Are you curious about the hydrangea flower meaning and its hidden language?
If so, join us on a delightful journey as we uncover the enchanting hydrangea flower meaning. From its lush blooms to its diverse palette of colours, the hydrangea has intrigued and captivated hearts for centuries.
In this blog, we will explore the symbolism of the hydrangea flower and its colour, its history and origins from east Asia into Europe, the folklore and uses.
What does the hydrangea flower symbolises?
The hydrangea flower symbolises heartfelt emotions and deep emotions, which is a reflection of their abundant clusters, and delicate petals. They would make a great gift to express empathy and support to someone. Another meaning of the hydrangea flower is prosperity and blessings. This meaning comes to us from Victorian times. Finally, the hydrangea flower evokes a feeling of heartfelt apologies and remorse.
Let’s get more in-depth with the different symbolism of the hydrangea flower.
Hydrangea flower colour meaning
The blue hydrangeas symbolise calmness, serenity, and tranquility. They are a symbol of peace, harmony, and also spiritual growth. This meaning comes from the blue colour of the flower. Blue hydrangeas would make a wonderful gift to promote relaxation. Additionally, it can provide solace during challenging times.
Pink hydrangeas mean heartfelt emotions. They convey a sense of affection, grace, and also femininity. This interpretation comes to us from its pink colour. They would make a great gift to express tenderness or gratitude towards a loved one.
The purple hydrangeas give a sense of elegance, enchantment, and royalty. They symbolise appreciation, grace, and admiration. This symbolism combines the meaning of the colour purple and the symbolism of the hydrangea flower. Gifting a floral arrangement that includes purple hydrangea will add a touch of sophistication and admiration.
White hydrangea symbolises purity, spirituality, new beginnings, and innocence. The combination of the colour white and the meaning of the hydrangea flower makes it a perfect addition to weddings to symbolise divine love.
The green hydrangeas symbolise vitality, abundance, and a sense of renewal. The green colour links it to growth, good health, and nature. They would make a perfect gift for occasions that symbolises new beginnings. Moreover, they would add a refreshing and rejuvenating touch to floral arrangements.
The multi-coloured hydrangeas combine the colours pink and blue or white and pink. They symbolise harmony and unity. Moreover, those blooms would add diversity to floral arrangements or express a sense of individuality.
Hydrangea flower origin
The origins of the hydrangea flower take us back to various parts of ancient Asia. Let us explore its history, uses, and beliefs.
Origin in ancient china
In China, the flower is called “Xiu Qiu” or Hortensia. The record of the hydrangea flower goes back to the Ming Dynasty. Their purpose was both ornamental and medicinal. It was a flower cultivated across various gardens in China.
A Chinese botanist and herbalist called Li Shizhen documented the plant in his work entitled Bencao Gangmu or Compendium of Materia Medica.
Taoists were very present during the Ming Dynasty. Hence, they influenced the meaning of the hydrangea flower. There was a belief that the flower was a balance of both yin and yang energies. It reflected a sense of purity and grace.
The intricate petals of the flower were graceful and elegant, which reflected the yin energies. Additionally, the abundant blossoms and robust growth reflected the yang aspect.
Hydrangea flower symbolism in Feng Shui
In the ancient Chinese practice of Feng Shui, the hydrangea flowers symbolise abundance, grace, and harmonious relationships.
Their vibrant and lush blooms attract positive energies and also create balance and a sense of tranquillity within a space.
The shape of the hydrangea clusters resembles coins. Hence, it symbolised wealth but also prosperity. In Feng Shui, when the hydrangea flowers are in strategic positions, it will create the proper conduit for financial luck and abundance.
Hydrangea Origin and uses in ancient Korea
In ancient Korea, the hydrangea flower was called “Mulkkot.” It had a significant place in the cultural and natural landscape.
Their beauty made the hydrangea valuable. Furthermore, they were present in both traditional gardens and landscape designs. It would add a touch of elegance to the surroundings.
It was common to find them in royal palaces, aristocratic estates, and temple gardens.
Hydrangea flowers were also associated with spiritual and symbolic meanings in Korean culture. They were considered sacred flowers and used in religious rituals and ceremonies.
