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The Mysterious Secrets of Sunflower Tattoos

Misbah has a friend with her own tattoo parlor. She loves to learn from her friend about the meanings of different tattoos.

This article will look at the history and meanings of sunflowers and provide design inspiration for those looking to get a sunflower tattoo.

This article will look at the history and meanings of sunflowers and provide design inspiration for those looking to get a sunflower tattoo.

A Flower Tattoo to Express Personality

There are a lot of flower tattoos that can express our personality. The rose, lilac, lily, and carnation are a handful of the most popular floral tattoos. Each of these has its own meaning. We aren't here to discuss those symbols though. Instead, we will find out what a sunflower tattoo symbolizes before we decide to get one.

We will also discuss the various styles of these gorgeous and trendy tattoos. They could end up being your favorites!

A woman standing in a field of sunflowers while sporting sunflower tattoos on her arm.

A woman standing in a field of sunflowers while sporting sunflower tattoos on her arm.

Sunflower: Native Flower of North America

According to the National Sunflower Association, sunflowers are not only native to North America, but they have been cultivated by indigenous tribes for potentially as far back as around 3000 BC.

Indigenous peoples of various tribes and regions have been growing sunflowers for thousands of years, using the versatile crop for a variety of different things, including food, oil, medicine, dyes, building materials, and ceremonial uses.

It has been theorized that the Aztecs utilized the sunflower as a crown during ritual practice, emphasizing the importance of the sun.

Sunflowers have been around for thousands of years and have collected lots of symbolic meanings along the way.

Sunflowers have been around for thousands of years and have collected lots of symbolic meanings along the way.

Greek Mythology Origins: The Tragic Tale of Unrequited Love

According to Greek mythology, the sunflower is linked with a tragic story of unrequited love between Clytia and Helios, the sun god.

Despite her best efforts, Clytia, the nymph, was unable to win Helio's affection. She spent her days watching the sun rise and set until she died.

Mirroring this tale, it is believed that sunflowers turn their faces with the rising and setting of the sun. Thus, the French word for sunflower is tournesol, which means "turns to the sun."

In comes as no surprise then, that the flower has long been a symbol for sun worshipers and for a dedication to the sun in general, which is necessary for the formation and flourishing of all living things.

The Art of the Sunflower

Many sunflower tattoos make use of the bright yellow-orange petals by adding them to the art design. The color is similar to that of the sun, and it represents the flower's life and light.

As a result, sunflowers have been a popular subject for artists throughout history, including Vincent van Gogh, who created an entire series of sunflower paintings.

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These flower tattoos have a special meaning, not only because they include the sun and flower, as their name suggests, but also because their imagery can convey beauty, abundance, strength, and positive thoughts.

Because it stands tall over most all other flowers in the yard, the sunflower is also a figure of regality and towering height. It also provides shade for other plants that are soaking up the sun and thus serves as a form of protection as well.

The Interesting Meanings of Sunflower Tattoos

The meanings of sunflower tattoos vary by culture and country, but here is some of the most common symbolism associated with the beloved plant.

Joy and Change

Change, whether for the better or for the worse, often worries us, because we are exchanging the known for something unknown. A sunflower tattoo symbolizes happiness in all aspects of life, including change. If we look closely though, we'll notice that these plants shift positions to continue sunbathing, hence their name.

Faith

Sunflowers are a sign of faith in several religions, because they are oriented towards the Lord and the Divine in heaven. The tattoo is usually accompanied by a crown or a Latin word in this scenario.

Positive Thoughts

It is not always easy to be positive in life, to feel happy, to not give up, and to encourage ourselves. For this reason, many people tattoo a sunflower on their skin to serve as a reminder to keep trying to do so.

Luck and Prosperity

Sunflower tattoos also have special meanings in some Asian cultures. They can symbolize prosperity, good luck, hope, energy, and health. Thus, some opt to add ink of this flower to their body as a gesture toward optimism and hope for the future.

