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Hollyhock Flower Meaning, Spiritual Symbolism, Color Meaning & More

The hollyhock flower has always fascinated me with its towering elegance and vibrant presence in gardens.

Its tall spires adorned with a kaleidoscope of colors never fail to catch my eye.

Naturally, my curiosity led me to explore the deeper realms of hollyhock flower meaning and spiritual symbolism.

I've often wondered about the stories hidden within the petals and hues of this magnificent bloom.

In this article, I'm excited to be your guide through the enchanting world of hollyhocks, unraveling their meanings and delving into the spiritual significance each color holds.

Key Takeaways

  • Symbolic Significance: Hollyhocks symbolize ambition, success, and hold pagan and witchcraft associations. They are historically linked to Crusaders and have diverse meanings across cultures.
  • Color-Coded Meanings: Red signifies love, purple denotes royalty, white symbolizes good luck, pink represents femininity, yellow signifies friendship, and black evokes mystery. Each hue carries unique spiritual connotations.
  • Cultural Significance: Hollyhocks have diverse cultural ties, from English heritage to Victorian-era practices. They're linked to fairies, witchcraft, and are found in burial rites, making them a versatile and meaningful symbol.
  • Tattoo Symbolism: Hollyhock flower tattoos represent strength, autonomy, courage, and have ties to Wiccan and Pagan beliefs. They symbolize protection, luck, healing, and openness to new ideas.

What Does The Hollyhock Flower Mean?

The hollyhock flower symbolizes the circle of life, latent ambition and they represent fertility and abundance in life.

Traditionally, people planted the hollyhock flower near the front of homes to encourage positivity, prosperity, and good tidings to the household.

They are a symbol of good luck and are across many British and American gardens, as well as growing throughout the rest of the world.

In the Egyptian household, the hollyhock represented good luck.

They often laid them in wreaths within tombs as symbols of goodwill and safety for those traveling to the afterlife.


Etymological Meaning Of The Hollyhock Flower

  • There are approximately 60 different species of hollyhock flowers, all belonging to the genus Alcea, which is a part of the Mallow or Malvaceae family.
  • Hollyhocks are commonly seen in gardens throughout the United States and are easily cultivated in flower beds around the world.
  • The name "Hollyhock" has Old English origins. "Holi" in Old English means 'holy,' and "Hock" means 'mallow.' This name possibly alludes to the plant's historical use.
  • Crusaders from the British Isles reportedly used hollyhocks in the Holy Lands to treat injuries, particularly for healing infections and sores on horses' hind legs during challenging journeys.
  • The term "hocks" refers to the hindquarters of horses, and it's thought that the name "hollyhock" may be linked to the Holy Lands, where the plant was discovered.
  • There are alternative theories about how hollyhocks spread across continents. One legend suggests that Crusaders and other travelers brought it back from the Holy Lands during the Crusades to the British Isles and beyond.
  • Although hollyhocks can be found worldwide today, many believe they are originally native to regions such as China, Southern Europe, and Northern Africa.

Symbolism Of The Hollyhock Flower

The hollyhock has a long history of association with positive witchcraft and fairy life. Fairies used the blooms as skirts.

There is even an old recipe from the 1600s that suggests the blooms of hollyhock, marigolds, thyme, and witch hazel mixed and drunk in a tea will allow you to see fairies in your garden.

Symbolism Of The Hollyhock Flower


As early as 80 000 years ago, they found hollyhock in the burial sites of elaborate Neanderthal funeral rites and celebrations.

Egyptians placed wreaths of hollyhock flowers with their dead in the hopes of leading the dead to new life and representing the circle of life.

Hollyhock Flower Color Meanings

Different hollyhock flowers can mean many things, especially to those who are deeply into the language of floriography and spiritual connections.

Here is a list of just some of the different meanings colored hollyhocks hold across the world.

Red Love, romance, passion
Purple Royalty, status, charm, tradition
White Good luck, innocence, purity, fertility
Pink Femininity, sensitivity, love
Yellow Friendship, respect, admiration
Black Mystery, mysticism, fairy life

Red Hollyhock

  • Symbolizes love, romance, and passion.
  • Example: Red Halo variety with deep raspberry red petals and a yellow center.
  • Good for bees and pollinators.

Purple Hollyhock

  • Represents royalty, status, tradition.
  • Can symbolize transitions, charm, and grace.
  • Example: Lavender Halo with pastel purple and pink core.
  • Common type: Alcea Rosea with deep purple and yellow core.

White Hollyhock

  • Associated with good luck, innocence, purity, and fertility.
  • Planted for positive tidings outside windows and doors.

Pink Hollyhocks

  • Symbolize purity, femininity, sensitivity, and love.
  • Example: Old Barnyard Mix with salmon and raspberry pinks.
  • Suitable for flowerbeds or wild gardens.

