The cornflower is very commonly associated with Germany but also symbolizes good fortune, wealth, reputation and pride. It has also been seen as the sign of a man’s lasting love for a woman.
Many people often opt for the same repetitive floral tattoos which is why if you are thinking about adding a floral piece to your collection you should have a better understanding of the meanings behind some more exotic and uncommon flowers that are equally as beautiful.
One such example is the cornflower, whose bright blue hue and deep meanings make it the perfect floral tattoo for some. To find out if this is the ideal tattoo for you, keep reading!
What is the History of Cornflower Tattoos?
Although the cornflower does not have a rich history as a tattoo, as it has often been greatly overlooked in favor of traditional flowers or those pertaining to girls’ names such as rose, lily or daisy, the same cannot be said of the cornflower itself.
The actual flower’s history is very rich which is why it is such a shame that it has not enjoyed the same popularity in the world of tattoos.
This flower is also known as “the bachelor’s button” and is native to southern Europe. There are several different types of cornflower, but perhaps the most recognizable is the “blue boy”, a bright periwinkle version. However, the flower can also be found in purple, white and even pink versions.
They bloom from the middle of summer and last until the frost begins to settle and usually stand somewhere within the region of one to three feet tall.
The flower’s botanical name, Centaurea, is a link to the mythical as it is a reference to the mythical creature a centaur (half man half horse) from Greek mythology. This figure was said to be good with medicines and knew how to use the cornflower to heal poison arrow wounds.
Outside of mythology the flower also held significance in European history as Queen Louise of Prussia hid in a flower full of cornflowers with her children during the Napoleonic wars and made wreaths from the flowers to entertain her children. Later when her son became the Emperor of Germany (and King of Prussia) he made the cornflower the country’s emblem in honor to her.
In Ancient Egypt cornflowers were used to decorate the graves of Pharaohs as a way to help them in the afterlife (this is thought to be true of Tutankhamun). This was a tradition until the Greek/Roman period.
What Do Cornflower Symbolize?
The cornflower has held many different symbolic meanings throughout the years and we will cover some of them here to give you an overview of the many things that it can mean for you.
In superstitious belief, this flower is thought to attract love and good luck and wreaths were commonly hung on doors to keep the house safe while people were away as a sign of protection.
In Ancient Egypt, this flower symbolized fertility and life as they closely resemble the blue lotus plant and are related to the cereal plant. This symbolism was reflected in the fact that cornflowers were hung on the graves of Pharaohs, who they believe turned into the god of fertility.
In Germany, the cornflower became the symbol of peace and resilience due to its connection with persistence in the Napoleonic wars.
Cornflowers also have long-lasting symbolism such as a man being single (hence “bachelor’s button”). The flower was worn by a man to display that he was single and interested in a woman but it could also be used as a sign of religious celibacy.
Because of its association with the bachelor, it also gained the symbolism of patience and romantic longing. It is said that if you are looking for a soulmate you should carry cornflowers with you.
What Do Cornflower Tattoos Mean?
Like almost all flowers the different colors of the cornflower bring different meanings. Although the cornflower is most commonly associated with its blue variety (hence the term “cornflower blue”) there are also other colorful versions that are just as beautiful with their own meanings.
The blue version of this flower means freedom, hope, courage and vastness. In connection to the figure of the bachelor and to life more generally this version also represents honesty, loyalty and responsibility.
As is traditional with many pink flowers, the pink cornflower means gentle love and youth. It is also an alternative way to display innocence if you do not like to use white flowers. So, the pink flower represents young love and admiration.
The white cornflower is a very rare version of this particular flower but remains true to the type of white flowers in its meaning of innocence and purity. However, when given as a gift it can also have the meaning of honor and respect. It is a great way to tell someone how special they are to you.
The yellow flower is a sign of joy and fertility. However, be careful when gifting this flower as it can also be understood as weakness, jealousy and cowardice.
Where Do Cornflower Tattoos Usually Go?
Cornflower tattoos typically form a long rectangular shape as they include both the flower and the stem (and possibly a few small leaves). For this reason, you will need a suitable placement. Good options are the back and the arm which will give your artist plenty of space to work with.
If you have other tattoos consider how it will fit in with these and try not to overcrowd an area. Talk it through with your artist ahead of time if you are unsure.
Characteristics and Styles of Cornflower Tattoos
One of the most beautiful aspects of the cornflower is its stunning color, so opting for a color version for your tattoo is a great way to make it a stand out piece. You can also adapt the color to your chosen meaning.
You can change the style of the leaves and stem to suit your own taste and make them as chunky and bold or as delicate as you like.
Watercolor is also a great style for this tattoo as it will give the flower a more delicate feeling.