Carnation Meaning and Why It's the Official Mother's Day Flower

The perennial blooms come in an array of lively colors at every Wake Forest florist shop but pink ones are most strongly associated with conveying love, appreciation, and good memories.

  • Mother’s Day Flower

Each year as the second Sunday of May approaches, millions of bouquets containing one particular flower are purchased. You have likely seen them decorating kitchen windowsills and tables as families gather to celebrate Mother's Day. The perennial blooms come in an array of lively colors at every Wake Forest florist shop but pink ones are most strongly associated with conveying love, appreciation, and good memories.

Of course, we are talking about carnations - the long-standing symbolic floral representative for Mother's Day in the United States. But what is the carnation flower’s meaning through its colors and how did it become so intertwined with the mother-honoring holiday?

The Colorful Symbolism of Carnations

To begin with, the many hues of carnations have multiple metaphorical connotations. The most common carnation color given on Mother's Day is the light pink carnation. Light pink carnations meaning a mother's love and are thought to convey "I'll Never Forget You". Red carnations symbolize admiration and deep love. They are often used to show appreciation for someone. White carnations symbolize pure love and good luck, while purple or dark pink carnations mean capriciousness. So, order a Mother's Day flower bouquet to express how much you value her unending love and support.

How Carnations Became The Official Mother's Day Flowers

Back in the early 1900s, a woman named Anna Jarvis wanted to honor her deceased mother by setting up a day to celebrate all mothers. She felt mothers did not get enough recognition for their hard work and sacrifice. In 1908, Jarvis began a campaign to make Mother's Day an official United States holiday. Her persistence paid off because in 1914 President Woodrow Wilson signed a law making the second Sunday of May Mother's Day.

Choosing a Floral Representative

Around this same period, the American Florist Association began looking for a happy Mother’s Day flower to represent the holiday since Jarvis felt carnations were her mother's favorite flower. However, carnations were also very popular for other holidays and occasions while being affordable and easy to cultivate year-round. So the association thought carnations would be the best flowers for Mother’s Day to easily market since their meaning of honor, admiration, and love suited the holiday's message. Carnations soon became widely associated with moms on their special day due to the association's successful campaign.

Jarvis' Early Connection to Carnations

In 1907, Anna Jarvis' mother passed away. This is the reason why Mother's Day is now celebrated on the second Sunday in May. Her mother died during that month. To honor her mother's memory, Anna sent 500 white carnations, meaning purity and sweetness to every mother at her church in West Virginia. She did this on the anniversary of her mother's death in 1908. This started the tradition of Mother's Day being observed on the second Sunday in May each year. It allows people to remember their mothers, as Anna was remembering hers by starting this floral remembrance at her church. The flower association took Jarvis' cue and successfully marketed carnations to the public as the holiday's representative bloom. And, these are now available easily for flower delivery in Creedmoor NC, and beyond!

Practicality Made Carnations a Great Choice

Carnations were practical as an official flower for mom because they last a long time as a cut flower in a vase. This means they will still look fresh when Mother's Day arrives. Carnations are also available as Mother's Day flowers online in a variety of colors to suit different tastes and message meanings. Plus they are relatively inexpensive compared to other popular flowers like roses. These practical factors allowed carnations to be purchased by people from all different walks of life to gift to the mothers in their lives.

Why wait any longer? Send flowers for Mother's Day; we have a large selection of gorgeous bouquets, plants, and other gifts that will make her smile. Whether you go for a traditional carnation arrangement, a colorful spring bouquet, or a flowering houseplant, your mother will be touched by the thought that went into your flower arrangement. Get a Mother’s Day flower delivery in Wake Forest!

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