Even though you can fully complete Spiritfarer in around 40 hours, I’ve put more than double that into the game because I love it so much. I never get tired of exploring the many islands or interacting with the delightful characters. Being in that world makes me feel so at home, it’s such an immersive escape from reality. While Spiritfarer isn’t my number one favorite game, it’s easily top 10, and that’s saying something considering how many I play.
Part of what makes it such a fantastic experience is the emotional side. This game doesn’t just give you a fantastic plot, it gives you a story that tugs at your heartstrings. Everything in the game has a purpose, and often deeper meanings can be found wherever you look.
Flowers are central to many of the themes in Spiritfarer and can be found everywhere. Lily is summoned by interacting with a special flower. Flowers are growing outside Stella’s cabin. Giovanni betrays Astrid for the final time by giving roses to another woman. Spirit flowers are another way that the game utilizes that floral theme and this article will cover everything you need to know about Spiritfarer spirit flowers.
Spirit Flowers in Spiritfarer
- How do you get spirit flowers? They’re left behind after a spirit leaves your ship.
- Which characters get spirit flowers? Gwen, Alice, Summer, Atul, Stanley, Giovanni, Astrid, Bruce, Gustav, Elena, Beverly, Daria, and Jackie.
- Where do you find spirit flowers? You can harvest them from the room where the spirit used to live.
- What are spirit flowers used for? They can be used to buy upgrades at Albert’s Shipyard.
What are Spirit Flowers?
Spirit flowers are a visual representation of a spirit that has passed on. After you take a spirit through the Everdoor (or they leave the ship through other means), you’ll be able to return to their room. There, you’ll find that flowers have started growing, and you’ll be able to pick one to add to your inventory. You can only do this once, however, you will still be able to see the rest of the flowers even after you’ve picked one.
You will not be able to sell them, and they will remain in your inventory unless you use them for a purchase. Each one has a short sentence explaining which spirit it represents. That way, you can look at the flower in your inventory and remember the character. They’re a beautiful way of keeping a character’s memory alive on your ship even after they’ve left.
The wonderful thing about spirit flowers is that they’ve been chosen so cleverly. The developers didn’t just choose random flowers that they liked. Instead, each flower was specially chosen to reflect an aspect of the spirit’s personality.
It could be in relation to who they were as a person, or about what that person represented to Stella. I like that it’s left unsaid so that each player can make a subjective interpretation of the flower’s meaning. It makes the gaming experience seem more personal.
What are Spirit Flowers Used For?
Aside from looking beautiful, spirit flowers only have one use in the game. They can’t be sold at any shop, nor are they used for any of Francis’ errands. However, Albert at Albert’s Shipyard will sometimes require them for upgrades. Not all boat improvements require a spirit flower, but you will need them for the following upgrades:
- Icebreaker (1 spirit flower)
- Rock Destroyer (2 spirit flowers)
- Mist Cleaner 1000 (3 spirit flowers)
There is no other use for them in the game, so you’ll get to keep the rest of them in your inventory. It’s up to you which spirit flowers you spend on the upgrades, as they’re all equal in Albert’s eyes.
However, although the game isn’t entirely linear, you do release some spirits before others. Therefore, especially with earlier spirits such as Gwen, you’ll be obligated to spend certain spirit flowers so that you can move on to the next area.
What Are the Spirit Flowers for Each Character?
There are many glorious characters in Spiritfarer, each with a unique personality. Nearly all of them will leave behind a spirit flower for you to collect at some point in the game. There are two exceptions to this, though.
Firstly, Buck won’t give you a spirit flower as you never take him through the Everdoor. It’s implied he’s already passed on before meeting Stella, hence why she doesn’t need to ferry him to the other side.
Mickey also doesn’t get a spirit flower, even though Bruce does. It’s theorized that this is because Mickey was never actually on the ship and that instead, the Mickey we saw was simply a manifestation of Bruce’s own grief and inability to let go of his brother.
