Plants of the Dead: Carnation

Plants of the Dead:

All living beings, including plants and trees, are believed to have a spirit. Plants hold great importance in the grieving process and are often seen at funerals and graves, with each plant conveying a unique message. The spirits of plants can aid in improving your connection with your ancestors, and this blog series aims to guide you through this process.


Carnations are a favourite flower for many reasons. They come in various colours, are easy to care for and can be found in almost any flower shop. 

Pink carnations are often associated with Mother's Day and motherly love, making them an excellent choice for honouring ancestors who identify as mothers. Additionally, the colour pink is ideal for expressing feelings of affection.

White carnations, in particular, are an excellent choice when you're unsure of what type of flower to give someone. Not only do they possess a classic and timeless beauty, but they also have a more potent aroma compared to their colourful counterparts. So, if you're looking for a flower that can convey a meaningful message and leave a lasting impression, white carnations are worth considering.

Red carnations are often associated with romantic love, but they also hold significance in connecting with blood ancestors.

If you plan to give yellow carnations to your ancestors, particularly those who were alive during the Victorian era, it's best to explain why. Yellow carnations are usually associated with disdain, which could offend them. However, if you deliberately want to offend them, that's your choice.

Carnations aren’t usually a flower carved into a gravestone. If you do come across one, it’s likely that they were the person’s favourite flower.

You can learn a lot about plant symbolism in cemeteries in my new book, The Book of Ancestors: A Guide to Magic, Rituals and Your Family History. Get your copy here!

The Memento Mori card "carnation" is part of an exclusive Patreon set. 

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