10 Flowers That Represent Sacrifice: Blooms Of Selflessness

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.

Flowers have been used to symbolize a variety of emotions, events, and virtues for centuries. 

One such virtue is sacrifice, which is often associated with the act of giving up something valuable for a greater cause. In this article, we’ll explore 10 different flowers that represent sacrifice and the significance behind their symbolism. 

From the red poppy to the forget-me-not, each of these flowers has a unique story to tell about the concept of sacrifice. So let’s dive in and discover the hidden meanings behind these beautiful blooms!

Red Poppy

Red Poppy Flowers

The red poppy (Papaver rhoeas) is a flower that is often associated with sacrifice, particularly in Western cultures. 

It has become a symbol of remembrance for fallen soldiers, specifically those who have died in war. This association began with the First World War, where the red poppies grew in abundance in the fields of Flanders in Belgium, which had been heavily impacted by the war. 

The famous poem “In Flanders Fields” by John McCrae also helped to popularize the red poppy as a symbol of sacrifice.

The red color of the poppy symbolizes the bloodshed and sacrifice of those who have given their lives in service to their country. Additionally, the delicate petals of the poppy represent the fragile nature of life, while the stem represents strength and resilience in the face of adversity. 

The red poppy has since become an iconic symbol of sacrifice and is often worn on Remembrance Day or Memorial Day as a tribute to those who have given their lives in service.

It’s important to note that the red poppy symbolizes sacrifice specifically in the context of war and military service. In other contexts, different flowers may be used to represent sacrifice, such as the white lily in Christian iconography representing the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

Red Carnation

Red Carnation Flowers

Red carnations are a popular flower that represents sacrifice due to their deep red color, which is associated with bloodshed and martyrdom. The flower is often used to symbolize the sacrifice of Christ and his crucifixion, particularly in Christian traditions. 

Red carnations are also used to honor soldiers who have given their lives in service to their country, particularly in the United States on Memorial Day. 

In addition to representing sacrifice, the red carnation can also symbolize love and admiration, making it a popular choice for Valentine’s Day and other romantic occasions. 

The flower’s ruffled petals and delicate fragrance make it a beautiful addition to bouquets and floral arrangements.


Dahlia Flowers

Dahlia is a beautiful and intricate flower that can represent various meanings, including sacrifice. The dahlia is native to Mexico, and it was first introduced to Europe in the 19th century. It quickly became popular due to its variety of colors, shapes, and sizes.

The dahlia’s symbolism of sacrifice comes from the flower’s ability to thrive in difficult conditions. Dahlias can survive extreme temperatures, droughts, and pests. 

They are also known to require a lot of care and attention to bloom to their fullest potential. This resilience and the need for dedication and care is why the dahlia is often associated with sacrifice.

In addition to their hardiness, dahlias can also represent the sacrifice of time and energy. They require regular watering, pruning, and fertilization, which can be time-consuming and demanding. 

However, the end result is a beautiful and vibrant flower that can bring joy to anyone who sees it.

Dahlias are often given as a gift to express gratitude or to honor someone’s sacrifice. They can also be used to commemorate someone who has given their life for a greater cause, such as a soldier or first responder.

Overall, the dahlia is a meaningful and beautiful flower that can represent sacrifice in many different ways. Its ability to thrive in difficult conditions and its need for care and attention make it a perfect symbol of sacrifice and dedication.

Lily of the Valley

Lily of the Valley Flowers

Lily of the valley is a delicate and fragrant flower that has been associated with various meanings throughout history. 

One of its symbolic meanings is sacrifice. This association is rooted in the Christian tradition, where the flower is believed to represent the tears of the Virgin Mary shed at the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

According to legend, lily of the valley first appeared when Mary’s tears fell to the ground as she wept at the foot of the cross. 

This association with sacrifice has made the flower a popular choice for religious occasions, particularly during the Easter season, when it is often used to decorate altars and shrines.

In addition to its religious symbolism, the delicate and pure appearance of the lily of the valley has also made it a popular choice for bridal bouquets, where it represents the bride’s willingness to make sacrifices for the sake of her love and marriage.

Overall, the lily of the valley is a beautiful and meaningful flower that represents sacrifice in various contexts, from religious to romantic.

Yellow Chrysanthemum

Yellow Chrysanthemum Flowers

Yellow chrysanthemum is a flower that has been associated with sacrifice in various cultures and traditions. In Japanese culture, the chrysanthemum is a symbol of the emperor and the imperial family, and yellow chrysanthemums specifically represent the sun, as well as sacrifice and selflessness.

The flower has also been used as a symbol of sacrifice in Christian tradition. In this context, the yellow chrysanthemum represents humility and sacrifice, and is often seen at funerals or as a gift to the grieving.

The yellow chrysanthemum is also associated with the autumn season, which can represent the end of a cycle or the sacrifice of one season to make way for the next.

Overall, the yellow chrysanthemum’s association with sacrifice comes from its symbolic connections to selflessness, humility, and the willingness to let go or give up something for a greater good.

Red Gladiolus

Red Gladiolus Flowers

The red gladiolus is a striking flower that has long been associated with sacrifice. This tall, elegant flower is native to Africa and the Mediterranean and has been cultivated for thousands of years for its beauty and symbolic value. 

