Meaning of Purple Orchids

The color of an orchid can convey a personal message.

The color of an orchid can convey a personal message.

Purple flowers are used frequently for floral bouquets. Similar to the species of a flower, the color has meaning and symbolism. A common flower color, purple conveys a message of success and admiration. However, people interpret the meanings of flowers differently just like they do for colors. Like other flowers, the symbolism associated with the orchid and its color can differ from one part of the world to another.

The Color Purple

For centuries, the color purple has been associated with royalty. In fact, purple was the royal color of the Caesars. During the reigns of Julius and Augustus Caesar, no one but the emperor was permitted to wear purple robes. Even today, the color purple is a sign of wealth and position in Japan. In some cultures, purple is the color of mourning. For others, purple represents courage, virtue and faith. In Western culture, the qualities of dignity and pride have long been linked to the color purple.

Purple Orchids

Most purple orchids are exotic, tropical flowers. With more than 20,000 species of orchids in the world, they rank among the most popular cut flowers that florists sell. Perhaps because the orchid’s delicate blooms radiate a subtle beauty, the flowers are frequently chosen for flower arrangements and given as gifts for Easter, Christmas, Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day. Orchids come in a variety of colors, but purple orchids have a way of making a special occasion more memorable. The colors of purple orchids range from pale shades of lavender to deep violet purple.


Different cultures often attach their own symbolism to orchids and their colors. For example, the ancient Greeks saw orchids as a symbol of masculinity, while the British in the Victorian era used orchids as a status of luxury. In some cultures, the orchid represents strength, thoughtfulness, refinement and mature charm. Others have long revered the orchid as a symbol of wealth, beauty and love. Considered one of the most beautiful flowers in the world, even different species of orchids can have different meanings. The flower’s symbolism may also depend on the intensity of the color purple. Orchids that are deep purple emanate an air of royalty and luxury. Flowers of a softer shade hint at gracious elegance and femininity.


Purple orchids seem to have a deeper appeal and are considered the most beautiful of all orchids by many. The Orchis mascula is one of the most common types of purple orchids. Although these orchids are not typically used in flower arrangements because the blooms are quite large, the flowers are used to decorate for weddings and other special events. The Cattleya orchid is the type with which most people in the U.S. are familiar as it is often used to make corsages, especially for Mother's Day. The Blettila striata is another striking purple orchid. This flower is native throughout China, Vietnam and southern Japan, where it is often used in flower arrangements.

References & Resources

About the Author

Photo Credits

  • Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images


OrderFlowers 2011 © All rights reserved.