An Easy List Of 15 Flowers In Thai Culture

Many of the flowers (ดอก-daawk) in Thailand have represented certain meanings, and feelings, or held significance for thousands of years. For example, one flower might be representative of weddings, while another flower for funerals. Indeed, you don’t want to get these flowers mixed up if you’re planning on getting married in Thailand!

In this post, you will not only learn about flowers in Thai for how to say certain flowers but learn about their significance in Thai culture.


Flowers In Thai You Need To Know

1. กุหลาบ (goo laap) – Rose

Meaning: romance, love, passion

Red roses represent love and passion in Thai culture, just as everywhere else in the world. But, did you know that the meaning of roses can vary depending on their color? We’ve laid it all out for you below!

  • White roses: purity, innocence
  • Pink roses: elegance, sweetness
  • Yellow roses: jealousy, breakup
  • Blue roses: nobility, spirituality

2. มะลิ (ma li) – Jasmine

Meaning: pure love, purity, compassion

White jasmine represents purity and the bond between a mother and child. That’s why jasmine is the most preferred gift for Mother’s Day in Thailand and is used as decoration in religious ceremonies.

Although jasmine is not native to Thailand, it has been naturalized there for hundreds of years!

3. กล้วยไม้ (gluay maai) – Orchid

Meaning: grace, purity, innocence

Currently, there are over a thousand different orchid species native to Thailand, and there are many orchid farms in the country that export these orchids all over the world!

There is even a special kind of Thai orchid that is battered and fried for food, known as dendrobium orchids. Thai orchids are also used for the infamous logo of Thai Airways.

4. ลีลาวดี (lee laao dee) – Plumeria

Meaning: bad luck, connected with spirits

Plumeria, also known as frangipani, is a common flower in Thailand since it grows easily in tropical soil. Some Thai people believe that spirits and ghosts seek shelter within these flowers, so it’s often associated with bad luck. Keep in mind that this flower comes in both white and purple, but each color is equally associated with bad luck.

5. ทานตะวัน (thaan dta wan) – Sunflower

Meaning: positivity, good luck, happiness

Sunflowers can be seen in central and northern Thailand. Even though they are beautiful flowers, Thai people don’t prefer to be given them in bouquets.

6. ดอกบัว (daawk buaa) – Lotus

Meaning: enlightenment, rebirth

The lotus flower is considered sacred in Thai culture. This flower lives in the water with its roots growing under the river while the petals and leaves appear on the surface. The lotus is commonly associated with Buddhism, the major religion in Thailand.

7. ชบา (cha baa) – Hibiscus

Meaning: youth, beauty, femininity

Hibiscus, also known as roselle or rose mallow, is a native flower in northern Thailand. The petals and fruits of hibiscus are even used as an ingredient in many teas and herbal treatments.

8. เดซี (daeh see) – Daisy

Meaning: humility, friendship, happiness

Daisies often represent joy and happiness. Not to mention, the larger flower family includes edible and ornamental daisies that can be found in many Thai gardens.

9. กวักทรัพย์ (gwak tha rap) – Lilies

Meaning: respect, rebirth

Lilies are one of many flowers that grow from bulbs. In some cultures, lilies are seen as a symbol of a pure environment because they will only grow near clean water.

In Thailand, lilies are commonly gifted during the spring holidays.

10. โบตั๋น (boh dtan) – Peony

Meaning: happy marriage

There are 33 different species of peonies! The large, fluffy blooms are the perfect choice for wedding bouquets and floral arrangements for special events.

11. กำมะหยี (gam ma yee) – Marigold

Meaning: God’s perfect light

When King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand passed away in 2016, the country started a campaign to plant golden marigolds across the land to glorify the King’s soul.

Marigolds have golden yellow or orange blooms, which represent God’s perfect light. These make the flowers perfect decorations during religious events.

12. ต้นจูหลัน (dtohn juu lan) – Magnolia

Meaning: purity, nobility

There are a number of species of magnolia that are native to Thailand. Most magnolias are white, but some can be found in orange or pink. These beautiful flowers are known for their strong fragrance.

13. ทิวลิป (thiu lip) – Tulip

Meaning: perfect love, charity

Tulips are popular flowers renowned for their vertical petals. There is a tulip species native to Thailand, known as the Siam Tulip, which has a festival held in its honor every summer in Northern Thailand.

14. ดาหลา (daa laa) – Torch Ginger

Meaning: everlasting love

Torch ginger has many other names among locals, some of which are the red ginger lily, wild ginger, porcelain rose, wax flower, and torch lily.

In Thailand, this flower is commonly used in salads.

15. ราชพฤกษ์ (raat cha phreuk) – The Golden Shower Tree

Meaning: royal tree, the national flower of Thailand

Although Thailand chose the golden shower tree as its national flower in 2001, the tree also grows in countries such as India, Pakistan Sri Lanka, and Myanmar.

Part of the reason why the raatchaphruek was chosen as Thailand’s national flower is for its bold yellow color. Yellow is commonly associated with Buddhism, the country’s major religion. Yellow is also seen as the color of glory, harmony, and unity.

Other Flower-Related Terms In Thai

  • คนขายดอกไม้ (khohn khaai daawk maai) – florist
  • ร้านขายดอกไม้ (raan khaai daawk maai) – flower shop
  • พืช (pheuut) – seed
  • ปลูก (bpluuk) – to plant
  • ช่อดอกไม้ (chaaw daawk maai) – bouquet
  • สวน (suaan) – garden
  • รดน้ำ (roht naam) – to water
  • คาร์เนชั่น (khaa naeh chan) – carnation
  • เจอราเนียม (juuhr raa niiam) – geranium
  • แดฟโฟดิล (daaef foh din) – daffodil
  • ไลแล็ค (lai laek) – lilac
  • อะซาเลีย (a saa liia) – azalea
  • แพนซี (phaaen see) – pansy
  • สแนปดรากอน (sa naaep draa gaawn) – snapdragon
  • ไอริซ (ai ris) – iris
  • ไวโอเล็ต (wai oh let) – violet
  • อัญชัน (an chan) – butterfly pea
  • ซากุระ (saa goo ra) – cherry blossom flower


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