What do flowers mean in Korean Dramas?

  Did you ever notice how fond people in K-Dramaland are of the language of flowers? Especially when they are buying a bouquet for a proposal they’ll often ask the florist to help them find flowers with the right meaning. Here are some of the flower meanings mentioned in K-Dramas we came across. Which one’s […]

flower kdrama while you were sleeping
While You Were Sleeping (2017, episode 1)

 
Did you ever notice how fond people in K-Dramaland are of the language of flowers? Especially when they are buying a bouquet for a proposal they’ll often ask the florist to help them find flowers with the right meaning. Here are some of the flower meanings mentioned in K-Dramas we came across.

Which one’s do you know?

Anemone = Betrayel and Helpless Love

 
“Isn’t it pretty? This flower’s called an anemone,” tells Lee Se-Joo (Kim Min-Jae) his mother when visiting her in the hospital in episode 16 of The Great Seducer (2018) and showing her a photo of the flower.”It means many things,” he continues and thinks back when Choi Soo-Ji (Mun Ka-Young) has talked about this flower at her hideout in the following words which he recites to his mother: “Betrayal. Helpless love. Empty love. Thanks for being there for me. I will give you my everything. Even if you do not love me, I still love you. It has so many meanings, and every one of them is sad. This is my flower from now on. Remember that.” In episode 32, he sends a bouquet of Anemones to Soo-ji.
 
flower meaning kdrama anemone
flower meaning kdrama anemone

Buckwheat Flower = Lover

 
“Lover”, is what Kim Shin (Gong Yoo) answers when asked by Ji Eun-Tak (Kim Go-Eun) in episode 1 of The Goblin (2016-17) what buckwheat flowers mean. Shin offers her these buckwheat flowers – freshly picked at Borinara Hagwon Farm [보리나라 학원농장] – when Eun-Tak first calls him, sitting on a Jumunjin Beach Breakwater [주문진방파제].
 

The Goblin (2016)

Freesia = New Beginning

 
“Did you know that freesias mean, ‘a new start’?,” Cha Sun-Hee (Lee Da-Hae) is asked by Oh Tae-Yang (An Woo-Yeon) in episode 19 of Good Witch (2018), when he proposes to her with these flowers and is directly rejected.
 
kdrama meaning flower freesia
kdrama meaning flower freesia

Globe Amaranth = Captivating and Unchanging Love

On Jung-Sun’s mother decorates his new restaurant with these flowers and explains their meaning to him in episode 8 of Temperature of Love (사랑의 온도) (SBS, 2017).
 
kdrama flower meaning amaranth

Hyacinth

Purple Hyacinth = Sorry

Yoon Yoo-Jung (Yoon Eun-Hye) says sorry to Cha Woo-Hyun (Chun Jung-Myung) with a box containing and apple and a bouquet of purple hyacinths in episode 4 of Fluttering Warning (2018).
 

Lisianthus = Unchanging Love

“In the language of flowers, it means unchanging love,” so states the florist in episode 19 of Five Children (2016). Another florist in episode 10 of Super Daddy Yeol (2015) says the same thing about the meaning: “unchanging love, the one and only love”. No wonder this flower is used a lot in bridal bouquets.
 

Marigold = Sad Goodbye/Love / Happiness Coming One Day

“Marigolds grow well, no matter where they are. They just need sunlight and fresh air. […],” writes Kang Sa-Ra’s (Lee Da-hee) father Kang Dae-sik (Kang Nam-kil) on a birthday card that she gets delivered along a flowerpot with marigolds in episode 9 of The Beauty Inside (2018). Two episodes later, we learn from a florist to which Ryu Eun-ho (Ahn Jae-hyeon) that Marigold has two meanings, while Sa-ra reads on the Internet that the meaning of the marigold depends on its type and can either be “Happiness that will definitely come,” or “A sad love.”

AFRICAN MARIGOLD
The African Marigold stands for sad goodbye, as explained in episode 4 of Here Comes Love (2016).