When passing through the Everdoor, Bruce finally accepts that Mickey is gone, and that acceptance allows him to move to the other side. As such, when he departs, only Bruce’s memory remains on the ship in the form of a spirit flower, as Mickey was always an extension of Bruce.
Gwen – Asphodel
Asphodel is a common plant that can be found on several continents. Interestingly, this is also true for deer, which is the animal form that Gwen takes on as a spirit. It’s popular for people to own in their gardens, and this could reflect the general popularity that Gwen has amongst the players. She’s the first spirit you encounter, and is easy to like. She’s not as controversial or complex as some of the later spirits.
I doubt it’s a coincidence that asphodel is a plant associated with the afterlife. It’s particularly relevant in Greek mythology and was the flower of choice for Persephone, Queen of the Underworld. Gwen is the very first spirit that you take through the Everdoor and she’s the first experience that the player has with the afterlife.
Asphodel also represents peace, and this is synonymous with Stella and Gwen’s relationship. Although most of the spirits in the game are patients that Stella met whilst working at the hospital, that’s not the case with Gwen.
The two of them had been close friends for many years, and Gwen had a sisterly role in Stella’s life. Her presence on the ship helped bring Stella peace as she grew accustomed to her new role as the spiritfarer.
Alice – Peace Lily
When I think of peace lilies, I remember the many amusing scenes surrounding them in the movie Hot Fuzz. Still, in reality, they hold a very different meaning. Alice is one of my favorite characters in Spiritfarer, and I cried a lot when it was time for her to go.
Whilst Stanley is my favorite, I feel that Alice’s story is probably the most well-written, and watching her character descend into dementia was very hard for me. I’d watched my grandad go through similar, and it’s a sad fact of life for many elderly people. I think the choice of a peace lily to honor her memory was truly touching.
The obvious interpretation is that of peace. Alice’s soul is at rest now, and with her, she leaves behind a calm and tranquillity. However, it’s deeper than that. Peace lilies are a bright white, and it’s seen by many as being symbolic of a white flag of surrender. I feel like this more accurately reflects Alice’s journey.
She tries for so long to fight her illness and convince herself that she’s fine. Eventually, she has to face what’s happening to her and surrenders to her dementia. She acknowledges that it’s time to go, and travels with Stella through the Everdoor to finally find everlasting peace.
Summer – Oxeye Daisy
Summer is a beautiful, sensitive soul, so it’s fitting that she’s represented by such a bright and gentle flower. However, it could also be seen as representative of the cancer that took her. That duality makes the oxeye daisy a perfect choice for Summer.
Although undeniably pretty, this flower is technically a weed. It’s an invasive species in many areas of the world and spreads rapidly across hosts such as lawns. Similarly, Summer’s cancer overtook her body, spreading through her until she eventually succumbed. It’s quite a dark interpretation, but given the solemnity of many scenes in Spiritfarer, I wouldn’t be surprised if this were the intention of the developers. The juxtaposition of light and dark is part of what makes the game so powerful.
Oxeye daisies are also renowned for being representative of patience. This perfectly encapsulates Summer’s soft demeanor. She took everything in her stride no matter how bad it was. Even with cancer, she accepted it and made the most of her time. She always had a kind word for everyone, and in the game, she even forgave the Quartz Dragon in the game, who represented her cancer.
Atul – White Lily
Atul has quite possibly the hardest exit in Spiritfarer as we never get to say goodbye to him. With all the other spirits, we get closure by taking them through the Everdoor, but not with Atul. He just disappears from the ship without warning. It’s never explicitly stated, but I’ve always theorized that Atul died by suicide, hence his sudden departure from Stella’s life.
The spirit flower has particular significance here as it’s the way that the player knows he’s passed on. I remember seeing that he was missing and hoping he’d just visited a nearby island, but then I discovered the flowers growing in his room and realized he was gone for good.
White lilies are seen as a sign of purity, and that’s who Atul is to Stella. Their relationship is unburdened by pain and regret. He’s her loving uncle, and he was always a happy figure in her life. He offered her comfort and stability, and their love for each other was pure and honest, as it came from a familial bond.
