Jealousy is a complex emotion that can be difficult to express, but some flowers have been used to symbolize it for centuries.
From their bold colors to their thorny appearance, these flowers convey the intensity and complexity of jealousy. In this article, we’ll explore 10 flowers that have been associated with jealousy throughout history and examine their meanings in depth.
So, whether you’re exploring the world of symbolism or just curious about the flowers that represent jealousy, you won’t want to miss this list.
Hydrangeas are known for their large, showy blooms and come in a range of colors, from white to pink to blue. In the language of flowers, hydrangeas are often associated with jealousy and frigidity.
The flower’s abundance of petals and bold appearance can be seen as an attempt to overshadow and outshine others, and the bloom’s changing colors can be seen as a metaphor for the fickle nature of jealousy.
In some cultures, hydrangeas are even believed to bring bad luck or be cursed, particularly when given as gifts. It is said that if a person receives a bouquet of hydrangeas, they will soon experience heartache and misfortune.
This superstition may have contributed to the flower’s association with jealousy and envy.
Hydrangeas are also associated with boastfulness, particularly in Japan where the flower is called “ajisai.” The word “ajisai” is a combination of the Japanese words for “proud” and “blue,” and refers to the flower’s showy appearance and the blue tint of some of its blooms.
Overall, hydrangeas can be seen as a flower that represents the negative emotions of jealousy and envy.
While yellow roses are often associated with friendship and joy, they can also represent jealousy in some contexts.
This is because the bright, attention-grabbing hue of yellow can also evoke feelings of envy and possessiveness.
In certain cultures, yellow roses are associated with infidelity and suspicion, making them a symbol of jealousy in romantic relationships.
Additionally, yellow roses can represent a desire to protect what one has, which can be interpreted as possessive and controlling behavior.
Overall, while yellow roses may not be the most commonly associated flower with jealousy, their bright and bold color can certainly carry undertones of envy and possessiveness.
Marigolds are herbaceous plant that produces golden-yellow or orange flowers. These brightly colored flowers have been associated with a variety of emotions and meanings throughout history.
One of the most significant meanings of the marigold flower is jealousy. In fact, marigolds are often referred to as the “herb of jealousy” due to their association with this emotion.
In ancient times, marigolds were believed to have the power to ward off evil spirits and protect people from harm. This belief was based on the plant’s strong scent and bright color, which were thought to repel negative energy.
Over time, marigolds became associated with jealousy, as people began to believe that the plant could protect them from the envy of others.
Marigolds are often given as a gift to someone who is feeling jealous or envious of another person’s success or good fortune. The flowers are said to help the person overcome their feelings of jealousy and find inner peace.
Some people even use marigold petals in rituals or spells to banish jealousy and envy from their lives.
While marigolds are most commonly associated with jealousy, they also have other meanings and symbolism. They are often seen as a symbol of joy and celebration, and are commonly used in religious ceremonies and festivals.
In addition, marigolds are sometimes associated with the sun and are said to have the power to uplift spirits and bring happiness to those who see them.
In Greek mythology, ivy was associated with the god Dionysus, who was often depicted wearing a crown of ivy leaves.
Dionysus was the god of wine, celebration, and ecstasy, but also of jealousy and vengeance. In this context, ivy symbolized both the wild and uninhibited nature of Dionysus and his darker aspects, including his tendency towards jealousy.
In Christian art, ivy was sometimes depicted growing around the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden, representing the sin of jealousy and envy that led to Adam and Eve’s fall from grace.
In Victorian flower language, ivy was also associated with jealousy, particularly in the context of romantic relationships. Giving someone a bouquet of ivy was seen as a way of expressing jealousy or suspicion about their affection towards another person.
Overall, while ivy is not technically a flower, it has been associated with jealousy in various cultural contexts throughout history.
Gardenia is a flower that represents a range of emotions, including love, gratitude, and elegance, but it is also sometimes associated with jealousy.
The flower’s lush, fragrant blossoms are known for their beauty and desirability, which may lead to feelings of envy or resentment in those who do not possess them.
In some cultures, gardenias are seen as a symbol of secret love, which could contribute to feelings of jealousy.
The flower’s creamy white petals and sweet scent are reminiscent of purity and innocence, which may also be a source of envy for those who have lost these qualities or never possessed them in the first place.
Furthermore, the delicate nature of gardenias and their need for careful cultivation may be seen as a metaphor for the fragility of relationships. When relationships are threatened or not nurtured properly, jealousy can arise, as one partner may feel that they are being neglected or replaced.
