Roses are a symbol of care, love, and kindness the world over and from one culture to the next. Roses come in such a wealth of colors, sizes, and specifications that it can often be mind boggling attempting to select the perfect roses for the occasion. Whether roses are offered for love, friendship, sympathy, congratulations, or holidays, the incredible variety of colors offers a way to personalize the gift of roses to the occasion. Over the years, each rose color has come to be associated with different symbolic meanings. Learn more from rose history experts about the cultural meanings of different rose colors.
Culturally, red roses symbolize love and respect. A deeper interpretation suggests that red roses are a symbol of enduring passion and the creativity that true love often exhibits. Red roses are a perfect choice for Valentine's Day, an anniversary celebration, an engagement party or bridal shower, a rehearsal dinner, a lover's birthday, or any romantic occasion.
Traditionally, the color yellow is symbolic of friendship and sociability. More recently yellow roses have also come to symbolize gladness, joy, and the care that exists between friends. Culturally, the yellow rose has come a long way from its Victorian-era connotations of jealousy. Today, the yellow rose is often selected as a gift of friendship for birthdays, graduation ceremonies, baby showers, work events, and other occasions where joy and celebration are present.
The traditional meaning for the color white is spiritual or religious in nature - the white rose has deep connotations of reverence, humility, purity and innocence. In some countries such as Scotland, as white roses bloomed, it was seen as a harbinger of young romantic love blooming. Over the years, the white rose has come to be culturally associated with loyalty, truth, and reverence, representing a deep and abiding friendship and loyalty that indicates an enduring connection beyond the surface appearance.
The color meaning of pink roses provides some of the most interesting contemplations for rose enthusiasts. In general, culturally, pink roses have represented gentleness, cultural attainment, refinement, feminine beauty, and elegance. Beyond the general, the depth of shade in a pink rose carries additional symbolism. A deep pink rose has become associated with gratitude and appreciation, making deep pink roses a perfect choice for thank you gifts, celebratory occasions, fundraisers, and other events where personal achievement, triumph with the presence of support, and giving and receiving is front and center stage. Pale pink roses, on the other hand, have come to symbolize grace, gentleness, admiration, and a profound sympathy.
Orange roses, with their warmth and exuberance, have over the years become associated with enthusiasm and the fire of desire. As an expression of attraction or a deep admiration, a gift of orange roses is a great choice for occasions such as new romance or the start of new ventures or endeavors.
The color purple has long held a spiritual or mystical quality, and purple roses also have a connotation of the mysterious quality of love. Purple roses are often given as a gift for a first Valentine's Day as well as new love.