What Are the Most Common Sunflower Tattoo Designs?

Not only can the meanings behind sunflower tattoos cover a wide range, but the style, color, and placement of the design on the body will vary depending on the preferences of the person who is wearing it.

Combined With Other Flowers

Tattooing this plant next to other flowers is thought to signify personality attributes such as enthusiasm, positivism, and energy.

Next to the Sun, Moon, and Stars

When the sun, moon, and stars are added to the tattoo, it becomes even more magnificent—the earth and the heavenly being one. Color can be added to some parts of the pattern, while others are left black or shaded.

The Flower Inside a Circle

The sunflower's rounded crown is often drawn within a circle that the artist embellishes in a unique way. In this case, it represents the wheel of life, as well as the changes in life and how to embrace them.

Accompanied by a Phrase

When a basic sunflower tattoo is accompanied by a phrase in any language, it becomes more personal and significant. The precise phrase usually refers to the individual in question or is a wink or a pleasant remembrance of someone who is no longer there.

Paired With a Skull

To provide a double connotation, the skull is sometimes used as the core of the sunflower. It's sometimes interpreted as a life and death theme, with the sunflower's blossom and brightness representing life and the skull representing death.

Because everything must die before it can be reborn, however, the skull may also be a symbol of renewal, and these two images work well together in this regard.

Sunflower Tattoo Design Inspiration Ideas

Here are some additional ideas to help you get inspired for your sunflower tattoo:

  • A Lovely Vase: You can always go with a classic look, such as placing the flower in a wonderful vase like this one by @htc_wade.
  • Abstract Expression: Taking the familiar symbol of the sunflower and incorporating it into a more abstract image can often look quite good, such as in this one by @ianreynold.
  • Animal Companions: Pairing the flower up with a beautiful animal is always a good idea, like this lion done by @kyla_rose_tattoo.
  • Other Familiar Symbols: Combining the sunflower with other common symbols can be a cool idea, such as with a light bulb as seen by @sarasireni or a yin-yang like @grimmwerks_studio.
  • Combine Your Favorite Things: If all else fails, just add a sunflower to a collection of some of your favorite things, like in this cool collage by @tinto_tlv.

Resources

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Misbah Sheikh

Comments

Misbah Sheikh (author) from — This Existence Is Only an Illusion on September 25, 2021:

So sweet, Flourish. Thank you so much for your very cute and sweet comment. No ink here as well but I love to explore about the different types of tattoos and their meanings. Much appreciated, dear friend.

Take care and stay safe!

Blessings to you!!

FlourishAnyway from USA on September 25, 2021:

No ink here, but I enjoyed learning about the sunflower's symbolism. I've always loved their beauty and how birds are attracted to them as they dry out. When I was a kid we'd also eat sunflower seeds.

Misbah Sheikh (author) from — This Existence Is Only an Illusion on September 23, 2021:

Thank you so much for your beautiful comments, dear Srushti. I am glad to know you enjoyed learning about these tattoos. Wanna have one that sounds cool but painful too. ;) God Bless you too. Take care, dear sister

Much Love and Higher Blessings to you

Srushti Gamit on September 22, 2021:

Such an interesting article Misbah!!

I don’t have any tattoos but I kinda like to have one.

Thanks for sharing the article about sunflower tattoos and their meaning.

I enjoyed reading it so much.

Take care

God bless you

Sending you so much love

Misbah Sheikh (author) from — This Existence Is Only an Illusion on September 22, 2021:

Rosina, thank you so much for your kind and generous comments. I also prefer Henna. But I enjoy learning about the many meanings and styles of tattoos. Many people love to wear tattoos, and learning about the symbols and meanings behind them is so fascinating. I am glad you enjoyed reading it. Much appreciated!!

Blessings and Love, dear friend

Rosina S Khan on September 22, 2021:

Misbah, I don't wear tattoos and don't intend to. But your information on sunflower tattoos was intriguing. I loved reading about them. I do prefer wearing Hena designs though.

