10 Flowers That Represent Pain: In Bloom And In Sorrow

Some of the content shared in this post is derived from myth, folklore, ancient traditions & legends. The information here should not be considered life or medical advice. Do not consume, expose animals or handle any flowers or plants based on the content of this post.

When we think of flowers, we often associate them with beauty, love, and joy. However, some flowers also hold a deeper symbolism of pain and suffering. 

Whether it’s the thorny stem or the vivid color, these flowers can represent the struggles and hardships we face in life.

In this article, we will explore 10 flowers that symbolize pain and the emotions they represent.

Black Rose

Black roses are often associated with pain, loss, and death. Unlike traditional red roses, which symbolize love and passion, black roses represent the darker aspects of life. 

They are often used in funerals to express grief and sorrow. 

Black roses are not actually natural but are created by dying white roses with black ink or using special breeds of roses that are dark in color. 

The intensity of the black color can vary, with some appearing more of a deep maroon or burgundy color. Overall, the black rose serves as a somber reminder of the pain and suffering that we all experience in life.

Bleeding Heart

Bleeding heart is a unique and intriguing flower that has been known to represent pain. Its name is derived from its appearance, which resembles a heart that is bleeding. The flower has a distinctive shape, with drooping petals that are pink, red, or white.

The symbolism of the bleeding heart flower comes from its association with heartbreak, grief, and emotional pain. It is a flower that can convey the deep emotions that come with a loss or a betrayal. 

The flower’s dramatic appearance serves as a poignant reminder of the wounds that we carry within us.

In some cultures, the bleeding heart flower is also associated with forgiveness and redemption. It is said to represent the idea that even in the midst of pain and suffering, there can be healing and renewal. 

Despite the sadness and hurt that it evokes, the bleeding heart flower can also be a symbol of hope and resilience.

Crown Of Thorns

Crown of thorns (Euphorbia milii) is a flowering plant that is native to Madagascar but has since been introduced to many other parts of the world. The plant produces small, brightly colored flowers surrounded by long, sharp thorns. 

This combination of beauty and pain has led to the crown of thorns being used as a symbol of the suffering of Christ and the pain of the crucifixion.

The crown of thorns plant is also known for its medicinal properties and has been used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments, including arthritis and heart disease. However, the plant contains a toxic milky sap that can cause skin irritation and eye damage if it comes into contact with the skin or mucous membranes.

As a symbol of pain, the crown of thorns represents the idea that beauty and suffering can coexist. The thorns serve as a reminder that pain and hardship are an inevitable part of life, but that there can still be beauty and hope in the midst of that pain. 

The crown of thorns can also represent sacrifice and the idea that sometimes we must endure pain in order to achieve something greater.


While daffodils are typically associated with joy, renewal, and new beginnings, they can also represent pain and sorrow. This is because they are one of the first flowers to bloom in the spring, often signaling the end of a long, cold, and dark winter. 

For some, this transition can be difficult and painful, as they may have lost loved ones or experienced personal hardship during the winter months.

Additionally, daffodils can represent the pain of unrequited love or a relationship that has ended. 

The bright yellow petals can symbolize the warmth and happiness of a relationship, while the trumpet-shaped center represents the pain and longing that can come when that relationship ends.

In some cultures, daffodils are also associated with death and mourning. They are often used in funeral arrangements or placed on graves, representing the pain and sadness of loss.

Overall, while daffodils are often seen as a symbol of hope and happiness, they can also represent the pain and struggle that comes with life’s transitions and hardships.


Hydrangea is a beautiful flower that comes in a variety of colors and is often associated with emotions such as gratitude and heartfelt sincerity. However, it can also represent pain due to the meaning behind its name and history.

The name “hydrangea” comes from the Greek words “hydor,” which means water, and “angeion,” which means vessel or jug. This name was given to the flower because of its cup-shaped petals and its preference for moist soil. 

However, the hydrangea has a deeper meaning in Japanese culture, where it is known as “ajisai.” In Japan, the hydrangea is often associated with the impermanence of life, heartlessness, and rejection.

The pain associated with hydrangeas comes from a Japanese folktale that tells the story of a beautiful young woman named Ajisai who fell in love with a handsome samurai. 

Despite her efforts to win his love, the samurai remained indifferent to her, breaking her heart. She wept so hard that her tears turned into the delicate hydrangea flowers we see today.

In addition to heartbreak and unrequited love, the hydrangea can also represent the pain of loss and the transient nature of life. 

It is often used in funerals and other somber occasions to represent the fleetingness of human existence and the sorrow that comes with it.

Overall, the hydrangea is a flower with a complex history and meaning that can evoke both joy and pain depending on the context in which it is used.


Iris is a flower that is often associated with pain due to its mythology and symbolism. In Greek mythology, Iris was the goddess of the rainbow and the messenger of the gods. 