Yellow Hollyhocks

  • Given as a symbol of friendship, respect, and admiration.
  • Used for Mother's Day and for male friends.
  • Various forms, like Charters Double and single-petalled Halo varieties.

Black Hollyhocks

  • Appear deep black but are actually deep purple with a yellow center.
  • Symbolize mystery, mysticism, and fairy life.
  • Attract bees, butterflies, and pollinators.
Black Hollyhocks


Meaningful Botanical Characteristics Of The Hollyhock Flower


The hollyhock flower self-seeds, meaning it is best to have it in a flowerbed otherwise it could take over your whole garden!

Germinate In The Summer

These flowers are biennial which means they will bloom twice throughout the year, making them a good choice for gardens as they don’t bloom just once.

Can be single or double petalled

Different varieties of hollyhock flowers have a different amount of petals, with some having double the amount of petals! This gives them a very full and appealing-looking rosette appearance much like a carnation flower.

Tall flowers

Hollyhocks can grow up to 8 feet if cultivated in the right conditions. This makes them perfect for lining the backs of flowerbeds or for along the backs of fences, framing other plants. They will often need support from the wind, however, depending on the location they grow.

Range of colors

The hollyhock naturally grows in a wide range of colors from whites, pinks, yellows and blues, reds, and purples.

Bell-shaped flowers

The flowers have bell-shaped, papery-looking petals that almost look like crepe paper.

Don't survive The frost

Like many flowers that bloom in the early spring and summer, the hollyhock flowers will die at the exposure to frost come fall and early winter with the sudden drop in temperature.

Special Occasions For The Hollyhock Flower

Funerals Symbol of peace and rest
Housewarming Signifies prosperity and good fortune
Graduations and Birthdays Represents the circle of life
New Job or Life Phase Encouragement and good luck

People can often find hollyhocks in cemeteries and graveyards as they are a symbol of peace and rest.

They are therefore a good flower to give at funerals and to place at burial places.

The hollyhock is also a perfect housewarming gift!

As they are a sign of prosperity and good fortune, people can give hollyhock as a gift for the recipient to plant outside their doorway or on a windowsill.

They also make a great gift for graduations and birthdays as a symbol of the circle of life, and as recognition of big life events.

The hollyhock is a perfect flower to give to someone who needs a bit of good luck and encouragement, making them a great gift for those starting a new job or starting a new phase of their lives.


Hollyhock Flower Cultural Significance

The hollyhock has long association in English heritage with abundance, good fortune, and fertility. In addition, people often grows hollyhock around the doorframes of homes to encourage this.

In the Victorian era, they often grow hollyhocks around outside toilets as a way to show visitors where they were. This, without having to embarrass guests by asking their host where the outhouse was.

They could simply look for the patch of hollyhocks.

Fascinating Hollyhock Flower Facts: Nature's Graceful Wonders

  • Love And Passion: Red hollyhocks are often associated with love, romance, and passionate feelings. Their vibrant red color makes them a symbol of strong emotions.
  • Royalty And Tradition: Purple hollyhocks represent concepts of royalty, status, and tradition. They are linked to a sense of charm and grace, symbolizing a transitional period in life.
  • Innocence And Purity: White hollyhocks are symbols of innocence, purity, and good luck. They are also believed to bring positive tidings and are associated with fertility and abundance.
  • Femininity And Sensitivity: Pink hollyhocks convey a sense of traditional femininity, purity, sensitivity, and love. They are a common choice in gardens and symbolize these gentle qualities.
  • Friendship And Respect: Yellow hollyhocks are often given as symbols of friendship, respect, and admiration. They are suitable for various occasions, including Mother's Day, and are a less traditionally feminine flower.
  • Mystery And Mysticism: Black hollyhocks, despite appearing black, symbolize mystery and mysticism. They are believed to be associated with the world of fairies and are excellent at attracting pollinators like bees and butterflies.
  • Herbal Symbolism: Hollyhocks have been used in various cultures to symbolize different aspects of life, emotions, and virtues, making them a versatile flower with rich symbolic meanings.
  • Cultural Significance: Different colors of hollyhocks can convey unique messages and sentiments, making them a popular choice for bouquets and gardens with specific symbolic intentions.

