member are floral-themed. When Sora goes to look for pieces of her heart in Re:Mind, it's found as five petal-shaped pieces.
    • Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories takes place in Castle Oblivion, a huge marble castle with a prominent flower motif in its decor. This has a double meaning, as one of the underlying themes of the series is love and devotion, but control over flowers also happens to be the power of the lord of the Castle and resident Big Bad, Marluxia.
      • The Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories manga has Marluxia do this with roses, naturally enough, since his power is over plants.
      • He still does it in the manga of 358/2 Days. After he finishes telling Roxas about the Keyblade and destroying Heartless, there are roses all over the place. Even on Roxas.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Zelda is associated with an in-game flower called the "Silent Princess", a rare and beautiful flower that only grows out in the wild despite attempts to domesticate it, much like Zelda's powers are not able to flourish in her restricted life.
  • In Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Naomi grows blue roses, a color created by genetic engineering. Symbolizing both the genetically engineered Solid Snake and Naomi's role in creating FOXDIE, Vamp, and artificially extending her own life.
  • In Mother 3, Lucas associates sunflowers to his mother, causing the flowers to appear many times in the game. This even goes as far for Lucas to meet the ghost of his mother in a field of sunflowers.
  • Don Flamenco of Punch-Out!!, being a Spanish stereotype that walks like a man, carries a rose to the ring. In his Title Defense rematch, however, he chooses to Paint It Black and switches it out for a black rose. A black rose means "revenge". The game even lampshades it, as he asks you (in Spanish) between rounds, "Do you know what a black rose means?"
  • Psychonauts: Coach Oleander is named after the Nerium oleander, an ornamental shrub. Oleanders look nice but are poisonous when ingested, much how like the coach acts like he likes the Psychonauts but plans to turn on them and conquer the world.
  • In Omega Labyrinth Life, much of the plot revolves around Belles Fleurs Academy's famous Grand Garden, and reviving it after mysterious, dark powers cause it to suddenly wilt and die. Many major characters are also spiritual representations of flowers, especially Flora, the Holy Blossom; gardening plays a key role in upgrading your characters for the dungeon-crawling sections; and every character has a flower associated with them, best seen in the Skill Blooms where it shows up on their bodies.
  • Persona 5: Leviathan, demon of Envy, has a yellow rose in her hat and yellow roses tattooed along her back. Fittingly, in Hanakotoba (a Japanese form of the language of the flowers), yellow roses mean jealousy.
  • In Plantasia, a trainee fairy named Holly tends a recluse's neglected garden in response to a flippantly-made wish. As the garden is gradually restored, so is his spirit.
  • Rule of Rose. Three guesses what flower makes the motif. Though perhaps surprisingly, the motif is used quite sparingly, and it's quite a shock when it turns up in the big twist of the final chapter.
  • In the Soulcalibur series, Amy Sorel has roses, red and white. Especially in Soul Calibur VI, where her dress has a rose motif, her specials all send petals flying, and her unique mechanics involve building up meters by throwing roses at opponents as a punish.
  • Princess Daisy from the Super Mario Bros. franchise. Her dresses and jewelry are adorned with floral trim, and in the sports games where she's a playable character, her shots often leave behind a trail of flowers.
  • Concept art of the characters in Unlimited Saga depict them standing next to reliefs of various species of flowers, which ostensibly is some form of clue to their basic personality.