She was often depicted as a winged maiden with a caduceus, a symbol of commerce and negotiation, and a jug of water, symbolizing purity. In addition to being the goddess of the rainbow, she was also known as the goddess of the sea and the sky, as well as the goddess of messages and communication.

The iris flower takes its name from the Greek word for rainbow, “iris,” and its petals come in a variety of colors, including blue, purple, yellow, and white. 

The flower’s unique appearance, with its three petals and three sepals, has led to it being associated with the three aspects of the goddess Iris: sea, sky, and underworld.

In terms of symbolism, the iris flower has been associated with pain and mourning. In ancient Greece, it was often planted on the graves of women as a symbol of their untimely death. 

In Christianity, the iris is sometimes used as a symbol of the sorrowful heart of Mary, the mother of Jesus, and is associated with the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.

Overall, while the iris is a beautiful and versatile flower, its association with pain and mourning makes it a fitting choice for those looking to convey the depth of their emotions during difficult times.

Lily Of The Valley

While lily of the valley is often associated with happiness and purity, it can also represent pain and sadness. 

Its delicate bell-shaped flowers and sweet fragrance belie the toxic nature of the plant, which contains a number of poisonous compounds that can cause symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and dizziness if ingested. 

In some cultures, lily of the valley is even known as the “tears of Mary” and is associated with the sorrow of the Virgin Mary at the crucifixion of Jesus.

Additionally, lily of the valley has been used medicinally for centuries to treat a range of ailments, including heart conditions and headaches. 

The plant contains a number of chemical compounds that can have both positive and negative effects on the body, and its use as a medicine requires careful consideration and supervision. 

Thus, the association of lily of the valley with pain is multifaceted and can be interpreted in a number of ways, from the physical effects of its toxicity to the emotional associations with the sorrow and suffering of Mary.


Marigold is a flower that is typically associated with the sun and the warmth of summer. However, it is also a flower that can represent pain, particularly in certain cultural and religious contexts. 

In Mexican culture, for example, marigolds are used in the celebration of the Day of the Dead, where they are placed on altars as a way of honoring deceased loved ones. In this context, the marigold is seen as representing the pain of loss and the fragility of life.

Marigolds have also been used in traditional Indian medicine for their pain-relieving properties. The flower contains compounds that are thought to have anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects, which can help to reduce pain and swelling in the body. 

Additionally, marigolds are often used in aromatherapy for their calming and soothing properties, which can help to alleviate emotional pain and promote a sense of relaxation and well-being.

In the language of flowers, marigolds can also be seen as representing grief and sorrow. The vibrant orange and yellow hues of the flowers are said to symbolize the warmth and comfort of the sun, which can provide solace during times of pain and sadness. 

Overall, while marigolds are typically associated with joy and celebration, they can also hold deep significance as a symbol of pain and grief in certain contexts.


Poppies are a flower that has been associated with pain and suffering for centuries. The red poppy, in particular, is known as the flower of remembrance for soldiers who died in war. The association of poppies with pain comes from their long history of use in medicine as a natural painkiller.

In ancient times, poppies were used as a sedative and to relieve pain. The Greeks and Romans used poppy seeds to make a pain-relieving potion, and the Egyptians used poppies as a painkiller during surgery. 

In more recent times, the opium poppy has been used to produce morphine and other pain-relieving drugs.

Symbolically, the poppy is often used to represent the pain of loss and mourning. In the early 20th century, the red poppy became a symbol of remembrance for soldiers who died in World War I, thanks to the poem “In Flanders Fields” by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae. 

The poem describes the sight of poppies growing on the graves of fallen soldiers in Flanders, Belgium.

The poppy’s association with pain is not limited to physical pain, however. In some cultures, the poppy is seen as a symbol of emotional pain and suffering, such as the pain of heartbreak or the pain of addiction. 

The poppy’s bright, delicate petals and dark center are said to represent the fleeting beauty of life and the darkness of pain and suffering.

Overall, the poppy is a flower that has come to represent the pain and suffering that is an inevitable part of the human experience. Its use as a symbol of remembrance for soldiers and as a symbol of emotional pain speaks to its enduring significance in many cultures around the world.

Yellow Carnation

Yellow carnations, while typically associated with happiness and friendship, can also be a flower that represents pain. This is because yellow is the color of caution, warning, and illness. 

The bright and cheerful color of yellow can be seen as ironic in the context of pain and suffering, as it contrasts sharply with the darkness and heaviness of such experiences.

Yellow carnations can also represent pain in their symbolism. They are often associated with betrayal and disappointment, which can be sources of pain and hurt. 

Additionally, yellow carnations can be seen as representing the pain of unrequited love, as their bright color and cheerful appearance may mask the sorrow and longing of the person who gives them.

In some cultures, yellow flowers in general are seen as representing death and mourning, which are certainly experiences of pain. Therefore, yellow carnations can be seen as representing the pain of loss and grief as well.

Overall, while yellow carnations are not typically associated with pain, their bright color and symbolic associations can make them a flower that represents pain in certain contexts.