The red gladiolus is particularly associated with sacrifice because of its dramatic appearance and the way that it blooms.

In ancient times, the red gladiolus was often used in ceremonies and rituals that involved sacrifice. The flower was thought to represent the blood of those who had given their lives in service to their community or their country. 

The red color of the flower is also associated with passion, love, and courage, making it a fitting symbol for those who have made sacrifices in the name of these ideals.

Today, the red gladiolus is still used to represent sacrifice in many different contexts. It is often included in bouquets and floral arrangements that are given to those who have made sacrifices or to honor those who have given their lives in service to their country. 

The flower is also used in funerals and memorial services as a symbol of the sacrifice that the deceased made during their life.

In addition to its symbolic value, the red gladiolus is also prized for its beauty and versatility. The flower comes in a wide range of shades of red, from deep crimson to pale pink, and can be used in many different types of floral arrangements. 

Its tall, graceful stems make it an ideal choice for larger arrangements or as a statement flower in a centerpiece.

Overall, the red gladiolus is a powerful symbol of sacrifice that has been used for thousands of years. Its striking appearance and rich symbolic value make it a popular choice for a wide range of occasions, from funerals and memorials to celebrations of love and passion.

Blue Cornflower

Blue Cornflower Flowers

The blue cornflower, also known as bachelor’s button, is a beautiful annual flower that blooms in various shades of blue, from light powder blue to a rich royal blue. It is a popular flower in many cultures and is often used in floral arrangements, wedding bouquets, and as a garden border plant.

In some cultures, the blue cornflower is also associated with the theme of sacrifice. This is because the flower has a long history of being used as a symbol of the sacrifices made by soldiers during times of war. 

In World War I, the blue cornflower became a symbol of remembrance and respect for the soldiers who fought and died in battle.

The blue cornflower was chosen as a symbol of sacrifice because it grows wild in many places, including in the fields where battles were fought. 

Soldiers who fought in these battles would often pick the blue cornflower and wear it in their lapels or tucked behind their ears. This gesture was a sign of respect for their fallen comrades and a symbol of the sacrifices made by all those who fought in the war.

Today, the blue cornflower continues to be a symbol of sacrifice in many cultures, representing the sacrifices made by soldiers, as well as by anyone who has given up something for the greater good. 

It serves as a reminder of the importance of sacrifice and the value of remembering those who have made sacrifices for the benefit of others.

Purple Iris

Purple Iris Flowers

Purple iris is a flower that symbolizes various things including sacrifice, faith, wisdom, courage, and admiration. The color purple is often associated with royalty and nobility, and as such, the purple iris represents honor and respect.

The iris has been used as a symbol of sacrifice in many cultures. In Greek mythology, the goddess Iris was the personification of the rainbow and acted as a messenger between the gods and mortals. 

She was often depicted with a caduceus, a staff with two snakes that symbolized peace, harmony, and sacrifice. In Christian symbolism, the iris is associated with the Virgin Mary, who is seen as the ultimate example of sacrifice.

In addition to its symbolic meaning of sacrifice, the purple iris is also associated with wisdom and courage. 

This is partly due to its tall, slender stem, which symbolizes strength and stability, as well as the flower’s distinctive sword-like leaves, which represent the sharpness of the mind.

Overall, the purple iris is a beautiful and complex flower that represents a variety of qualities, including sacrifice, faith, wisdom, courage, and admiration. Its use in various cultures and mythologies as a symbol of sacrifice speaks to its enduring significance and importance.

White Orchid

White Orchid Flowers

While white orchids are generally associated with purity and innocence, they can also represent sacrifice in certain cultures and contexts. 

The pure white color of the flower, along with its delicate and elegant appearance, is often seen as a symbol of spiritual sacrifice and selflessness.

In some Eastern cultures, white orchids are associated with the concept of renunciation and letting go of material desires in order to achieve a higher spiritual state. 

This act of sacrifice involves giving up one’s worldly possessions and desires in order to achieve a greater understanding of the world and oneself.

White orchids are also often used in funeral ceremonies and memorials as a symbol of sacrifice and respect for the deceased. Their beauty and fragility serve as a reminder of the fleeting nature of life and the sacrifice of those who have passed.

In addition to their symbolic meanings, white orchids also have practical uses in traditional medicine and skincare. Their extract is believed to have anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties, making it a valuable ingredient in many skincare products.

Overall, the white orchid’s association with sacrifice highlights the importance of selflessness and spiritual growth in various cultures and contexts.

Red Azalea

Red Azalea Flowers

Red azalea is a flower that represents sacrifice due to its symbolic association with the Korean national holiday, known as “Patriot’s Day” or “Independence Movement Day.” 

This day commemorates the March 1st Movement of 1919, when Korean people protested against Japan’s colonial rule and fought for their independence.

During this time, people wore red azaleas as a symbol of their patriotism and willingness to sacrifice themselves for their country’s freedom. 

The flower’s red color symbolizes the bloodshed and sacrifice of the movement’s leaders and participants. The azalea’s delicate and beautiful appearance also represents the Korean people’s strength and resilience in the face of oppression.

Aside from its significance in Korean culture, the red azalea is also associated with sacrifice in general. Its vibrant color and striking appearance symbolize the passion and dedication that comes with making sacrifices for a greater cause.