The Victorian era saw the rose rise to be the premiere messenger of emotions. The restrictive society of that time had various norms that disallowed easy and frank communication, especially between lovers. The rose is a flower of occasion, and every rose has come to mean something. It is imperative therefore to know what rose means what, and to understand what people mean when they send you a rose.
The most popular and beloved of all roses is the red rose. The red rose symbolizes passionate and abiding love. A love that will be sustained in spite of the thorns and seeks a passionate consummation is what the red rose speaks of. In contrast, the white rose speaks of innocence, purity and virtue. Both these roses are also symbolic of power, as they were used in the War of the Roses.
Pale pink roses are another favorite. They speak of gentleness, grace, simplicity, appreciation and admiration. Pink roses are also used to express gratitude and sincere happiness. Another pale shade of the rose is yellow. And yellow roses speak of abundant joy, gladness and delight. It is used to welcome a person back after a period of absence. Yellow roses also indicate “jealous love”.
Orange roses speak of desire and passion, enthusiasm and fulfillment. Black roses speak of death and mourning, while green roses have come to symbolize fertility, abundance and rejuvenation. Blue roses speak of something that is unattainable.
Roses take on different meanings when given in combination. Red and white given together signify a unity of the spirit. The red and yellow rose together speaks of happy and jovial feelings. A single rose stands for simplicity and complete devotion to one person.
It is obvious that roses have evolved to have rich shades of meanings and implications. The rich tradition of giving a rose to a loved one is still very popular in our society. And as long as we seek to express affection through roses, they will continue to evolve and express the deepest and truest of our feelings.