Popular Mother’s Day Flowers Throughout History

By Good Housekeeping

It’s Mother’s Day and we’re shedding some light on the history of the holiday. In 1908, a woman named Anna Jarvis decided to hold a memorial at Andrews Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia, to honor her mother, who passed away three years before.

During her lifetime, Anna’s mother, Ann, founded Mothers’ Day Work Clubs in five cities — part of a campaign to promote sanitary conditions in local communities and help nurse Civil War soldiers on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line. At the ceremony, Anna gifted a white carnation (her mother’s favorite bloom) to all of the moms in attendance.

Then, in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation declaring a national Mother’s Day to be held the second Sunday in May. Carnations had become a symbol of the holiday, with red carnations bestowed upon living moms, and white carnations often placed on deceased mothers’ graves.

Of course, flowers are still a major part of the holiday. But the most popular types to send to Mom have actually varied quite a bit through the decades. We chatted with FTD’s floral design expert Michael Skaff to learn which blossoms have been gifted most often throughout the years — and his answers are enlightening:

1910s: Ferns






1920s: Calla Lillies






1930s: Dahlias






1940s: Delphiniums






1950s: Peonies






1960s: Daisies






1970s: Hyacinths







1980s: Roses






1990s: Orchids






2000s: Tulips






2010s: Potted Plants


Read the full story at goodhousekeeping.com, and tell us your mom’s favorite flower in the comments below!

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