Italian Flower Symbolism and Etiquette


Gifting flowers and floral arrangements is a central element of Italian culture. Understanding its symbolism and etiquette are integral parts of gift-giving in Italy.

Roses and violets are classic Italian flowers, but you could also try growing lilacs, jasmine, cyclamen, or periwinkle in your garden. Chrysanthemums are another fantastic option!


Roses are one of the most beloved flowers in Italy, both as a cut flower and garden plant. Due to its diverse climate, Italy boasts an incredible variety of rose varieties, from exotic tropical species like Bougainvillea to hardy ramblers and climbers that cover pergolas or walls.

Roses have long been seen as a universal symbol of love, making them an essential motif in Italian culture. Paintings by Pierre-Joseph Redoute or Henri Fantin-Latour feature them regularly; rosewater or attar (rose oil) perfumes often incorporate these beautiful blooms.

Steam distillation of rose petals produces perfumed oil for cosmetic use and religious rituals, while dried rose fruit, commonly known as rose hips, can provide significant vitamin C sources.

Roses are an integral part of Italy’s cut flower market but rarely grow locally. Most roses sold here are imported from other European countries due to customer demands for long-blooming varieties with specific characteristics – repeat blooming, large petal counts, or intense fragrance.


Are you searching for a flower that looks stunning and smells delicious? Lilies are an excellent addition to any garden or bouquet and come in various colors and sizes – they also increase. Lilies have also become increasingly popular as wedding choices due to their symbolic meaning for purity and innocence.

Lilies have long been considered Italy’s national flower, and it’s easy to understand why. Their beauty and scent make them an excellent representative of their nation, while many varieties blooming this summer make lily bouquets visible throughout Italy.

Lilies come in all sorts of varieties, each with its own individual characteristics. Some lilies possess fragrant scents while others do not; some require more maintenance; others might bloom quickly with minimal attention needed – although any lily variety should be easy enough to grow provided sufficient sunlight and well-draining soil.

Lilies are one of the most sought-after flowers in Italy’s flower market, found at florists and markets nationwide. Used frequently for funerals and other special events, their soothing fragrance suits people with sensitive noses.


American gardens have long been known to welcome chrysanthemums (or mums) with open arms; these fall-blooming perennials are beloved. Boasting hundreds of colors and flower forms to choose from, the National Chrysanthemum Society classifies 13 types. While you can buy florist mums at supermarkets or corner stores, if you want them for garden purposes, visiting a nursery or garden center is recommended.

Chinese culture recognizes chrysanthemum flowers as one of the Four Noble Plants, alongside plum blossoms, orchids, and bamboo. Cultivated both as edible herbs and for tea-making and medicine purposes, in Japan, the chrysanthemum flower serves as a national symbol embossed on passports and featured on his official seal.

Chrysanthemum flowers add color, texture, and flavor to salads, soups, stews, curries, and other main courses when used as food ingredients. They are often garnished as an eye-catching finisher for sushi and other seafood dishes. Chrysanthemum flowers belong to the Asteraceae or daisy family and may cause allergic reactions in certain people.

Chrysanthemums are popular perennial and hardy garden flowers in Zone 5 or higher gardens in the US. To ensure they survive winter, plant them early each spring, adding heavy mulch around their bases for protection from frost damage. Chrysanthemums thrive best in excellent, sunny locations with well-draining soil.


Sunflowers are an indispensable feature of Italian flower markets. They are bright and heat-tolerant and attract pollinator flocks into your garden. Their seeds are both nutritional and edible. Sunflowers can thrive under various growing conditions – though for optimal performance, they should be planted in sunny locations with long summer seasons.

Sunflower seeds are used widely in cooking oil, margarine, cosmetics, and animal feed products. Their rich source of polyunsaturated fat and low saturated fat content makes them beneficial to heart health; plus, their Vitamin E-rich composition provides significant protection. Furthermore, any remaining dehulled cake from seed extraction is fed back into the livestock’s feed supply.

Sunflowers, like other members of the Asters (Compositae) family, display heliotropism: their flowers face toward the rising sun each morning and follow it throughout the day until its setting at night. This behavior results from light-induced changes to the turgor pressure of their petals that cause permanent shifts.

Mario Nuzzi was one of the earliest Roman painters to specialize in flower pieces, becoming known for his meticulous observations of different species of blooms and refined sense of design. His portrait of a sunflower painted in Rome around 1620 is an exquisite example of his style – featuring all of the hallmarks associated with Caravaggio’s work, such as respect for nature and understanding light’s influence over the form and color of plants.