Mexico’s terrain is filled with rugged mountains, low coastal plains and deserts. Each landscape has its own unique climates and flowers. The diverse land breeds a fascinating array of flowers, in fact, you would not find so many contrasting flower types.
Home gardens are incredibly common in Mexico, and flowers are a key symbol in many Mexican festivals, including the Day of the Dead. Follow our guide to discover the most popular Mexican flowers, where to see them and how they are used during the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead. Many flowers from Mexico can be found in a traditional bouquet.
15 Mexican Flowers + Symbolism
Mexican mythology attributes specific flowers to several deities, which is part of the reason each flower has a particular meaning or symbol. Many of these glorious flowers are gifted globally but their symbolic meanings may be easily overlooked. Learn about each well-known Mexican flower to see which one is your favorite.
1. Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia Diversifolia)
This Mexican sunflower appears on shrubs and the blooms look similar to a daisy. The petals primarily come in shades of yellow and red. Each shrub grows around 80–120 flowers, making them dense with beautiful blooms. The flower attracts many butterflies, which helps with pollination.
Symbolism: Faith, loyalty and adoration
Blooms: Summer to Early Autumn
2. Laelia Orchid (Laelia Rubescens)
This flower is also called the “rosy-tinted laelia.” It grows on trees or rocks. Orchids are very sturdy and many people welcome them into their homes as table centerpieces. This stunning Mexican orchid usually has pale shades of pink blossoms.
Symbolism: Love, luxury and beauty
Blooms: All year long
3. Pineapple Sage (Salvia Elegans)
As the name states, this flower smells a lot like a pineapple! The blossoms are a bright red color and the foliage can be used for cooking when crushed. Many people enjoy using pineapple sage as ground cover in their gardens.
Blooms: Late Summer to Early Autumn
4. Mexican Honeysuckle (Justicia Spicigera)
The Mexican honeysuckle attracts various types of wildlife, especially butterflies. The plant blossoms small and thin flowers that are bright orange. Some varieties have a wonderful smell and make for a great addition to any garden.
5. Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima)
This flower is associated with the celebration of Christ’s birthday and is seen globally as a symbol of the Christmas season. The red color of the plant is not the blossoms but rather the foliage. The plant can be used for medicinal reasons and to dye clothes.
Symbolism: Star of Bethlehem
Blooms: Late Autumn to Early Winter
6. Mexican Marigold (Tagetes erecta)
This marigold is a staple of the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead and is one of the purest offerings to Mexican deities. The flower comes in warm colors and is used on occasions of grief, religious ceremonies, summer birthdays and more. The flower is part of the daisy family.
Symbolism: Grief and despair
Blooms: Late Spring to Autumn
7. Mexican Morning Glory (Ipomoea Hederacea)
This flower is commonly blue, purple and white and is usually found in dry locations. The Mexican morning glory grows after rainfall and only opens up during the morning. The lovely unique shape of the petals looks like a trumpet.
Symbolism: Unfulfilled love
Blooms: Summer to Autumn
8. Mexican Passion Flower (Passiflora Mexicana)
This flower is one of the most unusual and distinct Mexican blooms. The vines have round-tipped, bilobed leaves. The flower comes in two color combinations: red and green, or yellow and purple. The plant is known for its pungent odor and bearing passion fruit.
Symbolism: Symbolized the death of Christ
Blooms: Late Summer
9. Chocolate Cosmos (Cosmos Atrosanguineus)
Since this flower is a member of the cosmos family, its blossoms are a hue of dark red to brown. The name “chocolate” represents the color of the flower. The flower emits a cocoa smell but is ironically is unsuitable for consumption.
Symbolism: Beauty and order
10. Mexican Poppy (Argemone Ochroleuca)
The Mexican poppy is most commonly known for its medicinal purposes. They usually appear in shades of yellow and white. The plant has small blooms that can spread very quickly throughout a piece of land. They are usually found in nature rather than used for commercial purposes.