Overall, while gardenias are primarily associated with positive emotions, their association with love and desire can also make them a symbol of jealousy and envy in some contexts.
Hellebore, also known as Christmas rose or Lenten rose, is a flower that can represent jealousy. The hellebore plant produces bell-shaped flowers that come in various colors, including white, pink, red, purple, and green.
It blooms in late winter or early spring, often during the Lenten season, and is known for its ability to withstand harsh winter conditions.
In Greek mythology, hellebore was associated with the goddess of witchcraft, Hecate. It was believed that the plant’s poisonous qualities could be used in magic spells and potions, making it a symbol of both healing and harm.
In some cultures, hellebore was thought to have protective powers against evil spirits and witchcraft.
The symbolism of hellebore as a flower of jealousy comes from its poisonous nature. The plant contains toxic compounds that can cause a range of symptoms, including vomiting, diarrhea, and irregular heartbeat.
In medieval times, hellebore was sometimes used as a love potion, but it was also thought to cause madness and jealousy in those who consumed it.
Overall, hellebore’s association with witchcraft, healing, and poisonous qualities makes it a flower that can represent the darker emotions of jealousy and envy.
Crocus is a flower that can represent jealousy due to its Greek mythology roots. According to the myth, the god of desire, Eros, became enamored with a mortal woman named Crocus. He visited her often, but one day his wife, the goddess Psyche, discovered their relationship and out of jealousy, turned Crocus into a flower.
Since then, the crocus flower has been associated with jealousy and unrequited love. Its delicate and striking purple petals symbolize passion and desire, while the stigma of the flower represents unattainability and the bitterness of jealousy.
In the language of flowers, the crocus can also signify both gladness and betrayal, highlighting the duality of emotions associated with jealousy.
Despite its negative connotations, the crocus remains a beautiful and captivating flower that adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to any bouquet or floral arrangement.
Narcissus, also known as daffodil, is a flower that has been associated with jealousy. In Greek mythology, the beautiful youth Narcissus was so taken with his own reflection that he fell in love with it, ultimately causing his own demise.
The flower that bears his name is said to symbolize vanity and self-love, qualities that are often associated with jealousy.
In the language of flowers, daffodils can represent both unrequited love and egotism, further emphasizing their association with jealousy.
The bright yellow or white blooms of the daffodil can also evoke feelings of envy, as they are a bold and attention-grabbing presence in any garden or bouquet.
Overall, the daffodil serves as a reminder of the dangers of excessive self-love and the negative emotions that can arise from jealousy and envy.
Peony is a beautiful flower with a rich history and symbolism. It is a flower that represents many things, including jealousy. The peony is native to Asia, Europe, and North America and has been cultivated for thousands of years.
The flower has a large, showy bloom with many layers of petals in various shades of pink, red, and white.
In ancient Greek mythology, peonies were said to have sprung from the blood of a wounded nymph named Paeonia.
As a result, they were believed to have healing properties and were used in medicinal remedies for centuries. However, the peony has also been associated with jealousy and the dark side of love.
In Chinese culture, the peony is considered the flower of wealth, honor, and prosperity, but it is also associated with jealousy and rivalry.
In some Chinese legends, jealous lovers would plant peonies in their gardens to try and curse their rivals with bad luck. In Victorian England, the peony was sometimes called the “flower of anger” because of its association with jealousy and spite.
Despite its negative connotations, the peony remains a popular and beloved flower. Its beauty and fragrance make it a popular choice for weddings and other special occasions, and it continues to be an important symbol in many cultures.
Rhododendron is a flowering plant with brightly colored blooms that are often seen in shades of pink, purple, red, and white. While the rhododendron can symbolize many things, including beauty and danger, it is also commonly associated with feelings of jealousy.
The association with jealousy comes from the rhododendron’s toxicity. The plant contains grayanotoxins, which can be harmful to both humans and animals if ingested. Ingesting rhododendron leaves or nectar can cause vomiting, dizziness, and other symptoms.
In literature and mythology, the rhododendron has been used to symbolize jealousy and envy. For example, in Greek mythology, the god Apollo fell in love with a nymph named Daphne, but she rejected him.
In his anger and jealousy, Apollo turned her into a laurel tree. In some versions of the story, Daphne is said to have transformed into a rhododendron.
In many cultures, the rhododendron is also associated with caution and warning. The plant’s bright flowers may be beautiful, but their toxicity serves as a warning to those who might be tempted to pick or eat them.
In this way, the rhododendron can also symbolize the dangers of jealousy and envy, and the need to be cautious around those who possess these emotions.