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What Type of Flower Should You Choose for Your Tattoo?

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Out of all of the tattoo motifs available, flowers are a go-to design.  With their harmonious colours and varied shapes, they are undoubtedly one of nature’s most beautiful creations. Men and women around the world have always attached many different meanings to flowers. Making an appearance during the most important moments of our life, flowers have always attracted artists, such as painters.

In the tattoo world, they can feature alone or as part of a broader design, and are chosen for their significance or beauty. From the traditional to the ornamental, not to mention realism, flowers crop up just as much on men as on women, who don them on a variety of body parts.

Flower tattoo ideas


The rose is an old school go-to tattoo. Today, it is also used in other styles such as realism, where it comes into its own, often featuring as part of a wider design in other styles.

The rose is the flower of love. On its own it can have a profound significance, representing passion or hope of a new beginning. Adding a stem or prickly thorns can summon different emotions. Even colour can play a part: red for passionate love, blue for intensity.


The fleur-de-lis dates back to ancient Rome and is found in many cultures. For the Chinese, it helps relieve nausea. In Europe, it symbolises royalty. As a tattoo, it used to be an immediate sign of recognition and a mark of disgrace for thieves and prostitutes. But, as with most traditional motifs, today it is coveted for its aesthetic appeal.

Cherry blossom

Feminine and sensual, cherry blossom symbolises the fleeting nature of life. Given its prominent role in Japanese culture, cherry blossom is widespread in the Japanese tattoo world. Many cherry blossom flowers, or sakura, are found in large Japanese designs.

Due to its impermanence, it is a reminder to live in the present moment. It can also symbolise rebirth.

Peonies and chrysanthemums

Peonies and chrysanthemums are also widely present in Asian tattoos. Considered the Queen of flowers in China, peonies are a symbol of honour, a desire to protect, and fidelity. In the West, they symbolise the opposite: modesty and shame, or even bad luck and anger.

Mainly making an appearance on graves on All Saints’ Day, chrysanthemums are associated with the fragility of emotions. In Asia, however, they are associated with spirituality.


As legendary as it is mystical, the lotus flower has multiple meanings. It is a symbol of rebirth and reincarnation in ancient Egypt, and associated with peace and eternity in Hinduism. For Buddhists, it represents patience, purity and even self-awareness. In these religions it is depicted with gods.

Other flowers

Alongside the more common floral designs, many flowers other can be tattooed in a variety of styles. From poppies and daisies to iris and magnolia, not to mention the numerous orchids rising in popularity; each flower has its own particular meaning depending on the culture. You can also attribute whatever meaning you want to it. Maybe even a gherkin flower to represent Polish roots?!
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Chris Harrison

Bridgend Tattoo Studio

Bridgend, South Wales, UK

Sneaky-Mitch, tattooist at Gold Room Tattoo, Leeds, UK


Gold Room Tattoo

Leeds, UK

Tito Inkid

L’Atelier Sans Nom

Armentières, France

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Immortal Ink
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Corpse Painter Tattoo
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Empire Ink
Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

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