“The American Floral Trends Forecast” 

This addition to “The American Floral Trends Forecast” report shifts focus to the category of North American sympathy designs and celebration-of-life compositions. Here the immutable power and universal language of flowers and plants can be seen in a “trend light,” as they communicate comfort and compassion, as well as connect human emotion to tangible expressions of shared grief and last respects.

In a survey commissioned by the Floral Marketing Research Fund, titled “Funeral Directors and Flowers: Insights into Floral Tributes in the Funeral Industry,” one of the many key findings revealed: “… flowers are the most important nonhuman source of comfort to the bereaved,” according to funeral directors nationwide. The report further states that almost 75 percent of the funeral directors surveyed encourage families to have flowers at their services.

Sympathy floral design encompasses a vast array of offerings coast to coast, with subtle differences based on regional influences, cultural traditions, religious or secular practices, and personal preferences. Because the primary differentiator to all sympathy compositions is personalization, it is the essence of the person being remembered that sets the tone for design consultations and collaborations.

The content herein highlights applications of the color palettes for the American Floral Trends “Hanami,” “Crescendo,” “Kaleidoscope” and “Wildroot” as they pertain to sympathy floral designs. While many consumers might not consider trends when ordering sympathy tributes, knowing that the American Floral Trends can be applied to this segment of floral design and suggesting whichever trend is appropriate for the individual you’re consulting about provides an opportunity for you to define your store and showcase your capabilities to customers and even funeral directors. Research suggests that people often remember and/or talk about the flowers and plants they see at these types of events; therefore, why not leave the kind of lasting impression that has them remembering you, too?

Once again, J. Keith White, AIFD, leads a diverse group of influential designers representing high-profile retail floral businesses sought for their unique sympathy portfolios, to share sympathy trend interpretations. Designers are from The Floral Loft, San Francisco, Calif; Dr Delphinium Designs + Events, Dallas, Texas; and Robertson’s Flowers & Events, Philadelphia, Pa.

The Floral Loft
San Francisco, Calif.
Dr Delphinium
Designs + Events
Dallas, Texas
Flowers & Events
Philadelphia, Pa.

We owe a tremendous thanks to our corporate sponsors whose funding brought this trends forecast to fruition.

American Grown /
Certified American
Grown Flowers

color tool, inc.

North America

Lion Ribbon
Company, Inc.
800-551-LION (5466)

Florists’ Review
Dr Delphinium Designs + Events
Robertson’s Flowers & Events
Lion Ribbon Company

 Sympathy compositions inspired by this trend can serve as a powerful reminder that flower varieties and their colors have long garnered significant meaning from communicating the full range of human emotions for hundreds of years. In fact, much of this symbolism often resonates today for those interested in learning floral meaning, like an association with red “Hanami” botanicals where the color alone symbolizes admiration, love, strength, and respect, to name a few.

More specifically, consider the exquisite red spider lily (Lycoris radiata) that represents the departed by its Japanese name “flower of the afterlife.” Perhaps now you can begin to view flowers not only for their inherent beauty but also for the meanings they exude. Be mindful that this may be a suggestion or starting point for someone drawn to this palette or describing attributes of the deceased that also coincide with ribbon embellishments.


Peony 550 (CMYK: 28, 100, 48, 13) / Carnation Red 716 (CMYK: 0, 100, 80, 20)
Hunter Green 760 (CMYK: 93, 0, 82, 52) / Maroon 712 (CMYK: 57, 100, 67, 27)
Coral 777 (CMYK: 0, 56, 42, 0) / Pacific Blue 690 (CMYK: 100, 30, 34, 2)
Robertson’s Flowers & Events

Jewel Accents / Vintage Handwork / Luxurious, Simple Ribbons And Fabrics / Gold And Champagne-hued Metallics

Peony ‘Paul Mitchell Wild’ (Paeonia) Apricot stock (Matthiola)
Peony ‘Coral Charm’ (Paeonia) Dahlia
Oriental lily ‘Sumatra’ (Lilium) Cherry blossom branches (Prunus)
Garden rose ‘Darcy’ (Rosa) Smokebush (Cotinus)
Garden rose ‘Piano’ (Rosa) Japanese yew (Podocarpus)
Pincushion flower (Scabiosa) Willow Eucalyptus

Reimagine everything you know about the soft and harmonious “Crescendo” aesthetic through the potential of how its colors, textures and elements can play an integral role in sympathy design. A symphony that plays with high and low color notes, “Basil” and “Beach” that are organic by nature, “Raspberry” and “Blush” field grown flowers, “Hyacinth” stems in shorter seasons and sheer ribbons that flow in the somber breeze.

While personal items, like garden gloves or favorite plants or flowers will add to the customized condolences. By adding this thought process of consideration to planning and consultation, it opens greater levels of customer engagement while adding to the personalization of the compositions you are creating.

