Last updated on May 20th, 2023 at 06:24 pm

The bouvardia flower is a genus of 50 different species of flowers belonging to the Rubiaceae family or the Madder family. This flower comes in various colors and is a close relative of the gardenia flower. This herbaceous perennial shrub makes for a lovely colorful addition to home and cottage gardens. Its sweet night-time fragrance elevates the mood and attracts bees, small birds, and butterflies, especially during summer.

The bouvardia flower takes its name from Charles Bouvard, who was the physician to King Louis XIII of France. He was also the superintendent of the Jardin des Plantes in Paris. Charles Bouvard was well known for his work with flowers to create medicines to treat various ailments and diseases.

Native to Central America and Mexico, the bouvardia flower is also found growing wild throughout the southwestern regions of the United States. The different species of bouvardia are herbaceous perennial plants. They are evergreen shrub or semi-shrub plants that range in height from one to four feet. They are tropical shrubs that thrive in USDA hardiness zones 9 through 11. 

The Bouvardia longiflora, Bouvardia ternifolia, and the Bouvardia leiantha are the most common or popular species of bouvardia grown. These species are specifically cultivated for the bright and vivid flowers used for ornamental decorations or floral pieces.

What does the Bouvardia flower symbolize?

Drawing its name from a French physician and garden superintendent, Charles Bouvard, the Bouvardia flower symbolizes enthusiasm.

Enthusiasm for life is the key to bouvardia flower meaning. It stands for the zest for life. It encompasses the joy of living and is symbolic of those who enthusiastically appreciate and celebrate life and all its aspects.

With a range of colors that include milky or creamy white, ivory, yellow, peach, pastel pink, and bright fiery red, the bouvardia flower’s meaning changes depending on the color of its blooms. Each color signifies something special and can be presented on occasions that honor and celebrate life’s milestones and victories.

All in all, the bouvardia flower symbolic meanings are:

  • enthusiasm
  • versatility
  • zest for life
  • strong love

Meaning of the Bouvardia flower colors

White color 

White is a color closely associated with purity. Milky white bouvardia flowers stand for the purity of thought and intentions. They also represent the truth. Like most white flowers, the white bouvardia represents a pure heart, honesty, and truth. White bouvardia flowers can also symbolize modesty and elegance when used in bouquets or floral decorations.

Flowers, White, Bouvardia, Fragrant, Summer, Plant

Red color 

The color red is closely associated with love, passion, and desire. Red bouvardia flowers symbolize fiery passion, deep desires, and passionate love. The red bouvardia flower is also symbolic of strength and determination. They symbolize passionate and loving relationships and make great gifts to lovers and partners.

Yellow color 

Yellow is the color of joy and happiness; it is closely associated with light and the sun, which gives life to all beings. Yellow bouvardia flowers are symbolic of joy, happiness, and light-heartedness. They are harbingers of new beginnings, better times, and hope. They can be given to honor friendships and offer well-wishes to others.

Pink color

Pink Bouvardia flowers symbolize youth and the innocence of young and fresh love. These beautiful pastel pink flowers represent young romance and are often used in weddings to symbolize new relationships and bonds.

Interesting facts about the Bouvardia flower

  • As a member of the same family as the coffee plant, bouvardia flowers are closely related to coffee, gardenias, and pentas.
  • With about 50 different species of flowers, the bouvardia flower displays great diversity in shape and color.
  • Their versatile appearance and hardy nature make them prized cut flowers for ornamentation, decoration, and floral arrangements or gifts. 
  • These flowers are special in wedding décor and other ceremonies celebrating unions and relationships.
  • The bouvardia flower also makes an excellent addition to gardens. They can also be grown as houseplants and require moderate levels of care to thrive. 
  • As garden flora, these beautiful flowers have a sweet fragrance that becomes more pronounced at night. The sweet scent of the flowers attracts bees, small birds, and butterflies for pollination. 
  • As an addition to your garden, the flowers attract pollinators during the summer and can greatly benefit flowering and fruiting trees and shrubs.
  • It is believed that at the beginning of the 19th century, the Bouvardia plant was forgotten among cultivators and breeders. In 1997, a Dutch breeder developed a dwarfed version of the bouvardia plant. Since then, the flower has grown in popularity and is widely cultivated for commercial and ornamental purposes, especially in Holland.

How to grow Bouvardia flowers

As a cultivar, the plant must be grown as an annual plant in temperate regions. These herbaceous shrubs have large, bright, deep-green pointed leaves growing on a tall, woody stem. At the end of the stem, single or double trumpet-shaped or star-shaped bouvardia flowers blossom. The flowers blossom for several weeks, from mid-summer to fall.

  1. Place the bouvardia near the brightest window to ensure optimum growth.
  2. Provide nutrient-dense soil.
  3. The soil must be well-drained sandy or clay loam with a pH of slightly acidic to neutral (6.5 – 7 pH).
  4. Fertilize it once a month throughout the active growth period.

How to take care of Bouvardia flowers

  1. The soil in which you grow the bouvardia must be well-drained.
  2. Bouvardia should be watered once or twice a week at most.
  3. During bouvardia’s rest time, water is only once every eight days.
  4. Bouvardia can be propagated using stem or root cuttings.

Best time to gift Bouvardia flowers

As a symbol of enthusiasm and joy for life, the bouvardia flower is a suitable gift to present to someone on nearly any joyous occasion that celebrates life’s major events. 

These flowers are quite popular among florists and are specifically cultivated to add to bouquets, vases, flower arrangements, and décor.

The flower’s versatility makes it ideal for use on various occasions. They are popularly used in wedding floral arrangements and bouquets. As symbols of joy, love, and enthusiasm for life, the bouvardia is the perfect flower to communicate these emotions during wedding celebrations. 

They can be used on their own or with other symbolic flowers in traditional floral arrangements. These include corsages, boutonnieres, table decorations, and churches and wedding venues.

The flowers also are used to indicate happiness and joy over human achievements. As a standalone flower, they make for an excellent gift to present to someone with a passionate love for life. They are the perfect gifts to celebrate individuals who live larger than life and appreciate every minute of it.


The colors of bouvardia flowers range from creamy whites and yellows to pastel pinks and blazing reds. While bouvardia’s general flower symbolism is enthusiasm, the blossom’s color can change the meaning.

Bouvardia is a flower that may be used for almost any occasion, depending on the other flowers in the arrangement. They make an excellent presentation for someone with a zest for life. Bouvardia is an excellent choice for birthdays, graduations, promotions, and other life events.

If you want to know and learn more about flowers, we at PansyMaiden can help you. Check out our fun, easy-to-read, and informative flower-related content that you will surely enjoy!