One example is the association of hydrangeas with purification rituals. There was a belief that the hydrangea flower possessed cleansing properties. Therefore, their presence in ceremonial spaces was to purify the space and ward off negative energies.
They were sometimes incorporated into rituals that involved offerings and prayers, symbolising a connection between the earthly and spiritual realms.
Furthermore, ancient Koreans used the hydrangea medicinally. As a herbal remedy, all parts of the flowers were used. The hydrangea had diuretic, detoxifying, and anti-inflammatory properties. Moreover, they were used to address numerous health conditions and promote overall well-being.
Uses and Origin of hydrangea flower in Japan
In Japan, hydrangeas, known as “Ajisai,” have a deep-rooted presence.
The hydrangea flowers came from China to Japan. In Japan, the cultivation of hydrangeas began as early as the Nara Period (710-794) and the Heian period (794-1185).
During that time, the cultivation was for their medicinal value rather than ornamental beauty. It was not until the Edo period (1603 – 1868) that the cultivation of hydrangea as an ornament began.
Hydrangeas cultivated as an ornament influenced Japanese art and literature created during that time. They featured in various paintings and poetry that would capture the beauty and serenity of the flower.
The art of flower arrangement, known as Ikebana, goes back to the Heian period. However, it would undergo a transformation during the Edo period.
In the art of Ikebana, various components of the flower had value, namely: the petals, unique shapes, and colours of hydrangeas. They featured as main elements in Ikebana compositions.
The versatility of the hydrangea made it possible to be utilised in various Ikebana styles, such as a focal point or complementary elements to add texture and colour.
Additionally, the hydrangeas flowers had usage in landscaping and garden designs. They were often found in temple gardens, palace grounds, and private residences.
Similarly to China, the hydrangea also had medicinal properties in Japan as diuretics and detoxifying.
The acidity of the soil would influence the changing colours of the hydrangea blooms. This influence reflected the transient nature of life and the importance of embracing change.
The vibrant hydrangea blooms have become a symbol of the rainy season in Japan, also called Tsuyu. Their abundant growth during this time adds colour to the landscape.
Hydrangea flower in Japanese folklore
The hydrangea flower features in several Japanese folk stories. Let’s explore some of those folklore and their symbolism.
Legend of Tono
In one legend entitled Legends of Tono, there was once a young woman named Oyuki who fell deeply in love with a man named Genzo. However, this love was forbidden as Oyuki was engaged to another man.
Oyuki took her life and turned herself into a ghost. She would roam the village as a ghost weeping constantly. The villagers became touched by her sorrow and decided to plant hydrangeas at her grave.
The belief was that the hydrangeas absorbed Oyuki’s tears and bloomed with her undying love.
In this story, the hydrangea flower meanings are unrequited love, sorrow, and the enduring power of love beyond death.
It is a reminder of the depths of human emotions and nature’s ability to capture and reflect those deep sentiments.
In a book entitled “Japanese Tales,” we find another story on the symbolism of the hydrangea flower.
The Princess Hydrangea was a young woman who possessed a unique power. Wherever she would shed tears, hydrangea flowers would sprout and bloom.
The blooming hydrangeas would create an enchanting scene. However, this power became both a blessing and a curse for the princess. Her tears could bring joy and beauty, but also represented deep sorrow and longing.
In this folk tale, the hydrangea flower meaning reminds us of the interconnectedness of beauty and melancholy. Even in sad moments, a unique and ethereal beauty can emerge.
The Book of Yokai
A yokai is a term used in Japanese folklore to refer to a wide range of supernatural creatures or spirits.
In the story, a young woman once encountered a yokai while wandering in a dense forest.
This yokai had an affinity for hydrangeas and offered the woman a bouquet of hydrangea blossoms.
The woman accepted the bouquet and soon discovered that she could communicate with nature spirits and gain insight into hidden realms of the world.
In this story, the hydrangea flower symbolism represents a bridge between the human and spirit realm. It evokes a feeling of mysticism and the transformative powers of nature.
From East Asia to Europe
Hydrangeas were introduced to Europe in the 18th century through the efforts of European explorers and botanists in China and Japan.
The beauty and allure of the hydrangea flower captured the attention of European gardeners and enthusiasts. Moreover, it led to the widespread cultivation and hybridisation of the hydrangea.