Stanley – Fly Agaric Mushroom
I cannot express enough how much I love Stanley. His excitable and friendly attitude is a welcome addition to the ship, and he’s my favorite of all the spirits. He’s unique in his appearance, as whilst all the other spirits are represented by animals, Stanley is a little mushroom boy. The same is true of the scientific category of his spirit flower. Every other spirit leaves behind a flower from the flora kingdom, but Stanley’s is in the fungi kingdom.
Stanley’s spirit flower is the fly agaric mushroom. This fits him so well for several reasons. The most obvious is that it’s based on his appearance on the ship. Still, that was a deliberate choice by the developer, so we need to look at why they chose a mushroom to be the basis of his character.
One simple answer is that the fly agaric mushroom is arguably the most commonly recognized toadstool in the world. When I was a child, I was obsessed with fairies, and so I know that a circle of toadstools is referred to as a fairy ring, and is considered a portal to the realm of the fairies. So Stanley’s existence could be seen as a bridge to a childlike imagination.
The fly agaric mushroom is also sometimes used as a drug. It has strong psychoactive and hallucinogenic properties, and although it’s technically poisonous, that doesn’t stop people from taking it. Drugs are often used by people who are suffering, and as a young boy with a fatal disease, Stanley certainly represents people who suffer.
They’re also an escape from reality, and that’s what the time on Stella’s ship offered to Stanley. He was able to indulge in his fantasies for a little while longer before eventually accepting death.
Giovanni – Borage
I have very mixed feelings about Giovanni. His charismatic personality makes him easy to like, but I just can’t forgive him for cheating on poor Astrid. However, despite that, I was still glad to have his spirit flower as a memento of him. I feel like his flower is one of the best choices in terms of how accurately it reflects him.
The borage is also known as the starflower, and its fanciful shape and color immediately grab the beholder’s attention. Similarly, Giovanni was always larger than life. He was a charmer and would grip people from the moment he started talking to them.
He was a strong presence on Stella’s ship, and the borage plant stands proudly upon its stem, rather than hiding behind leaves as other flowers do. Giovanni was keen on perfecting his appearance, and the blue and red flower is a gorgeous combination of color, which Giovanni would’ve appreciated.
The borage also represents courage and bravery. Whatever else he was, Giovanni was undeniably a hero. He fought in World War 2 to try and save lives and defend his country. Stella always respected that about him, and it took a lot of bravery for him to face death to do what he felt was right.
It’s also how Giovanni saw himself, and perhaps that idea of courage is how he excused his poor actions towards his wife.
Astrid – Mallow Flower
Astrid was never my favorite spirit, but I had a lot of respect for her and felt honored to be able to help her on her journey through the Everdoor. She was a proud, no-nonsense kind of lady on the outside, but inside she was a lot more sensitive than she let on. The mallow flower reflects this, as the flower itself is soft and beautiful, but it’s surrounded by large, spiky leaves.
The mallow flower has a few different meanings, but I’m going to focus on the two that are most apt for her character. Firstly, it’s a symbol of persuasion, which captures the confidence that Astrid had in life. When we first encounter her, she’s giving a rousing speech to mistreated workers, and they’re all captivated by what she has to say. She has a strong sense of justice and isn’t easily swayed by others.
The other meaning is ‘consumed by love’, and that’s ultimately what happens to Astrid. She’s got so much inner strength, but it seems to all fall away when it comes to her relationship with Giovanni. She loves him so deeply, but she knows who and what he is.
His unfaithfulness breaks her heart time and again, but she constantly lets him back in. It’s like he’s planted a seed inside her heart, and she can’t shake him no matter what. Their stories are so intertwined, and when he leaves through the Everdoor, she follows him shortly after.
Gustav – Red Poppy
Although he didn’t make much of an impression on me, I did still like Gustav. He was simple and honest, and I appreciated that. In a game filled with unique, complex personalities, it was refreshing to have someone who seemed so ordinary by comparison. He still had his eccentricities, but for the most part, he was reliable and steady.
