Our FavouriteRed Flowers
There’s something about a red flower that brings out strong emotions – from passionate love all the way through to anger. Throw in the fact that this is also a colour of strength and, when it comes to red flowers, there’s certainly no way of mistaking the power they have in your vase.
But, in the world of flora and fauna, it goes much further than that. There are plenty of gorgeous reds to choose, from almost magenta-type shades to orange hues all the way through to the deepest, darkest burgundy.
In this guide, we’ll explain all about the meaning behind red flowers and introduce some of the different red flowers available - we’re sure you’ll find something that tickles your fancy.
Meaning of Red Flowers
We’ve learnt that flowers have their own unique meaning and symbolism, so what is the meaning behind red flowers? Ok, so let’s start with the obvious – red flowers equal love! I mean, just look at the iconic red rose with hundreds of thousands of these blooms given out every Valentine’s Day.
However, delve a little deeper and you find that red flowers are specifically all about a deep love. We’re talking passion here, a true romance with just a little bit of boldness thrown in for good measure.
This feeling of love associated with a red flower is pretty much universal, although there are a few differences depending on where you are in the world. In some countries, red flowers (especially roses and carnations) are often seen as funeral flowers. This kind of makes sense when you think about their link with deep love and these blooms representing grief. Head over to Asia and it’s a whole different matter. Red flowers are instead about life and celebration and are commonly given to celebrate births, marriages and big occasions.
Popular Types of Red Flowers
Ready to pick yourself a bunch of red blooms? There are certainly plenty of choices and it’s not only about roses either. There is a wide choice of blooms available from a frilly, zingy scarlet all the way through to an elegant, sumptuous deep red.
Let’s talk you through some of the most popular picks.
There’s no escaping the fact, a red rose is the ultimate flower of love. But did you know this trend isn’t only a modern-day fad and actually dates back to ancient mythology? The Greek version of the story goes that Aphrodite, the goddess of love, on finding her lover wounded by a wild boar starts to cry. As her tears fall to the ground and where they mix with the blood of her fallen lover, a red rose bush grows. This story of romance certainly captured the heart of Victorians. They would commonly use a red rose to send a message of love.
If it’s colour choice you want, you can get roses in shades of pure red, darker tones, hints of orange and even slightly pinker varieties. Even better, these keep delivering with roses blooming from early summer all the way through to autumn.
Native to South America, amaryllis certainly has all the tropical vibes. This popular house plant flowers over the winter months to give us a little pop of warmth in the gloomy evenings. The bulbs produce around two or three upright stems with each one delivering a magnificent show of around five distinctive flowers. What more could you want? As you would expect from its looks, this one is all about pride, strength and determination. Interestingly, amaryllis comes from the Greek word to sparkle – the perfect flower for the magical Christmas period!
This one differs from all the other flowers in our group because the bloom has become associated with remembrance and hope for a peaceful future. This all started during World War I when soldiers fighting on the Western Front saw fields full of poppies. Some even picked and pressed the flowers to send home in letters. When the war ended, an American humanitarian, Moina Michael campaigned to make the poppy a symbol for all those who had died in the war. In 1922 the first artificial poppies were sold to raise money in support of ex-servicemen and their families, a theme that continues today.
Move over roses, the red tulip is here to take your crown! Indeed, these flowers are all about love and passion, but they differ slightly from the rose by representing a true love. The Netherlands is the largest producer of tulips in the world, stemming back from the 1600s. At the time, tulips were incredibly rare and in high demand and a manic craze quickly took over. It got so bad that the price of a single bulb cost as much as an Amsterdam canal house! If that doesn’t signify true love, we don’t know what does.
You can’t escape the simplistic beauty of a carnation and there are plenty of reasons to add them to your bouquet. For starters, they are the birth month flower for January and also 1st wedding anniversaries. They’re also edible and it’s also believed they have medicinal purposes - they’ve been used for skin problems, hair loss and muscle tension. To top it off, their Latin name ‘dianthus’ translated to ‘flower of the gods’. In case you didn’t think it could get any better, they are in flower for a long time – from May to October. Always on hand to send a red flower and declare your love.