Hydrangea flower meaning in Victorian flower language
In Victorian times, the hydrangea flower meaning was associated with heartfelt emotions and deep emotions, which made it a popular choice for expressing love, gratitude, and appreciation.
Moreover, the diverse colour palette of the hydrangea allowed for a more nuanced expression of sentiments.
The ability of the hydrangea flowers to change colour based on the acidity of the soil made the flower a symbol of fascination and charm. They became a representation of the ephemeral nature of beauty.
The flowers captured the sensibility of the Victorians to appreciate fleeting moments and find beauty in imperfections.
Hydrangeas had ornamental usage. Their abundant bloom made it a popular choice for floral arrangements as it would enhance the grandeur of special occasions.
What is the spiritual meaning of a hydrangea?
Spiritual meanings are usually subjective. Their interpretations can vary based on different beliefs and cultural contexts.
One of the meanings of the hydrangea flower is heartfelt emotions and expression of gratitude. Therefore, the hydrangea flower can help to cultivate a sense of gratitude and blessings for life. Moreover, they can also attract positive energy.
The blooms of the hydrangea symbolises grace. It can serve as a reminder to appreciate the beauty surrounding you. Moreover, find pleasure in life’s simple moments.
Hydrangeas cluster of flowers also represents unity and interconnectedness. It can help with reflections on harmony and balance in life.
Medicinal Uses of the Hydrangea Flower
In traditional Chinese medicine, the hydrangea flowers have diuretic properties. It alleviates conditions such as:
- Urinary Tract infections
- Kidney Stones
- support kidney and urinary health
- relieve bladder discomfort
Some facts about the hydrangea flower
Let us explore some facts about the hydrangea flower:
Hydrangeas have a global presence and cultivated in different climates.
The plant is diverse and has around 75 known species.
Some cultivars of hydrangeas used for floral displays can measure up to 12 inches in diameter.
Acidic soils produce blue hydrangea flowers, while alkaline soils produce pink varieties.
Blue hydrangeas change colour to purple and pink over time as it matures.
Hydrangeas attract pollinators such as butterflies and bees. They are beneficial for the ecosystem.
Different varieties of the hydrangea
Hydrangea macrophylla: Also known as “bigleaf hydrangea,” this variety is native to Japan and China. The flower clusters of this variety are large, mophead, or lacecap, and they come in various colors, including pink, blue, and white.
Hydrangea arborescens: Native to the United States, specifically the eastern regions, this variety is commonly known as the “smooth hydrangea.” It features large, rounded flower clusters and is known for its tolerance to various soil conditions.
Hydrangea paniculata: Originating from Japan and China, the “paniculata hydrangea” is recognised for its elongated, conical flower clusters that turn from white to pink as they mature. It is a popular choice for landscaping due to its vigorous growth and ability to tolerate a range of climates.
Hydrangea quercifolia: Native to the southeastern United States, the “oakleaf hydrangea” gets its name from its distinctive oak-shaped leaves. It produces cone-shaped flower clusters and exhibits beautiful fall foliage.
Hydrangea serrata: This variety called the “mountain hydrangea,” originates from Japan and Korea. It shares similarities with Hydrangea macrophylla but tends to have smaller flower clusters and narrower leaves.
As we come to the end of our captivating journey through the world of hydrangea flower meaning, we hope you’ve been inspired by its enchanting symbolism and rich history.
Whether you’re a gardener, a nature enthusiast, or someone seeking deeper spiritual connections, the hydrangea offers a tapestry of meanings to explore.
Embrace the beauty and grace of this remarkable flower in your own life. Let the hydrangea be a constant reminder of the profound language of nature. Make sure you comment below to let us know why you’ve been seeking for the meaning of the hydrangea flower.
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Deena Bsingh, a UK-born, Mauritius-raised content writer, is a dedicated explorer of the ancient world’s hidden treasures. Armed with classical studies knowledge and a decade of spiritual immersion, Deena delves deep into the wellspring of ancient wisdom. Her illuminating writings on flower meanings and culinary history are imbued with the profound insights she has gathered on her journey. Through her Medium articles, she guides readers on transformative journeys that bridge the gap between ancient cultures and contemporary consciousness, offering a rich tapestry of understanding that endures through time.