Last updated on May 21st, 2023 at 11:31 pm

The plant’s Latin name, Pentas lanceolata, is a genus of the Rubiaceae or madder family, which includes over 620 additional genera! It is also known as the Egyptian Star Cluster or Star Flower. 

It is derived from the Greek word “pente,” meaning “a succession of five.” The plant’s five-petaled flowers inspired the name. The species’ name refers to the spear-shaped leaves.

The pentas flower first appeared in the Botanical Monthly, Flower Garden Display 70, by renowned English botanist George Bentham in 1844. It was originally native to East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula and is now loved and cultivated all over the world.

What does the Pentas flower symbolize?

Across many old cultures, the pentas flower held a special significance. Some traditions and rituals related to the flower have survived and are still practiced today.

During the reign of the ancient Greek civilization, the pentas flower stood for purity and innocence. It is shaped like a pentagram, symbolizing goodness and protection from harm or evil in many cultures. 

Some cultures consider the pentas flower to reflect the balance present in nature. According to Taoism, each of its five petals denotes the world’s major elements—wood, water, fire, earth, and metal.

The pentas flower is also a harbinger of good fortune or luck. When these flowers bloom, some cultures believe that something good is about to affect their lives. This belief is majorly inspired by the shape of the pentas’ petals, which some cultures think resemble gold coins.

Its star-shaped appearance also imbues the pentas flower with a sense of importance and authority. This flower is treated as an icon of being special and great.

All in all, the pentas flower symbolic meanings are:

  • good luck
  • chastity
  • peace

Meaning of the Pentas flower colors

White color

The color white is associated with peace and purity across many cultures. Since white petals also symbolize hope, people often give white pentas to the sick or depressed. According to a legend, gifting white pentas to cancer patients helps them recover faster from treatment.

Red color

The universal color of love and romance is red. The red penta’s petals symbolize the unity between two lovers. It also stands for loyalty and kindness—the qualities which strengthen and deepen a relationship. Red is also the color of blood, symbolizing sacrifice in ancient cultures.

Purple color

Pentas flowers are more commonly found with purple petals. The purple color stands for honor, nobility, royalty, and charisma. When you give purple pentas to someone, it denotes how much you respect and honor them.

Pink color

Pink is often associated with beauty, novelty, and innocence. It may also stand for love and affection, but not, particularly the romantic kind. Pink pentas flowers serve as a compliment to someone’s attractiveness or kindness.

Interesting facts about the Pentas flowers

  • The pentas plant has hairy green leaves, while the flowers are decorated with petals of varying colors. The vibrancy of the petals ranges from white and red to purple and pink. 
  • Their beauty is particularly attractive to nectar-feeding organisms like hummingbirds and butterflies. 
  • Certain species of pentas, the 5 petal flowers, are cultivated as ornamental flowers in baskets and pots.
  • Pentas might look pretty and delicate, but do not underestimate them. Some species of Pentas flower can thrive in full sunlight without human assistance. They can even thrive and bloom in dry and hot locations. The 5 petal flower blooms all summer, even during the hottest days. This is how strong these star-shaped flowers are.
  • Usually, you can spot most varieties of these 5 petal flowers growing in moist and shady areas. They can be seen blossoming on the outskirts of forests. 
  • Some people also claim that pentas flowers have medicinal properties. Their use ranges from treatment of Diarrhea to curing malaria and easing snake bites.

How to grow Pentas flowers

Pentas are reasonably easy to maintain and can be grown in soil, pots, or containers.

  1. Plant the pentas in fertile, well-drained soil.
  2. Place them in a spot with full sun where they can receive 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight daily.
  3. Amend the soil before planting with compost.
  4. Add a balanced organic fertilizer.
  5. Keep young plants well-watered.

How to care for Pentas flowers

  1. Apply fertilizer every few months to keep the flowers blooming strong.
  2. Add a layer of mulch around the established plants to help conserve soil water and prevent weed growth.
  3. Prune young stems to encourage the plant to take on a bushier look.
  4. Deadhead spent blooms to encourage more blooms to form until fall. 

Best time to gift Pentas flowers

Purple and blue pentas flowers offer solace and comfort to the receiver. These flowers should be gifted on occasions of loss and misery. If you know someone who has recently lost a loved one or is going through a rough phase in life, give them some pentas flowers. 

It may not give them immediate joy, but it will give them the strength to cope with grief much better if you attend a funeral, carrying a bouquet of blue or white pentas flowers to leave on the tombstone.


Besides being used as accent plants in borders, pentas flowers give a lovely vibe to home repair projects. Flower arrangements, after potted plants, are the most appreciated house decorations.

Pentas flowers are an excellent addition to flower arrangements because they represent balance and harmony. The many hues of these flowers in floral arrangements can have a wide range of meanings that will undoubtedly brighten anyone’s day!

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!