Symbolism: Sleep and peace
11. Sword Lily (Gladioli)
The flowers on each stem grow on top of each other, resembling a sword. The flower comes in various colors including shades of red, yellow and pink. Gladiolus Mexico is used during the Day of the Dead celebration and used to be given to gladiators because of its sword-like shape.
Symbolism: Sympathy and memories
Blooms: Early Summer
12. Belize Sage (Salvia Miniata)
This Mexican flower flourishes in compact spaces, making it easy to grow in almost any container. The flowers are tiny and red-orange in color. The plant can grow in versatile ways including in a pot or throughout an entire home garden.
Symbolism: Protection and healing
13. Dahlia (Dahlia Pinnata)
The dahlia is the national flower of Mexico and has quite a large bloom. Many of the flowers are two-toned. The interesting petal pattern makes the flowers intriguing to look at and they’re commonly used in salads. They are known to represent those who stay true to their values.
Symbolism: Elegance, creativity and dignity
Blooms: Summer to Autumn
14. Yucca Flower (Yucca Baccata)
This plant is a succulent and bears fruit that’s shaped like a banana. It is used for medicinal and beauty purposes. The blossoms are mostly white and have a pleasant smell. Parts of the plant are edible as well.
Symbolism: Protection and purification
15. Birds of Paradise (Strelitzia Reginae)
The flowers of this plant grow on top of the base of the stalk and resemble the head of a plumed bird. They are popularly known as “crane flowers.” The evergreen perennial can grow between four and six feet tall and the foliage can spread two to four feet wide.
Symbolism: Beauty and excellence
Blooms: Summer to Autumn
Where Can You Find Mexican Flowers?
Many Mexican flowers can be found in local gardens and also make for wonderful houseplants. The culture of Mexico is to keep these flowers close to you and your home, but they can also be found in nature. We will go over a few places you can find some of the popular Mexican flowers!
Mexican sunflowers can be found in the mountains of Chihuahua, Durango and Tamaulipas. The national flower of Mexico, the dahlia, can be found in most public gardens and you may even find them in your salads since they are used as a tasteful topping to compliment salad greens. One other great location to spot out beautiful flowers is in the Chiapas and Western Oaxaca. You’ll find many laelia orchids along with other wildflowers. You’ll capture a glimpse of all the Mexican flowers in front of people’s homes in the community.
Day of the Dead Flowers
From October 31st to November 2nd, the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead is observed. The Day of the Dead is for families to remember their ancestors, those who have passed and welcome home spirits. Mexican marigolds are one of the most recognized flowers/symbols for this celebration since it is said their scent helps guide spirits home. Other popular flowers used in this three-day celebration are chrysanthemums, gladiolus, cockscomb and baby’s breath.
Common Mexican Flowers Questions
If you still have a few questions about Mexican flowers, check out these FAQs to see if one blossoms clarity.
What is the most popular Mexican flower?
The most recognizable Mexican flower around the world is the poinsettia because of its symbolism during the Christmas season. The dahlia is the most popular flower found in Mexico, likely because it’s the national flower. The yucca flower is said to be another symbol of Mexico.
Will Mexican sunflowers reseed?
Mexican sunflowers graciously reseed themselves even though they are annuals. The plant is able to withstand harsh heat, droughts, and poor soil, making it a wonderful addition to any yard.
Why is the dahlia the national flower of Mexico?
The dahlia became the national flower of Mexico because of its multiple uses, long-known history and intriguing appearance. Historically, the tubers of the flower were used as a food crop and the Aztecs used the flower to treat epilepsy. The flower has followed the culture for an expansive amount of time, and that is why in 1963 the dahlia was declared the national flower of Mexico.
We hope your fondness for the culture of Mexico has grown now that you know a little more about each of its popular flowers. If you love flowers as much as we do, make sure to take a peek at our quotes about flowers to admire your flowers, or even add them to a bouquet! 15 Mexican Flowers: Symbolism and Uses