Alchemillias, lilacs, roses—quite a few flowers make an appearance in Birdman, although not always in their typical flowery ways.
Flowers are supposed to symbolize love, life, and beauty…but these serene ideas have no place in the chaotic world of the film. For one, Riggan hates roses—and he gets a room full of them on opening night. Then there are the alchemillas. They never actually show up—Riggan gets another kind of bouquet with a note explaining that the flower shop was out of "whatever you wanted."
If this sounds depressing, don't worry: the flowers get a happy ending in the form of lilacs.
Sam goes and picks out a nice bouquet of lilacs for her hospitalized father. Unfortunately, Riggan can't smell them because he shot his nose off. Whoops.
But when he gets up to go to the bathroom he tosses the flowers right on top of Tabitha's oh-so-wonderful Times review of his play. The lilacs mostly obscure the article from our view and symbolize that Riggan may have finally valued his family over the status of his career.
Aww. It looks like the symbolic flower-power finally won.