Ah! The beautiful rose – enthralling and bewitching in its simple elegance. Every rose has its own personal message to convey, hidden in its color and its size. Not every rose for every person, or for every occasion. It would be nice to ensure that you are communicating the right message to that special person. What then could be the meaning of white roses?
The meaning of shimmering white roses is not very hard to decipher if you go by their appearance. 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. When you need to convince that your affections are straight from the heart and are as pure as virgin snow, use a white rose. But there are more hidden meanings in a white rose than meets the eye.
White has ever been a symbol of innocence, of a world unspoiled and untarnished. The meaning of a bunch of glowing white roses is innocence and spiritual love. The white rose glorifies a love that is unaware of the temptations of the flesh and resides only in the soul. As opposed to the red rose that speaks of passionate promises, the meaning of a white rose is in its simplicity and pristine purity.
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 passion. So, in its capacity to worship someone till death, the meaning of a white rose is unchanging loyalty that endures beyond all else.
The white bouquet has been a tradition since Queen Victoria’s wedding in l840. It was in this romantic era that gentlemen started sending flowers to their lady friends to denote special meanings. The white rose is the queen of the bridal bouquet. Here, the meaning of a white rose is something different altogether. A virgin carrying the white roses seeks to assure her loved one of her purity and innocence. Untarnished and untainted – the white rose is the bride on her wedding day. In the “language of the flowers” the meaning of white roses is “I am worthy of you”. The meaning of the white rose will not be lost on a groom when he sees his bride’s eyes filled with unchanging love and loyalty, a promise to stand by him through all.
A white rosebud seeks to convey a different shade of meaning. It speaks of youthful ignorance, and innocence. “I am too young to be loved”, the white rosebud proudly proclaims to the world. Girlhood, immature in the ways of the world, an age that is as pure and fresh as spring is what the white rosebud denotes. Beauty, youth and a heart innocent of love are some of the meanings of a white rose bud.
The meaning of white roses is not only in their full blooms. A withered or fading white rose is also clamoring to be heard. Fleeting beauty or “you made no impression” – as cruel as that may sound. When you need to keep away from the ardent sighs of an unwelcome admirer, perhaps it is wise to present a bunch of fading white roses.
The most famous meanings of the white rose arise from mythology. Many of these surround Aphrodite (Venus) as Goddess of love. She sprang forth into life from the foaming sea, and where the foam fell to the ground, white roses grew. 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 story she runs to help her wounded lover Adonis and catches her flesh on the thorns of the white rose bush. Her blood falling on the bush turns the roses red, symbolizing the way innocence and purity change to experience and motherhood.
So, the next time you buy some white roses for a loved one, look deep and long, lest they should signify something more or less than what you wish. The multifarious meanings of white roses are as beautiful and as lovely as the enchanting flower itself.