Lavender Flower Meaning and Symbolism

Lavender is highly regarded both for its beautiful scent, healing properties and culinary benefits. In fact, you’ll be hard-pressed to find such a great herb which attracts a plethora of pollinators, benefits you, your home, your food, and your garden.

Lavender produces fantastic purple (and sometimes white or pink!) blooms along stems with soft, thick and fragrant leaves. 

The fragrance of lavender also does wonders for your mood. It also helps your body to let go of any tension you’re currently holding onto, especially that which you were previously unaware of. 

With all these benefits packed into one plant, is it surprising that this flower has a lot of symbolism attached to it?

Read on to discover the meaning behind this very useful and beautiful plant, and exactly what you can use it for. 

What does ‘Lavender’ Mean?

The name comes from an Old French word, lavandra, which stems from the Latin lavare, which translates “to wash”. 

While some people accept this origin, others have put forward an equally possible contender. The word lavender can also be seen to stem from the Latin livere, which translates as “blueish”, referring to the sea of color this plant produces. 

You may think of lavender as a single, universal herb, but there are a lot of different types of lavender. Some are bred for their fragrance, some for their flowers, while others have been produced for their culinary uses.

This plant is becoming increasingly hybridized, to produce even more types of beautiful lavender you can enjoy. 

Lavender angustifolia refers to English lavender, and L. stoeschas, L. dentata, and L. lanata refers to French and Spanish lavender. 

What do Lavender Flowers Symbolize?

Like many herbs, lavender has a lot of symbolism, and some of the potential meanings do overlap. 

It’s universally regarded as a symbol of relaxation, calm, grace, purity, and serenity. These meanings probably derive from the plant’s therapeutic properties that instill a sense of calm and tranquility, thanks to its fragrance and oils within the plant.

The most common color you’ll find lavender in is a deep purple, which is believed to promote healing and tranquility. The reason for this is probably due to its widespread use in aromatherapy and to treat minor ailments.

Lavender helps take the itch out of insect bites, the nasty thud of a headache, and to calm acne. It also has antimicrobial properties, and repels harmful insects while providing essential nectar for bees and other important pollinators.

What’s the Cultural Significance Behind the Lavender?

We can date lavender back more than 2550 years, where it’s been referenced in Ancient Greek texts, where it was referred to as “nardus”, named after the city of Naarda in Syria. 

It’s native to the Mediterranean, as well as the Middle East and India, but you’ll find it grown all over the world for its ornamental value as well as its plethora of uses.

It’s also mentioned throughout religious texts of the world.

What does a Lavender Tattoo Mean?

As the plant is used in several practices to promote healing and wellbeing, a lavender tattoo can symbolize the same. It also embodies love, tranquility, devotion, and a reminder to take every moment as it comes, how it comes.

It can also be used to symbolize someone who brings out the peace in you, who is a sea of calm in the sometimes terrible storm that life can be.

When Should You Give Someone Lavender?

Lavender is appropriate for any occasion! It’s especially suitable for someone who has just moved into a new home as a housewarming gift, helping to promote calm and healing during an exciting and turbulent time.

Because of its powerful scent and healing properties, this herb makes a great gift, no matter the reason. It carries a powerful message of unconditional love, healing, and calm. 

It also makes a great cut or even dried flower, where it can keep some semblance of its powerful and provoking fragrance. 

You can also send lavender flowers to someone to represent your gratitude to them, or to convey the emotion they inspire in you, or your devotion to them and the connection between you.

Whatever occasion you choose, these beautiful blooms are sure to be well-received. 

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