From your local community plot to the expansive landscapes of the wealthiest, most powerful people – begonias are an essential staple for any garden. As they are such a popular flower, there is a flurry of information about their characteristics, care, and origin. Probably, the most nuanced and exciting of all is the unique symbolism that has been attached to its name.
Begonias were discovered by a french botanist named Charles Plumier in the early 1700. The name was a dedication of this newfound name to a politician from the Caribbean called Michel Begon. These cheerful flowers come in bright colors and are the perfect gift as these beautiful plants’ flower symbolism represents harmonious communications and peace.
However, before we discuss begonia’s symbolic meaning, it is crucial to understand these common flowers and why they may have such a vital cultural significance.
Begonias, native to the tropics and subtropics, especially Central America, grow in a wide variety of colors from vibrant red, purple, yellow, white, and even pink flowers – their leaves dark, waxy green. These beautiful flowers typically grow in large clusters of flowers, and their petals aren’t uncommon to bloom in multicolor. They are captivating in their soft and delicate beauty, but they also provide a sweet perfume that provides such a peaceful calm that it can almost be considered a high.
There are over 1,000 unique species of begonia flowering plants, the most common being the Begonia coccinea. Although they are most commonly found in warmer climates such as Central and South America, sub-Saharan Africa, and parts of Eastern Asia, these flowers have been globally cultivated. They can be grown almost anywhere, given the proper maintenance, and this is probably why they are considered a perfect gift for many occasions.
These decorative flowers are trendy among the horticulturist community and professional gardeners, thanks partly to their beauty, a wide range of colors, and the fact that they are relatively easy to maintain and are notorious deer and rabbit repellents. They are the most-bee friendly garden flowers.
The vast majority of begonia species are suitable to grow in your garden. However, a handful of these subtropical flowers produce a toxic sap that can be harmful to humans and most pets, so it is essential to be sure of what type of ornamental plant you are planting before you do.
The beauty of begonia flowers has a powerful cultural presence in society. Political figures often wear and reference them – especially in North Korea, worn as emblems – and are depicted heavily in media. In some countries, begonias are used as food items in meal preparations and teas and are said to provide a delightful, earthy flavor. Begonia flower arrangements are used as celebratory gifts.
Begonia Flower Meaning
Now that we know more about begonias and their origins, we can dive deeper into their meaning.
Like any flower, begonias come in a variety of colors which all hold their specific meanings – something that we will expand on later in this post.
However, begonias have a universal meaning that is much more serious. In the past, giving begonias as a gift was considered either an omen or a threat. It was said that these showy flowers symbolized misfortune and harm. They were also commonly used as a warning sign to remind the receiver to constantly alert for potential threats. Because of this connotation, begonias are often used as foreshadowing in literature and media, as a symbol of a false sense of security, and as symbols of warning.
The rich history and symbolism of begonias have evolved over the years. Nowadays, their darker meaning of future misfortune is long gone and replaced by a more positive symbolism deeply rooted in cultural meanings. The flower’s special meanings go from a congratulatory gift to a symbol of individuality. This wonderful flower makes an excellent house plant, and our flower garden specialists have favored this perennial plant both in decorative bouquets and as a decorative plant in gardens.
Begonia Colors and their Meanings
It may seem like begonias are a negative symbol and unsuitable to be given to your mother-in-law at Christmas, but this is far from the truth. While this meaning is still heavily associated with begonias today, they have accumulated many other, more positive meanings in recent years. To gift a bouquet of begonias to a loved one would more likely represent gratitude, harmony, and peace.
- Red Begonia
Like most flowers, red begonias symbolize deep love and passion and are typically reserved for only the closest friends and partners.
- Yellow Begonia
There is debate on the concrete meaning of the begonia yellow flowers; however, they are typically accepted to represent happiness and hope and are given as a symbol of good wishes. Similarly, they can represent rebirth and new beginnings. However, in some African countries, yellow begonias can signify the death of a loved one.
- Purple Begonia
Purple flower begonias are the rarest of its variants, Which are explicitly reserved for funerals.
- Orange Begonia
The United States military has adopted the orange begonia as a symbol of strength and courage. Orange begonias are also known to bring good fortune and protection.
- Pink Begonia
Pink begonias are usually given as a sign of affection and appreciation. Pink begonias
- White Begonia
White begonias are generally given to people who are sick or recovering from illness. These white flowers are also given to celebrate a baby’s first birthday and are considered a symbol of peace.
- Green Begonia
Green begonias are the most common type of begonia and are given to express friendship and loyalty. Green begonias are also a symbol of prosperity and wealth.
- Blue Begonia
Blue begonias are similar to green begonias, except they are slightly smaller and less colorful. Blue begonias are also symbols of faithfulness and fidelity.
While these flowers offer many meanings and messages, there is no need to worry about accidentally threatening a loved one! Despite their less than savory reputation, begonias hold firm as an excellent way to let your loved ones know you appreciate them. Not only that, they make beautiful centerpieces and will look stunning in your back garden!