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Your Guide to Wedding Flowers

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Your Guide to Wedding Flowers
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Alstroemeria
(also known as Peruvian lily)

These flowers have small, bright blooms that grow in clusters and often have freckled petals. They're best used as a backdrop to primary flowers (but make a lovely and cost-effective bouquet).

Season
year-round

Colors
white, yellow, orange, pink, red, lavender, purple, flecked

Scent
none

 ...
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Amaryllis
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Brides desiring maximum impact may choose this impressive flower, which features two to five large, trumpet-shaped blossoms that open in succession at the top of its extra-long stalk. Grown from a bulb, the amaryllis originated in the tropical rainforests of Africa and South America and is now available in  ...
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Anemone
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Greek mythology has two legends about the anemone. These jewel-toned flowers were said to have sprung up from the blood that was shed by Aphrodite's lover, Adonis, when he died. The ancient Greeks also believed that Zephyrus, the god of the west wind, favored the bloom, hence its other name: windflower. Though ...
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Aster

According to mythology, the starburst-shaped aster originated when Virgo scattered stardust on the earth. A good supporting-role flower, the aster is a charming background for showier blooms.

Season
November-May in the US; year around if imported from South Africa

Colors
white, yellow, pink, purple

Scent
none

Meaning
variet ...
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Bouvardia

This flower is perfect for fleshing out a classic wedding bouquet or arrangement. It has clusters of small, star-shaped blossoms bursting from a leafy green stem and is very delicate.

Season
year-round

Colors
white, peach, pink, red

Scent
faint

Meaning
enthusiasm

Cost
$$Return to wedding flower search
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Calla Lily
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Also known as the arum lily, this trumpet-shaped blossom originated in Africa and symbolized "magnificent beauty" to the Victorians. Two types are commonly available: one with a large head and a long, smooth stem, suitable for tall arrangements or presentation bouquets; and a miniature version ideal for nos ...
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Camellia

A symbol of loveliness and beauty, this multipetaled relative of the tea plant was originally from China. The flower had a notable role in Verdi's opera La Traviata, which he adapted from the play The Lady of the Camellias. In the story a courtesan named Violetta always wore a white camellia, except for the few days of the month when sh ...
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Carnation

Don't turn up your nose at the common carnation -- this long-lasting flower is full of possibilities for weddings. The ruffled-heads look offers an inexpensive way to bring lushness and color to bouquets and arrangements. When massed, they also make a pretty bouquet of their own.Carnations have a long history; they were reportedly used ...
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Chrysanthemum

About a thousand varieties of long-lasting, versatile mums can be found in single blossoms or sprays. The mum has been cultivated in the Far East for more than 2,500 years, even making appearances in the writings of Confucius. What it lacks in sweet perfume, it makes up for in a range of bold colors.

Season
year-round, peak in  ...
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Cockscomb

Named the cockscomb due to its resemblance to a rooster, this vibrant flower is sure to make a statement. Coming in a variety of colors, this flower looks brilliant when cut short and used as a centerpiece.  

Season
mid summer-frost

Colors
yellow, green, orange, pink, crimson

Scent
none

Cost
$$Return to wedding flower s ...
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Cornflower

In medieval lore, it was believed that a girl who placed a cornflower beneath her skirt could have any bachelor she desired -- which is perhaps how the flower acquired its other name, bachelor's button. An inexpensive choice appropriate for a casual wedding, the cornflower comes in white, pink, dark magenta, and, most commonly, blue,  ...
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Cosmos

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Brides hoping to capture the look of a summer garden in full bloom would succeed with cosmos. This daisylike flower grows in shades of pink and magenta on long stems with feathery foliage. A striking chocolate color is also available and can be used to create rich, late-summer arrangements. 

Season
mid summ ...
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Daffodil
(also narcissus/paperwhite, jonquil)


Shakespeare and Wordsworth both created rhapsodies about this humble bulb flower. Perhaps it is so well liked because its merry yellow bloom is one of the first to appear after winter's frost subsides. The daffodil (and members of its family, including the narcissus and the jonquil) is a flower of ...
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Dahlia
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These bold, bushy flowers have a history as dramatic as their appearance. Conquistadors found the dahlia in the gardens of the Aztecs and caused a sensation when they brought the flower back to Europe. As the dahlia gained popularity, the pursuit of its potatolike tubers was conducted with intrigue and deception -- ...
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Daisy
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You may find the daisy a fitting flower for your wedding if you plucked its white petals in a game of "he loves me, he loves me not" as a child. Generally available year-around, the affordable daisy is a lovely and whimsical flower for a casual wedding. 

