A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

What Are Your Birth Flowers, and What Could They Reveal About Your Personality?

Whichever month you were born, there are birth flowers that have symbolism for you. Find out what your special blossoms are and what they may say about you.

mixed flowers
R A Kearton/Getty Images

Birth flowers are more than just pretty blooms

Flowers are always pretty, but sometimes they have a deeper personal meaning. Different flowers (and the various colors they come in) are infused with symbolism. As many rose enthusiasts know, there is a world of difference between red and yellow. Birth flowers, particularly, embody personality characteristics, along the lines of characteristics of a zodiac sign, says Kaylyn Hewitt, lead floral designer for The Bouqs Co.

Whether you have the rarest birthday, the most popular birth month or started life under the rarest zodiac sign, consider asking for floral birthday gifts when your special day rolls around. Hewitt says the practice of floriography—the language of flowers—spans cultures and thousands of years. Its roots are rumored to stretch to ancient Rome, but modern interpretations are more closely connected with the Victorian love of flower messaging.

Information about birth month flowers can vary. On The Bouqs Co. list, there is a primary and secondary flower. At 1-800-Flowers, most months have two offerings, but some have only one. Flowers themselves usually start with seasonality—but flower meanings can make the blooms even more special. Here’s what you need to know about birth flowers.

Get Reader’s Digest’s Read Up newsletter for more personality insights, humor, cleaning, travel, tech and fun facts all week long.

carnations and snow drop flowers
Getty Images (2)

January: Carnation and snowdrop

As the January birth month flower, the carnation may surprise you. Carnations represent power and are referred to as “flower of the gods.” A deep red carnation has particular impact—which is perfect if you’re pretty fiery too. But more soothing colors of carnations may be a better match for some people born this month. “White indicates purity and good luck, and pink can symbolize a mother’s undying love,” says Valerie Ghitelman, vice president of product development, design and sourcing for 1-800-Flowers.

Quieter but optimistic January souls may pair better with the snowdrop. The little white flowers symbolize hope and birth—not surprising, considering they’re among the first to poke their heads through frozen ground. If another type of bloom has previously been more to your liking, discover what your favorite flower says about your personality.

Rd What Are Your Birth Flowers And What Do They Mean Infographic Gettyimages12
RD.com, Getty Images (12)

violet and primrose
Getty Images (2)

February: Violet and primrose

Less assuming personalities with February birthdays will recognize themselves in violets. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, the violet has been thought to symbolize modesty, faithfulness, everlasting love, innocence and remembrance. And we just thought those purple flowers were beautiful!

As for the primrose, it means “first flower of spring” in Latin. Some folks see it as both a symbol of youthfulness—at any age—and optimism. The primrose also has a connection to those with an appreciation for myth and magic: According to Scottish legend, eating a primrose can help you see a fairy. Beyond the beautiful blooms, primrose oil also offers health and beauty benefits.

Yellow daffodil flowers
Orthosie/Getty Images

March: Daffodil

If your birthday is in March, you and your birth flower most likely share some upbeat traits. That’s because spring-blooming daffodils, known botanically as narcissus, represent happiness, new beginnings, hope and friendship.

You might also see jonquil as an option for the March flower. It’s one variety of daffodil that has multiple small flowers. The narcissus has a little bit of vanity associated with it—and maybe you do too. (Do you connect the dots between narcissus and narcissism?) As legend has it, the Greek god Narcissus was so beholden by his own beauty that the goddess Nemesis lured him to his demise as he gazed upon his own reflection. Regardless of the myth, Ghitelman says daffodils are perfect to plant in a container garden or in ground for years of blooms.

daisy and sweet pea
Getty Images (2)

April: Daisy and sweet pea

If you’re the type to meet each day with a sunny start, you and the daisy have a lot in common. People born in April may match the daisy’s playful, cheerful and optimistic attitude. You’re likely to be both sweet and loyal as a friend if you’re born with the daisy as your birth month flower.

If you’re an April birthday, you could also be as innocent as a sweet pea. Hewitt loves this flower for its light honeysuckle fragrance and pastel pinks and purples, and sweet pea flowers also represent a blissful nature. If you’re a good and kind friend, sweet peas are the flower for you. Unfortunately, they’re also a bit ephemeral as a cut flower; while there are many long-lasting cut flowers, fragile sweet peas aren’t one of them. Try to store sweet peas in a cooler area to keep them fresh for longer.

lily of the valley and hawthorn
Getty Images (2)

May: Lily of the valley and hawthorn

If lily of the valley is your birth flower, you share humility and sweet qualities with these short-lived white beauties. These delicate flowers sometimes appear in wedding bouquets, since they represent joy, purity and virtue. Its botanical name translates into “May lily.” This flower gets multiple mentions in the Bible, with one legend saying Eve’s tears turned into lily of the valley as she exited Eden. One note about lily of the valley: Like many other toxic plants, it should be kept away from pets and children.