Hollyhock Flower Uses

Treats sore throats, fevers, burns, and nasal irritation Edible petals used in jams, preserves, and salads
Improves circulation Bright and colorful petals used for coloring in sweets
Relieves congestion and difficulty breathing Hollyhock sap spun with sugar and sold as candies
  • Hollyhocks were utilized for their health and antiviral properties by travelers and crusaders during their journeys and religious wars in the Holy Lands from the 1100s to 1290s.
  • Legend has it that hollyhock was used as a salve to soothe wounds on horses' hind legs, which they sustained from harsh terrains, severe weather conditions, and intense battles during the Crusades.
  • Hollyhocks have been used for thousands of years in herbal remedies and health treatments, although there is limited modern medical evidence to support these claims.
  • Despite the lack of scientific validation, hollyhocks remain an essential part of many herbal and naturopathic gardens.
  • They have been employed to address various health issues, including sore throats, mild fevers, tickling coughs, and to enhance circulation.
  • Hollyhocks have also been used to treat minor burns, scrapes, itching, nasal irritation, congestion, breathing difficulties, IBS, and other gastrointestinal discomfort.
  • Hollyhock petals can be used to brew a soothing tea, which can aid with an upset stomach, mouth sores, or loss of appetite.
  • All parts of the hollyhock plant are edible, and its colorful petals can be used to add color to jellies, preserves, sweets, and garden salads.
  • In the 1800s, hollyhock sap was mixed with sugar and sold as candies in England.
  • Herbalists in the past were both admired for their medical knowledge and persecuted for practicing witchcraft during the Middle Ages, even though many of their treatments laid the foundation for modern antibacterial and antiviral treatments, which are now refined and extracted to their purest forms.
Hollyhock Flower Uses


What Is The Symbolism Of A Hollyhock Flower Tattoo

The hollyhock is a gorgeous flower that represents strength, autonomy, courage, and witchcraft.

Hollyhocks have a strong association with Wiccan and Pagan beliefs and are especially thought of this way throughout the British Isles and Ireland.

The hollyhock is used as a protective charm and tattoos can be used to symbolize openness to new ideas, a spiritual side, or as a lucky charm.

Because of its healing properties, tattoos of hollyhock can be used as symbols of healing and regeneration.

Their beautiful structure can also be a signifier of traditional feminine values and can represent motherhood, tradition, and maternal instincts as well.

Because many hollyhocks are double petalled, they have a beautiful bud that gives them a rose-like bloom.

This makes them a great flower to get tattooed if you want something dainty and feminine but is not necessarily as familiar as a rose tattoo or a carnation tattoo.


Final Thoughts

The hollyhock is a remarkably lovely-looking flower that carries a whole host of meanings across cultures.

With a large variety of types, the hollyhock is available throughout the world and is bred in just about every color imaginable.

With associations of mysticism, good fortune, and feminine wiles, the hollyhock is a brilliant flower to give on many special occasions and is sure to look perfect in any garden or at-home display.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Spiritual Significance Of Hollyhock Flowers?

Hollyhock flowers are often associated with protection and spiritual guidance. In some cultures, they are believed to guard against negative energy and are planted near homes for this purpose.

What Does The Symbolism Of Hollyhock Flowers Represent?

Hollyhock flowers symbolize ambition, fruitfulness, and resilience. They are often seen as a symbol of achieving one's goals and overcoming challenges.

Are Hollyhock Flowers Associated With Any Specific Spiritual Or Religious Traditions?

While not tied to a specific religion, Hollyhock flowers have been used in various spiritual practices, such as in rituals aimed at promoting healing and well-being.

Can Hollyhock Flowers Be Used In Spiritual Or Ritual Ceremonies?

Yes, Hollyhock flowers can be incorporated into spiritual rituals and ceremonies. They are believed to bring positive energy, protection, and blessings.

What Is The Connection Between Hollyhock Flowers And Chakras Or Energy Centers?

In some spiritual practices, Hollyhock flowers are associated with the heart chakra, symbolizing love, compassion, and healing energy.

How Can I Use Hollyhock Flowers For Spiritual Purposes?

You can use Hollyhock flowers in various ways, such as creating flower arrangements, wearing them as a floral accessory, or placing them in your home or meditation space to invite positive energy and protection.

Are There Any Cultural Variations In The Symbolism Of Hollyhock Flowers?

Yes, the symbolism of Hollyhock flowers may vary among different cultures and regions. It's important to research the specific cultural or regional meanings if you plan to use them in a particular context.

What Do Different Colors Of Hollyhock Flowers Symbolize In Spirituality?

The colors of Hollyhock flowers can carry different spiritual meanings. For example, red Hollyhocks may symbolize love and passion, while white Hollyhocks could represent purity and protection.

Can Hollyhock Flowers Be Used In Meditation Or Prayer Practices?

Yes, some individuals incorporate Hollyhock flowers into their meditation or prayer practices to enhance the spiritual connection and promote inner peace.

How Can I Learn More About The Spiritual And Symbolic Aspects Of Hollyhock Flowers?

To deepen your understanding of the spiritual and symbolic significance of Hollyhock flowers, you can consult books, online resources, or seek guidance from experienced practitioners or spiritual leaders.

Hollyhock Flower Meaning, Spiritual Symbolism, Color Meaning & More