With most of the spirits, the flowers represent a core part of their personality, but for Gustav, the poppy is more symbolic of that which he values. As an art collector, Gustav has a fine eye for detail and an appreciation for history. A poppy has a simple elegance to it, and its beauty cannot be denied. Poppies tend to spread in large fields, filling up all the available space, just like Gustav was intent on filling his museum.
It’s also a symbol of remembrance, and that’s really what art collecting is about. Gustav’s job was an act of remembrance for all the brilliant artists who had created those delightful works. It’s about clinging on to history and elevating it to the front. Poppies also represent hope for the future, and that was a concept very pertinent to Gustav. In his Everdoor dialogue, he talks about his hopes and dreams for the world.
Bruce – Fennel Flower
I hated Bruce and Mickey every moment that they were on my ship and I couldn’t wait to be rid of them. I rushed through their quests so I could send them away, but in the end, their story broke my heart. I cried so hard at Bruce’s Everdoor dialogue, and it made me see the two of them in an entirely new light. It’s fitting that they only leave behind one spirit flower – the fennel flowers that Mickey wore around his neck.
Fennel is symbolic of strength, according to Shakespearean literature. Mickey had a large and imposing figure, and was a man of few words, preferring action. That strength was taken away from him after his drunk-driving accident, leaving him comatose. Bruce was never able to accept that and always saw his brother through that lens of strength. It’s sweet that that’s how Bruce and Mickey will be remembered. It also conveys the internal strength that Bruce had, as he took on life for both of them.
Fennel also represents flattery and pleasure. Bruce and Mickey had grandiose tastes and always strove for the finer things in life. That didn’t always go to plan in the real world, but they made up for it on Stella’s boat. They always requested fancy meals, and their home was much larger and more magnificent than any of the others. Bruce was always demanding more from Stella and the others in his life, and he thought of himself as much more influential than perhaps he really was.
Elena – Cypress
I think Elena is the only spirit that I consider irredeemable. At least Bruce and Mickey were there for each other, and their loyalty was admirable. There’s nothing at all that I can admire about Elena. She’s a cruel, selfish woman who can never accept people as they are.
She pretends it’s about getting the best out of people, but that’s a lie she tells herself. She doesn’t actually care about their development, she just loves being in control. I was never bothered by the fact she wouldn’t hug Stella, as I can respect that she wants her space. But her mean attitude was uncalled for, and I felt nothing when she left.
It makes sense to me that she’d leave behind something rough and bland like cypress. There’s nothing flowery or showy about it, it’s just there. Similarly, when Elena was on my ship, she didn’t make much of an impression on me. I simply did her quests and then sent her on her way. I like that I can scroll past her spirit flower in my inventory while barely noticing it, just like I barely noticed her existence in the game.
Symbolically, the cypress represents everlasting life and transitions into something new. This could signify the fact that Elena is the only spirit whose journey doesn’t end after you take her through the Everdoor. Instead, you get notifications even after she’s gone, and she gives you new quests to fulfil. Her memory lives on through her incessant task-setting even when she’s no longer there to oversee you.
Beverly – Red Anemone
Beverly’s story is an odd one for me, and I wonder if that’s due to how I experienced her. Beverly was added in an update after I’d already completed the game, which means I played her story in a vacuum. I wasn’t dealing with any other spirits, I was simply going around completing her quests as she gave them to me.
I was also able to complete them very quickly as I already had access to a lot of materials in my inventory. I think that’s why I never really connected with her. I always considered Beverly’s story to just be a less impactful version of Alice’s. I did still like her well enough, though.
In European cultures, the anemone represents various facets of love. It can be forsaken love or desperate longing, and both of these are apt for Beverly. Her entire story revolves around cultivating memories of those she cared for. We learn about Beverly through her interactions with those who meant the most to her in life – her husband and children. She never really got over the loss of her husband, and she felt lonelier still when her children moved out. The anemone represents her connection to her family.
