Cosmos Flower Meanings, Symbolism & Uses

Field of Cosmos Flowers

Cosmos flower meanings include order and harmony, beauty, self-reliance, resilience, kindness, and infinity. Native to the Americas, the cosmos is a member of the Asteraceae family of flowers, which includes asters, daisies, sunflowers, zinnia flowers, and others.1 Yet, cosmos have their own unique set of symbols and meanings. In this post, you’ll learn about cosmos flower meanings and symbolism, including spiritual and color meanings. You’ll also learn about cosmos folklore and uses.

Closeup Cosmos
Jewelry basket cosmos, Germany. Photo: H. Fischer.

What do cosmos flowers symbolize?

Here are some qualities that the cosmos flower represents:

  • Order and Harmony
  • Beauty
  • Self-reliance
  • Resilience
  • Kindness
  • Infinity

Detailed Cosmos Flower Meanings and Symbolism

The Cosmos

Order and Harmony

In the Greek language, the word kosmos means “order,” “arrangement,” or “adornment.” But the 7th century BCE philosopher Pythagoras expanded the meaning of term when he used it to describe the universe. Pythagoras, along with many other Greeks at the time, believed the universe itself was divinely created and organized, thus it was the embodiment of harmony and order.2

It wasn’t until the 17th century that the term cosmos was also used to describe winsome pink flowers. When Spanish explorers were in what is now Mexico, they came across lovely native flowers with evenly-placed petals. The orderly arrangement of the flowers’ petals inspired the Spanish, who gave them the name cosmos. The flowers were one of many treasures the Spanish took from the New World and brought back to Spain. Even Spanish priests, who were attempting to bring Christianity to the New World, cultivated and grew cosmos in their mission gardens.3

Thus, cosmos flowers have come to symbolize order, harmony, and balance. Interestingly, they are also symbols for the month of October and the astrological sign of Libra, whose symbol – the scale – also represents balance and harmony.

Cosmos flowers make lovely gifts for, or are perfect in gardens of, people who want to create more balance and harmony in their life, or who otherwise want to be in the flow of life. In this way, cosmos flowers are also symbolic chi, or vital lifeforce energy that flows within us.

Symbols of Beauty

The root of the word cosmos also lends itself to another of the flower’s symbols, which is beauty. Like the word “cosmetics,” cosmos flowers symbolize our capacity to embellish and make things more beautiful. They are a reminder that life would be dreary if not for our ability to create and our capacity to make the world more beautiful.

Self-reliance

While their papery beauty appears delicate, cosmos flowers are actually quite hardy and don’t require much water. They are also self-sowing, so they have an innate capacity to expand their own life force.

Because of this ability, cosmos flower meaning also includes self-reliance. The cosmos reminds us to look within ourselves for inspiration and self-preservation instead of always relying on other people or outside influences.

Cosmos Flower Meaning: Resilience

Cosmos Growing Along a Lake
Photo: KKPCW.

Removing the blooms from cosmos flowers only makes them grow back stronger. Because of this, cosmos are also symbols of resilience. The cosmos flower reminds us to face life’s challenges, and even losses, with a loving and positive disposition. This will help us to honor what is good in life and to emerge as stronger and more enlightened people.

Kindness

The cosmos flower also symbolizes kindness. In fact, the cosmos is a symbol of the World Kindness Movement, marked by World Kindness Day. Started in Japan in the 1990s, the World Kindness Movement is a global peace movement that inspires people to look beyond themselves and the boundaries of their own nationalities, races, and religions to celebrate the commonalities that we all share.4

Because cosmos flowers bloom prodigiously and they’re easy to grow, they also represent the capacity for empathy and kindness to spread.

Infinity

Most cosmos flowers have eight petals, so they are also associated with the number 8 and the symbol for infinity (which looks like the number 8 on its side.) As a symbol of infinity, the cosmos reminds us to push past our own limiting beliefs, as anything is possible.

In addition, the cosmos’ association with order and universal harmony have made it an important symbol in the field of sacred geometry. Those who believe in sacred geometry theorize that patterns that repeat in nature – for example flowers with eight petals and creatures with eight limbs (spiders, octopuses, sea stars) – are evidence of divine planning and creation.

