Is one flower, more than any other, traditional for decorating graves?
Red geraniums are perhaps the most common, probably for their hardiness. In the language and sentiment of flowers, however, geraniums are a symbol of comfort and not particularly associated with death or remembrance. In more ancient times, the primrose was much more popular, because graves were often decorated around Easter and the primrose was available in the wild almost as early as the snow melted. Similarly, primroses symbolize youth, because they are earliest out in the spring. Daffodils, with their early blooms and bright spring color, are another natural choice. They are an emblem of regret, probably because of their drooping flower heads. Robert Herrick (1591-1674) described the daffodil like this: “When a daffadil I see / Hanging down her head t’ward me, / Guess I may, what I must be; / First, I shall decline my head, / Secondly, I shall be dead, / Lastly, safely buried.”