    Visual Novels 
  • The symbol of Allebahst in Ace Attorney Investigations is the flower, a symbol of the country's natural beauty. And a flower is also on the hilt of the knife used to murder Manny Coachen. Alba smuggles it into the Theatrum Neutralis by hiding it in a bouquet of flowers.
  • In Narcissu, the eponymous Narcissus (or daffodil) flower and its underlying myth serve as a tragic metaphor for the heroine, a terminally ill young woman.
  • Although Psychedelica Of The Black Butterfly is mainly filled with Butterfly of Death and Rebirth symbolism, it also has this and each character has it as a pattern on their clothing.
    • Karasuba is represented by (stylized) golden chrysanthemums, which mean slighted love and are a symbol of the Japanese empire itself.
    • Yamato has irises, which mean good tidings and loyalty.
    • Kagiha has two plants as his motif. The first one is that of white liles, symbolizing innocence and purity. These are also present at his 'orbituary' and at the end are laid upon the lake when the main characters mourn him. His second motif is that of the Four-Leaf Clover, which the game states means 'Promise', as he promised to marry the main character in a clover patch.
    • Hikage's motif is red spider liles, which mean death, abandonement and lost memory. They are also heavily linked to the afterlife, guiding souls towards their final destiny. This is the most obvious Foreshadowing that he's the secret Big Bad, along with him being otherworldly in contrast to the others who are all human.
  • The Caper Crew in Queen of Thieves is named the Gilded Poppy, and they use a poppy as their insignia and Calling Card. Red poppies represent pleasure, and yellow poppies mean wealth and success, but their most famous association is with sleep and dreams, making the poppy a very interesting choice of symbol considering that the team's leader and Mastermind, Nikolai Stirling, claims he never sleeps.

    Web Animation 
  • The "Instruction Manual for Life" animation, which is a metaphor for changing religion by YouTuber TheraminTrees, features flowered wallpaper in the main boy's home. The wallpaper starts off printed with swirls and flower bulbs. However, when the boy realises how his bullying parents are scared of how he isn't conforming, the wallpaper behind him blooms into flowers, since the realisation brings him strength and freedom. The wallpaper behind his parents never blooms, because they remain too close-minded.
  • RWBY:
    • Ruby Rose is a passionate, idealistic girl who dresses largely in red. She also sheds red rose petals when she uses her Super Speed Semblance. Red roses symbolize innocent love; while Ruby has no interest in romance, she is an All-Loving Hero who just wants to make the world a better place and is innocent enough to believe she can.
    • Weiss Schnee wields the weapon Myrtenaster (the German name for myrtle). Fittingly, the myrtle flower is often white. In the official art for volume 4, Weiss has a white lily, a symbol for servitude and devotion. Weiss is locked in servitude to her own family, mostly because she is devoted to trying to redeem the family name.
    • Blake Belladonna shares a name with the Belladonna, a very poisonous flower also known as the nightshade. In the official art for volume 4, Blake has a black lily, a symbol for death and deception. Quite a lot of people get hurt because she can't bring herself to tell them the truth about her past.
    • Yang normally has minimal flower motifs, but in the official art for volume 4 she has a yellow chrysanthemum, a symbol of sorrow and neglected love. Yang spends the entire volume depressed and feeling abandoned by all her friends, especially Blake.
    • Ruby's mother Summer is associated with white roses and dresses largely in white. White roses represent purity, innocence, and reverence. Not only is Summer described as perfect by everyone who knew her, but she apparently shared Ruby's innocent outlook, and Ruby is strongly implied to be following in her footsteps out of reverence.

  • Ava from Ava's Demon is associated with poppies as seen on her character profile. She is also shown surrounded by them in her mind/dream after her killing spree at Titan's Headquartes. Odin is also associated with a flower, albeit a fictional one called florem mortem, which he is frequently seen smoking in a pipe.
  • The characters of Dame Daffodil have their personalities derived from certain flowers, like Charo and the daffodil. Plus, Dame Daffodil.
  • In Koan of the Day, the sunflower represents innocence and unadulterated love.
  • In Lackadaisy, the protagonists work at the Lackadaisy speakeasy (using the Little Daisy café as a front); their rivals are the Marigold gang (fronted by Hotel Maribel), who wear marigolds in their lapels. Daisy and marigold motifs often show up in standalone artwork of the two gangs.
  • Muted: The LeRoux family, as they specialize in plant magic. Most have flower printed clothes, use magic to grow flowers, have flowery familiars, and nature-related names like Jazmin or Rowena.
  • In The Phoenix Reqiuem, Anya receives a purple hyacinth, which means "I am sorry".
  • Purple Hyacinth: Obviously purple hyacinths, as Kieran always leaves some behind after his kills. They mean regret, "I'm sorry".
  • The (quite creepy) Shadow Child of all people has plant/flower motifs in Roommates. To elaborate he has shadow tentacles, which while don't have a set shape but tend to appear as vines creeping around the comic, thorny vines, and can also blossom, and shed the most ominous looking petals.

