The Most Popular Mother's Day Flowers Throughout History

Go old school and give her calla lillies — they were big in the '20s!

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Hey there, mamas! Mother's Day is turning 101 this year — so, we're shedding some light on the history of the holiday. In 1908, a woman named Anna Jarvis decided to hold a memorial at Andrews Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia, to honor her mother, who passed away three years before.

During her lifetime, Anna's mother, Ann, founded Mothers' Day Work Clubs in five cities — part of a campaign to promote sanitary conditions in local communities and help nurse Civil War soldiers on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line. At the ceremony, Anna gifted a white carnation (her mother's favorite bloom) to all of the moms in attendance.

Then, in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation declaring a national Mother's Day to be held the second Sunday in May. Carnations had become a symbol of the holiday, with red carnations bestowed upon living moms, and white carnations often placed on deceased mothers' graves.

Of course, flowers are still a major part of the holiday. But the most popular types to send to Mom have actually varied quite a bit through the decades. We chatted with s floral design expert Michael Skaff to learn which blossoms have been gifted most often throughout the years — and his answers are enlightening:

1910s: Ferns

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1920s: Calla Lillies

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1930s: Dahlias

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1940s: Delphiniums

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1950s: Peonies

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1960s: Daisies

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1970s: Hyacinths

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1980s: Roses

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1990s: Orchids

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2000s: Tulips

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2010s: Plants

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Turns out these days, kids (even grown-up ones) are sending their moms arrangements of greenery (such as sansevaria and palms) and flowering plants, like hydrangeas and roses. Potted plants don't wilt as quickly as cut blooms, , major bonus: Mom can transplant your gift into her garden, and enjoy it all summer long.

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