The Freesia flower: Its Meanings & Symbolism
Delicate freesias are best known for their dainty blooms and profuse citrus scent. While they are spring blooming in their native environment, they are always in season with florists. Because seven or more funnel-shaped blooms open along one side of the stem, they are easy to arrange to show off their beauty. The first freesias donned petals of white and yellow, but cultivation has produced freesias in a range of colors to suit any celebration. Freesias may be either single of double blooms.
What Does the Freesia Flower Mean?
The beautiful freesia has several related meanings. Freesia blooms typically mean:
Etymological Meaning of the Freesia Flower
Freesia is both the common and scientific name for these delicate flowers. They gained their name when botanist Christian P Ecklon named them after a fellow botanist, Friedrich H. T. Freese as a tribute to their friendship. It is said that freesias symbolize friendship to honor the bond between Ecklon and Freese.
Symbolism of the Freesia Flower
- Freesias are popular wedding flowers across the globe. These tiny flowers add color and fragrance to any floral display and are often used in bridal bouquets, boutonnieres or even as table centerpieces at weddings. In this context, the white freesia flower means innocence and purity.
- Freesias are also used to as a thank you to someone who has performed gracefully under difficult conditions. Their delicate nature makes them especially appropriate for young girls after a dance or other artistic performance. In this context, the color of the flower doesn’t matter. Choose one in her favorite color or that matches the theme of the event.
- In Victorian times, when flowers often carried secret messages that dare not be spoken, the freesia symbolized trust.
- In the United States, the freesia is the symbol for the seventh wedding anniversary.
The Freesia Flower Facts
The genus freesia contains approximately 20 species of flowers belonging to the Iris family. There are an estimated 1,800 species of freesia that range in color from white, ivory and yellow to many shades of pink, purple and red. These delicate blooms appear on one side of a 12- to 18-inch stem (called a scape) that curves at the top to hold the blooms nearly horizontal to the ground.
Native to South Africa, the flowers are at home in a tropical environment and do not perform well in gardens in the United States. They are grown primarily as a cut flower sold by florists. As a cut flower, freesias have a vase life of seven to 10 days, but must be handled carefully to avoid damaging the tiny petals.
Freesias gained popularity in the 1950s and have graced weddings and special occasions ever since. While white flowers are typically the most fragrant, this does hold true of the freesia flower. The white blooms emit a more subdued fragrance while the pink and red flowers release the most intense scent.
Freesia Flower Color Meanings
- All freesias represent trust and innocence, but the white freesia is often used in weddings and symbolizes the innocence and purity of the bride and the trust between the bride and groom. Flower girls may scatter the petals or carry miniature bouquets of their own. Freesias are sometimes worn in the hair.
- Bouquets of colored freesias carry the meaning of friendship, thoughtfulness and trust. They are appropriate between friends, co-workers and family members.
- Color symbolism for other flowers, such as red for passion, pink for motherly love and yellow for joy and renewal may be used.
Meaningful Botanical Characteristics of the Freesia Flower
Freesia flowers are prized for their citrus scented blooms. Their fragrance is used in cosmetics, soaps and shampoos and is even used to scent candles and potpourri. The scent of freesia is thought to relieve stress and promote relaxation. Otherwise, freesias are considered an ornamental flower and do not have significant medicinal value.
The Freesias Flower’s Message Is…
The freesias flower’s message varies depending on the presentation. It is appropriate as a gift between friends, as thank you or as an expression of your trust. Although the flowers are small, their fragrance will quickly fill a room when you add freesias to your floral displays.