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Tattoo Motif and Symbolism: Flora and Fauna

Whether they be large and elaborate, tiny and demure or part of the background of a tattoo, flowers are one of the most common motifs found in tattoo art. The rose with its association with romance and fidelity probably tops the list when it comes to favorite flowers.

Below is a list of common flowers and their symbolic meanings.

♦ amaryllis - pride, pastoral poetry
♦ anemone - forsaken
♦ aster - symbol of love, daintiness
♦ azalea - take care of yourself for me, temperance, fragile passion, Chinese symbol of womanhood
♦ bells of Ireland - good luck
♦ bluebell - humility
♦ cactus - endurance
♦ camellia (pink) - longing for you
♦ camellia (red) - you're a flame in my heart
♦ camellia (white) - you're adorable
♦ carnation (pink) - I'll never forget you
♦ carnation (red) - my heart aches for you, admiration
♦ carnation (striped) - wish I could be with you
♦ carnation (white) - sweet and lovely, innocence, pure love, woman's good luck gift
♦ cattail - peace, prosperity
♦ chrysanthemum (white) - truth
♦ chrysanthemum (yellow) - slighted love
♦ crocus - cheerfulness
♦ cyclamen - resignation and good-bye
♦ daffodil - regard, unrequited love, you're the only one, the sun is always shining when I'm with you
♦ daisy - innocence, loyal love, I'll never tell, purity
♦ dandelion - faithfulness, happiness
♦ fern - magic, fascination, confidence and shelter
♦ fir - time
♦ forget-me-not - true love, memories
♦ gardenia - you're lovely, secret love
♦ heather (lavender) - admiration, solitude
♦ heather (white) - protection, wishes will come true
♦ holly - domestic happiness
♦ hyacinth (blue) - constancy
♦ hyacinth (white) - loveliness, I'll pray for you
♦ iris - fleur-de-lis, emblem of France, your friendship means so much to me, faith, hope, wisdom and valor, my compliments
♦ ivy - wedded love, fidelity, friendship, affection
♦ jonquil - love me, affection returned, desire, sympathy, desire for affection returned
♦ lily (white) - virginity, purity, majesty, it's heavenly to be with you
♦ lily (yellow) - I'm walking on air, gay
♦ lily (calla) - beauty, remembrance
♦ lily (day) - coquetry, Chinese emblem for mother
♦ lily (tiger) - wealth, pride
♦ lily of the valley - sweetness, tears of the virgin Mary, return to happiness, humility, you've made my life complete
♦ magnolia - nobility
♦ mistletoe - kiss me, affection, to surmount difficulties, sacred plant of India
♦ myrtle - love, Hebrew emblem of marriage
♦ narcissus - stay as sweet as you are
♦ orange blossom - innocence, eternal love, marriage and fruitfulness
♦ orchid - love, beauty, refinement, beautiful lady, Chinese symbol for many children
♦ palm leaves - victory and success
♦ peony - happy life, happy marriage
♦ poppy (general) - eternal sleep, oblivion, imagination
♦ poppy (red) - pleasure
♦ poppy (white) - consolation
♦ poppy (yellow) - wealth, success
♦ primrose - I can't live without you
♦ rose (bridal) - happy love
♦ rose (dark crimson) - mourning
♦ rose (hibiscus) - delicate beauty
♦ rose (leaf) - you may hope
♦ rose (pink) - perfect happiness, please believe me
♦ rose (red) - love, I love you
♦ rose (tea) - I'll remember always
♦ rose (thornless) - love at first sight
♦ rose (white) - innocence and purity, I am worthy of you, you're heavenly, secrecy and silence
♦ rose (white and red mixed) - unity, flower emblem of England
♦ rose (white-dried) - death is preferable to loss of virtue
♦ rose (yellow) - unfaithful
♦ rosebud - beauty and youth, a heart innocent of love
♦ rosebud (red) - pure and lovely
♦ rosebud (white) - girlhood
♦ roses (bouquet of mature blooms) - gratitude
♦ roses (single full bloom) - I love you, I still love you
♦ snapdragon - gracious lady
♦ spider flower - elope with me
♦ tulip (general) - perfect lover, frame, flower emblem of Holland
♦ tulip (red) - believe me, declaration of love
♦ tulip (variegated) - beautiful eyes
♦ tulip (yellow) - there's sunshine in your smile
♦ violet (blue) - watchfulness, faithfulness, I'll always be true
♦ violet (white) - let's take a chance
♦ zinnia (magenta) - lasting affection
♦ zinnia (mixed) - thinking (or in memory) of an absent friend
♦ zinnia (scarlet) - constancy
♦ zinnia (white) - goodness
♦ zinnia (yellow) - daily remembrance


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