Aphrodite Flower Symbol Meaning

Are you wondering about Aphrodite flower symbol meaning?

Flowers linked to Aphrodite are the rose, anemone, myrtle, and hibiscus. The rose symbolizes undying love and passion, whereas the anemone signifies forsaken love and loss.

The myrtle flower represents rebirth, devotion, purity, and hope, while the hibiscus flower stands for Aphrodite and Adonis’s love or even an image of the handsome Adonis himself.

Rose flower

Keep reading to find out more about the symbolism and meaning of these flowers, along with their significance in Greek mythology.

1. Rose

The rose flower belongs to the genus Rosa of the family Rosaceae. It’s a perennial shrub native to the temperate areas of the Northern Hemisphere.

Roses exist in a wide variety of colors, including shades of red, pink, white, and yellow.

Not only are roses one of the most recognizable flowers in the world, but these beauties also offer delightful scents that are heavily featured in perfumes.

Symbolism/Link to Aphrodite

The red rose is closely tied to Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love.

In Greek mythology, some believe that red roses arose from Aphrodite’s tears over the death of her lover Adonis.

caryatids of aphrodite

Others say that roses got their red color from being stained by Aphrodite’s blood when she stepped on a thorn and cut her foot, rushing to help her dying lover. It’s also mentioned that the thorned rose was dropped by Cupid.

In one fragment of the Anacreontea, a collection of around 60 Greek poems, the rose is mentioned as a symbol for the “breath of the gods”, the “glory of the Graces (Kharites; goddesses of charm and beauty) during spring”, the “joy of mortals”, the “delight of Aphrodite”, and “delight of the Loves (Erotes) with their rich garlands”.

The rose is described as “soft” and is said to be a subject for poetry and the graceful plant of the Muses (or Mousai); the goddesses of song, music, and dance.

In another fragment of the Anacreontea, the rose is portrayed as the “finest of flowers”, the “darling of spring”, and the “delight of the gods”. The rose is said to produce a pleasant mixture with Dionysos (the Greek god of wine, fruitfulness, and vegetation) where people enjoy its lovely petals as they drink and laugh.

The rose is also referred to as the flower that Eros (Aphrodite’s son) uses to make the garland he wears when dancing with the Graces.”

Ibycus, a lyric poet from Ancient Greece, mentioned roses as a nursing element used by Aphrodite and Peitho (the goddess of persuasion).

In his Description of Greece, Pausanias (a Greek geographer and traveler) talked about the sacredness of the rose and the myrtle to Aphrodite and the flowers’ connection to the story of Adonis.

In his novel The Golden Ass, Apuleius describes seeing -in the distance- a valley shaded by leafy trees and wood. He could spot roses of “ruddy hues” shining among various smaller plants as the lushest shrubbery present.

To Apuleius, that valley looked as if it were the home of Aphrodite (Venus) and the Graces (Kharites). The rose shrubs cast a delightful shade mixed with the glint of its royal crimson color.

In his poem Dionysiaca, Nonnus of Panopolis (the most celebrated Greek poet of the Roman era), emphasizes Aphrodite’s (Kythereia) love for the rose, the anemone, and the myrtle as the “herb of passion”.

Also in Dionysiaca, Nonnus mentions the use of roses in wedding settings and bridal preparations.

In the Byzantine encyclopedia of the ancient Mediterranean world, the author Suidas talks about how the painter Zeuxis drew a picture encircled with roses of a most youthful Eros (Aphrodite’s son) in the temple of Aphrodite in Athens.

Other Meanings

The red rose is the ultimate representation of romance and love. It’s a great way to show your affection and passion towards someone, for example on Valentine’s day.

Pink roses are a symbol of elegance, gratitude, joy, and admiration, whereas yellow roses stand for cheerfulness, friendship, warmth, and remembrance.

Orange roses signify energy, enthusiasm, pride, and fascination. On the other hand, white roses carry meanings of purity, innocence, elegance, new beginnings, and hope. 

Read more: Anise Flower Meaning: A Complete Guide

2. Anemone

A genus consisting of over 100 species, anemone plants belong to the Ranunculaceae family of buttercup flowers.

These perennial herbs are native to the temperate and subtropical areas of all continents except Oceania, Antarctica, and Australia.

Anemone

Anemone flowers exist in a wide range of colors, including shades of red, yellow, orange, pink, blue, purple, and white.

Symbolism/Link to Aphrodite

The red anemone is also closely associated with Aphrodite. In Greek mythology, the popular belief is that the flower sprang from the blood of Adonis; her dying lover.