Design Master Colors

Blush 781 (CMYK: 0, 12, 5, 0) / Hyacinth 762 (CMYK: 33, 35, 0, 0)
Basil 676 (CMYK: 40, 0, 86, 43) / Robin’s Egg 792 (CMYK: 44, 0, 18, 0)
Raspberry 766 (CMYK: 0, 98, 0, 5) / Beach 559 (CMYK: 2, 3, 13, 0)
Dr Delphinium Designs + Events
Dr Delphinium Designs + Events
The Floral Loft, Courtney Sayner

Watercolor Ribbons / Robin’s Egg Finishes And Fabrics / Gradations Of Textures / A Blend Of Rose Gold And Antique Gold

Roselily (Lilium) Peony (Paeonia)
Windflower (Anemone) Hybrid tea rose ‘Menta’ (Rosa)
Hybrid tea rose ‘Sahara’ (Rosa) Garden rose ‘Sterling Sensation’ (Rosa)
Spray rose ‘Lady Bombastic’ (Rosa) Stock (Matthiola)
Brown prairie gentian (Lisianthus / Eustoma)
Silver-dollar Eucalyptus Arizona cypress ‘Carolina Sapphire’
(Cuppressus arizonica) Russian olive, Oleaster (Elaeagnus)
Dr Delphinium Designs + Events

When it comes to vibrant color palettes and bold contrasting elements, the “Kaleidoscope” trend should be synonymous in sympathy applications with full-blown celebrations of life and compositions that exude a modern and upbeat vibe. After all, its bright and bold infusions of “Spring Green,”’ “Sprout,” “Tangerine” and “Fuchsia” hardly lend themselves to remembrance pieces intended for traditional reflection.

“Kaleidoscope”-inspired sympathy tells a story of last respects with much more volume and vigor than its counterparts. Like the highly textural and attention-grabbing cremation setting of foliage that comforts its viewers with sentiments of a tranquil modern appeal, admiration and respect – it suggests a personalized good-bye to a true one-of-a-kind.

Design Master Colors

Lake 556 (CMYK: 100, 50, 10, 62) / Sprout 554 (CMYK: 41, 9, 100, 3)
Spring Green 753 (CMYK: 70, 4, 90, 0) / Teal Blue 742 (CMYK: 100, 12, 27, 24)
Fuchsia 786 (CMYK: 22, 95, 0, 0) / Tangerine 776 (CMYK: 0, 78, 80, 0)


Dr Delphinium Designs + Events

Watercolor Ribbons / Robin’s Egg Finishes And Fabrics / Gradations Of Textures / A Blend Of Rose Gold And Antique Gold

Dr Delphinium Designs + Events
key flowers

Marigold (Tagetes), Pincushion (Leucospermum), Persian buttercup (Ranunculus), Tulip (Tulipa), Stock (Matthiola), Hybrid tea rose ‘Gold Strike’ (Rosa), Hybrid tea rose ‘Naranga’ (Rosa), Zinnia Cushion Gerbera (Gerrondo, Pomponi), Berzelia Israeli Ruscus Woollybush (Adenanthos)

Robertson’s Flowers & Events
Lion Ribbon Company
Resendiz Brothers Protea Growers

This is the trend that embodies the circle of life and a journey to one’s final resting place. It’s Americana, farm-to-family gatherings and an appreciation for the simpler things. Above all, it’s an organic send-off of sorts and represents the personalities often referred to as “salt of the earth.” For customers who want to offer handcrafted condolences more understated and less organized, “Wildroot” approaches can be very inspiring with the wooden items along with grayed foliage and metals. These will not only complement but complete the circle.

Interestingly, when considering the meaning behind some of the key botanicals, pincushions (members of the Proteaceae family) are among some of the oldest flowers on earth and are named after Proteus, the son of Poseidon. To this day, pincushions represent courage and diversity. Through the ages, flowers have been used as offerings of bereavement and have communicated a universal language.

Design Master Colors

Lavender 708 (CMYK: 29, 54, 0, 0) / Gray Flannel 798 (CMYK: 13, 4, 4, 57)
Mist 555 (CMYK: 25, 10, 16, 0) / Radish 551 (CMYK: 30, 100, 80, 8)
Salmon 552 (CMYK: 6, 82, 69, 9) / Light Ochre 553 (CMYK: 13, 19, 68, 0)

Gray-toned, Gray-washed Anything / Raw Fabrics Like Jute And Muslin / Handcrafted Items / Aged Metals / Reclaimed Wood / Aged Metals

J. Keith White, AIFD
Robertson’s Flowers & Events

Gray-toned, Gray-washed Anything / Raw Fabrics Like Jute And Muslin / Handcrafted Items / Aged Metals / Reclaimed Wood / Aged Metals

The Floral Loft, Jason Gonzalez
Resendiz Brothers Protea Growers
key flowers

Banksia Cone bush (Leucadendron), Protea Garden rose ‘Quatre Coeurs’ (Rosa), Lily ‘Tango Sunburst’ (Lilium), Lily ‘Sunset’ (Lilium), Tulip (Tulipa), Cushion Gerbera (Gerrondo, Pomponi), Ornamental kale (Brassica), Mint (Mentha), Grevillea foliage Bayleaf (Laurus)