Althea Flower Meaning

The Althea flower meaning has varied across cultures and periods. This tall and elegant plant, sometimes called Hollyhock or Syrian hibiscus, has been a popular choice for gardens and landscaping. What are the meanings and associations attached to this beautiful flower?

This alluring plant has been an emblem of beauty, grace, and resilience throughout history. It has been a source of inspiration and wonder, offering everything from beauty to healing and resurrection.

Get ready to explore the fascinating world of the Althea flower as we learn about its history and diverse cultural meanings. Let’s begin!

pink althea flower

Althea Flower Colors: What They Mean

Colors can hold significant symbolism in many aspects of life. Each hue of the Althea flower represents a different meaning. In this section, we’ll explore the common interpretations associated with the various colors of the Althea flower:


The red Althea represents passionate love and power. It also symbolizes courage and energy.


Pink Altheas, like their color, exude gracefulness, femininity, and gentle love. Some symbolize this flower as a sign of admiration.


Like many white flowers, this hue signifies purity, innocence, and spirituality. People would give a white Althea flower to others who look forward to new beginnings.


The purple hues represent royalty, luxury, and elegance. Moreover, it’s considered a symbol of creativity.

purple althea flower


One would offer a yellow Althea to signify friendship and joy. This color also represents happiness and optimism.

Althea Flower: Its Symbolism Across History

The Althea flower has inspired people worldwide for centuries, leading to varied meanings and interpretations. This section will discuss the fascinating symbolism of Althea flowers throughout human history:

Greek Mythology

Meleager, a Greek hero, was saved by his mother Althea, who put out a piece of burning wood that would have caused his death. However, Meleager got into a dispute with his uncles and killed them. Althea was filled with rage and burned a piece of wood, causing Meleager to die.

In one version of the story, the Althea flower is seen as a symbol of hope and resilience. Like the flower that can thrive in harsh conditions, Althea coped with her grief and moved forward.

In another version of the myth, flowers grew from her tears of regret after she realized her actions. So, the flower’s sometimes associated with grief and sorrow.

Ancient Rome

During ancient Rome, the Althea flower was highly valued for its medicinal properties and used in herbal remedies.

In addition to its medicinal uses, this flower is also part of the Saturnalia festival in honor of the god Saturn. People would make and wear wreaths as symbols of celebration and joy. Moreover, Altheas would also decorate homes and public spaces, adding to the festive atmosphere.


The Bible mentions the Rose of Sharon, or Althea, which is thought to represent beauty. In the Song of Solomon, a romantic poem, the flower’s used to describe the beauty of King Solomon’s love.

In the story, the woman’s beauty is compared to the Rose of Sharon because of its pleasant fragrance and appealing appearance. This comparison emphasizes the woman’s attractiveness. Because of this, the Althea flower signifies love and desire.

Aside from this, Jesus Christ is also compared to the Rose of Sharon for a few reasons. Like the flower that can grow in harsh conditions, Jesus Christ’s resilience in the face of adversity represents beauty and strength.

Moreover, both Jesus and these flowers depict hope, love, and purity. Furthermore, the sweet fragrance of the flower represents the goodness and love that Jesus brought to the world.

To summarize, the Rose of Sharon is a fitting symbol for Jesus because of its characteristics.

Victorian Era

The Althea flower was famous during the Victorian Era in England. During that time, the flower symbolized ambition, fruitfulness, and a strong desire for success. People would give it to others who were striving for recognition in their pursuits.

Apart from this, the Althea flower was also loved for its beauty and durability. Due to its pretty appearance and bright colors, it was often used to decorate gardens.

American Civil War

During the American Civil War, Hollyhocks or Althea flowers were a symbol of hope and support. Women grew them in their gardens and sent the blooms to the soldiers on the front lines. These flowers represented resilience, strength, and the promise of a better future.

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Althea Flower: Significance in Diverse Cultures

The Althea flower has been cherished and revered in different cultures for its symbolic meanings and its beauty. Here are some of the interpretations of the Althea flower:


The Althea flower, or the Rose of Sharon, has a special meaning in Chinese culture. It represents good things, like wealth, fame, and glory. In Chinese mythology, the flower has been linked to Chang’e, a goddess who lives on the moon.

In traditional Chinese medicine, people have used this flower as a medicine to treat different illnesses.


The Althea flower is known as “mukuge” in Japan. It symbolizes gentle and feminine beauty. In Japanese art and culture, the Althea flower is associated with women who are perceived as gentle and elegant.

On the contrary, the Althea flower is known for its resistance to disease and long blooming period. This is the reason why it’s also depicted as an emblem of resistance and vitality.

blooming althea flower

Altheas are frequently found in Japanese literature and kimono designs. The flower is also closely associated with Princess Kaguya. She’s the Japanese goddess of love and beauty, which adds to the flower’s significance in their culture.


The Althea flower is called Hollyhock in India. They commonly use it for healing in ayurvedic medicine. It can help treat coughs, runny nose, and throat disorders.

The Althea flower is also a popular plant in India, where it’s grown as an ornamental plant in gardens. Moreover, the plant is used in religious ceremonies.

South Korea

The Althea flower is called the Rose of Sharon in South Korea and is their national flower. The local name for this flower is “mugunghwa.” It holds great significance in Korean culture because of its historical and cultural importance.

According to Korean mythology, the Althea flower means everlasting love and life. Additionally, it’s connected to the Korean spirit of “hongik ingan,” which means “to live for the benefit of all humanity.”

The flower’s will to bloom in harsh environments represents the Koreans’ strength and determination.

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The Althea flower has a rich history and diverse symbolism across cultures. It has been associated with love, beauty, femininity, and hope. Additionally, it was used for medicinal and cultural purposes.

From ancient mythology to the Civil War, the Althea flower has left its mark on history and continues to inspire us today.