Daylily Tattoos: Symbolism, Meanings & More

Daylily Tattoos: Symbolism, Meanings & More

Daylily tattoos are a very popular choice of floral tattoo because of the beautiful meanings behind them. Daylilies symbolize desire, forgiveness and success. The different colors also make for great tattoos.

Floral tattoos are becoming increasingly popular and more and more people are beginning to give thought to their flower tattoos rather than simply using them as fillers. These flowers are a great example of a meaningful floral tattoo that can be adapted to any location or style. To find out more about daylilies, designs and their meaning carry on reading!

What is the History of Daylily Tattoos?

Daylilies are a type of lily that is not considered to be a “true lily” but that does not take away from their beauty. The flower gets its name from its unusual, although beautiful, reflex of opening in the day and closing at night.


The name itself is derived from the Greek and literally means “beauty for one day”, giving you a glimpse into their habits.

The history of the daylily is shrouded in symbolism and mysticism, meaning that so does is the tattoo. The flower was once associated with forgetting painful or sad memories and in China the flower is related to birth and daily life.

The reasoning behind this is that the daylily literally lasts for one day before it disappears again. This is seen to mimic the forgetting of a painful past and its meaning has its roots in Chinese and Japanese culture.

The flower was actually one of the first flowers to be transported from China (where the flower originates from) to the West (Europe) and is believed to have been bought to European countries some time in the 1500s.


However, before they were introduced to the West the flower had been cultivated and revered in Eastern culture for thousands of years, it is believed.

Within the broader category of “daylily” there are actually more than 50,000 cultivars. So, if you have ever been to the florists the chances are that you have already seen a type of daylily.

Lilies have slowly risen in popularity over the years and are now one of the most common flowers to get tattooed, alongside the classic rose. However, because there is such a wide variety of both lilies and daylilies it is hard to keep a track of just how popular this flower has become in the world of tattooing.

Lilies are certainly more popular with women than with men and this may be due to the more feminine appearance and symbolism behind the flower itself.


What Do Daylily Symbolize?

When it comes to daylilies there is more than one meaning. The symbolism behind the tattoo will depend primarily on its color and this changes from flower to flower. Here we will give you an overview of the symbolism behind some of the most popular types of this flower.

Yellow or orange

If the flower is either orange or yellow it means that it symbolizes power, joy and energy. This colorful pop in a bouquet is reflected in its meaning and is a great gift for someone who seems to be in a slump or needs a little boost in everyday life.


Red daylilies symbolize, like many other red flowers, romantic love and passion. This type of red flower is grouped alongside a myriad of other red flowers and is not the most unique in terms of symbolism if you are choosing it for a tattoo.



Again, the symbolism behind this color daylily is common among most purple flowers which symbolize royalty, wealth and elegance. 

What Do Daylily Tattoos Mean?

Daylily tattoos will means different things depending on where you are in the world. Although we have gone over the main symbolism of the different colored daylilies above they also have different meanings.

For example, a beautiful pink or orange version of the flower represents a parent-child bond in China. As a result of this the flower is typically included in a bouquet given either from a parent to a child or from a child to a parent to remind them of the bond between them.

A tattoo of this colored flower could hence represent the familial bond either to serve as a memory or even a dedication.

The meaning behind the flower is also one of forgetting a painful past. Again, in China, it is common to give a grieving loved one a daylily in order to help them heal. So, a tattoo of this nature could symbolize a type of rebirth or even forgiveness of past events, allowing the person to heal and move forward with their life.


Where Do Daylily Tattoos Usually Go?

Although there is no particular reason for the placement, daylily tattoos are very common on the arm (both the forearm and upper arm), they are also much more popular with women than with men.

Perhaps the reason why daylily tattoos usually appear on the arm is because their elongated shape lends itself well to the film and elegant female arm. It also does not work particularly well as a filler tattoo due to the size and shape of the petals, meaning that it will need to be given its own dedicated space.

Of course, if you would prefer to have the tattoo anywhere else on your body this is your choice and you should consider the pain level of the area that you want to tattoo, whether or not you can cover it and how well it fits in with your existing tattoos.


Characteristics and Styles of Daylily Tattoos

Because there are so many different meanings behind the different colors of daylilies many people opt to get a colored version of the tattoo to depict their chosen meaning. This is also a great way to show off the beauty of the flower itself.

Typically the tattoo shows either a single bloom or a small bunch as the petals would otherwise overcomplicate the image.

The great thing about the daylily is that you can adapt it to your personal tattoo style.


A daylily is a great option for a tattoo as it is visually appealing and its different colored varieties carry different meanings. From elegance to family via a painful past, the daylily symbolizes it all.


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