    Web Videos 
  • Daisy Brown: Flowers, and plants in general, come up often.
    • Daisy herself is named after a flower, and her avatar is of a rose.
    • Her mother was also named Rose.
    • Several of Daisy's videos show she has an interest in gardening.
    • Alan gains root-like growths as the series goes on.
    • Daisy points out Lithop is named after a plant, and Lithop tells her that she is a mixture of human and plant DNA.
  • Getting Dressed - Victorian Gardener (1850s): Floriography was extremely popular during the Victorian era, and the titular gardener brings a posy of primroses to a local housemaid as a sign of his love and affection.

    Western Animation 
  • Steven Universe:
    • Rose Quartz is associated with, fittingly, pink roses. Her symbol is a stylized rose, which is present on her shield (and in a whole bunch of her things), which also has a rose-thorn pattern. Roses symbolize love, which fit the deep feelings she had for her friends, her lover, and her son. Additionally, pink roses usually symbolize admiration, which her friends have nothing but for her. Since Steven inherited her powers, he, too, is very often associated with roses.
    • In the episode "Steven's Dream", Pink Diamond's palanquin/grave is overgrown with Roses of Sharon/Mugungwah. This is the national flower of (South) Korea (the episode is explicitly said to take place in Korea, but which one, or if there even is a difference in the show's universe is never mentioned).
  • A borderline example: The hero of Ugly Americans is named Mark Lilly (a symbol of both innocence and death). He is an innocent who endangers his life daily by dealing with strange, often bloodthirsty creatures. He actually did die in the second episode, but obviously, he got better.