Misbah Sheikh (author) from — This Existence Is Only an Illusion on September 22, 2021:

Thank you for your very kind comments, Bredz. Much appreciated, dear friend. Please take care and don't stress yourself. Get well soon!

Sending you Blessings and Hugs

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on September 21, 2021:

Misbah

Thanks for this enlightening article.

I've never known anyone with a sunflower tattoo.

I like what it symbolizes, but I've never had a tattoo.

I'm not feeling too well today, so my comment is short.

Take care.

Misbah Sheikh (author) from — This Existence Is Only an Illusion on September 21, 2021:

Hello, Li-Jen Hew. I'm glad you enjoyed reading this article. It's great to know that you can relate the meanings of sunflower tattoos to your own life. As Allen Ginsberg said, “We’re all golden sunflowers inside.” I wish you a very good luck for your future and may you have a wonderful and peaceful life with no worries. Amen!

I appreciate your very kind and sweet comments. And I am very glad to connect with you here. Best wishes!

Sending Blessings!!!

Li-Jen Hew on September 21, 2021:

Hello Misbah. I'm happy to read this article as I like sunflowers. I like how this article is specifically for tattoos, something to look forward to or be inspired by if we look at them or interested in having them. Even though I don't have tattoos haha. I have read your sunflower tattoo meanings and related them to my personal life which is more meaningful. Thank you for sharing.

Misbah Sheikh (author) from — This Existence Is Only an Illusion on September 21, 2021:

Hello, John.

Ha Ha! I'm pleased to hear it inspired you so greatly. Lol! Thank you so much for your very kind and sweet feedback. Your kindness is very much appreciated. Take care and have a wonderful day, my dear friend.

Today, I'm sending you a lot of Blessings. :)

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on September 21, 2021:

This was a beautifully presented article, Misbah, and very interesting. I learned a lot about sunflower tattoos. Maybe I need to make my next one a sunflower lol. Blessings.

Misbah Sheikh (author) from — This Existence Is Only an Illusion on September 21, 2021:

Hi Rozlin,

Your words are always very sweet and generous, dear sister. I greatly appreciate your very kind comments. I'm pleased to know you found it interesting and informative. I'm glad you learned something new from my article today. I am feeling like a happy writer now. :)

Allah bless you and your family now and always. Ameen!

Blessings and Much More Love!!

Misbah Sheikh (author) from — This Existence Is Only an Illusion on September 21, 2021:

Hola, Manatita Bhaiya

Thank you so much for your very encouraging words. Yes, I know you also used it in your poem today. As I once said before, brilliant minds think alike? ;) I'm pleased to know you found it interesting. There are numerous other tattoos that represent various things and meanings. I used to do a lot of research on it, but I never wrote anything about it before. I decided to give it a try to see how it goes. I believe I will write more tattoo-related articles in the future. But first, I think I'd like to submit this one to a niche site to see how it performs. What do you think?

Take care. Stay safe and healthy.

Sending lots of Blessings to you.

Rozlin from UAE on September 21, 2021:

This is an interesting and informative article, Misbah. I never heard about sunflower tattoos. Thanks for sharing. I learnt a lot from your hub. Take care.

Misbah Sheikh (author) from — This Existence Is Only an Illusion on September 21, 2021:

Hi Amara,

I am so glad to know you found it interesting and informative. Thank you so much for your very kind and beautiful comment. Allah bless you and keep smiling!

Blessings and Love, dear sister

manatita44 from london on September 21, 2021:

A lot here on an amazing flower. Didn't know it involved so much! I used it in my poem today, to express happiness and Love. The pink raven symbolises happiness.

Lots of interesting details, Misbah. Thanks a lot!

Amara from Pakistan on September 21, 2021:

What an interesting and informative read Misbah, I didn't know its history and meanings before. Well done!