FRENCH MARIGOLD
“PS. The symbolic meaning of marigolds is happiness that is bound to happen. I know that happiness awaits you.” This is how Kang Sa-Ra’s (Lee Da-hee) father Kang Dae-sik (Kang Nam-kil) ends his birthday wishes for his daughter on the same card mentioned above, in episode 9 of The Beauty Inside (2018).
In episode 4 of Here Comes Love (2016), the meaning is explained similarly — saying that it stands for “happiness that will one day come” — but now referring explicitly to the French Marigold.

Protea = Gratitude, Thanks and Sending Sweet Love

Ha Wan-Seung (Kwon Sang-Woo) looks for flowers for Yoo Sul-Ok (Choi Kang-Hee) in episode 6 of Mystery Queen (2017). He wants out-of-the-ordinary flowers and the florist at MBC Flower, Flower Delivery [mbc 플라워 꽃배달] proposes Protea, an South African flower that women like a lot and is “luxurious and charming.” The flower’s meaningis “Thank you” as the florist explains. When walking out of the shop, and before he is kidnapped, Wan-Seung talks to himself saying Protea is a funny name for a flower and comments how expensive she is. In episode 7, we learn that these flowers are often used as a bouquet and that they mean gratitude and thanks but also “I send you sweet love.“
 

Mystery Queen (2017, episode 6)

Rose

Blue Rose = Miracle

“Guess what the plant’s name means?”, asks Yoon Yoo-jung in Love Alert/Fluttering Warning (2018) in episode 5 when showing Cha Woo-hyun her secret garden and answers: “It’s a miracle. Mi-ra-cle.”

Orange Rose = First Love

Louis will give one single orange rose to his first love once he finds her as he says in episode 8 in Shopping King Louis (2016).
 

Pink Rose = Happiness

This is according to Shopping King Louis (2016) as he states in episode 8.

Red Rose = Passion

This is according to Shopping King Louis (2016) as he states in episode 8.

Yellow Rose = Jealousy

This is according to Shopping King Louis (2016) as he states in episode 8.

White Rose = Respect

A white rose means “Respect” as Eun Ha-Won (Park So-Dam) answers Chairman Kang’s (Kim Yong-Geon’s) questions rightly in episode 7 of Cinderella and Four Knights (2016). She knows the meaning well because it’s her mother that taught her so. According to her mother, these are flowers that should be given to people you respect. In episode 1 we thus see Ha-Won with a bouquet of white roses that she brings to the columbarium where her mum rests. But a white rose is also the string that attaches Ha-Won with Ji-woon since they are children. He had given her a white rose at his mother’s funeral when both were children (as he remembers in episode 16) — and both having lost their mothers at the same time.

Tea Bush Flower = Memories

Tea bush flowers are Representing “Memories” according to Dam Ryung (Lee Min-Ho) in The Legend of the Blue Sea (2016); something he has not. He offers one to Sim Chung (Gianna Jun) in episode 5 when they both take a stroll in the Boseong Tea Fields.
 

Legend of the Blue Sea (2016, episode 5)

Legend of the Blue Sea (2016, episode 4)

Tulip

White Tulip = Lost Love

The meaning of tulips varies depending their color.
“[…] Lost Love. […] White tulips mean love is lost”, explains the florist in episode 19 of Five Children (2016).

*

Flower Festivals

Apart from flowers in bouquets, people in K-Dramaland also like to walk through flower fields; especially on a date. Cosmos flower [코스모스] fields are very much appreciated. There are even cosmos flower festivals. As you might remember, in episode 13 of Jealousy Incarnate (2016), they talk about the flower festival frenzy and Pyo Na-Ri (Gong Hyo-Jin) is forced to film her weather forecast at the Cosmos Park [코스모스공원] even if they know that she won’t be able to take part in the announcer test castings. And yes, who can forget these adorable love-birds walking through cosmos flowers on their date at Chilji Park [칠지공원]?
 

Moonlight Drawn By Clouds (2016)

Moonlight Drawn By Clouds (2016)

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