Image Source

This is no surprise that flowers make for beautiful, memorable and evergreen floral gifts. However, many people are not aware of the fact that each flower carries a hidden meaning. Like lilies represent purity and carnations represent pride, there is a flower that represents passion and desire. It is known as Viscaria. Here are a few things you need to know about the Viscaria flower meaning, symbolism, and different colours associated with it.

Viscaria flower meaning: What is it?

It is originated from the family of Caryophyllaceae, which includes flowers such as pinks and carnations. Viscaria Vulgaris used to be grown at roadside stands and as a meadow wallflower. This plant was later introduced to Great Britain as a cottage garden plant during the 1700s. After that, it became popular on other continents. The plant is also called Lychnic Viscaria or clammy campion. The Viscaria flower meaning comes from Latin. The term “Viscaria” comes from the Latin “Viscum”, which means “sticky”. This flower’s name comes from the stickiness of its stem below the leaf joints. As a result, this flower is also known as Sticky Catchfly. The “Vulgaris” name of the flower represents how common this plant is in its native land.

According to experts, the secretion of reddish-brown sticky matter on the stem is the plant’s way of keeping predators at bay. Otherwise, these will try to squeeze their way into the flower by climbing the stem. Flower nectar is irresistible to moths, but since this sticky secretion prevents them from reaching it, they cannot go near them. It is also for this reason that most people find dead insects and debris on the plant. Some pink-flowered variations of these flowers may contain no or little liquid secretion (tar).

Flowers of this species usually grow on drier, hilly ridges, rocky soils, riverbanks, sloping meadows, and railway embankments.

What do Viscaria flowers symbolize?

Image Source

Now that we understand the Viscaria flower meaning in detail, let’s see what these beautiful flowers represent.

  • Traditionally, Viscaria flowers were given to women as invitations to dance. Their literal meaning was ” Will you dance with me?” They were quite popular during Victorian times when asking a lady for a dance verbally was considered impolite. Its name Viscaria comes from the stickiness of its stem below the leaf joints where insects are attracted. Consequently, it became symbolic as a symbol of desire, allure, or flirtation.
  • In addition, with a height of 24 inches, its colourful flower soars above the foliage, making them cheerful, delicate, and joyful, while also symbolizing dance and movement. In the language of flowers, this flirty flower signifies passion, desire, or even someone searching for love.
  • Furthermore, its alternate name, Lychnis Viscaria, comes from the Greek term Lychnos, which means lamp. Traditionally, the stem of the plant was used as a wick in oil lamps. Thus, when defining the Viscaria flower meaning, people also called it a beacon of light and hope.

What are the different colours associated with the Viscaria flower?

This pretty flower “Viscaria” usually comes in colours that indicate its playfulness, youth, happiness, romance, and friendship. They come in various colours. The seeds are even sown in drifts to create the effect of relaxing waves of colour across the border. Here are some colours in which this pretty flower blooms:

  • Purple: The colour in Viscaria flowers stands for elegance, passion, and luxury. It is also the most common colour in it.

Image source

  • Pink: Colours with lighter, softer hues symbolize fun, playfulness, and gentleness.

Image source

  • White: Known also as the White Angel or Viscaria Oculata, this colour symbolizes purity.

Image source

  • Blue: Known as the Viscaria Blue angel, this attractive Viscaria flower is a rare find. In this flower, there is a blend of two-tone mid-blue flowers.

Image source

Interesting facts about the Viscaria flower


  • Often, they are grown as ornamental plants in rock gardens or to control erosion. Furthermore, these flowers contain a substance known as Brassinosteroids, which is used in fertilizers and plant strengthening formulas. Thus, it can help increase the resistance of plants against diseases as well as improve the overall health of nearby flowers plants. Hence, it is safe to say that these aren’t meant to be eaten or used as medicine. It does not mean they are toxic, but scientists have yet to prove their safety for consumption.

Soil and Light

  • This flower can withstand long periods of drought thanks to its taproot, which sinks up to a meter into the ground. However, it is preferable not to let the soil become waterlogged nor to let the plants become too dry.
  • These can grow in a wide variety of soil but preferable should be planted in well-drained soils, not heavy, wet soils. Moreover, it is best to plant them in the ground and about six inches apart with only a few seeds sown per pot. Also, the soil should be replaced every couple of years by repotting the plant to a larger pot.

Temperature control

  • The plants can also survive freezing temperatures, but they bloom best in bright sunlight. These plants can grow within six to eight weeks in either partial or full sun exposure. However, bright sunlight is preferred since it promotes the plant’s stem strength as well as enhances its vibrant colours.

When is the best time to gift?

From May to August, the Viscaria flower blooms beautifully. The reason for this is that the best time to plant them is after the coldest part of winter has passed. It is a great gift for gardening purposes or as a handmade unique floral jewellery item.

Final thoughts

With the above information, you will be able to gain a good understanding of the Viscaria flower meaning, characteristics, and symbolism. As soon as the Viscaria flowers start producing grass-like tufts, they should be transferred to their permanent homes whether they are in plant containers or gardens. Another tip is to place a layer of gravel around outdoor plants to protect them from slugs and snails. Besides that, these plants are low maintenance and easy to grow and care for. Have fun planting.