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Article: The Symbolism and Colour Meaning of Tulips

The Symbolism and Colour Meaning of Tulips

The Symbolism and Colour Meaning of Tulips

As one of the world’s most recognisable flowers, the simple yet beautiful tulip can be found in many people’s homes and gardens. While not too big, too small or too bright, the tulip flower is just right! And with a rich history and plenty of symbolism behind it, it’s perfect for so many occasions.

Keep reading as we dive into the wonderful world of tulips and learn about their history, symbolism, and colour meanings! 

The fascinating history behind tulips

Most people think that tulips originated in the Netherlands with how iconic they are over there. But, they actually came from Central Asia where they grew as a wildflower. And they were first cultivated in Turkey around 1000AD. The tulip name actually comes from the Turkish word for ‘turban’ for their similar appearances.

Tulips were brought over to Europe in the 16th century by a biologist called Carolus Clusius. And by the 17th century, the popularity of tulips soared. Europeans just couldn’t get enough of the delightful blooms! The Netherlands loved tulips so much a phenomenon named ‘the tulip mania’ came in and caused the price of the flowers to skyrocket, crashing the markets.

In the early 18th century tulips were still taking the world by storm. Turkey even had a whole tulip festival dedicated to them, which is still held today and is an impressive sight to see! And it was a crime that was punishable by exile to either buy or sell tulips outside of the capital, which isn’t still implemented today...thankfully!

Nowadays, tulips represent one of the most popular flowers in the world. Holland is the most well-known place for tulips as they are widely cultivated to blanket fields with incredible colours that can be seen during springtime.

What do tulips symbolise?

Flowers are a great way to express your feelings to someone as each flower will always have its own special meaning. The most common meanings of tulips are:

Perfect or Deep Love

The most known meaning of tulips is perfect and deep love. As tulips are a classic flower that has been loved by many for centuries they have been attached with the meaning of love. They’re ideal to give to someone who you have a deep, unconditional love for, whether it’s your partner, children, parents or siblings.


As tulips bloom at the beginning of spring they also have a meaning of rebirth. If you know someone who is going through some life changes, taking on new adventures and challenges or have welcomed a new addition to the family, a lovely bouquet of tulips would make a wonderful gift.


Since the Victorian era tulips have also been a symbol of charity. With its cheerful nature and mark of a new season and new beginnings, many charities today still use the beloved tulip flower to represent them.

What are the different tulip colour meanings

Like many flowers, different coloured tulips have different meanings. It's important to know the colour meaning of flowers, especially if you're gifting them and want to send the right message!

White tulips meaning

White tulips have a meaning of forgiveness, respect, purity and honour. So whether you need to apologise to someone or are celebrating a religious milestone, like a baptism or bar mitzvah, tulips are ideal! Apparently, according to superstition, if you dream about white tulips, it can mean that you're about to embark on a new journey and a fresh start in life.

Yellow tulips meaning

We think yellow tulips are one of the happiest flowers around and they even have a meaning of cheerfulness and hope! Victorian's even believe that yellow tulips meant "there's sunshine in your smile" which is just too adorable. They'll definitely bring a smile to anyone's face. And if you plant yellow tulips in your front or back garden it's known to bring good luck and prosperity to your home.

Red tulips meaning

If you're the romantic type and in a new relationship, red tulips have a meaning of eternal love and passion. So they're very popular flowers for couples to give each other and to use for weddings too. If you're wanting to win someone over send them a big bunch of gorgeous red tulips! We guarantee they won't be able to resist.

Pink tulips meaning

Pink tulips are known for meaning affection, caring, good wishes, and love. Although not as deep or passionate love as red tulips represent. Pink tulips are great to send to friends and family members to show them you care. If you want to congratulate someone on a new job, a promotion or graduation, pink tulips say it best!

Purple tulips meaning

Because purple dye was a luxury that only royals, or the super-wealthy, could afford, purple tulips have a meaning of royalty and elegance. In the 1500s, Queen Elizabeth even banned everyone except members of the royal family to wear purple as it was such a special colour! Purple tulips are perfect for bridal bouquets or to give someone who you think is totally fabulous and deserving of these beautiful blooms.

Fun facts about tulips

Can't get enough of the charming tulip flower? We don't blame you! Here are some fun and unusual facts about tulips. Their flower buds are known for being perfectly symmetrical. They are the 11th wedding anniversary flower.

Tulip petals are edible and can be used to replace onions in many recipes or even to make wine. At the peak of the tulip mania, the flowers were worth more than diamonds. There are over 150 species of tulips with a shocking 3000 varieties.

For more tips, tricks, information and inspiration have a read through our flower journal!

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