Season
summer-early fall

Colors
white

Scent
none to ...
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Delphinium 
(also called Larkspur)
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A classic in English cottage flower beds, the delphinium has towering spires and clustered florets. The delphinium and its sister, the larkspur, lend a country-garden feel to wedding arrangements while adding height and drama. Delphiniums can be found year-round, but most colors are ...
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Dutch Tulip
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Widely available, this flower shouldn't be overlooked just because it's fairly common; its versatility and wide range of colors make it a wonderful flower at weddings. Dutch tulips have shorter stems and smaller blossoms than the French tulip.

Season
November-May

Colors
white, yellow, orange, pale pink, ...
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Freesia
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A favorite of perfumers for its fresh, fruity scent, freesia packs a lot of fragrance in just a few blossoms. A couple of stems are all that's needed to make a bouquet sweet-smelling. The green buds clustered along the thin, arched stem open gradually into delicate flowers.

Season
year-round

Colors
most c ...
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French Tulip
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Large, tapered heads spring from graceful stems in this elegant variety. The extra-long stems can be 12 inches or longer, which makes the French tulip a natural for presentation bouquets or tall centerpieces. More expensive than the Dutch variety, the French tulip is most often seen in cream, soft pink, and ye ...
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Gardenia
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Surrounded by dark green, waxy leaves, the exquisite gardenia exudes a very sultry and heavy scent. It was this intoxicating fragrance that captivated an English sea captain traveling through South Africa in 1754, prompting him to bring home one of the native plants as a souvenir. But the delicate, creamy ivory ...
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Gerbera
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This graphic flower is so flawless in its form that it almost doesn't look real. Grown in the hottest climates of Asia and Africa, the gerbera is a year-round gem that comes in a crayon-box range of colors -- nearly 350 intense shades are available, including bright orange, pink, red, yellow, and burgundy.

Seaso ...
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Gladiolus

Standing tall and proud, the gladiolus has a spiky stem with large florets that open in succession; miniature varieties with fewer florets are also available. Full stems can be used to add height to arrangements, while the individual florets can be made into boutonnieres. The flower's name is derived from the Latin word for sword, glad ...
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Gloriosa Lily

While technically not of the lily family (it grows on a climbing vine, not from a bulb), this flower's refluxed petals and stamens bear a resemblance to those of actual lilies. Generally pinkish red and tipped with yellow, the gloriosa, or Rothschild lily, adds a tropical punch to bouquets and arrangements.

Season
year-round

 ...
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Grape Hyacinth
(also called Muscari)

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Grape hyacinth gets its name from the shape of its flower and perhaps from its mild, sweet scent. Its cone-shape resembles a miniature bunch of grapes perched upside down on a slender green stem. Sometimes called muscari, grape hyacinth is available in greenish white but is most o ...
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Hyacinth
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In ancient mythology Hyacinthus was a figure in a tale of tragic love. Today, we know this stocky bulb flower as a fragrant signature of spring. The hyacinth's scent is strong, so only a few flowers are needed to make their presence known in centerpieces or arrangements.

Season
November-May

Colors
white ...
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Hydrangea
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With its big, bushy head and intense colors, a stem or two of this moderately priced, scentless shrub flower helps fill out arrangements and bouquets. Hydrangea is most popular in shades of bubble-gum pink to sky blue.

Season
July-November

Colors
white, green, pink, burgundy, purple, blue

Scent
no ...
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Iris
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This unusually shaped flower has been admired by many throughout history. Ancient Greeks associated it with their gods, and ancient Egyptians linked it to their pharaohs; to the medieval Europeans, it signified chivalry and served as a model for the French fleur-de-lis symbol. Painters like Monet and Van Gogh were capt ...
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Lily of the Valley
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Their fresh, perfumelike scent is unmistakable, and it's hard to believe such a delicious fragrance can come from such tiny flowers. With its bell-shaped florets dangling from a thin stem, the lily of the valley is sometimes called "the ladder to heaven." In Norse mythology, the flower is li ...
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Lisianthus
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This cupped flower somewhat resembles a rose or ranunculus that is missing a few petals. Lisianthus boasts multiple blossoms and buds on a single stem and has a slight peppery scent. Its wide range of colors make it an excellent choice as a secondary flower for bouquets and arrangements.

Season
year-rou ...
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Orchid
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Sexy and exquisitely gorgeous, the orchid is a star at any wedding. Thousands of species are cultivated worldwide, which means there is an orchid for every type of bride. A full spray of orchids can be used in bouquets and arrangements, or a simple blossom can be plucked to make an exotic boutonniere.The main types ...
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Ornithogalum
(also Chincherinchee, Star of Bethlehem)


This flower is known particularly for its ability to open in the morning and close in the evening. Add it to your bouquet or let it fill in your centerpieces. 

