“0, my love is like a red, red rose,
that’s newly sprung in June.”
_ Robert Burns.
Words or pictures have never fully encompassed the sheer beauty and grandeur of the red rose. The red rose is undeniably the most beautiful among all the roses, full blooded and rich. The incredibly beautiful Cleopatra used the red rose to carpet her bedroom when she received Antony. All roses convey warmth, affection and love in varying degrees. But the red rose, being the queen of roses, is the most popular and beloved of all.
The most obvious and well known meaning of the red rose is deep love and affection. In the 18th century, a special rose language evolved as a means of communication between lovers who were forced by society to keep their feelings a secret. And the red rose came to symbolize true love that would stand the test of time. Staunch promising affection that is forever riding high is what the red rose means. The red rose denotes a true love that is stronger than thorns and can outlive all obstacles.
Desire is another facet of the red rose. The red rose expresses the throbbing heat of new love, a passionate expression of attraction. Red is the color of consummation, of raging desires and craving passion. The meaning of the red rose then is quite apparent from its color itself. Red rose speaks of love that awaits a passionate expression.
Red roses are the most popular valentine roses, which is why their prices shoot up during February. The red rose, especially, a single red rose simply expresses, “I love you very deeply”. Bright red roses are interpreted as the ultimate expression of romantic and abiding love. Their bright red shade expresses these emotions perfectly.
A deep burgundy shade in a rose has a different meaning altogether. The deep red rose conveys unconscious and guileless beauty. The burgundy shade depicts a beauty that is unadorned and uncontrived. Another meaning of the red rose is respect and deep admiration.
In addition to beauty and passion, red roses also symbolize courage. The red rose is also a symbol of power, as represented in the War of the Roses. Red roses seek to congratulate a job well done, and to express respect and appreciation. The red rose celebrates the creative spirit of love.
A red rosebud also has its own meaning. Youthful love, innocent and fresh is what the bud stands for. The attractive and unopened rosebud celebrates unpretentious and honest beauty. Purity and loveliness are what the red rosebud stands for.
A withered red rose has a negative nuance. It speaks of a beauty past its prime, a passion that has lost its warmth, and a love that is quickly dying off. A dark crimson rose that almost borders on black is indicative of mourning and sadness.
Red roses also have a different kind of meaning within marriage. Red roses express domestic bliss that is at once passionate as well as abiding. A love that is growing in strength, away from monotony and still fresh is what the red rose portrays.
Just as there are many shades of love, so also the red rose has many shades. And the meaning of each shade varies. Poets have immortalized red roses as the flower of romantic, passionate love. But innocence, courage, heroism are some of the various meanings of the red rose.