In Chinese culture, the anemone is associated with illness. This could be a reference to the Alzheimer’s that she fell victim to. Whilst it was certainly a strong theme in Beverly’s story, I didn’t find it overly emotional. I think this is partially because Beverly was already suffering from it quite badly when we first met her, so we didn’t have to watch her slowly descend into it.
Daria – Saffron
I know a lot of players were indifferent to Daria, but I really liked her. I’ve had my own struggles with mental illness, particularly with depression, and I could really relate to that side of Daria. I feel like her story was beautifully written, and I loved the poetic way in which she captured her emotions.
Some people have criticized how difficult her minigame was, but I thought it was necessary. It was demonstrating how hard it can feel to try and escape a mental health episode. One thing I really loved about Daria is that despite her internal demons, she was sweet and lovely to those around her.
Daria leaves behind a saffron flower, which looks just like her with its purple and yellow hues. Her mental illness is related to vivid synaesthesia that she experiences, so color is very relevant to how she sees the world. Saffron is a gorgeous flower filled with beautiful shades of color.
Saffron flowers are associated with happiness, and ultimately that’s who Daria is as a person. That side of her is suppressed by Jackie who insists on just seeing her as crazy and belittling her, but it’s still the underlying drive behind her personality. Daria wants to spread joy, and she has a unique outlook on life.
As a color, saffron is also representative of courage and sacrifice. Daria exhibits immense courage by dealing with her inner demons as well as Jackie’s cruelty. She is constantly fighting against her own mind, and that shows her internal bravery.
It’s worth noting that Daria’s flower does not appear on your ship. Although Stella takes her through the Everdoor, Daria never actually lives on the ship. Instead, she simply sleeps in the cabin on the way to the Everdoor. To find her flower, you have to return to Daria’s room in the lighthouse in Overbrook. The saffron flowers are growing all around it.
Jackie – Red Dahlia
Jackie is a complex character, and although my instinct is to hate him for how he treated Daria, it’s not that simple. Although it’s certainly not an excuse, Jackie wasn’t intentionally mean to Daria, but he had his own issues that he needed to work through. He was a charismatic man, but he cut corners in his work at the hospital, and it was the patients who suffered for it. In the end, he finally acknowledges that he needs help, and allows Stella to take care of him.
The red dahlia is an interesting choice of spirit flower because at first, it seems almost contradictory to who he was. It can be a symbol of devotion, love, and dignity, and those qualities were precisely what he denied the patients in his care. However, they were also qualities that he admired and were who he wanted to be. It also accurately reflects how he treated other people, like Stella.
Dahlias are also symbolic of power, and that’s very fitting for Jackie. He was a strong man in peak fitness, and his position granted him a lot of power, which he abused. Dahlias come in many colors, so the choice of red was deliberate. Red is a passionate, vibrant color, and reflects how captivating Jackie could be.
Question: Does Buck have a spirit flower in Spiritfarer?
Answer: Buck never goes through the Everdoor, and therefore does not leave behind a spirit flower as he never leaves the ship. However, he does wear rue flowers on a wreath around his neck.
Question: What are spirit flowers used for in Spiritfarer?
Answer: Spirit flowers can be used to purchase the Icebreaker, Rock Destroyer, and Mist Cleaner 1000 upgrades. These are necessary to progress through the game.
Question: Where can I find spirit flowers in Spiritfarer?
Answer: Spirit flowers are left behind after a spirit passes through the Everdoor/ permanently leaves the ship. They are found in or outside the rooms of each spirit.
As you can see, the developers put a lot of thought into the spirit flower choices for each character. Each flower reflects traits that the spirit either embodied or valued, and they are part of the interwoven tapestry that adds so much depth to the personalities.
Hopefully, this article has given you a wider understanding of the lore surrounding flowers in Spiritfarer. I know I find it truly fascinating to learn about the symbolic meaning behind each flower and how it connects to the characters.
If you love Spiritfarer, why not check out our guide to all the spirits?
- Planet of Lana Review: A Delightfully Charming Experience - June 4, 2023
- Bugsnax Best Bugs Ranked - March 30, 2023
- Iris and the Giant Review - March 14, 2023