Botanical tattoos are a thing now, but more than just getting a tattoo to follow a trend, you could look for the one that best matches your personality.
Flowers are definitely one of the most popular tattoo designs out there, and it’s kind of obvious why. The myriad of colors and forms can be really alluring for those who want a visually rich design. Each type and species can convey meaningful messages that match our personality, moments in our life, or our personal goals. Now, if we think of the many beautiful things nature has given us, we can’t really focus only on the immediate allure of flowers. There are so many varieties and plants that can be equally enticing due to their patterns and colors, as well as their deep meanings. So, if you’re looking for a nice tattoo design that represents who you are and the role you’re playing in life, there are many options you can choose from the increasingly popular trend of botanical tattoos.
Shamrocks have historically represented good luck and fortune, and to be honest, who doesn’t want that in their life? You know the drill with this. If you find a four-leaf shamrock, especially amid a set of three-leaf types, you’re supposed to be granted the ultimate luck. But more than that, shamrocks have a more religious meaning often associated with St. Patrick in Ireland, where three-leaf shamrocks are often associated with the holy trinity in Christianism. But beyond this, they’re also thought to symbolize hope, faith, and love. Four-leaf tattoos in the ancient Celtic lore also represent respect, wealth, love, and health, pretty much everything we all aspire to in life.
Laurels have been used for thousands of years as emblems of victory and achievement. If you watched the Olympic Games that took place in Greece in 2004 or have watched basically any film set in Ancient Greece, you’ll see that victors in athletic competitions are awarded a laurel crown. More than that, this symbol prevailed throughout history, and even great poets have been recognized as laureate for their mastery. Laurels also represent nobility and perfection, which is why all Roman emperors wore laurel crowns to show their power and glory. In that way, laurels can be great designs for those who know what they want and are determined to succeed in their deeds.
With the increasing popularity of botanical tattoos, one of the most common designs is ferns. Not only do their long and thin leaves look extremely elegant and sophisticated, but they also hold different meanings for many cultures. One of them is the representation of determination and resilience. Ferns are quite hard to beat and can grow even in the worst environments, so if you want a reminder or a motivation to keep you strong before adversities, ferns are the best option. Another meaning that has been attached to this plant is plenitude and relaxation, so you can also add that state of mind to your life with this gorgeous reminder on your skin.
Rosemary is more often conceived as a cooking spice, but it actually has ancient symbolism as well. In Greek mythology, for instance, it was associated with the goddess Aphrodite, especially to her birth story when she came out of the sea. Actually, the term derived from Latin words that mean “dew of the sea.” Since it has been widely associated with the goddess, this plant has passed to represent not only birth, but beauty, love, and passion. Besides that, rosemary has also been understood as a symbol of memory and remembrance, reason why Ancient scholars used rosemary wreaths to help them with their exams and academic studies.
Palm trees are basically the main symbols of tropical paradises. This association not only comes from the places where they grow, where we can find relaxation and a calmed lifestyle, but also from the Old Testament’s account on the Garden of Paradise. From here, it passed to represent wisdom and goodness. It’s often considered as the symbol of God. Besides, there’s another meaning you could attach to your tattoo, which is the ancient belief that palms represented the Tree of Life, meaning immortality and eternity.
We all know that mistletoe is the plant of love. You know, kissing under one is a symbol of pure and true love. This lovely tradition comes from the Celts, especially the ancient Druids, who were known as peacemakers and wisdom keepers. They attached their lives and beliefs to Nature and all its wisdom, so for them mistletoes represented rebirth and growth. This plant was seen as the source of nourishment and shelter for other creatures, and as such, they used it as symbols of the cycle of life and regeneration. This is a great option for those who are always looking for ways to renovate themselves and overcome difficult moments understanding them as cycles.
We might associate the popularity of cactus to the millennial generation. However, this plant does possess a symbolic meaning as well. The main meaning is its adaptability, since it can grow and survive extreme weather conditions. If you’re a resilient person who can adapt to basically any environment, cacti can be the best design for you. A cactus also represents willingness and curiosity to try new things in life. This plant has also been associated with survival and protection, so it's the best option for those who want to remember the challenges they've overcome throughout life.
For many ancient Asian traditions bamboo has symbolized longevity, courage, and consistency. This is basically because this plant is strong and resisting, to it can survive natural disasters. For the same reason, it has come to mean strength and courage, and it has been used to symbolize endurance when you're going through a difficult moment or obstacles. If you’re looking for more meanings associated with this emblematic plant, in some cultures it’s also understood as the representation of growth, development, and truthfulness. This is definitely one of those designs that can represent a whole lifetime, as well as a reminder of the type of person you want to become.
Nature isn’t only beautiful for its visual appeal. It's the core of life and essential for our survival. Moreover, it’s clear that we are a species that bases their belief system (not precisely religiously speaking) in symbols, and for that reason, many types of plants have been understood, since ancient times, as bestowers of powerful meanings.
Here are other symbols you could get inspired by for your next tattoo:
Cover photos by @rit.kit.tattoo