Last updated on May 22nd, 2023 at 10:39 am
The Stephanotis flower is a lovely, jasmine-like bloom, partial to tropical climates. Its scientific name is Stephanotis floribunda, indicating its nature as an abundant flowering plant (floribunda).
This flower’s meaning is also sourced from two ancient Greek terms, Stephanos, meaning fit for a crown, and Otis, meaning ear. Its royal name is indeed fitting and is attributed to the shape of its white blossoms.
Each Stephanotis flower is made of 5 symmetrical petals, and each petal is finely shaped like a delicate human ear. These flowers can also be strung together to give them a distinct, crown-like appearance. This regal manifestation made the Stephanotis flower a favorite of both men and women in traditional and aristocratic families.
The Stephanotis flower belongs to the family Apocynaceae and grows abundantly in several parts of Africa, Madagascar, and Asia (including China, Japan, and India). This evergreen plant is not from the Jasmine family. And yet, it is commonly known as the Madagascar Jasmine. This plant was supposedly discovered in Madagascar, a small island near Africa with a large Arabian population. Its flowers also carry the glorious luminescence and fragrance typically associated with Jasmine.
What Does The Stephanotis Flower Symbolize?
The Stephanotis flower has many noble connotations. Its royal nature becomes apparent from its Greek origins. But by frequently associating it with the term “Jasmine,” despite being from a different flowering species, florists also bring whimsical attention to the underlying qualities of this aromatic bloom.
Stephanotis, often known as the bridal veil or Hawaiian wedding flower, represents marital joy. Unsurprisingly, it’s the standard bloom in wedding bouquets, centerpieces, and cakes.
The bloom is considered a lucky charm in various cultures. On the wedding day, family and friends will send their best wishes, and the flower is thought to offer the bride good luck.
It’s a unique way to say, “Come with me,” or “I’d want to travel with you,” and it’s ideal for newly engaged or married couples looking to go on new experiences together.
All in all, the Stephanotis flower symbolic meanings are:
- good fortune
- new chapter
- desire for new adventures
- good wishes
- happiness in marriage
Meaning Of The Stephanotis Flower Colors
Pure white color
In its original form, the Stephanotis flower is bright white. This color has traditionally been seen as a symbol of simplicity, purity, and innocence. It is fitting that this authentic variety is popular among bridal bouquets in Eastern and Western traditions.
Its pure-white color has spiritual significance in Eastern traditions. For instance, Rumi – the famous Sufi mystic, once said, “A white flower grows in the quietness. Let your tongue become that flower.” This is a perfect representation of the Stephanotis flower.
Finally, this graceful flower is also used in some cultures in burial wreaths, indicating life’s powerful and cyclic nature, even during death.
White with hints of pale yellow color
Recently, botanists have discovered simple ways to add hints of color (like pale lemon yellow) to the plant’s foliage. Also, this is achieved not through specialized hybrid breeding but by exposing the original vines to less (direct) sunlight just before the spring-summer season.
As the plant begins to flower, the center of each petal takes on a light yellow hue. With this, the white-yellow color symbolizes joy and friendship. It is this variety that is more commonly found in indoor gardens.
It also seems symbolic that the plant stays true to its angelic Stephanotis flower meaning, as the white color remains dominant even in altered weather conditions. As spiritualists love to say, “Be like the Stephanotis flower, retaining your true nature even when you are far from home”. Touché!
Interesting Facts About The Stephanotis Flowers
- The Stephanotis plant is a powerful creeper, able to grow up to ten feet tall in a couple of years. For this reason, committed botanists prefer to grow it outdoors on a long trellis, so the vine has plenty of space to showcase its charming blooms.
- The Stephanotis foliage has a thick, waxy texture, giving it a longer life than more delicate flowers like traditional Jasmine. If you like sprucing up your abode with fresh flowers in a vase, the Stephanotis flower is a great choice!
- It is not just the flowers of this plant that carry its powerful incense, the fruits are aromatic too!
- It typically takes a Stephanotis flower 4-5 years to bear fruit. They look like small pears but are not necessarily edible. They are also non-toxic to animals.
- The Stephanotis plant tends to attract mealy bugs, especially when it is grown outdoors. If it is badly infected, it can stunt the vine’s growth and stop flowering for several years! To avoid this, use a fortnightly spray with warm water and Neem oil. This will also help the leaves stay thick, green, and strong.
- In its native home range, the Stephanotis plant can flower all year with fragrant blooms. Growing the Stephanotis floribunda vine here is easier than conventional Jasmine flowers. This contributes significantly to its popularity with locals.
- The Stephanotis plant can comfortably last through a 10-year lifespan, coexisting peacefully indoors in its container.
- The Stephanotis plant is considered an exotic climber in North America.
- It may look like a Jasmine and smell like a Jasmine, but it is scientifically not a Jasmine!
How To Grow Stephanotis Flowers
The Stephanotis is a gorgeous shrub with lovely foliage and fragrant flowers. It is a lovely accent that will give any room a tropical atmosphere. Though it may take some time to flower, a beautiful floral show will reward you for your care and patience.
- Plant the Stephanotis in slightly acidic, well-draining soil.
- Choose a spot where the plant can get good, filtered light but is out of direct sunlight.
- Water regularly, but not too much, to avoid suffocating roots.
- Add high-phosphorous or general fertilizer and avoid any high-nitrogen fertilizer.
How To Care For Stephanotis Flowers
- Water when the soil begins to dry out in spring and summer and then more sparingly in autumn and winter.
- Feed fortnightly with a high-potassium liquid fertilizer from spring to late summer.
- Deadhead to extend the blooming by a couple of weeks or more.
- Get rid of bare or damaged branches to tidy up their appearance.
- Cut weak or side shoots for a fuller look.
- Repot the plant occasionally to keep up with its growth.
Best Time To Gift Stephanotis Flowers
There is never a “bad time” to give someone a Stephanotis flower bunch.
The vine typically flowers outdoors in spring-summer of its love for a tropical temperature. However, botanists have found clever ways to extend its season by converting it into an indoor plant just before winter. With this, the plant is subtly “tricked” into blooming in early winter so that florists can enjoy its flowers even during the start of winter!
Stephanotis flowers are also preferred in festive bouquets. So if you form a part of a bridal party, do not hesitate to pick up this bloom to add to the celebration!
Finally, white is synonymous with LIFE – with hope and fresh starts. So if you want a flower gift to send an uplifting message to somebody, what better way than to give them a delightful bunch of incandescent Stephanotis blooms!
This bloom is adored across the world for several reasons, including its fragrance and the regal celebration associated with the original Stephanotis flower meaning.