Image via Australian Desert Elopement Inspiration, Photography by Wolf and Wildflower

If you’ve read Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s The Language of Flowers, you’ll know there’s a lot more to a flower than its look. This month we are taking a virtual trip around the world and looking for blooms that you can incorporate into your bouquets that you might not have considered before. Maybe there’s a special place that you want to pay tribute to or add a reference to your culture using flowers. Let’s take a look at some of the national flowers around the globe and what each represent.


Popular in many bouquets are different varieties of the rose. The rose is the national flower of Bulgaria and each colour has a different meaning. When visiting Bulgaria you might be presented with a rose which is commonly given to guests as a welcome gift and to show friendship.

Image via Gernetha Anne and Rajeev’s Elegant and Traditional Winter Wedding,  Photography by Lovable Photography

The meaning: The red rose is no surprise to anyone that it is a symbol for love. Pink roses convey grace, orange is for fascination and purple is for enchantment.

Cook Islands

The beautifully scented gardenia (Tiare Maori) is the national flower of the Cook Islands. Whilst it is believed that the gardenia is not actually a native plant to the Cook Islands, the flower itself has strong meaning across the islands. Traditionally, the gardenia is gifted at weddings, graduations, and other large celebrations.

Image via Style Me Pretty, Photography by Natalie Franke

The meaning: The gardenia symbolises refinement, though in Maori culture it might be used to symbolise purity and love both romantically and for the homeland.


The Iris is the national flower of France and is easily recognised by its distinct 3 petals. The Iris is said to have first appeared in a stylised form in the 12th century, when the French king added this display to his
battle shield.

Photography by Daighna Photography

The meaning: The Language of Flowers lists Iris as meaning ‘message’ which can be interpreted in different ways. Though in French culture it represents perfection, light and life which far better suits a wedding bouquet. Each petal is said to represent wisdom, faith and chivalry.


The national flower of Mexico is the Dahlia Pinnata. Said to have originated from the mountainous regions of Mexico and Central America, the Dahlia is a great way to add colour into your bouquet. There are over 42 species, all varying in colour and shape but each with one single flower per stem.

Image via Tesselaar Flowers, Photography by With Love and Embers

The meaning: The Dahlia is said to represent dignity.

There are plenty more countries with national flowers that you could incorporate into your wedding bouquet. Do a little research and create a Pinterest board with your favourites and bring this along to your first floral appointment. You florist can let you know what might be in season and how they might be able to bring your perfect bloom ideas to life.

Ms Zebra Says: Personally, I find that SO many flowers are so gorgeous, how do you choose?! However, with a history and meaning behind, it may make that decision easier – or at least a great way to understand the flowers you’re including in your big day!