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January Birth Flowers: Carnation and Snowdrop

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Welcoming a new year brings a sense of renewal and fresh beginnings. And what better way to celebrate the first month than by exploring the beautiful birth flowers of January? These delicate blooms not only add a touch of natural beauty to birthday celebrations or other occasions, but also carry rich symbolic meanings.

What is the flower for January birthdays?

January babies get two fantastic birth flowers – carnation and snowdrop. These flowers may seem like an odd pairing, but they perfectly represent the start of a new year.


These ruffled flowers come in a variety of shades like red, pink, and white. Carnations have an old-school vibe, yet their layers of crinkly petals give them a fun, frilly look. Originally cultivated in the Mediterranean, they’ve been symbols of love and admiration for centuries.

Origin and History

Carnations have been cultivated for over 2,000 years, with their roots tracing back to ancient Greece and Rome. Their name derives from the Latin word “corona-ae” meaning a ceremonial garland or crown.

These flowers are the descendants of the Dianthus species – a group of flowering plants native to the Mediterranean region. Early carnation varieties grew wild in Greece, with the frilly blooms known for their spicy-sweet fragrance and vibrant colors.

Meaning and Symbolism

Carnations have long been associated with love, fascination, and admiration. But the symbolism goes much deeper when you explore the diverse meanings behind each carnation color. Here what each shade of carnation symbolizes:

Carnation Color Meanings:

  • Red – As the traditional flower of love, red carnations convey deep love and admiration
  • Pink – The gentle pink symbolizes a mother’s eternal love and gratitude.
  • White – The white carnations are symbols of pure love, good luck, and innocence.
  • Yellow – While not as common, yellow carnations signify disappointment and rejection.
  • Purple – Rich purple carnations convey capriciousness and unpredictability. 
  • Striped – Striped carnations symbolize regret and refusal.

Some Interesting Carnation Facts

Here are some fun and interesting facts about the history and symbolism of carnations:

  1. Carnations are one of the longest-blooming flowers, with some varieties flowering almost year-round in mild climates.
  2. The carnation is the official birth flower for those born in January, as well as the symbolic flower for the 1st wedding anniversary.
  3. With over 350 species, carnations are part of the Dianthus genus, which translates to “flower of the gods” in Greek.
  4. Carnations rank as one of the longest-lasting cut flowers, staying fresh for 2-3 weeks in a vase.
  5. In Greek mythology, carnations are said to have first bloomed from the tears of the Virgin Mary as she cried for Jesus carrying the cross.
  6. With a light spicy-clove scent, carnations were once used for body perfumes, added to beer and wine, and even used as ingredients in stews!


Don’t let this delicate white flower fool you – the snowdrop is one tough bloom! It’s known as “harbinger of spring” since it pushes through frozen ground to bloom in the coldest winter months. Snowdrop gets its name from the milk-like droplets that form on the inside of each petal tip. The flower symbolizes purity, hope, and rebirth after a long winter. 

Origin and History

Native to a wide region from Spain to Ukraine, the genus “Galanthus” comprises around 20 snowdrop species. The most common is the “Galanthus nivalis” or “snow pearl” – a tiny white flower with three outer green petals.

By the 16th century, snowdrops were being cultivated in gardens across Europe as a symbol of purity. Their preference for cool climates made them a perfect addition to winter gardens in countries like Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Eventually, snowdrops found their way to the Americas in the 1800s, cherished by settlers as a reminder of early spring back in Europe.

Meaning and Symbolism

With its pure white petals and ability to bloom in the depths of winter, the snowdrop carries rich symbolic meaning of hope, rebirth, and resilience.

As one of the first flowers to appear after winter, snowdrops signal the coming of spring and renewal. Their early arrival is a hopeful sign that warmer days lie ahead.

The white hue of snowdrop petals symbolizes purity, innocence, and sincerity. In the language of flowers, they convey consolation or sympathy.

Some Interesting Snowdrop Facts

Here are some fun facts and useful information about snowdrops:

  1. Snowdrops are able to survive freezing temperatures as low as 14°F (-10°C)
  2. The most common snowdrop species is Galanthus Nivalis, which translates to “milk flower of the snow.”
  3. Snowdrops contain galanthamine, an alkaloid that is toxic to pets and humans if ingested, but is also used in medication to treat Alzheimer’s disease.
  4. While most snowdrops are odorless, some of the species emit a sweet fragrance.
  5. They are crucial for early bees, providing one of the first pollen and nectar sources of the year.
  6. Snowdrop enthusiasts are known as galanthophiles. They often collect rare and valuable varieties, sometimes spending hundreds of dollars on a single bulb.

Celebrate Birthday with Birth Flower Gifts

There’s no better way to make someone’s birthday extra special than with a gift featuring their birth flower. From bouquets to long-lasting potted blooms, January’s carnations and snowdrops offer many meaningful gift options.

Birth Flower Necklace

A birth flower necklace makes a symbolic and personalized gift to celebrate a birthday. This sterling silver or brass piece features a vibrant snowdrop charm and a garnet stone representing their birth flower and birthstone. But the thoughtful customization doesn’t stop there, you can also engrave the recipient’s name in a sideways design.

Birth Flower Beach Jute Tote Bag 

This stylish and eco-friendly jute tote bag features an embroidered design showcasing January’s symbolic carnation flower. You can also have the recipient’s name customized right on the bag for an extra meaningful touch. With a large size of 13.7″ x 7.8″ x 11.8”, it’s the perfect carryall for trips to the beach, daily errand runs, or anytime you need a chic yet durable bag. 

Birth Flower Travel Jewelry Box

Treat the January birthday girl with a personalized travel jewelry box to store her treasured jewelry! This stylish case comes with a sketched design of her birth month’s carnation flower. Choose from pink, white or brown leather exterior to compliment her style. Inside, the soft flock lining protects pieces from scratches while removable dividers keep rings, necklaces and earrings organized.

Final Thoughts

Carnation and snowdrop are two birth flowers that represent the duality of January. If you’re a January baby yourself or celebrating someone special born, including these flowers in your gifts is a great way to honor the occasion. From personalized jewelry to creative home decor, check out Callie’s selection of January birth flower gifts to incorporate these meaningful blooms in stylish ways.