White Carnation Flower Meaning & Symbolism

white carnation symbolism

The beautiful and elegant white carnation signifies innocence, good fortune, and purity.  The flower denotes a love that cannot be shared. It is also often used to symbolize remembrance.

White carnations make a beautiful gift. Historically, they were used as a present to honor mothers as they symbolize pure love. They were also used as garlands for ancient Greek ceremonies and as bridal flowers to wish a prosperous future for couples.

You can also find white carnations in graduation bouquets to wish graduates good fortune or as a moving away gift.

What do White Carnations Symbolize?

1. Innocence

White carnations are widely known as a symbol of innocence.

It is said that the Greek goddess Diana once rejected a Shephard boy who died from misery, and the tears he shed eventually led to the blooming of white carnations—signifying purity and innocence. The pure white color of the white carnation petals represents simplicity and genuineness.

White carnations are the perfect gift if you wish to show someone that the love you hold for them is innocent and simple, such as for a childhood friend or old neighbor.

They can also be used as a gift to assure someone that you believe that they are innocent and incapable of wrongdoing.

2. Purity

White carnations are a symbol of purity.

White carnations are a wonderful expression of pure, wholesome love. It represents unadulterated passion and unlike the fiery romance of a red rose or poppy it propagates a more subtle but powerful sentiment.

If you wish to indicate that you want to spend the rest of your life with someone as your significant other than this flower will aptly convey your emotions.

Since white carnations indicate a sense of purity, people gift these to their special ones to convey their admiration and tenderness. They are known as pure and innocent flowers which ought to be handled with great gentleness.

Therefore, if you are a sensitive soul who experiences emotions at extremes than this flower may resonate with you.

If you see or receive white carnations in a dream, it supposedly means that you might meet someone who’ll amaze you with their goodwill and integrity. You may perceive them as a child trapped inside the body of a grown-up, and although their naivety could surprise you, you will feel significant emotional attachment towards them because of the pure and virtuous qualities they possess.

3. Good Luck and Prosperity

White carnations also signify good luck and a prosperous future.

This is why white carnations are frequently used as wedding flowers. It is believed that this is a symbol of blessing for the newly wedded couple, and that they will experience a fertile and comfortable marriage with very few sorrows.

White carnations are also used in graduation bouquets to indicate the start of a new phase in the graduate’s life that will be filled with fortune and prosperity. White carnations are also traditionally worn to every first exam at Oxford University in England and several American universities as a symbol of good luck.

If you wish to show someone that you are sending good tidings towards them then a bouquet of these gorgeous flowers will be appropriate for a wide range of occasions.

For dream interpreters, if you have a dream that centers around white carnations, it could indicate that you are about to experience good fortune in a major part of your life such as your workplace, school, or even in your family.

A specific person showing up in your dream holding a white carnation could be a message from your subconscious mind that you believe this person brings you good luck and is someone you desire to keep around in your life.

4. Gratitude and Faithfulness

White carnations symbolize both gratitude and loyalty along with faithfulness.

If you are contented and thankful to someone, give them a bunch of white carnations to show your acknowledgment as they symbolize gratitude.

You can also take them with you to mosques, shrines, churches, and sanctuaries as a sign of gratefulness since they are known to be Dianthus Caryophyllus ”the flowers of God”.

The white carnations are also a sign of faithfulness and loyalty which is why they are mostly used in marriage bouquets when someone wants to express their devotion and fidelity to their beloved.

Some renaissance-era paintings illustrate the tradition of the bride and groom exchanging white carnations to signify the vow of faithfulness.

5. Respect

White carnations also signify deep sorrow, as they combine powerful symbols of death, sadness, and respect.

White flowers are regularly used at funerals because they are beautiful and pure. White also symbolizes hope for everlasting life, which fits well into a funeral floral arrangement theme. People usually offer white carnations as a gift to the family of people who have recently passed as a sign of respect and hope.

A dream that showcases imagery of a sleeping or unconscious person with white carnations could indicate an untimely demise or a fear that the dreamer holds of someone they care for passing away.


White carnations are gentle and pure flowers that signify qualities only the best people possess. As symbols of innocence and purity, they are a reminder to both the giver and receiver that one should never lose touch with their inner child. True happiness is found in simple and minimal things.

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