Flowers at Funerals
The Greeks crowned the dead body with flowers, and placed flowers on the tomb also. The Romans decked the funeral couch with leaves and flowers, and spread flowers, wreaths, and fillets on the tomb of friends. When Sulla was buried as many as 2,000 wreaths were sent in his honour. Most of our funeral customs are derived from the Romans; as dressing in black, walking in procession, carrying insignia on the bier, raising a mound over the grave, called tumulus, whence our tomb.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894