Anemone Flowers Meaning & Symbolism

Anemone flowers are beautiful and delicate. They grow in various colors, and each color has a specific meaning and symbolism. They grow wild in naturally windy areas, and the name “anemone” comes from the Greek word meaning “daughter of the wind”. The meaning and symbolism of anemone flowers have some of their origins in Greek mythology. Still, the flower also holds significance for Christian people and is depicted in Christian art.

Anemone flowers are typically red, white, or purple, and each color has a meaning. Anemones often symbolize anticipation, relaxation, and knowing that all things happen at the right time, fragility, death, forsaken love, sincerity, and protection from evil. Some cultures see the flower as a bad omen.

Anemone flowers are often linked to the story of Venus and Adonis, as theirs is a story of a fierce love that was forbidden. Their story ends in tragedy; however, the delicate beauty of the anemone remains with us. Perhaps it’s a reminder of the delicate nature of all things or a note to stay strong in the face of adversity. Some cultures view the anemone as a bad omen, but we have decided to bring you the information and leave you to decide.

Anemone Meaning And History

The anemone flower gets its name from the Greek word “daughter of the wind,” or windflower. 

They are named this because they grow naturally in windy places, and each spring, the wind blows their petals open and then off. The word was originally Greek, then in the mid-1500s, the French adopted it, changed it to “anemoine,” and it later gained the spelling we know today, of “anemone.”

There are two tragic tales involving anemone flowers. The first involved Anemone and Zephyr and the second involves Venus and Adonis. Let’s look at these a little, as they explain the symbolism of the anemone quite beautifully.

The Tragedy Of Anemone and Zephyr

Legend has it that Anemone was a beautiful nymph who fell in love with the god of the wind, Zephyr. Their love was intense; however, Zephyr’s wife, Chloris, discovered them. She not only banished Anemone from the court, but she also turned her into a flower. The transformation resulted in Zephyr losing interest in Anemone.  

Anemone pined for Zephyr, but he never returned for her. While still a flower, Boreas, another wind god, fell completely in love with her. She had no interest in him and rejected his attempts at courtship. Boreas was deeply hurt, and so, every spring, he blows her petals open before they are ready, making them fade sooner than they should. 

The theme of forsaken love runs deep in this story for every character, so it’s no wonder the flower symbolizes that for some.

The Tragedy Of Venus and Adonis

In this story, Venus (also known as Aphrodite), the god of love, falls in love with a mortal. His name was Adonis, and he was a great hunter. 

He was handsome and also very good at hunting. Adonis was somewhat arrogant and over-confident in his hunting abilities. 

One night, Venus dreamed about Adonis being killed while on a hunt. In the morning, she rushed to Adonis to warn him not to go hunting that day, but he laughed her off, feeling she was overreacting to a dream.  Unfortunately, Venus’ dream was a premotion, and Adonis was impaled by a wild boar that very day. As Venus watched her love bleed to death, she cursed love, over which she held authority.

It is told that the blood that poured from Adonis mixed with the tears from Venus and turned the flowers around them red. Others say he disappeared, leaving red flowers where he lay. Either way, the flowers turned red or appeared were anemone flowers. Here, we can see the symbolism of death and forsaken love connected to red anemone flowers.

The Blood Of Jesus

There was an occasion when a crowd was gathering to Jesus to ask for healing from disease. He decided to preach to them instead, and in his sermon, he mentioned the lilies of the fields. The flowers he referred to were anemone flowers, also called Palestine anemones. They were common in the area and still grow in Galilee today.

Anemone flowers grew on Calvary, the hill where Jesus was crucified. For some Christians, red anemones symbolize Jesus’s blood as he died. The sight of anemones at the crucifixion also led to the flower representing the sorrow, death, and worry Jesus’ mother, his friends, and followers must have experienced.

Anemone Flower Colors And Symbolism

Here is a quick overview of the colors of anemone flowers and their most commonly found symbolisms.

  • Red and pink anemone: forsaken love, death, love lost to death
  • White anemone: sincerity, death, bad luck
  • Purple or blue anemone: protection from evil

A commonly known meaning of the anemone flower is also anticipation. This meaning could be because the flower closes at night, and we have to wait to see its beauty again in the morning. Depending on whether you view the flower in a negative or positive light, that anticipation could be for a good thing or living in the moment, or a bad thing, like impending death or bad news.

The meaning that anemone flowers hold for us depends largely on where we live or our culture. Those in the East, or from an Eastern culture, will likely view anemone flowers as bad luck or a symbol of death. In the West, the flower is often seen as an omen of good fortune, perseverance, and strength or as a way to remember those who have fallen.

When To Give Anemone Flowers To Loved Ones

The gift of flowers is often a great way to show our loved ones that we care and are thinking of them. It can be slightly tricky to know which flowers to include in a bouquet since they all hold particular meanings. Here is our take on the perfect time to gift a loved one anemone flowers.

  • A Funeral

Since anemones often symbolize death and mourning, it seems fitting to include anemones in a funeral bouquet or bouquet for someone who is grieving.

  • A Baby Shower Or Hen Party

Anticipation is a prominent theme for these events, so it is fitting to include a flower that often symbolizes anticipation.

  • A Wedding 

When we consider death, we often think of new beginnings too. Many brides choose to include anemone flowers in their décor and bouquet arrangements to symbolize the end of their single life and the new beginning with their partner.

The Anemone In Numerology

The anemone is numerology number eight, fitting with the symbolism of the flower that we have discovered so far. The number eight in numerology symbolizes letting go of the past and focusing on the present. It has traits of authority while also being humble. It is a hard worker and survivor in the face of difficulty.

The lucky colors for a numerology number eight are blue and yellow. Since we don’t find yellow anemone flowers, we will assume that blue anemones mean good luck. This symbolism fits well with the familiar symbolism of blue or purple anemones protecting from evil.

The number eight in numerology is also very family-focused and loyal to their loved ones. They protect their partners and stay true to them. 

They only desire love and adoration in return. Since the number eight also symbolizes eternity, they tend to love forever. These characteristics align perfectly with the stories of both Anemone and Venus, as their love was eternal and unconditional.


Anemones often get classed as a flower that brings bad luck. It could be because they are associated with death or are so delicate, symbolizing the transitory nature of our own existence. While some cultures view anemone flowers as bad omens, others celebrate the flower as a symbol of strength and perseverance. Perhaps the delicate nature of the anemone reminds us to live in the moment, leaving the past behind us and focusing on the future.  

We will all experience loss and forsaken love at some stage during our lifetime. With a beautiful flower like a delicate anemone to mark the occasion, indeed, we can mourn with Anemone herself, or Venus, who shed tears to create the flower. With the anemone flowers as our companions, certainly, we can grieve in the moment and then look towards the future, bright and waiting for us to reach out to it.