    Real Life 
  • The Wars of the Roses.
  • The Four Gentlemen (orchid, bamboo, chrysanthemum, plum) in Chinese art. Example: four of the eight flower tiles in Mahjong feature them.
  • Besides the Four Gentlemen mentioned above, Chinese art also has the Three Friends of Winter.
  • Countries often adopt floral symbolism:
    • Tulipomania, famous as one of the world's first financial speculation roller-coasters (which ended in the inevitable crash). To this day, Holland/The Netherlands is still associated with tulips. The Netherlands is still one of the largest commercial producers of tulips, growing them in bulk in fields rather than gardens for sale to florists across Europe and the world.
    • Tulipomania came about after the importation of the flower from Turkey, and today the tulip is also the national flower of that country. It is culturally associated in Turkey with paradise and prosperity.
    • Iran also uses the tulip as a national symbol. Different colors of tulip have various associations: for instance, a yellow tulip with a black center was a symbol of love in medieval Iran, with the black center representing a heart burned with passion. In the modern era, the red tulip has been taken as a major symbol of the Islamic Republic, as it represents martyrdom; in Iranian legend, tulips grow where martyrs have fallen.
    • France has long been associated with the fleur-de-lis (a stylized lily or iris bloom) from the days of the French monarchy; an old symbol, it gradually collected Christian overtones that matched the particular theology of the French monarchy, particularly connected to the Virgin Mary (to whom the French monarchs traditionally offered especial devotion). This is unofficial—the Republic generally wants nothing to do with monarchist symbolism—but it persists in the popular imagination. During the revolution, France has replaced the fleur-de-lis for trees as a symbol of liberty. It prompted the plantation of many trees in French towns to celebrate the birth of the French Republic. That symbolism has persisted until nowadays, for instance french euro coins are stamped with a stylized tree.
    • The United Kingdom has very strong floral symbolism, with each of the four constituent countries of the Union having a link to a plant symbol:
      • England's symbol is the Tudor Rose: a combination of the aforementioned Red Rose of Lancaster and White Rose of York in the form of a double-rose with a red outer ring and white inner ring of petals. The symbol was originally simply a representation of the union of the Yorkist and Lancastrian claims in the form of Henry VII's marriage to Princess Elizabeth of York, but it has been the personal badge of every English and British monarch since (all of whom are descended from that couple).
      • Scotland's symbol is the thistle. Yes, it's supposed to represent the fearsomeness of the Scottish people.
      • Wales' primary floral symbol is the leek for some reason. Daffodils are a common secondary symbol, being the emblem of St. David, the Patron Saint of Wales.
      • Northern Ireland has the flax blossom, as flax has historically been very important to the Northern Irish economy.
      • Using the four symbols—Rose, Thistle, Leek, and Flax—together (usually twisted in a wreath or improbably growing out of a single stem/root system) symbolises British unity in diversity. Historically, and sometimes still today, it was the Shamrock rather than Flax, as all of Ireland was part of the UK and not just the northern bit.
    • Ireland takes as its usual floral symbol the shamrock. The symbol, as noted, can represent NI, as well — it's the symbol of the whole island of Ireland and not just the Republic. Supposedly, this is because St. Patrick (patron saint of Ireland — again, the whole island, not just the Republic) used the plant to explain the concept of the Trinity to the Irish pagans when he was converting the island.
    • Canada is inextricably linked to the maple leaf.
      • That said, the Canadians also borrow the British symbolism—except that instead of the Welsh leek, they use the French fleur-de-lis (to represent French Canadians); they also use the shamrock (to represent all Ireland). Instead of representing the union of the four nations, this represents the union of the four peoples who made up the bulk of the European settlers in early British-ruled Canada.note  This symbolism gets most play in Montreal — at the time the most fully multiethnic city in Canada—whose flag is a Cross of St. George (since 2017 charged with a white pine to symbolize the First Nationsnote ) with one of each of these four symbols in each quarter of the flag.
      • As you might've guessed, then, the symbol of Québec — and of French Canada in general—is the fleur-de-lis. Though officially it has the blue flag as the province's flower since 1999 to have a flower native to Québec, the fleur-de-lis tends to be more popular and it shows.
      • Ontario has the trillium (a flower with three roughly triangular petals).
      • Alberta has the wild rose.
    • The United States has the red rose. This symbol was adopted late — 1986 — and seems to be related to the long-standing tradition of the President having a Rose Garden on The White House grounds. Most American states have floral emblems, with a few notable ones including:
      • Louisiana in general and New Orleans in particular pick up on the fleur-de-lis; really, it's the symbol of French culture in the Americas.
