rose began its illustrious symbolic history in
Greek and Roman iconography, where it was tied to Aphrodite, or Venus, the
goddess of love. Later, in early Christian times, it became associated with the
virtue of the Virgin Mary. By the time of Shakespeare, it had already become a
poetic standard that he, and later Gertrude Stein both famously played with.
Through the long and storied history, the bright red rose still
reigns as the ultimate symbol of romantic and love. Desire is another facet of
the red rose. In addition to beauty and passion, red roses also symbolize
courage. The red rose celebrates the creative spirit of love.
The most famous meanings of the white rose arose from mythology. Many of these myths surround Aphrodite
(or Venus to the Romans) as the Goddess of love. She sprang forth into life
from the foaming sea, and where foam spilt to the ground, white roses sprung. This and later myths about Aphrodite display the dual nature of
love: purity and innocence represented by white roses; desire and sexual
gratification by red ones. In one famous myth, Aphrodite runs to help her
wounded lover Adonis and catches her flesh on the thorns of the white rose
bush. Her blood, falling onto the bush, turns the roses red, symbolizing the
way innocence and purity change to experience and motherhood.
The color white has always been synonymous with purity and
virtue. And so, sincerity, purity, and chastity are some of the obvious
meanings of a white rose. Sometimes called "the flower of light", one
of the meanings of white roses is everlasting love - love stronger than death,
an eternal love, undying and all sustaining. White rose speaks of a love that
is sustained more by loyalty, reverence and humility than by red-blooded
the 18th century the worldwide love of roses was in full swing, but they were
only cultivated in shades of pink and white. At last, the elusive yellow rose
was discovered growing wild in the Middle East, and the European love affair
with yellow roses was born. The early yellow rose lacked the sweet scent for
which the rose is now famous, but as cultivation methods were developed and
refined, the beloved sweet-and-spicy rose scent was soon introduced and the
yellow rose achieved all its optimistic and aromatic glory.
Yellow roses express joy, gladness, and friendship. They are given to new
mothers, newlyweds, and graduates. Yellow roses are also good to celebrate new
beginnings. The yellow rose within marriage implies sweet domesticity and
Perhaps the most touching meaning of the pink rose can be found
in the story of a mother’s ultimate love and devotion for her child. Legend
says that when Mother Mary first saw her son Jesus walking up to Calvary Hill,
struggling to carry the cross where he would eventually be nailed to, the first
tear that slid down her cheeks landed on barren soil. Once the crowd began to
thin out, the first perfect pink rose grew up from that single, precious tear.
There is nothing more touching than for a mother than to receive
a bouquet of sweet pink
roses as these clearly allude to the story of Mary,
the mother of Jesus. Whether it’s her birthday or its Mother’s Day, pink roses
are the perfect gift for her. Nowadays, pink roses are often seen in bridal
arrangements, thank you or congratulations bouquets. An admiration for beauty,
refinement and enduring grace is also what the pink rose connotes.
The group of purple roses contains the colors connected with
lilac, blue, plum and lavender. The colors are often pastel in the wild. The
purple rose was first bred during the early 1800s, as a crossbreed of the
common European rose along with a selection of roses brought in from China.
The most widespread meaning of the purple rose is enthrallment, especially at first sight. Opulence, glory and
majesty are some other interpretations given to the purple rose. Purple being a
color of elegance and grandeur, it only fits that the rose also pays tribute to
It was only around the turn of the 20th century that rose
cultivators began experimenting with crossing the yellow rose with the red. Suddenly, there was a whole new rose meaning on
the scene. Blending the friendly associations of the yellow rose with the
true-love implications of the red enabled a much subtler, intriguing suggestion
of love emerging from friendship— dangerous stuff! Thankfully, the orange rose
has absorbed other suggestions over time and it’s now appropriate for any
enthusiastic message, whether of love, thanks, friendship or congratulations.
One meaning of the orange rose is fascination. When you are totally besotted and completely
bewitched by somebody, send them an orange rose. Enthusiasm and unlimited
energy are some other meanings of the orange rose. When new ventures begin, the
beginning of a journey - the orange rose celebrates all new beginnings.
Most rose historians agree that the green rose first appeared as
early as 1743, but it wasn't until the mid-19th century that the rose began to
attract attention in England and elsewhere around the world. In 1856, the U.K.
firm of Bembridge & Harrison offered a unique green rose for sale.
The official name of the green rose is "rosa chinensis
viridiflora," but it is also referred to as the China rose. Speculation
has it that the China green rose evolved from the "Slater's Crimson
China," though there seems to be no substantial proof of this. Most
Rosarians (rose experts) believe the green rose actually emerged in Georgia or
South Carolina. In 1849, a Philadelphia nurseryman named Robert Buist was known
to have the rosa viridiflora in his nursery inventory. He was reported to have
first acquired cuttings of the green rose in Charleston years before in 1833.
The most significant and popular meaning of the green rose is fertility. Green rose also symbolizes self-respect and
well-being. The green rose also signifies the constant rejuvenation of spirit,
and is therefore a messenger of cheerfulness.
Black roses are often featured in fiction with many different
meanings and titles such as Black Velvet Rose, Black Magic, Barkarole, Black
Beauty Tuscany Superb, Black Jade, and more. The flowers commonly called
“black” are actually very dark shades of red, purple, or maroon.
The magic of black flowers has attracted our attention for
centuries. Black roses appear to originate from a fairytale-world. Their
improbable and "unnatural" color inspires a powerful feeling of
The color black has always been synonymous with death and mourning.
It is thus the color of sadness and farewell. So, many people consider black
roses to symbolize bereavement, loss and mortality. A single black rose might be sent by a close friend and/or loved one leaving for a
war or on a journey from which he did not expect to return. But, a more positive meaning does exist for the black rose. It
can also be the beginning of new things, a journey into unexplored territory.
Black roses are also good for Halloween, a fitting addition to the decorations
along with black candles, black clothes, and so on.