In his poem Metamorphoses, Ovid talks about Aphrodite’s passionate expression of grief over the death of her love Adonis. He portrays her saying that Adonis’s “blood shall change into a flower”.

Aphrodite continues to describe the rising of a blood-red flower before an hour had passed. It was red like the rich blossom of pomegranates, but its beauty didn’t last long as its petals fell soon when the wind blew, granting the flower its name; anemone (windflower).

Nonnus (the most celebrated Greek poet of the Roman era) talked about Aphrodite’s (Kythereia) love for the rose and the anemone, saying that she also loved the myrtle “the herb of passion” as much as the two former flowers.

In his poem Dionysiaca, Nonnus also mentions that Aphrodite wears the anemone when she’s about to show her love to Adonis (Myrrha’s son),

Other Meanings

In Christianity, red anemones signify the blood shed by Jesus on the crucifixion.

As such, red and pink anemones carry meanings of forsaken love or death according to Greek mythology and Christianity.

On the other hand, white anemone flowers stand for sincerity and delicate nature. As for purple anemones, they’re said to represent protection from evil.

Additionally, the anemone flower is a symbol of anticipation since its petals close at night and open in the morning. It also indicates relaxation and waiting for the right time to take an opportunity.

3. Myrtle

Making up a genus on their own, myrtle plants are part of the Myrtaceae family of evergreen shrubs. They’re mostly native to the Mediterranean region and South America, but some species occur in New Zealand and Australia.

Nowadays, the genus includes only 3 species. There’s the most familiar myrtle to people known as Myrtus communis, Myrtus nivellei, and the least common species; Myrtus phyllireaefolia.

Myrtle flowers are almost always a pure white color. Some varieties bloom in a cream shade.

Symbolism/Link to Aphrodite

The myrtle is another sacred plant to Aphrodite. According to Greek mythology, Adonis (Aphrodite’s lover) was born from a myrtle tree (it was the metamorphosed shape of his mother).

In his poem Dionysiaca, Nonnus of Panopolis (the most celebrated Greek poet of the Roman era), emphasizes Aphrodite’s (Kythereia) love for the rose and the anemone. He says that Aphrodite loved the myrtle “the herb of passion” as much as those two flowers and used it to decorate her hair.

Pausanias (a Greek geographer and traveler) talked about the sacredness of the rose and the myrtle to Aphrodite and the flowers’ significance to the story of Adonis in his Description of Greece.

Pausanias also mentioned that people still grew the myrtle flowers (with holes in their leaves) in Aphrodite’s temple in the town of Troizenos. He even said that Temnos village in Elis housed a picture of Aphrodite made of a living myrtle tree.

In Aesop’s Fables, one of the stories goes that once upon a time, the gods chose trees that they wanted to adopt as children. Zeus (Jove) selected the oak tree, Apollon (Phoebus) preferred the laurel, and Aphrodite (Venus) picked the myrtle tree.

Virgil, one of Rome’s most notable poets, mentioned Caesar’s use of Aphrodite’s myrtle when wreathing his brows as a way of praising his descendency from the mythical hero Aeneas; son of Anchises and Aphrodite.

Other Meanings

Thanks to their white or cream color, Myrtle flowers are a symbol of innocence, purity, rebirth, and hope. They also represent devoted love, which explains their popularity in wedding bouquets.

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4. Hibiscus

This flower gets its name from the mallow family, which is called “Hibiskos” in the Greek language.

Hibiscus

Hibiscus is a perennial and annual herbaceous plant, native to Asia and North America. It exists in various colors, including red, pink, purple, yellow, orange, and white.

Symbolism/Link to Aphrodite

Throughout Greek mythology, hibiscus flowers are addressed as a symbol of the love shared between Aphrodite and Adonis.

One version says that Adonis turned into a hibiscus to stop Aphrodite from quarreling.

Other Meanings

The hibiscus flower is a symbol of refined beauty and delicate nature. It can also signify short-lived glory or fame.

Red hibiscus carries meanings of love, romance, and passion, while pink hibiscus is associated with care and affection.

Purple hibiscus signifies luxury, mystery, wealth, and wisdom, whereas yellow hibiscus represents joy, good luck, and positivity.

Final Thoughts

There you have it, everything you need to know about the Aphrodite flower symbol meaning.

Whether it’s the rose, anemone, myrtle, or hibiscus, love plays a crucial role in the significance of these blooms in Greek mythology.