Table of Contents
Adored for its large, delicate flowers in a variety of colors, lisianthus makes an elegant statement in the summer garden. Let’s know why they became a popular wedding flower, along their symbolic meanings and practical uses today.
About the Lisianthus
First let’s get the technical things out of the way. Native to Mexico and northern South America, lisianthus comes from the Eustoma genus of the Gentianaceae family. It’s commonly found in desert riverbeds, grasslands or prairies, hence its other name Prairie gentian. Its common name comes from the Greek terms lissos and anthos that translate to smooth and flower.
The lisianthus is typically white, but Japanese growers have developed varieties different colors, so it can now be seen in red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple. Some varieties even seem like the tips of their petals have been dipped in watercolor.
Lisianthus might have delicate, frilled petals similar to roses, but they’re quite strong. They can have single flowers with one ring of petals, or double flowers with several rows of petals, as well as dark green, lance-shaped leaves. They come in a range of sizes, which makes them easy to work into the garden. While the dwarf varieties such as the ‘Lizzy Pink’ grow to only around 6 inches, longer-stemmed blooms can reach up to 30 inches. These flowers commonly bloom in the spring, but they love mild summers as well.
- Interesting Fact: Because their name is quite tricky to pronounce, some people called them lizzies. What’s more, they’re often mistaken for roses and tulips—but the difference is that roses have harder, rounded petals while the lisianthus flowers have softer, more delicate petals.
Meaning and Symbolism of the Lisianthus Flower
Lisianthus is a highly symbolic flower, which makes it an excellent option for gifting or keeping around you. Here are some of the concepts the bloom symbolizes:
- Gratitude and Appreciation – When you think about it, it isn’t really strange that the lisianthus flowers has become a symbol of gratitude, since their dreamy appearance and breathtaking colors make us appreciate the beauty of nature. What’s more, they grow in humble places yet bloom profusely, which reminds us to be thankful in everything, even if life is full of challenges. Also, it has long been used to show appreciation as the flower simply says, “Thank you.”
- Charisma and Confidence – With their soft, delicate petals and graceful stems, lisianthus represents charisma.
- Outgoing Nature – Lisianthus might have a tender, fragile appearance, but it’s tough and grows in most challenging places. In fact, you can find them in the wild in places like Colorado, Texas, Nebraska and Nevada. The flower can also represent those who remains bold, strong and outgoing even when things are going rough.
- In some contexts, they’re also associated with truth and luck. In modern interpretations, they can also represent a lifelong bond, making them an ideal flower for weddings.
Lisianthus can be found in different colors with each color symbolizing something different in the language of flowers. Here are their specific meanings:
- Red lisianthus represent passion and love, but pink blooms are associated with romance and affection.
- Yellow lisianthus symbolizes happiness and positivity, which is reflected by its bright, cheery color.
- Purple lisianthus is associated with beauty, royalty and nobility.
- White lisianthus represent spirituality, innocence and purity, making them an ideal wedding and ceremonial flower.
Uses of Lisianthus Flower throughout History
The delicate appearance of these blooms makes them a favorite in cottage gardens and bouquets, but they have medicinal uses too.
- As Ornamental Flowers
In 1930s, the flower was introduced to Japan from the U.S. as an ornamental plant, and eventually was bred to produce many cultivars for cut flowers. Nowadays, they’re regarded as one of the most important cut flowers in the country and to the international market—thanks to their rose-like blooms and long vase life, which can last up to two weeks or longer.
- In Medicine
It’s said that lisianthus flowers have antifungal and antimicrobial properties, so their leaves, petals and roots are often extracted and used in essential oils. It has also been utilized as an antibiotic against bacteria that cause intestinal problems.
The Lisianthus Flower in Use Today
If you like the appeal of roses without the thorny maintenance, go for lisianthus. Shorter varieties are ideal in garden borders, but you may also grow dwarf varieties in pots and containers to display on your deck and patio.
If you’re creative enough, you can even transform those bare walls into walls of flowers. If you want to bring their beauty indoors, think of monochromatic or colorful flower arrangements with lisianthus. These flowers are ideal in plant terrariums too, as well as in glass jars and small bowls.
With their delicate and romantic appearance, lisianthus are a great choice for wedding flowers. An all-white bouquet looks classic, but you can also add some subtle pops of color and greenery for an eclectic statement. They’re versatile for posies, centerpieces, corsages, headdresses and even cakes!
When to Give Lisianthus Flowers
With their symbolism, lisianthus makes a perfect thank-you bouquet. Strong flowers are for strong moms, which makes them the ideal Mother’s Day gift. Also, since they’re associated with lifelong bonds, they’re a romantic choice for Valentine’s Day and anniversary presents, as well as a gift for close friends.
These blooms are a thoughtful gift for Sagittarians, those born between November 22 and December 21, because of their association with people who are bold, independent and outgoing. In some cultures, lisianthus are used to express sympathy, as well as to say ‘thank you’ to the deceased.
As a beautiful flower with an equally attractive name and symbolic meanings, lisianthus will make any occasion more special. They make for excellent gifts and are suitable for giving at most occasions.