      • Two states adopt the blossoms of the fruit crops of which they are among the largest producers: Florida has the orange blossom and Michigan has the apple blossom.
      • Massachusetts has adopted the almost-too-appropriate mayflower.
      • Maine gets rather militant about pine trees.
      • Ohio's state tree is the Ohio buckeye (what else?), a species of horse chestnut, hence Ohio State's oddly-named sports teams. Yes, their seeds do in fact look like OSU mascot Brutus Buckeye's head; don't try to eat them, as they're poisonous (unlike the chocolate-dipped peanut butter balls made to look like buckeye nuts endemic in Ohio, which even Michiganders are willing to admit are delicious).
      • Kansas has adopted the sunflower as its symbol, as the flower is native to the Great Plains. It has a sunflower on its flag, and its official epithet is even "the Sunflower State".
    • India has the lotus, which symbolises purity because it grows out of mud but remains immaculate.
    • Egypt has the Egyptian water lily, which grows in the ponds and marshes along the Nile and held special importance in Ancient Egypt. This is sometimes called the "lotus" but it isn't actually.
    • Japan has all manner of traditional floral symbols, but in a nutshell, the chrysanthemum (kiku) is associated with the Emperor and the monarchy in general (and thus, metonymically, with the Japanese state—thus the chrysanthemum on the covers of Japanese passports, which are state-issued documents), the paluownia (kiri) is associated with the Prime Minister and the Government, and the cherry blossom (sakura) is associated with the Japanese as a people or nation.
    • Israel officially has the crown anemone, a flower that grows across the land and often has six blue petals (recalling the six-pointed Star of David). However, the sabra — the prickly pear — is a common symbol of the Israeli people, with similar symbolism to the Scottish thistle. And the Red Everlasting — a plant in the daisy family, called dam hamaccabim in Hebrew — is the memorial flower worn on Yom Hazikaron, the memorial day for Israel's fallen and for victims of terrorism. However, the dam hamaccabim is always worn as a sticker, or an artificial flower - the real flowers are protected by law, and it is illegal to pick them.
    • Philippines has the Arabian Jasmine or sampaguita as its national flower, which represents purity, fidelity, devotion, strength and dedication
    • Spain has the carnation, or clavel: not for nothing does the Dashing Hispanic hold a carnation in his teeth.
    • South Korea has the Mugunghwa or hibiscus syriacus (Rose of Sharon), representing eternity.
    • China does not officially have a national flower, but is most commonly associated with the peony (also known in Chinese as huawang, literally "king of the flowers"). Sometimes the plum blossom is also used, but not as often because of its use by Taiwan (which China has a complicated relatonship with at best).
    • Austria and Switzerland, both being alpine countries, use the Edelweiss and alpine gentian (Enzian); the Swiss also have alpenrose, a kind of mountain rhododendron.
      • The Edelweiss is also the symbol of German, Austrian, Polish, and Romanian alpine troops.
    • Germany is traditionally associated with oak. Makes sense; German solidity and honor and all that.
    • Taiwan uses the blossom of the Asian Plum; they have a habit of plastering it over everything. One rather suspects it's a bit of a response to the sakura (which look rather similar, both being soft-colored five-petaled flowers of Prunus species); Taiwan was a Japanese colony for fifty years (1895-1945), for most of that period being treated quite well for a colony, so (unlike much of the rest of East Asia) the Taiwanese tend to have mixed-to-positive views of the Japanese and consequently take a lot of their cues, particularly on dealing with modernity, from Japan.
    • Hong Kong uses a bauhinia note  that was first discovered in the ruins of a house located in Western Hong Kong Island. Stylised versions feature on Hong Kong's Regional Emblem and flag.
    • The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia uses three, two of which, bizarrely, are drugs: wheat, tobacco, and opium poppy. No, we can't say why either.
    • Australia uses the Golden Wattle. Yes, they eat it.
    • New Zealand: Silver Ferns ad nauseam.
    • Vietnam: The country as a whole has the lotus, symbolizing beauty and purity rising from the mud of humble/troubled backgrounds. Lunar New Year celebrations are associated with pink peach flowers (hoa đào) in the North and yellow mai flowers in the South. Royal poincianas (hoa phượng) symbolize the start of summer, especially in relation to students.
  • The Poppy — that is to say, a red Papaver rhoeas — is a symbol of remembrance of the war dead across the Commonwealth, arising during World War I on account of the poppies that would grow in the fields after the end of a battle on the Western Front. A white "Peace Poppy" is a symbol of remembrance combined with pacifism.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Flower Motif, Floral Motifs



Marluxia's attribute and abilities are all related to flowers. His hair is a flowerish-shade of pink, he appears in flurries of petals, even his signature scythe Graceful Dahlia looks like a flower with its stem.

How well does it match the trope?

4.75 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / FlowerMotifs

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