Alphabetical Plant Listing

January Birth Flower: What is my Birth Flower?

Embrace your birth month with the enchanting beauty of your unique birth flower

You may wonder what the January birth flower is: January has two birth flowers: the Carnation and the Snowdrop.

Why Are There Two Birth Flowers Per Month?

There are often two birth flowers per month to provide more variety and choices for individuals to associate with their birth month. The tradition of assigning flowers to specific months dates back to ancient times, with various cultures having their own lists of flowers for each month. Over time, these lists have evolved and merged, resulting in multiple flowers being associated with each month in the modern era.

Having two birth flowers per month allows people to choose the flower that they feel a stronger connection with or prefer based on appearance, meaning, or symbolism. Additionally, this provides an opportunity for florists and gift-givers to have more options when selecting flowers for birthdays or other celebrations related to a person's birth month. In some cases, one of the flowers might be more readily available or have a longer blooming season, making it a more practical choice for certain regions or times of the year.

Overall, the inclusion of two birth flowers per month enriches the tradition and offers greater flexibility, personalization, and variety for those who enjoy connecting with the symbolism and meanings associated with birth flowers.

January Primary Birth Flower: Carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus)

Carnations, January Birth Flower, Birth Flowers, Birth Month Flowers, Birth Flower, Month Birth Flower,

Carnations are popular flowers with a rich history in various cultures. They are native to the Mediterranean region and have been cultivated for centuries for their ornamental and symbolic properties.

Description: Carnations are herbaceous perennial plants with attractive, ruffled flowers in various colors, such as white, pink, red, yellow, and purple.

Growth habit: They grow in clumps, reaching heights of 12-24 inches (30-60 cm) and spreading about 12 inches (30 cm) wide.

Flowers: The flowers can be single or double, with a sweet fragrance. They are edible and have a sweet, spicy flavor. They are often used in teas, desserts, and as garnish.

Blooming season: They usually bloom in late spring and summer, but some varieties can bloom throughout the year in milder climates.

Hardiness: Most carnations are hardy in USDA zones 5-9.

Sunlight and soil: They prefer full sun and well-draining, fertile soil.

Garden uses: Carnations are often used as border plants, in rock gardens, or as cut flowers in floral arrangements.

History: Carnations have been cultivated for over 2,000 years. The ancient Greeks and Romans used them in garlands and other floral decorations for their festivals and ceremonies. The name "carnation" is believed to be derived from the Latin word "carnis," which means "flesh," referring to the flower's original pinkish color, or from the Latin word "corona," which means "crown," due to its use in Greek coronations.

In Christianity, carnations have been associated with the Virgin Mary, with legends suggesting that the first carnations bloomed from her tears as she cried for Jesus at the foot of the cross. Because of this association, carnations have been used in Christian art and religious ceremonies.

Meaning: Carnations carry various symbolic meanings depending on their color. In general, they symbolize love, admiration, and distinction. Some specific meanings for different colors include:

  • Red: Deep love and affection
  • White: Pure love and good luck
  • Pink: Gratitude, admiration, and a mother's love
  • Yellow: Disappointment or rejection
  • Purple: Capriciousness

Carnations are often used in floral arrangements for special occasions, such as weddings, anniversaries, and birthdays. They are also a popular choice for Mother's Day, with pink carnations being particularly associated with a mother's love.

Why they have been selected: As a birth flower for January, Carnations represent the warmth, love, and affection that people born in this month bring to the world. The combination of their colorful blooms, rich history, and various symbolic meanings make carnations a versatile and meaningful flower that continues to be valued and appreciated today.

Fun facts: The scientific name "Dianthus" comes from the Greek words "dios" (god) and "anthos" (flower), translating to "divine flower" or "flower of the gods."Meaning:

January Secondary Birth Flower: Snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis)

Snowdrops, January Birth Flower, Birth Flowers, Birth Month Flowers, Birth Flower, Month Birth Flower,

Description: Snowdrops are small, early-blooming bulbous perennials with delicate, nodding white flowers.

Growth habit: They grow in clumps, reaching heights of 3-6 inches.

Flowers: The bell-shaped flowers have six tepals, with three outer ones being larger and three inner ones being smaller and notched.

Blooming season: Snowdrops bloom in late winter to early spring, often emerging through the snow.

Hardiness: They are hardy in USDA zones 3-8.

Sunlight and soil: Snowdrops prefer partial shade and humus-rich, moist, well-draining soil.

Garden uses: They are commonly used in woodland gardens, rock gardens, or naturalized in lawns.

History: Snowdrops are native to Europe and Western Asia and have been appreciated for their beauty and symbolism for centuries.

Snowdrops have been grown and admired since ancient times. They were first described in the 16th century and gained popularity in the 18th and 19th centuries as ornamental plants. In the Victorian era, snowdrops became a symbol of hope and purity, and they were often used in art and literature to represent these ideals.

Snowdrops are also known for their medicinal properties. Galantamine, an alkaloid found in some species of snowdrops, has been used to treat Alzheimer's disease and other cognitive disorders. The plant has been used in traditional medicine to relieve pain and treat fevers.

Meaning: Snowdrops are often associated with hope and new beginnings, as they are among the first flowers to bloom at the end of winter, heralding the arrival of spring. Their delicate white blooms are also symbolic of purity and innocence.

In some cultures, snowdrops are believed to bring good luck and protect against evil spirits. They are often used in floral arrangements and bouquets to celebrate the arrival of spring and to symbolize the hope, purity, and renewal that the season represents.

Why they have been selected: As a birth flower for January, Snowdrops represent the hope, resilience, and renewal that people born in this month embody. The combination of their delicate beauty, rich history, and various symbolic meanings make snowdrops a unique and meaningful flower that continues to be valued and appreciated today.

Fun facts: In folklore, Snowdrops were considered a symbol of bad luck if brought indoors, as they were believed to represent death due to their white color and association with graveyards.

Avelina, Jan Stria, Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.

Find your Hardiness Zone

Find your Climate Zone

Find your Heat Zone


Create a membership account to save your garden designs and to view them on any device.

Becoming a contributing member of Gardenia is easy and can be done in just a few minutes. If you provide us with your name, email address and the payment of a modest $25 annual membership fee, you will become a full member, enabling you to design and save up to 25 of your garden design ideas.

Join now and start creating your dream garden!

Create a New Collection

Optional. For your reference.

Move Selected Plants to a Different Collection

Delete Collection

This field is required.

Rename Collection

This field is required.