My Life in Blossom

Meaning And Symbolism of Tulips

Meaning And Symbolism of Tulips

Tulips originated in Asia but their beauty and symbolism have spread to all parts of the world.  Tulips come in many different bloom colors and the petals can be smooth or ruffled, (also known as a parrot or fringed tulips) single, double, or triple, and they are one of the first flowers to bloom in spring.

The meaning of the bloom colors varies from country to country, but this flower is commonly associated with deep love and new birth. With over 3,000 different varieties and world-popularity, it’s easy to understand why the meaning and symbolism of tulips may vary.

Let’s look at some of the meanings, symbolism, and stories behind this spring beauty that has been around for centuries.

Tulips Turkish Legend

pink tulips

Tulips were very popular in Turkey and their name is the Turkish word for turban. As the ancient Turkish legend goes, a young prince named Farhad fell in love with a beautiful young lady named Shirin, but she was murdered before they could be married. Farhad rode his horse off a cliff after learning of Shirin’s death, and a red tulip grows where his blood was spilled on the ground. This is why red tulips are the symbol of perfect love.

There are a few different variations of this Turkish legend but all connected to two young lovers who couldn’t be together in matrimony.

Colors And Symbolism

yellow tulips

No matter what version of the tulip legend you have heard, red tulips always symbolism deep and everlasting love. However, other colors of this popular spring flower have different meanings.

* Yellow tulips symbolize cheerfulness and means you are thinking cheerful thoughts about the recipient.

* Pink tulips symbolize happiness and confidence and can be given to mean the person is confident and happy in the relationship.

* White tulips symbolize forgiveness and can be given as an apology. the white bloom color also symbolizes purity and respect.

* Cream tulips produce blooms that are slightly darker than white. These cream-colored blooms symbolize commitment and an eternal bond of love.

* Purple tulips symbolize royalty and admiration. Give purple tulips to someone you admire as a princess or queen in your life.

* Orange tulips mean appreciation and understanding of the recipient.

* Black tulips symbolize power and strength. The bloom color also means the opposite of white tulips and are given to symbolize crazy, passionate love. Black tulips are rare and are usually not a true black color but are a dark enough hue to be called black.

* Blue tulips are not real but are created with a little imagination, manipulation, and food coloring. Some tulip cultivars are a shade of purple that looks almost blue and the fake blue blooms symbolize trust and loyalty.

* Bi-and tri-color tulips will symbolize a combination of meanings, like red and orange blooms, symbolize deep love and appreciation for the recipient.

* Petal variations don’t change the meaning or symbolism of the bloom color.

Flower of Death


In addition to being associated with spring and love, these beauties are also associated with death. Making these flowers a symbol of death is unjust but the association is there none-the-less.

In times of famine and war, tulips bulbs were eaten. Many people died during these difficult times when food was not available and the tulip bulbs were often blamed for the death because they caused stomach irritation and skin rash.

The modern-day association of death and tulips come from the floral arrangements sent to families with a deceased loved one. Tulip blooms are colorful and are long-lasting when used in floral arrangements, making them a common choice for funeral flowers.

If you would like to discover the meaning of other flowers, discover other meanings here: Red RosesSunflower, HydrangeaDaffodils