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Colours of Tulips: What Does Each Shade Symbolise?

All About Tulips




Tulips, with their vibrant and diverse array of colours, have captured the hearts of flower enthusiasts around the world. These elegant blooms not only add a touch of beauty to gardens and bouquets but also carry profound symbolism rooted in culture and history. In this blog post, we will delve into the fascinating world of tulip symbolism, exploring what each shade represents and the occasions where they are most commonly used.


Red Tulips


red tulips


Red tulips are the embodiment of deep, passionate love and desire. They symbolize strong and undying love, making them a popular choice for romantic gestures. Historically, red tulips have been associated with the Ottoman Empire, where they were seen as a symbol of wealth and luxury. In the Netherlands, during the 17th century, the tulip craze reached its peak, and red tulips were particularly coveted.

Interestingly, the red tulip has a connection to a historical event known as “Tulip Mania”. During this period, tulip bulbs, especially red varieties, were so highly prized that they became a form of currency, leading to one of the first recorded economic bubbles in history. While the economic significance has evolved, the symbolism of red tulips continues to be a powerful expression of love and affection, making them a timeless choice for romantic gestures and declarations.


Yellow Tulips


yellow tulips


Yellow tulips radiate warmth, joy, and happiness. They are often associated with feelings of friendship, making them a wonderful choice to gift to friends or loved ones to brighten their day. The sunny disposition of yellow tulips is a universal symbol of optimism and cheerfulness.

Yellow tulips are commonly used in various celebrations and events, such as birthdays, and graduations, and as get-well gifts. They convey the message of hope and support, making them a versatile choice for expressing positive emotions.


White Tulips


White Tulips


White tulips are a symbol of purity, forgiveness, and new beginnings. Their clean and serene appearance makes them a popular choice for weddings and funerals alike. In weddings, white tulips are often used to represent the purity and innocence of the couple’s love, while in funerals, they offer solace and hope for a peaceful transition to the afterlife.

White tulips have a timeless elegance that transcends cultural boundaries, making them a favourite choice for a wide range of occasions where purity and grace are celebrated.


Purple Tulips


Purple Tulips


Purple tulips are the embodiment of royalty and luxury. Historically, purple was a colour associated with power and wealth, and this symbolism has carried over to purple tulips. These blooms convey a sense of grandeur and opulence, making them ideal for lavish celebrations and events.

Throughout history, purple tulips have often been featured in art and literature as a symbol of nobility and extravagance. Gifting purple tulips is a gesture that conveys respect and admiration for the recipient’s regal qualities. Their striking hue makes them a statement flower in any arrangement.


Pink Tulips


Pink Tulips


Pink tulips symbolize love and affection, making them a perfect choice for expressing feelings of admiration, gratitude, and care. The various shades of pink tulips carry nuanced meanings; light pink tulips represent admiration and sympathy, while deeper shades convey deep affection and gratitude.

These versatile blooms can be used for a wide range of occasions, from Mother’s Day to anniversaries and birthdays. Their delicate beauty and emotional significance make them a heartfelt gesture for expressing love and appreciation.


Orange Tulips


Orange Tulips


Orange tulips are vibrant and energetic, symbolizing enthusiasm and passion. They radiate a sense of excitement and are often chosen to convey messages of encouragement and motivation. Orange tulips can brighten up any bouquet with their warm and inviting colour.

Combining orange tulips with other flowers, such as yellows and reds, can create stunning arrangements that capture the essence of joy and exuberance. These lively blooms are ideal for celebrating achievements, and milestones, or simply spreading positivity.


Black Tulips


Black Tulips


Black tulips are rare and mysterious, often symbolizing elegance and the unknown. While true black tulips are exceptionally rare in nature, deep purple and maroon varieties are sometimes referred to as black tulips due to their dark and enigmatic appearance.

Black tulips have historical significance and are associated with various legends and folklore. They represent the mystique and allure of the unknown, making them a unique and captivating choice for floral arrangements. Their dark and intriguing beauty adds an element of sophistication to any bouquet.


Tulips as Decoration


tulips for decoration


Tulips are versatile flowers that are popular for various occasions and settings due to their elegant shape and a wide array of colours. They can be the best decoration for:

  1. Spring Events: Tulips are synonymous with spring. They’re perfect for Easter celebrations, spring weddings, or any spring-themed event.
  2. Weddings: For a wedding, tulips can be a beautiful choice, especially for ceremonies in the late winter to early spring. They work well for bouquets, centrepieces, and other floral arrangements.
  3. Mother’s Day: Tulips are often associated with motherhood and love, making them a great decoration for Mother’s Day brunches or gatherings.
  4. Valentine’s Day: While roses are traditional, tulips are a lovely and modern alternative for Valentine’s Day decorations and gifts.
  5. Garden Parties: Their natural and soft appearance makes tulips a great choice for garden and tea parties.
  6. Corporate Events: Because they’re seen as a symbol of professional respect and elegance, tulips can be used for corporate meetings, conferences, or business dinners.
  7. Home Decor: Tulips can bring a touch of spring into the home, perfect for a spring refresh of your décor.
  8. Dutch-Themed Events: The Netherlands is famous for its tulips, so they are a must for a Dutch-themed event.
  9. Anniversaries: A bouquet of tulips can be a beautiful gesture for an anniversary, especially if they’re the favourite flower of your significant other or were part of the original wedding decorations.
  10. Baby Showers: Because they symbolize new life and beginnings, tulips are a lovely choice for baby shower decorations.
  11. Cultural Festivals: Tulips hold significance in many cultures and can be used during cultural festivals, such as the Persian New Year (Nowruz), where they represent the beauty of nature.
  12. Memorials: White tulips can be used at memorials to signify remembrance and respect.


When choosing tulips for decoration, consider the colour meanings as well:

  • Red tulips signify true love.
  • Yellow tulips represent cheerful thoughts.
  • Purple tulips symbolize royalty.
  • White tulips are used to claim worthiness or to send a message of forgiveness.
  • Variegated tulips, which have streaked petals, represent beautiful eyes.




tulips in the garden


Tulip colours carry profound symbolism that transcends mere aesthetics. Whether you’re conveying love with red tulips, celebrating friendship with yellow tulips, or expressing purity with white tulips, each shade holds a unique and culturally significant meaning. Understanding the symbolism of tulip colours allows you to choose the perfect blooms to convey your emotions on various occasions. So, the next time you send or receive tulips, remember the hidden messages they carry and let their colours speak volumes.

Whether you’re looking to express sincere love with red tulips, convey cheerful thoughts with yellow blooms, or share a message of forgiveness with white ones, the language of tulips is as intricate as it is beautiful. Don’t let the sentiments you wish to express remain unspoken. Let the Bourkes Florist be your messenger of emotions through the universal language of flowers. Embrace the power of colours and let the hues do the talking – order your bouquet from Bourkes Florist today and make someone’s day not just brighter, but meaningful.



Q: What do multicoloured tulips symbolize?

Multicoloured tulips, also known as “parrot tulips,” symbolize the vibrancy of life and diversity. They are often associated with celebration and joy, making them a great choice for festive occasions.


Q: Can tulip symbolism vary by culture?

Yes, tulip symbolism can vary by culture. While some meanings, like red tulips representing love, are fairly universal, others may differ. For example, in some cultures, white tulips may symbolize death or mourning instead of purity. It’s essential to consider cultural nuances when interpreting tulip symbolism.

Colours of Tulips: What Does Each Shade Symbolise and its Meaning?

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