Sweet Pea Flower Meaning and Symbolism

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Sweet Peas are one of the defining plants in the language of flowers (a popular Victorian concept that assigned meanings to every type and shade of flower). They were so popular and sought after during the Victorian era that their popularity has carried on for well over 100 years into the modern day.

Sweet Peas petals are so delicate and fragile, yet vibrant that they look like they were designed to be painted in watercolors. They are a cross-breed flower that originated in Scotland but is now grown all over the world.

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Sweet Peas come in nearly every color – Red, Pink, Lavender, Purple, White, Peach, Salmon, Cream, Periwinkle, Light Blue, Green, Fuchsia, Burgundy, and Multi-colored. The only color they do not come in is yellow.

Flowers of Blissful Pleasure

We actually have the poet Keats to thank for the name ‘Sweet Pea’. The name is drawn not only from their delicate scent but also from the fact they were often used to decorate weddings and other happy events of high society.

Goodbye and Thank You for the Good Time (Original Symbol)

If you were to give a bouquet of white Sweet Peas to a Victorian they would be very happy.

These flowers were often given along with a thank you letter after a successful party or event.

The small flowers simply said – ‘it was a pleasure to see you, thank you for the good time’.

Bliss (Original Symbol)

Sweet Peas are Annual flowers – this means that they die at the end of each season and need to be replanted if you want them to grow in the next year.

For this reason, many people see Sweet Peas as flowers that burn brightly for a short amount of time before disappearing.

It makes complete sense that these flowers are often associated with summer flings and secret affairs.

For the short time that they are alive, Sweet Peas are a delight to look at and carry with them a delightful and unforgettable fragrance.

Protection From Evil (Original Symbol)

Sweet Peas are traditionally used at weddings in France.

Not only are they used to decorate the venue, but they are also given to the bride in vast quantities.


Well, it is a French tradition that Sweet Peas of all colors are given to a bride to protect her innocence and to ward off evil.

It was also believed that it was impossible to speak ill of someone when they were in the same room as a Sweet Pea. The purity and innocence of the flower would prevent them from speaking negatively.

They were given to brides to protect them from spitefulness on their special day.

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New Adventures (New Meaning)

When someone is setting out on a new adventure they can be given Sweet Peas to take with them.

When moving into a new house or a new office Sweet Peas are believed to bring good luck, peace, and happiness into the room.

Sweet Peas of all colors can be given for this reason. Many people give green Sweet Peas as they are slightly rarer and green is often seen as a lucky color.

Peace (New Meaning)

Sweet Peas are often given to people who are looking for peace. It is hoped that the beauty of the plant and the pleasing scent will provide joy to the recipient.

It is mostly white and other very pale varieties of Spring Peas that are given for this reason.

Good Luck (New Meaning)

There is an urban legend that Sweet Pea seeds that are planted before St Patrick’s day grow bigger and smell sweeter. Thanks to this legend many people associate the flower with the Irish saint and with good luck.

If yellow Sweet Peas existed, we have no doubt they would be given as good luck bouquets. Sadly, they do not, so we have to ‘settle’ for giving pink, white, and purple Sweet Peas instead.

An upcoming interview, speech, or even award ceremony is the perfect time to give Sweet Peas. They will fill the room with a calming aroma and put a smile on the face of anyone who looks at them.

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