The Meaning of Roses

Roses have been in existence for around 32 million years, and have been used for many reasons since the ancient civilizations including the Greeks, Romans, and Persians. Roses have been bred to be colorful, fragrant, and hearty for thousands of years.

Although a rose of any color can simply mean gratitude and simplicity, over time they have been attrubuted to a varity of emotions and occasions which is discussed below.


Red - Love

Colors range from bright red to deep burgundy. Varieties include Charlotte, Forever Young, Classy, and Rouge Baiser.

Red roses are given to those who you want to show love and passion, people who you have great respect for, and those who have shown great courage.

The quantity can also have a special meaning. A single red rose shows love, a dozen shows gratitude, twenty-five shows congratulations and fifty show unconditional love. Two red roses tied together symbolizes an engagement.

The shade of the red has a meaning as well. Bright red means love, burgundy means unconsious love, dark crimson is used to show mourning. A withered red rose is used to show that the love is over. A red rosebud symbolizes youthful love and beauty.


Pink - Gratitude

Colors range from light pink to peach to darker pink. Varieties include Ana, Livia, Pink Titanic, Rossini, Orlando and Attaché.

Pink roses in general are given to those whom you want to show thankfulness, admiration, and happiness. The different shades of pink can have more precise meanings.

Deep pink is used for appreciation and gratitude, where as light pink conveys admiration and sympathy, and peach roses are given to show modesty.


Orange - Desire

Colors range from bright orange to coral. Varities include Tropical Amazon, Marlyse, and Sari.

Orange roses are given to those who you desire, those you want to get to know better, or those who you are proud of.


Yellow - Friendship

Colors range from light yellow to golden. Varieties include Gold Strike, Skyline, Judy and Aalsmeer Gold.

Yellow roses express joy, gladness, and friendship. They are given to new mothers, newlyweds, and graduates. They're also used as a reminder to a loved one to show that you care.

In the past yellow was used to show jealousy and a decrease of love.


White - Purity

Colors range from pure white to creams to very light pinks. Varieties include Eskimo, Bianca, Akito, and Vendella.

White roses are given to those who are innocent, reverent, and pure. They are very commonly used in weddings. They can also be given as a sign of secrecy. A white rosebud is used to show girhood.

A white rose that has been dried means "Death is Preferable to Loss of Virtue". A whithered white rose represents fleeting beauty, or given to show that no impression was made.


Lavender - Enchantment

Varities include Allure, Bluebird, Blue Curosia, and Stranger.

Lavender roses show that you have fallen in love with someone from the moment you saw them. It also can be given to those who you feel are very unique, and those who you feel are enchanting.

Combinations of roses can also show different feelings and emotions.

Red and White - Unity
Red and Yellow - Jovial happiness
Pink and White - Forever love
Orange and Yellow - Passionate thoughts
Pale colors - Sociability and friendship

The rose plant has many other symbols as well, the leaves of a rose symbolize hope, a crown of roses symbolizes superior merit, and many others.

Links - World Federation of Rose Societies - Rose Magazine