Cosmos Color Meanings

Field of Cosmos Flowers

While they are most known for their pink hues, cosmos flowers come in a few different colors, and each one has special meaning. Here are what the different the different colors of cosmos symbolize:

Pink Cosmos Meaning

Pink cosmos flowers include all of the cosmos flower meanings as well as love and feminine energy and beauty.

Fuchsia Cosmos

Cosmos that are hot pink or fuchsia include the other cosmos meanings as well as romantic love.

Red Cosmos Meaning

Red Cosmos Flower

Red hues, including scarlet and crimson, symbolize romantic love, passion, and primal energy. Because cosmos are perennial flowers, in addition to romantic love, red cosmos also symbolize romantic commitment everlasting love. As such the red cosmos is a symbol for the infinite nature of soulmates.

Planting red cosmos in the garden is a nod to your belief in romantic love as well as an affirmation of primal energy as one of life’s driving forces.

Orange Cosmos

Orange Cosmos

The color orange symbolizes happiness, health, and vitality. So, orange cosmos represent bringing the body back into balance, or harmony, and its resilient capacity to heal itself.

Orange cosmos flower meaning also includes forgiveness. So, they make lovely gifts for relationships that have fallen apart in some way and that you hope to bring back to order through kindness and acceptance.

Yellow Cosmos

Yellow Cosmos

Like yellow sunflowers and daisies, yellow cosmos flower meanings includes optimism and happiness. Yellow cosmos flowers also symbolize the contagiousness of laughter.

Furthermore, they represent the sun’s infinite power to bring warmth and light to the world.

White Cosmos Meaning

White Cosmos

White cosmos flower meanings include faith, beauty, purity, innocence, and divinity. They also represent the infinite power of love and devotion to overcome negative energy in the world. So, white cosmos make lovely additions to gardens when you want to honor babies and children, your spiritual faith, or a loved one who has passed.

Brown or Chocolate Cosmos

Chocolate Cosmos

Some varieties of cosmos are dark burgundy or brown in color. They also have the distinct scent of chocolate. Hence they are sometimes called chocolate cosmos.

Chocolate cosmos symbolize earthiness and feeling grounded as well as security and luxury.

Cosmos Spiritual Meaning

Cosmos Spiritual Meaning

On a spiritual level, the cosmos flower represents the infinite power of God’s compassion and the divine principles of the universe. For those who believe the universe was divinely inspired and created, the cosmos flower reflects that inspiration. Its simplicity represents the purity of God’s love, or your higher power.

Associated Spirit Animals

Cosmos share traits and symbiosis with certain wild animals and insects. For example, bees and monarch butterflies are particularly attracted to cosmos, pollinating them and extending their life force. In addition, cosmos are a source of food for animals including rabbits and squirrels.

On a symbolic level, the spider, sea star, and octopus spirit animals share synergies with the cosmos flower as all are associated with the number eight and infinity.

Cosmos Flower Uses

Cosmos flowers are indeed beautiful. But they have uses beyond just aesthetics. Holistic medicine practitioners have been using cosmos for medicinal and other benefits for centuries. For example, locals in Thailand and Indonesia put the shoots and leaves of yellow cosmos in salads and other dishes.

In Mexico and Brazil, cosmos are used in medicines to treat malaria. Plus, they are used in essential oils to treat other conditions, such as eczema, because of their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. And in Central and South America, cosmos flowers are also used to create natural dyes.5

Occasions to Give Cosmos

Cosmos flowers are associated with the month of October, so they make lovely gifts for people born in the 10th month of the year. In addition, cosmos make great gifts to honor second anniversaries.

Cosmos Flower Tattoo

Cosmos Flower Tattoo

A cosmos flower tattoo can have both simple and profound meanings. At once, it can demonstrate that you honor qualities such as beauty and kindness. At the same time, it can mean that you are a person who believes in universal harmony and divine order. A cosmos tattoo may also represent that you are resilient in the face of challenges and that you have evolved to becomes self-reliant. Obviously, tattoos are deeply personal. But hopefully learning more about cosmos flower symbolism can bring even deeper meaning to your tattoo.

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