Famous Women in History and the Flowers They Loved

Throughout history, many amazing women have become famous for their contributions and the impact they had on society. The following 12 are well known for many reasons: humanitarian work, advocacy of women’s rights, artistry, and public reform. Along with their celebrated character, they were known to love flowers, too.

Lady Bird Johnson

Lady Bird Johnson, the wife of former President Lyndon B. Johnson, was an astute businesswoman and environmentalist who was passionate about flowers. She believed flowers and their simple beauty could help improve mental health. In 1965, this passion led to the Highway Beautification Act, which she spearheaded during her time as first lady, and the establishment of the National Wildflower Research Center in Texas.

Her favorite flower was the lavender bluebell, a beautiful wildflower with petals that curve to create a bell shape. The bluebell symbolizes humility, gratitude, and devotion.

Famous Women in History and the Flowers They Loved
Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama is known for her grace and style and her work as a role model for healthy living. The former first lady prefers pink roses and hydrangeas over any other flower type. The pink rose denotes refinement, femininity, and sweetness; hydrangeas represent understanding, empathy, and heartfelt emotions. Both flowers perfectly embody this amazing woman, lawyer, and author.

Famous Women in History and the Flowers They Loved
Audrey Hepburn

Known for her delicate, graceful beauty, Audrey Hepburn’s favorite flower is the lily of the valley. This lovely, fragrant flower represents humility, happiness, sweetness, and purity, a perfect match for the stunning fashion icon and talented actor. Audrey Hepburn is also known for her humanitarian work; she worked fervently for UNICEF, helping impoverished people, especially children, in other nations.

Famous Women in History and the Flowers They Loved
Ruth Bader Ginsburg

The second female justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, worked to improve gender equality, workers’ rights, and the separation of church and state. Her favorite flowers were white freesia and hydrangeas. White freesias represent purity and trust, and hydrangeas symbolize empathy, understanding, and heartfelt emotions. These symbols are fitting symbols of her revered service to the American nation.

Famous Women in History and the Flowers They Loved
Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo is an undeniable icon of Mexican culture, known as one of the most influential and recognized painters of the 20th century. The most iconic images of her, whether self-portraits or photographs, always feature her in a traditional Mexican embroidered dress with bold, beautiful flowers in her hair. Her favorite flowers were bougainvillea, gardenia, and dahlia — all of which she usually picked from the garden at her childhood home La Casa Azul.

Famous Women in History and the Flowers They Loved
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

Known by many as Jackie O., former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was an author, American socialite, book editor, and photographer. This style icon worked hard during her time in office to restore the White House to its original elegance and served as a symbol of strength for the nation after the assassination of her husband, Present John F. Kennedy. Her favorite flowers were white peonies and blue cornflowers, representing, among many things, honor, compassion, and hope for the future.

Famous Women in History and the Flowers They Loved
Rosalynn Carter

The wife of Jimmy Carter, former First Lady Rosalynn Carter loved simple flower displays and spending her free time working on floral arrangements. Her favorite blooms included narcissus and camellias. A leading activist for many issues, she worked for more than three decades to improve the quality of people worldwide. One of her projects centered on conserving the monarch butterflies, which ultimately led to the creation of the Rosalynn Carter Butterfly Trail.

Famous Women in History and the Flowers They Loved
Laura Bush

As an advocate for education, literacy, and women’s rights, Laura Bush helped reform public education after the No Child Left Behind Act, including introducing initiatives to improve early childhood education. Some of her favorite flowers were roses, tulips, and magnolias. She even has her own rose, the Laura Bush Rose. It is an orangy-pink rose with a fruit fragrance and softly ruffled blossoms.

Famous Women in History and the Flowers They Loved
Eleanor Roosevelt

Former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt was incredibly popular for her advocacy of women’s and minority rights and her work with the impoverished. Through her husband’s four terms in office, she traveled extensively around the country to relief projects, reporting her observations to Franklin D. Roosevelt. She loved “autumnal flowers” in rich yellows and reds, her favorite being the yellow rose of Texas. There is an Asiatic lily named “Eleanor Roosevelt” and a hybrid tea rose, “Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt.” honoring her.

Famous Women in History and the Flowers They Loved
Ellen Wilson

First Lady Ellen Wilson was the first woman in the White House to pay attention to what is now known as the First Lady’s Garden. With help from landscaper Beatrix Farrand, they developed a design for the east plot of land that included boxwoods, conifers, annuals, and perennials surrounding a reflecting pool. Mrs. Wilson loved all flowers and had difficulty choosing one as her favorite, but she had a particular fondness for roses.

Famous Women in History and the Flowers They Loved
Princess Diana

Born into an aristocratic family, Diana, Princess of Wales, was a member of Britain’s royal family for 15 years. Known as “the people’s princess,” before her tragic death, she was famous for her work with numerous charities focusing on AIDS, children, the elderly, and the homeless. Princess Diana was also a staunch advocate against the use of landmines. Her favorite flowers were white roses, symbolic of innocence, love, and loyalty.

Famous Women in History and the Flowers They Loved
Nancy Reagan

Nancy Reagan is known for the influential “Just Say No” anti-drug campaign. An advocate against drug use, she was instrumental in lowering drug use rates in school kids, especially high school teenagers. When diagnosed with breast cancer, she advocated for early detection screenings, openly talking about mammograms and mastectomies. She loved white peonies, regularly decorating the White House with them, and had to be reminded often they were only available in the spring.

Famous Women in History and the Flowers They Loved