Another flower associated with May birthdays is the flowering hawthorn shrub, which typically blooms this month with clusters of small white, pink or red flowers. Maternal types will channel the protective thicket of branches. Hope, love, beauty and fertility are all characteristics associated with the so-called “May Tree.”

rose and honeysuckle
Getty Images (2)

June: Rose and honeysuckle

Roses—the queen of flowers—are the birth flowers for June. Literature and Valentine gift giving help maintain the status of the red rose for romance and love, but they are much more flexible than that. Rose color meaning varies greatly and offers something for everyone. White roses suggest purity, yellow means warmth and peach symbolizes gratitude.

Like roses, honeysuckle is also associated with love. It too has a sweet scent, so it’s no surprise that it represents that sentiment as well. According to the British Woodland Trust, honeysuckle grown around a door was once thought to bring good luck and prevent evil spirits.

larkspur and water lily
Getty Images (2)

July: Larkspur and water lily

For those born in July, here’s what the Penn State Extension has to say about your birth flower, the larkspur: It’s symbolic of “beautiful spirit, swiftness and generally of positivity.” Larkspurs also have a connection with love, and ancient Greeks believed in the flower’s protective properties. It was thought to repel ghosts and lightning in England as well as witches in Transylvania.

Painter Claude Monet’s beloved water lily is the secondary birth flower for July. If that’s your birth month, you may be a truth seeker. A few of its characteristics include enlightenment, knowledge and purity. For Hindus and Buddhists, the flower represents resurrection, as it closes at night only to reopen during the day.

gladiolus and poppy
Getty Images (2)

August: Gladiolus and poppy

Signifying strong character and moral code, gladiolus is the flower for August babies. Ghitelman says including “glads” in online flower delivery arrangements for August-born Leos makes sense, since they “love to be showered with praise and admiration.” The name gladiolus evolved from Latin and French to mean “little sword,” maybe a visual reference for those natural leaders.

If you’re also on the creative side, that’s where the other August flower comes in. Poppies are known to reflect imagination, strength and success. Ancient mythology associates the poppy with sleep and death, and red poppies are used to commemorate soldiers.

aster and morning glory
Getty Images (2)

September: Aster and morning glory

As a September baby, Ghitelman celebrates both her birth flowers, sharing, “I love asters because of their tiny daisy shape, which is dainty and charming.” Aster pulls its name from the Greek word for “star.” Spreading love is one quality those born in September may share with asters, as well as patience and stability.

Morning glories also signify sharing affection and love—but fleetingly. Morning glory blooms in the heat of late summer, and Ghitelman calls it “mystical,” since each of its flowers opens and closes within the day. They’re also among the flowers that are easy to grow from seed. In four-season climates, they might need planting every year, whereas warmer areas need to control the self-seeding.

marigold and cosmos
Getty Images (2)

October: Marigold and cosmos

Creativity, passion and strength are characteristics that marigolds may share with those born in October. They also are associated with wealth. No one knows how these flowers became prevalent at the altars of the Virgin Mary, but theory suggests the yellow and orange blooms got the name “Mary’s Gold” during the development of England, where the blooms were prevalent.

Cosmos are a little more subtle. With their diverse palette of color—from pastel to brilliant yellow to chocolate—they represent harmony, modesty, serenity and balance. Keeping a vase of them at home may become one of your small moments of joy each day.

colorful chrysanthemum flower
KatarinaGondova/Getty Images

November: Chrysanthemum

Are you friendly, cheerful and honest? Then you have much in common with this fall royalty. Ghitelman says chrysanthemums also reflect wisdom and nobility and are “often associated with optimism, hope and a long life.” In the garden, they add a rich autumn color. The chrysanthemum excels as a cut flower, lasting sometimes for weeks in a vase. Chrysanthemum cultivation began in 15th-century China, and these flowers are known for their healing and culinary properties. They’re also known in the garden as a good pest-control plant.

paperwhites and holly
Getty Images (2)

December: Paperwhite and holly

The paperwhite—a bulb flower that thrives indoors this month—got its name from its delicate petals, which are described as being as thin as paper. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, the paperwhite is said to represent purity, faithfulness and respect, which also may reflect aspects of your own personality.

Holly was once used to ward off evil spirits, but it’s much more upbeat in contemporary times. Happiness and optimism might be some of the qualities you share with holly. Thousands of years ago Druids assigned magical properties to holly and believed it helped with fertility and longevity. As it is resistant to lightning, it was planted near homes for protection.

About the experts

  • Kaylyn Hewitt is the lead floral designer for The Bouqs Co.
  • Valerie Ghitelman is the vice president of product development, design and sourcing for 1-800-Flowers.

Betsy Karetnick
Betsy is a lifestyle and media expert who writes about food, drink, flowers and gardening, as well as consumer issues. In 2004, she created The Portable Garden, a destination floral and event design company. An accomplished broadcaster, she was hired by Martha Stewart for her expertise in food and flowers, and she worked exclusively as a host on the channel for nearly its entire tenure on SiriusXM. She also specializes in financial journalism and started her career at Dow Jones, CBS Marketwatch and WNET.