There are several types of Carnations which differentiate how many flowers there are per stem. Single flowers have 5 petals while other types will have double flowers with up to 40 petals. Carnations were first used by the Greeks and Romans in garlands. Today, carnations are popular flowers used to celebrate mother’s day. red carnations are often used in International Workers’ Day demonstrations. Traditional French tradition includes purple carnations as a funeral flower. Carnations symbolize love, fascination, and distinction. White carnations in particular, however, represent pure love and good luck.