Phlox Tattoo: Symbolism, Meanings & More

Phlox Tattoo: Symbolism, Meanings & More

Phlox flowers symbolize harmony, agreement and unity and make for great floral tattoos as their vibrantly colored petals make them stand out and become a talking point.

What is the History of Phlox Tattoos?

The flower’s name is derived from Greek and is actually a reference to the bright color of the petals of some of the varieties of this flower. The word “phlox” means flame.

Although you may commonly see the phlox flower as a purple or blueish hue, it is also possible to find bright red versions of the flower, which is probably where the fiery imagery came from and where it gets its name.

The flower is native to North America and grows freely in open prairie and woodland. However, there is one species (of the 67 different ones) that is not native to North America, but Siberia! 

However, although they are native to North America, they were eventually introduced to Europe in the 1700s by the botanist Carl Linnaeus from Sweden. 

Each variety of the phlox flower has its own unique characteristic and no two look quite alike. For example, although the trumpet-shaped flowers all have five petals they come in an array of colors including white, bright red, purple, blue, pink and violet.

Additionally, some varieties will grow covering the ground, some upright, some creeping and some even mounding. 

The fact that these flowers are native to North America means that Native Americans have had access to them for many years and over these years have developed specialist traditional medicines and remedies using their petals and leaves. 


For example, traditionally, the entire plant has been used to make tea by boiling the flower, leaves and stem in water and is said to help with stomach and digestion issues. Additionally, the leaves are used to help heal skin conditions and the roots of the plant were steeped in water and used as an eyewash.

Although the flowers are beautiful the phlox flower is not particularly popular when it comes to people’s choice for a floral tattoo. This is probably because the flower is not particularly well known. If people are choosing floral tattoos for the purpose of having a purple-colored tattoo then more popular flowers, such as the violet, are often chosen instead.

What Do Phlox Symbolize?

The symbolism behind the phlox plant makes it appropriate for almost any occasion and for any person. The flower symbolizes unity, harmony, togetherness and agreement.

There are numerous positive connotations behind these flowers and they can be given to someone that you already get along well with as an affirmation of your bond or to someone that you do not get along well with as a symbol that you want to improve that relationship.

In Feng Shui Phlox symbolize harmony within a home, when placed in the correct area of course, and can help bring calmness and unity into a family unit. 

In addition to the meaning of the flower itself, the flower also holds symbolism within different cultures. For example, in ancient Greece the phlox flower symbolized fire in relation to a story that told of Odysseus and his men traveling to the underworld. It is said that they discarded their torches and as they did so they transformed into flowers (phlox) to symbolize their bravery.

For the Native American Chickasaw tribe, the phlox symbolizes being saved. There is a tale that states that they accidentally trespassed onto the lands of a neighboring tribe (Muscogee) and started a three-day-long battle. They had tried to withdraw but were surrounded by fire. The Great Spirit saw their struggle and turned the fire into phlox flowers, helping them escape.


What Do Phlox Tattoos Mean?

When it comes to the meaning of this flower tattoos, it is all dependent on their coloring. This is typical of most flowers.

For example, as with most white flowers, the white phlox flower means purity, innocence and childlikeness. It is a great flower for christenings, for celebrating the birth of a new baby and for weddings.

The purple and blue versions of this flower tattoo represent wisdom, patience and spirituality. The calmness that the color of the petals gives off is reflected in the meaning behind them. They symbolize maturity, stability and long-lasting love.

As with many red flowers, the red phlox tattoo represents love and passion. A great alternative to the very popular red rose.

The more gently pink coloring of this flower represents feminity, gentleness and admiration. It represents a more tender and gentle type of love than its red counterpart making it a flower more suited to relationships that are just beginning or are platonic.


Where Do Phlox Tattoos Usually Go?

Because the flower is quite rounded in its imagery it will need a decent amount of space for your artist to do the flower tattoo. For this reason areas such as the chest, shoulder and thigh are great locations for a phlox tattoo. However, you should remember that you can adjust your piece to suit your liking and placement of choice.

Arms, specifically the upper arm, are perhaps the most popular choice for larger pieces as they are easily on show or covered up at your discretion. So, this is the perfect placement if you both want to show off your tattoo and cover it up for work.

If you want to consider a phlox tattoo but do not want a large piece then consider simply getting the flower itself without any leaves. This will allow you to use more subtle placements such as the ankle or wrist.

Characteristics and Styles of Phlox Tattoos

As with most flowers the meaning behind the phlox tattoo changes with the color of the petals. Because of this you can choose to make the meaning of your tattoo explicit by choosing a colored version of the tattoo or keep it secret to you by choosing a black and white version.

If you are opting for a larger piece consider bolder colors and lines as this will help it to fill the space better. For a single flower choose a fine line tattoo as not to overcomplicate the image.

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