Most Popular and Traditional Mother's Day Flowers Around the Globe

Mother’s Day is an annual holiday that celebrates moms, grandmothers, aunts, maternal figures and all the mom-like people in your life! There are different celebrations and customs around the world to mark the occasion, but one that stays true is a bouquet of flowers for Mother’s Day. Whether you get your mom a dozen carnations, a selection of wildflowers or these thank you bouquets at Bouqs, the thought behind the flowers will be sure to make her day. Check out some popular flowers that will make the perfect Mother’s Day gift.

Why Give Flowers on Mother’s Day?

Mother’s Day originated in the 17th century in England. It was originally called Mothering Sunday, a day during Lent where people would honour the Virgin Mary. Eventually it became a custom where people would give their own mother’s flowers. Mother’s Day didn’t catch on in the U.S. until the early 1900s, after the death of peace-activist Ann Reeves Jarvis. Her daughter, Anna Marie Jarvis, distributed her mother’s favourite flowers, carnations, at the memorial service and then campaigned for a national day to celebrate mothers. President Woodrow Wilson granted her wish in 1914 and declared the second Sunday in May to be Mother’s Day. Many countries around the world adopted this day as well, although the UK continues to celebrate Mother’s Day closer to Easter.

Carnations Are Traditional in the U.S.

Ever since Anna Marie Jarvis handed out carnations in her mother’s honour, the flower has been symbolic of Mother’s Day. They are the most popular choice of flowers in many countries, including the United States. The color of carnation you choose also has great meaning: pink is meant to symbolize a mother’s love, while white is often used to honour a late mother. Light red can symbolize admiration, while dark red carnations are typically used to signify love and affection.

Chrysanthemums Are Top Down Under

In Australia, the chrysanthemum is the most popular choice for Mother’s Day — and not just because it has the word ‘mum’ in it! These flowers are also incredibly abundant in May, making them a natural choice for the holiday. A bouquet of red chrysanthemums is best for Mother’s Day, as it symbolizes motherly love and gratitude. Pink can be used for honesty and love as well, while white stands for honesty and loyalty. Yellow chrysanthemums are meant to symbolize sorrow and violet are considered to be for condolences, so they may not be the best choice for mom.

A Cheerful Tulip

In much of the world, Mother’s Day falls in spring where tulips are abundant. These enchanting flowers come in a variety of colors, making them a popular bouquet choice. You can opt for pink tulips, which are meant to signify happiness, or yellow, which represent hope. A mix of the two colors would look beautiful and be very spring-like for your mom. Other tulip colors you could consider are purple for admiration, or red for love.

The Timeless Beauty of Lilies

Lilies are flowers that have significance and meaning for many cultures around the world. In some cultures, the lily symbolizes fertility and motherhood. This makes it a perfect choice for Mother’s Day. While there are many different varieties of lilies, from water lilies to peace lilies or tiger lilies, it is the Oriental lily that is most preferred. They come in a wide range of colors and have a beautiful, regal look. A white lily will symbolize purity, while orange stands for pride and confidence. A great option for mom is a pink lily, which symbolizes prosperity, or yellow, which is for gratitude. The perfect way to show mom how much you appreciate her hard work over all the years.

Roses Aren’t Just for Romance

While you may think a bouquet of roses is only appropriate for Valentine’s Day, you can just as easily get them for Mother’s Day. Nothing says “I care” and “I love you” quite like roses! Roses come in a wide variety of colors, so you have many different options. Pink is for love and appreciation, while white is most often associated with dignity and remembrance. A yellow rose is a symbol of happiness and celebration, and a purple or lavender rose symbolizes royalty and majesty — two perfect options for mom. Try to avoid the classic red rose, as it typically signifies romantic love. You can even pick up a bouquet of “rainbow roses,” which showcase multiple colors. These flowers are a bright and unusual flower that symbolizes triumph and can be the perfect way to show mom you care.

Let Mom Relax With Lavender

A less-than-typical option for Mother’s Day flowers is a bouquet of lavender! This flower has a memorable and dreamy scent and a beautiful shade of purple which makes it a stunning choice for Mother’s Day. Lavender symbolizes devotion, but it is also known for its calming properties. The scent of lavender is common in aromatherapy, so it could be a perfect choice for a busy mom who needs to take a little “me” time. 


Don’t Forget Flowers for Your Mother-In-Law

While you may have picked the perfect bouquet for your mom, what about your mother-in-law? Choosing the right flowers can be an intimidating task! Depending on your relationship with her, you may worry that the flowers won’t suit her by being “too plain” or “too fancy.” 


To find the right flowers for an in-law, start by focusing on her personality. If she’s bubbly and outgoing, pick a bright and colorful mix. Lilies or tulips in pinks and yellows would be a great choice. However, if she’s more traditional, you can’t go wrong with a set of pink carnations, chrysanthemums or roses. If you’re worried about comparisons between the flowers for your mom and mother-in-law, try to aim for similar flowers. This can avoid any hurt feelings!


Mother’s Day comes only once a year, but you should do your best to show your mom love and appreciation when you can. A bouquet of flowers is the perfect Mother’s Day gift, but nothing will beat the quality time you can spend together.