Vietnamese Language Blog

Name Your Favorite Flower! Posted by on Aug 30, 2021 in Culture, Seasons, Vocabulary

Image taken and used with permission from Kandle Dart

A long summer day is not only bright from the full sun, but also with a splash of colorful summer flowers. Flowers come in all shapes and shades of colors. Some carry special meaning and are only used on some special occasions. A bouquet or a basket of flowers is a versatile gift for all occasions for a lady. Although most women would be happy to receive one, she would appreciate it more if you chose the right kind and color that she loves. It’s even better if you can name the flowers that you are going to give to her.


Please note that in English, when you mention tên hoa (flower name), you could just say the name of the flower without adding the word “flower” in front or after the name. In Vietnamese, you should add the word “hoa” (flower) in front of its name.

Vietnamese English
Hoa Mai Yellow Blossom
Hoa Hồng Rose
Hoa Dahlia
Hoa Hướng Dương Sunflower
Hoa Sen Lotus
Hoa Súng Water lily
Hoa Lan Orchid
Hoa Vạn Thọ Marigold
Hoa Cẩm Chướng Carnation
Hoa Lay-ơn Gladiolus
Hoa Huệ (ta) Tuberose
Hoa Huệ Tây/Ly/Loa Kèn Lily
Hoa Lài Jasmine
Hoa Mẫu Đơn Peony
Hoa Cúc Chrysanthemum
Hoa Mộc Lan Magnolia
Hoa Đồng Tiền Gerbera
Hoa Mào Gà Cockscomb
Hoa Trà My Camelia
Hoa Giấy Bougainvillea
Hoa Đại/Sứ Plumeria
Hoa Lồng Đèn Fuchsia
Hoa Trạng Nguyên Poinsettia
Hoa Trang Ixora
Hoa Cẩm Tú Cầu Hydrangea
Hoa Dâm Bụt Hibiscus
Hoa Anh Đào Cherry Blossom

Image taken and used with permission from Kandle Dart


In Vietnamese culture, certain flowers are used more exclusively for certain occasions or certain places. Below are some examples.

  1. Hoa Sen (Lotus flower) is associated with Buddhism. You will find fresh hoa Sen arrangement displays exclusively in the temples or on ancestor altars in homes. You would not find it being displayed at any Christian churches or on the altar of Christian homes.
  2. Hoa Huệ Tây (White Lily flower) is associated with Christianity. You will find hoa Huệ Tây displayed exclusively at Christian churches, but not at Buddhist temples or on the ancestor altars.
  3. Hoa Huệ Ta (Tuberose flower) is used more exclusively for funerals, memorial services, or as the offering flowers on the altar. Don’t gift it to your loved ones on Valentine’s or Tết (New Year’s Day Festival), or you will get an earful of bad curses!
  4. Hoa Vạn Thọ (Marigold flower) definitely is not for weddings or for home decoration. However, the marigold flower pots are the very common flower that you see in the Tết flower market because of its affordable price.
  5. Hoa Cúc vàng (Yellow Chrysanthemum) also is a common flower offering used on altars for all occasions. You can’t go wrong gifting a pair of yellow chrysanthemum flower pots on Tết occasions to family members, especially to your

For me, on any occasion, I’d rather receive a pot of blooming orchids over any expensive fresh cut flowers. It’s more practical. A blooming phalaenopsis orchid pot would last at least a month or more while a pretty flower vase or basket only lasts a week.

Let’s name your favorite flower in the comments section below. Or, if you would like to know the Vietnamese name for certain flowers, I’m more than happy to find the answers for you. I’ll start first. One of my favorites is…hoa sen (lotus flower). For practical reasons again, I love the flower and its fragrance. I love to eat hột sen tươi (fresh lotus seeds) and the yummy gỏi ngó sen (lotus root salad)!

Photo by Phát Trương from Pexels

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