Blessings and love.

Misbah Sheikh (author) from — This Existence Is Only an Illusion on September 21, 2021:

Thanks a lot for your kind response, Eman. I am glad you found it interesting and informative. Allah bless you. Amen! Take care and stay safe!

Blessings and Love to you, dear sister.

Nian from Pakistan on September 21, 2021:

I never heard about sunflower tattoos before. Very informative and interesting article.

Thanks for sharing.

Many Blessings!!

Misbah Sheikh (author) from — This Existence Is Only an Illusion on September 21, 2021:

Hi Mr. Bill,

Sir, I, too, do not have any tattoos. However, it is fascinating to learn about the many types of tattoos and their meanings. I'm delighted you found it interesting. Thank you for your kind and generous feedback. I greatly appreciate it.

Stay safe and happy.

Blessings always!!!

Misbah Sheikh (author) from — This Existence Is Only an Illusion on September 21, 2021:

Hi Chitra Di,

I'm glad you enjoyed learning about these tattoos. I also prefer Henna. Tattoos are increasingly popular these days. I don't have any tattoos, but it's fascinating to learn about the meanings of the various tattoos that others wear with such zeal. Thank you for your very kind comments. Keep smiling and stay well.

Blessings and Love, dear Di.

Misbah Sheikh (author) from — This Existence Is Only an Illusion on September 21, 2021:

Hi Peggy,

Thank you for your kind ans beautiful words. Evidence suggest that wild sunflower plants were cultivated by Native Americans in what is now present-day New Mexico and Arizona about 3,000 B.C., with some archaeologists even suggesting the sunflower plant may have been domesticated before the corn plant. Thank you for sharing your experience with me. I am glad you enjoyed it. Take care and stay safe!

Much love and Blessings to you as always!!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on September 21, 2021:

I have no desire to get a tattoo, but it was interesting to learn about the meaning of the sunflower. Well-written, informative...thank you for the information.

Blessings to you always

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on September 21, 2021:

Hello Misbah!

This is an interesting article, regarding the Sunflowers, and it's significance in tattoos. I enjoyed reading the information shared by you.

Different flowers are symbolic of many interesting things, in Indian culture too. Many of these are used, while applying mehandi (henna). I have never had a tattoo. But, henna application is a regular affair.

Thank you for sharing this wonderful information! Have a great day!

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on September 21, 2021:

Hi Misbah,

I did not know that sunflowers were a native American plant. My grandfather used to grow them and I loved watching them move their faces following the sun. Thanks for sharing the meaning of what sunflower tattoos mean to people.

Misbah Sheikh (author) from — This Existence Is Only an Illusion on September 21, 2021:

Hi Ravi,

Thank you so much for your very kind comment. I am glad you found it interesting. Much appreciated. Take care and stay happy!

Blessings as always!

Misbah Sheikh (author) from — This Existence Is Only an Illusion on September 21, 2021:

Hi Pamela,

Thank you so much for your very kind and sweet comment. I am glad you found it interesting. Yes, tattoos are so much in fashion but I prefer henna designs instead of wearing tattoos. Though, I always find it fascinating to learn that there are so many meanings hidden behind these tattoo designs.

I appreciate your kind comments. Keep smiling and stay safe!

Blessings and love to you, too

Ravi Rajan from Mumbai on September 21, 2021:

Very interesting article Misbah. I had never heard about the sunflower tattoos and the fascinating history behind them. Thanks for sharing.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on September 21, 2021:

This is a very interesting article, and it is full of information I did not know, Misbah. I don't have a tattoo and don't plan to get one. I know they are very popular on younger people.

I love sunflowers as they are so beautiful. It is nice to know the meaning of it. Thanks for sharing all this information.

Much love and many blessings!

Misbah Sheikh (author) from — This Existence Is Only an Illusion on September 21, 2021:

Thank you so much for your very kind comment, Liz. Much appreciated, dear friend