Season
year-round

Colors
white, ivory, yellow, orange

Scent
slight to none

Meaning
purity

Cost
$$Return to wed ...
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Parrot Tulip

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Also known as the Rembrandt or parakeet tulip, this showy bloom is noted for its ruffled, striped petals in intense colors. Some varieties feature fringe-tipped petals for added drama. Although beautiful, their full, heavy heads tend to sag and droop and may cause stems to curve, which make them somewhat unp ...
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Peony

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The peony is showy in its lush and full-headed structure, sweet perfume, and bright colors. Despite these traits, the flower became a symbol of bashfulness. Cultivated in Asia for more than a thousand years and developed further by the French, the peony is a cherished wedding flower. A relative of the ranunculus an ...
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Phlox


Perhaps phlox's popularity at weddings is due to its meaning: "unification of the souls." These dainty flowers originated in North America, where they are a backyard staple. With large clusters of small-petaled, disk-shaped blossoms atop branching stems, phlox provides a lush backdrop for featured flowers in a bouquet or arrangement.

 ...
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Queen Anne's Lace


Known for the flower head's similar appearance to lace, this wildflower symbolizes "protection."

Season
spring-early fall

Colors
white, green 

Scent
grassy scent

Meaning
haven, protection

Cost
$Return to wedding flower search
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Ranunculus

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Looking for a cost-effective alternative to the rose and the peony? Try the lush, multipetaled ranunculus, a relative of the buttercup. This flower was first seen by Westerners in the Far East around the thirteenth century. Available in practically every color, the ranunculus features several blossoms and ...
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Rose

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Is it any wonder that roses rank as the most beloved of wedding flowers? Long considered a symbol of beauty and love, the rose has captivated commoners and royalty alike. Legend has it that the Roman Emperor Nero required rose petals to be strewn at his feet and wore wreaths of roses at his many weddings; and that Cl ...
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Scabiosa


It's not hard to figure out how the scabiosa, with its tufted head atop a long, wiry stem, got its other name, pin cushion. This enchanting flower is right at home tucked in between showier blooms.

Season
spring-early fall

Colors
white, burgundy, lavender

Scent
none

Meaning
sensible woman

Cost
$$-$$$Return to weddi ...
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Stephanotis

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The name stephanotis means "marital happiness," making the flower an obvious choice for weddings. The star-shaped, waxy florets grow on a flowering vine; each must be individually wired or placed onto a special holder before it can be used in a bouquet or boutonniere. 

Season
year-round

Colors
w ...
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Stock


Rising from a tall stem, stock has dense clusters of small single- and double- blossomed flowers. Stock first became known outside of the Mediterranean region toward the end of the Middle Ages. Stock is valued for its use as a complementary flower and its fragrant, spicy clovelike scent.  

Season
year-round, peak in spring and summer ...
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Sunflower

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The head of the sunflower follows the sun as it moves across the sky, a trait that undoubtedly inspired its symbolism -- "adoration" and "loyalty." Bold and flashy, with raylike petals and disk-shaped dark centers, the sunflower is most at home at informal weddings. It comes in warm colors, from golden yell ...
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Sweet Pea

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The sweet pea was first brought to England from Sicily in 1699, and the English have had a love affair with this delicate flower ever since. Its sweet scent and rugged blossoms grown on a spindly green vine make this flower an old-fashioned favorite.

Season
November-June

Colors
white, cream, apricot ...
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Tuberose


A native of Mexico, the tuberose has a very strong, heady scent, so small quantities of this flower go a long way. Its white, trumpet-shaped florets grow in clusters and open gradually along a light green stalk; the closed buds have a pink or green tinge. Most commonly used as a secondary flower, the tuberose lends bouquets a soft col ...
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Tweedia
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Best used as an accent flower, these cheery, star-shaped blossoms grow on climbing branches. While available in white and pink, tweedia is most admired in its unusual soft blue hue. A delicate tweedia boutonniere provides a little "something blue" for the groom's lapel.

Season
April-November

Colors
blue ...
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Veronica


Shaped like a plume, the tapered spike of veronica pokes out from the tops of arrangements and bouquets for a wild, garden-inspired look. Its white, pink, or blue color meshes with its greenery to provide a lush complement to more prominent flowers.

Season
year-round

Colors
white, pink, purple, magenta, burgundy

Scent
none ...
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Zinnia

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Brides seeking a spectrum of unforgettable color and a causal garden style will appreciate this perky, daisylike flower. The zinnia symbolizes "thoughts of friends," which makes it an appropriate element in bridesmaid bouquets or reception centerpieces.

Season
June-September

Colors
yellow, green, orange,  ...

Your Guide to Wedding Flowers

Choosing wedding flowers that fit your style and petals that match your color palette isn't always easy -- especially if you don't know a dahlia from a daisy. Here's everything you need to know about the most popular wedding flowers (cost, season, meanings, and color choices), plus hundreds of photos of each bloom in bouquets, centerpieces, and boutonnieres from real weddings.

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