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What flowers are for Black History Month and why?

February is Black History Month, a time to celebrate and reflect on the achievements and contributions of African Americans throughout U.S. history. Honoring this rich heritage often involves incorporating meaningful symbols, including certain flowers, into celebrations and events. Choosing flowers connected to Black history and culture can make your commemorations even more impactful.

Flowers with Meaning for Black History Month

Here are some of the top flowers to use for Black History Month and the significance behind each one:

African Daisies

African daisies come in a vibrant mix of orange, yellow, and orange colors. They symbolize joy and warmth. Since African daisies originated in Africa, they represent pride in African heritage. Use these statement flowers to add an upbeat tone to any Black History Month decor.

African Violets

African violets come in a range of purple shades, from pale lilac to deep royal purple. Purple is a meaningful color for Black History Month, representing courage, bravery, and inspiration. The African violet’s origins also connect it to African culture. Display African violets in bouquets, centerpieces, or pots to honor influential African Americans.


Amaryllis produces large red blooms on tall stalks. While they originate in tropical regions of South America, these eye-catching flowers have symbolic meaning for Black History Month. The amaryllis embodies pride, determination, and resilience – representing the spirit of pioneering African Americans who overcame adversity.

Birds of Paradise

The bird of paradise flower features vivid orange and blue petals that resemble a tropical bird. Originating in South Africa, they represent freedom and joy. Use these gorgeous, unique flowers in arrangements to celebrate the work of Black leaders who advocated for justice and equality.

Calla Lilies

Calla lilies produce elegant white blooms that symbolize radiant beauty. But the calla lily’s meaning goes deeper. In the mid-20th century, calla lilies became associated with funerals and mourning in African American communities. They honor ancestors and deceased loved ones. Add calla lilies to Black History Month events to commemorate those we’ve lost.


Chrysanthemums symbolize optimism and longevity. Their lively colors represent joy and positivity. This hopeful emblem reflects the resilience of generations of African Americans. Use rainbow-hued chrysanthemums to express faith in a bright future.


Gladioli produce tall spikes of eye-catching blooms, mainly in shades of pink, white, orange, red or purple. Their tall stems and upright flowers symbolize strength. Use gladioli in floral displays for Black History Month to represent courage, honor, and moral character.


Lilies come in a diverse range of colors, but white lilies specifically symbolize purity and new beginnings. For key Civil Rights figures like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the white lily represents their vision of equality. Display white lilies prominently in Black History Month decor to keep their dream alive.


Marigolds bloom in bold yellow and orange hues – colors associated with joy, celebration, and hope. Their vibrant energy reflects the resilience and determination of African American history-makers. Work marigolds into Black History Month floral decorations to symbolize optimism and empowerment.


Orchids represent rare beauty, making them a perfect flower to represent acclaimed African Americans. Purple orchids specifically symbolize royalty, respect, and admiration. Use purple orchids in arrangements honoring outstanding Black scholars, artists, politicians, and activists.


The protea flower has its origins in South Africa. It symbolizes change, transformation, and courage. The protea’s representation of rebirth and fearlessness makes it a fitting symbol for Black History Month. Use it to honor the brave African American men and women who changed history.


Red roses represent love, while white roses symbolize peace. Use red roses to honor civil rights activists and leaders who spread love through the peaceful fight for equality. White roses help commemorate their vision of bringing people together in peace.

Floral Arrangements to Celebrate Black History Month

Now that you know some of the best flowers for Black History Month, here are a few ideas for arrangements:

  • A bouquet of purple and white orchids representing wisdom and admiration
  • A centerpiece with red roses and African violets honoring those driven by love to inspire change
  • Amarillys, birds of paradise, and protea in a vase embodying resilience
  • A wreath made of intertwined gladioli and African daisies symbolizing strength and joy

Mix different flowers together to create arrangements that tell a symbolic story of African American history. Display the arrangements at events, in homes, community centers, and businesses in February to visually honor Black History Month.

When to Give Flowers for Black History Month

Flowers make thoughtful, meaningful gifts for a variety of February events and occasions:

  • First day of Black History Month: Give flowers on February 1st to commemorate the start of celebrations.
  • Black History Month events: Bring or send flowers to the host/organizer as a “thank you” gesture.
  • Speaking engagements/community lectures: Present speakers with flowers to show appreciation.
  • Emancipation Day: Mark February 1st or other significant dates related to emancipation.
  • Birthdays: Use Black History Month flowers for African American friends and loved ones.
  • University Black Student Union meetings: Bring a bouquet to show you support their mission.
  • Black History Month fundraisers or galas: Send flowers to organizers or honorees.
  • Church events: Donate flower arrangements to decorate venues.
  • End of Black History Month: On February 28th, give flowers to close out celebrations.

Handing out blooms or floral arrangements demonstrates unity, shows you honor the recipient, and spreads goodwill at Black History Month events.

Famous African Americans Connected to Flowers

Flowers and gardening played important roles in the lives of many iconic African Americans:

Person Flower Connection
George Washington Carver Botanist who researched pest-resistant flowers and alternative crops
Booker T. Washington Planted flower gardens at the Tuskegee Institute
Rosa Parks Worked as a florist at a department store before the Montgomery Bus Boycott
Prince Used flowers like lavender and roses to scent his home at Paisley Park
Frederick McKinley Jones Invented refrigerator units to transport flowers and produce

These important figures incorporated flowers into their lives and work. Displaying blooms that had personal significance can be a great way to honor their legacies during Black History Month.

Popular Flower Colors and Meanings for Black History Month

Certain flower colors resonate during Black History Month based on their cultural meanings:

  • Red: Courage, bravery, determination
  • White: Peace, remembrance, purity of vision
  • Purple: Pride, accomplishment, admiration
  • Pink: Appreciation, grace, joy
  • Orange: Enthusiasm, creativity, vibrancy
  • Yellow: Hope, sunshine, bright future

Use these meaningful hues in floral decorations, bouquets, wreaths, centerpieces, and garlands. Mix colors together to create stunning arrangements that convey nuanced messages.


Flowers that originate in Africa or symbolize Black history make thoughtful additions to any February event. Choose blooms in colors that celebrate African American culture. Look for flowers connected to impactful figures like roses for Rosa Parks or bird of paradise for freedom. Use flowers at the start, during, and at the end of February to express appreciation, inspiration, and hope.

With their rich symbolic meanings and evocative beauty, flowers help commemorate Black History Month in style. They make wonderful gifts, pieces of decor, and touching tributes. Let the flowers you choose make your February celebrations even more meaningful.