Always lovely and fragrant, pink gardenias symbolize hope, beauty, and a fresh start. So their meaning is deeper than that of other more popular pink blooms—like roses, daisies, and chrysanthemums.
Therefore, you can use this flower to celebrate an intimate relationship, a loving mother, a new home, or even the new year. Whether you choose to set gardenias on a vase or grow them in your garden, both are excellent options.
If you’re curious to know more about them, we’ll discuss pink gardenias in more detail below, including their word origin, symbolism, and cultural significance.
Gardenia Word Meaning
In the 18th century, Carl Linnaeus named the flower gardenia in honor of Scottish botanist and physician Dr. Alexander Garden.
However, it has to be pointed out that Dr. Alexander Garden didn’t discover the gardenia flower, but his colleague Jane Colden did.
It was due to his many important discoveries in botany and medicine that Linnaeus eventually agreed to name the flower in his honor.
The Meaning and Symbolism of the Gardenia Flower
With over two hundred varieties and a range of colors, gardenias have many meanings.
But the most common ones are trust, insight, beauty, hope, peace, and protection perhaps because of their unique flower structure with waxy petals and leather-textured leaves.
Moreover, in a way, the gardenia represents the admirable, beautiful traits of both the lover and his beloved.
And these flowers also express the deeper and internal aspects of a person like dreams, intuition, guidance, and self-reflection. Perhaps one reason for this is that Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud loved this flower.
The Cultural Significance of Gardenias
Gardenias have a rich and impressive history dating back to the Ancient Greek era.
Greek mythology tells us that the flower is sacred to Morpheus, the Greek god of sleep and dreams, believing it’s the tears of the moon or fruit.
During the reign of England’s Queen Victoria (1837–1901), wearing a gardenia over one’s head signified that the person was single and looking for a decent mate.
American jazz singer Billie Holiday used to wear gardenias in her hair, which became part of her fashion every time she performed.
As mentioned earlier, Austrian neurologist and psychoanalysis founder Sigmund Freud was also said to be very fond of gardenias.
Gardenias didn’t only impress the Western world but Asian and Middle Eastern countries as well.
In Biblical times, Solomon used to give a gardenia flower to each of the women in his harem, to prevent them from becoming jealous or and to show that he was fond of them all equally.
In Pakistan, the gardenia, especially pink ones, is often used in wedding celebrations and is also the country’s national flower.
And in China, the flower or its petals are used in medicine particularly for treating inflammation, diabetes, and liver disorder, among other conditions.