What Kind of Flowers Are Sent for Sympathy?

by Alexis Kindig

Flowers are a traditional expression of sympathy when someone dies, and are often sent to funerals, memorial services and the homes of deceased people's families. There are no truly inappropriate types of flower to send in sympathy, but some are considered more traditional and are favored for their muted colors and formality.


Lilies are the flower most often associated with funerals and sympathy arrangements. In Christian folklore, the lily represents resurrection. In the language of flowers, it also conveys the idea that the soul of the departed has received renewed innocence.


Roses, especially white or pastel-colored roses, are popular in sympathy arrangements. They have a formal look that is appropriate for memorial services and for sending to bereaved family members.


Carnations are often arranged with other types of flowers in sympathy arrangements. Because of their dense blooms, they are also often used to make up wreaths, crosses and other shaped arrangements that are displayed at funerals.


Chrysanthemums are dramatic-looking flowers that are often combined in arrangements with lilies or roses.


Gladiolas are also often used in sympathy arrangements. They resemble lilies, with long stems and blade-shaped leaves, and are available in a variety of colors.

About the Author

Alexis has been a freelance writer since 2005. She is a regular contributor to her local newspaper, the "Ventura County Star," writing for the real estate, automotive and TimeOut sections. She has a degree in print journalism from Cal State Long Beach.

Photo Credits

  • yellow wrist corsage daisy arm hands event image by Paul Retherford from Fotolia.com