The Gardenia Flower: Its Meaning & Symbolism

gardenia flower

Bright white with sweet fragrance, Gardenias are often chosen for wedding bouquets. These flowers are associated with several meanings including purity, love and refinement, which makes them an appropriate choice for wedding occasions. They are actually part of the coffee family, and are native to tropical sections of Africa, Asia,  Australia the Pacific Islands and Hawaii.

What Does the Gardenia Flower Mean?

In Victorian times flowers were used to convey messages between people.  When a person was unable to outright express their feelings of love for another, it was and still is a  common practice to say it with flowers.  While any type of flowering plant will do,  if you want to express your love and devotion to someone but don’t want your identity to be known, the gardenia is the flower to give as a present.  It signifies a secret love or an untold love.

Gardenias are also given to convey “you’re lovely”. Used in this way, the gardenia is a flower that can be given to lovers, friends, and even family. It’s a way of telling them how lovely they are. And because the color of the gardenia is white, it also signifies purity. This flower is a wonderful addition to a wedding bouquet as it fits any color theme and it also brings the message of love and purity.


Other Commonly associated meanings are:

  • Trust
  • Hope
  • Purity
  • Clarity
  • Dreams
  • Intuition
  • Renewal
  • Alignment
  • Friendship
  • Innocence
  • Protection
  • Self-Reflection

Etymological Meaning of the Gardenia Flower

The generic name Gardenia is named in honor of Alexander Garden (1730-1791) of Charleston, South Carolina who was a botanist, zoologist, physician, and correspondent to John Ellis, zoologist, and Carolus Linnaeus, who devised the classification of genus/species we presently used today.

Symbolism of the Gardenia Flower

Gardenia leaves are shiny, and waxy. This is symbolic of clarity. In addition, it’s symbolic of self-reflection. In fact, many earth worshiping sects subscribe time with gardenia in meditation in order to come to the core of oneself for understanding and enlightenment.

Gardenia flowers also symbolize protection. They naturally deter certain insects. Metaphorically and energetically, they can help dispel bad feelings or energies in our lives.

In numerology the gardenia is a number 8.  This has the planet Saturn as a symbol and it reflects characteristics of freedom, vision and expansiveness.

Meaningful Botanical Characteristics of the Gardenia Flower

Like many other flowers Gardenias have been documented to have medicinal properties.  The flower itself is perfect for aromatherapy and is used for relaxation and to de-stress. The leaves, fruit and flowers are mixed with other ingredients as a remedy for the common cold.

When gardenias are consumed in the form of tea, it helps to relieve congestion and also detoxifies the blood.  It is also used to reduce cholesterol.  Used externally as oils or creams, it can help with inflammation and sprains.  Since it’s not a poisonous plant, gardenia can be added to salads as garnish and also works as an antioxidant.


gardenia flower

Gardenia Flower Color Meanings

The symbolism of the gardenia flower has more to do with its color than with anything.  Because it’s of a white shade, it’s the perfect representation for purity.  But if the gardenia flower has a yellow tinge near its base, it means secret love.

Gardenia Flowers are Good for These Occasions

Along with symbolizing love or a secret love, Gardenia’s also bring a touch of elegance due to their bright white color and delicate nature. This has made them an excellent and frequent choice for wedding bouquets.

The Gardenia Flower’s Message Is…

The Gardenia flower’s message is one of purity and love. Whether it is an expressed love, a secret love or love for friends and family, it is pure. It is elegant. It is love!

Gardenia Flower
Gardenia Flower
Gardenia Flower
Gardenia Flower
Gardenia Flower
Gardenia Flower
Gardenia Flower
Gardenia Flower