The butterfly bush means new beginnings and represents the coming of spring.
There are so many different variations of flowers all over the world.
This means that there is a flower tattoo to suit everyone and just because you haven’t identified with one in your culture yet doesn’t mean that you also don’t have one.
Additionally, flowers can change their meaning a lot depending on the cultural context so if you find that your favorite flower does not have a meaning that particularly speaks to you, have a deeper dive into its cultural significance around the world and you may find that you identify better with one of these meanings.
One flower that is not particularly common in the world of tattooing, but that has a fantastic meaning and is beautiful to look at is the butterfly bush.
Here we’ll run you through its meanings, place in different cultures and even give you a few tips for how to choose the perfect tattoo!
Symbolism and meanings behind the butterfly bush
The butterfly bush also goes by the name “summer lilac” and it is native to China.
The flower’s bright yet delicate purple tone makes it particularly appealing to butterflies, hence its name.
However, the plant, although beautiful, is known to be invasive and as such, it is labelled in parts of the world such as the United States of American and New Zealand.
However, in some places, such as Australia, the plant has been naturalized and is allowed to grow freely in wild areas.
Despite its label as a pest and a nuisance the meaning behind the butterfly bush makes it a much more sought after plant.
In traditional Chinese culture, as well as in Korean culture, the summer lilac has been used as an essential ingredient in traditional medicines for a long time.
Typically, the flower is used to help treat eye, bladder and muscle problems amongst others.
However, outside of medicinal meaning the lilac represents new beginnings, rebirth and resurrection.
These meanings are not only very appropriate for a flower that is able to overtake almost any garden, but they also add a spiritual and religious tone to the flower.
This link to rebirth is common among all types of lilac as they typically bloom earlier in the year than most others, associating them with spring and the new beginning that it brings.
Lilacs are commonly given in a bouquet to newly graduated students as the flower signifies confidence which, when coupled with the new beginning meaning, makes for the perfect send-off from schooling into work.
So, depending on how you wish to view the butterfly bush it can range from a bad omen in the form of an overbearing and invasive plant that you will want to get rid of or you take it as it is and appreciate the beauty of its flowers which symbolize rebirth and new beginnings with the coming of spring.
The flowers are particularly attractive to butterflies, meaning that when looking at the bush not only are you likely to be to take in the beauty of the flowers but also nature.
If butterflies are particularly dear to your heart, for example, if they are your favorite animal, you work with butterflies or you always see them around then a butterfly bush tattoo could be the perfect addition to your collection to symbolize this important aspect of your life.
The great thing about flower tattoos is that they don’t need to relate to a cultural or spiritual significance but they can also represent a much more personal meaning.
Designs for a butterfly bush tattoo
The brightly colored and multiflowered summer lilac can be a tricky one to tattoo due to the complexity of the plant and the multiple small flowers that it is.
However, there are some ways to ensure that you get the best tattoo possible.
Butterfly bush and a butterfly
A great design idea for a tattoo of the butterfly bush is to have an image of a single stem of the plant with a butterfly either sitting on the flower or hovering just above it.
Not only does this paint a beautiful picture, giving the image a bit more depth and allowing for more color variation, but it also ensures that anyone who looks at the tattoo will recognize that it is a butterfly bush in particular and not just any old lilac.
If you have a particular affinity for butterflies then adding one of the cute little creatures can be a great way to symbolize this in addition to the summer lilac.
A watercolor design
Because the summer lilac is a particular difficult flower to draw and then to tattoo it means that you can easily end up with an overly complicated design.
Over time these can smudge and fade and your once beautifully clean summer lilac tattoo can become a purple mess.
One way to avoid this is to simplify the design as much as possible and this can be done with a watercolor style design.
This style removes the need for harsh black lines and allows for a much softer look.
You can fade some of the flowers together giving you a less busy, but just as beautiful, design.
The butterfly bush is widely known for being a pain and is seen as something to get rid of.
However, the flowers themselves hold a beautiful meaning and signify rebirth, new beginnings and new chances thanks to their association with the season of spring.
Additionally, their attraction to butterflies means that they are a sight to behold in the springtime when in bloom as they will be covered in the delicate creatures.
If you have a personal connection to butterflies then this is a great tattoo choice.
You can use a summer lilac tattoo to represent a new beginning in your life both with the associations of the plant itself and also the butterfly who creates a new lease of life in the form of a butterfly from its previous life as a caterpillar.