Blink and you might miss these stunning flowers, peonies aren’t around for long and only flower between May and June. But what they lack in staying power, they certainly make up for in looks. Like all our other flowers, this one in red means love and romance. The only place they differ is if you head over to China. They are crazy about these flowers and even hold festivals to celebrate their beauty. In Chinese history, peonies were associated with richness, honour and prosperity and are known as a wealth flower. The perfect choice if you wanted to wish someone luck.
When we talk about sunflowers, most of us think of this one in yellow – it’s iconic. But did you know it's also possible to get sunflowers in red? Sunflowers started life around 3000 BC when it's believed the American Indians used the flower as a source of food, dye and medicine. Jump forward a few thousand years and we can thank Russia for the popularity of this plant when Peter the Great cultivated the bloom for both ornamental purposes and the development of sunflower oil. This flower in red is all about strength and positivity – a perfect message to send if you know someone starting a new job!
Need a flower that keeps saying ‘I love you’ all summer long? Then you’d have to choose the incredible stamina of alstroemeria. Depending on the variety, this bloom has an incredibly long flowering period that starts in May and goes all the way through to November. Even better, they can last up to two weeks in your vase! This flower is utterly gorgeous – a bit like a miniature lily. Unsurprisingly this one has also earned common names Peruvian lily or lily of the Incas!
Plants with Red Flowers
We’re not going to let the flowers have all the fun, there are a whole host of plants out there that produce the most amazing red blooms. And guess what, like the red flowers covered above, most of them represent passion, love and romance. Give a gift of long-lasting love with a red flowering house plant.
Delivering clusters of stunning flowers, azaleas – also known as rhododendrons - are the perfect addition to your garden or container. This one is all about the positive vibes. In China it is known as the ‘I’m thinking of home bush’ while in Japan it’s all about giving happiness. Throw in the colour red and you’re adding a touch of romance. Perfection.
When it comes to sweet peas, the clue really is in the name. They are incredibly sweet. It’s no wonder the phrase ‘sweet pea’ is commonly used to describe something lovely. The mass of flowers are incredibly delicate and they deliver an amazing fragrance throughout the summer months. They’re pretty clever too – the more you pick the flowers, the more they keep growing. These plants represent blissful pleasure, departure or goodbye. Add in the colour red and of course, they mean romance. Maybe a great gift if the love of your life has plans to travel.
If you’re looking for a spring flowering plant, then you must look at some red hellebore. With their dark burgundy tones, they certainly make a dramatic statement (just what we need on a cold spring day). These plants do prefer to be outside, but it is possible, with a bit of hard work, to keep them as house plants. When the Victorians were going mad for their language of flowers, this plant stood for delirium. Luckily its meaning has been updated and nowadays it represents peace and serenity.
Now, we are cheating a little bit with this one. Although this popular Christmas houseplant does appear to have red flowers, in actual fact what we’re looking at are red bracts! Not sure what that is? In a nutshell, the bract is a modified leaf found just below the flower. The flower part is in reality very small and sits in the centre of the bracts. Why all the fancy show? It’s to attract pollinators into the right part of the plant - a bit like a big arrow. Clever huh. A plant that epitomises the festive period, it’s not surprising that the poinsettia symbolises goodwill.
If you take a look at the delicious heart-shaped flowers on this popular flowering plant, you’d feel sure that this one has to be all about love. Well, you’re right and wrong. Yes, it does stand for long-lasting love, but it’s also about friendship and luck. This is another one that’s trying to trick us because the red ‘flowers’ are actually called spathes, also known as coloured leaves. They’re a tricky lot! What we do know is that this plant will keep flowering most of the year and is certain to attract all the attention in a room.
If you want a houseplant that packs a punch with colourful flowers, then begonias are the perfect ones for you. This plant was named after a French diplomat called Michel Begon who was also a passionate plant collector. The story goes that the French botanist and monk, Charles Plumier, gave the plant this name as a way of saying thanks to Michel for recommending Charles for the position of plant collector in the Caribbean to King Louis XIV. It’s all about who you know! This one can deliver a mixture of emotions, it represents love and affection but can also stand for misfortune and bad luck. Don’t worry though, this one in red is all about power, passion and energy. Phew, go easy when giving this as a present.
Feeling clued up some of the most popular types of red flowers and their meanings? Send some love through the letterbox with our range of flower bouquets.