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The Meaning of Roses by Color

Close up of multi colored rose bouquet with purple roses

For as long as humans have been cultivating flowers, different blooms and colors have been used to convey particular meanings, feelings, and emotions. In the Victorian era, the symbolism of flowers was literally a language of its own — floriography. Entire books were published on the language of flowers and the different meanings associated with various colors and varieties of flowers.

Roses, in particular, are flowers that have historically inspired a wide variety of meanings and associations. It seems as if it's almost universal knowledge that red roses are associated with romantic love and Valentine's Day. But how well do you know the meanings of other shades of roses?

Let's take a look at eight different colors of roses and the meanings associated with each of them.

What's In a Color? The Meanings of Different Colors of Roses

  1. Red Roses
  2. Yellow Roses
  3. White Roses
  4. Pink Roses
  5. Peach Roses
  6. Orange Roses
  7. Purple Roses
  8. Blue Roses
  9. Roses for You

Red Roses

If you have an association with only one color of roses, it's probably the red rose. The red rose is a well-known, near-universal symbol of love, romance, and passion. When you're looking for a way to express your romantic feelings for that special someone in your life, a single-stem red rose or a simple red rose bouquet is one of the most traditional ways to do so.

One reason the association between red roses and romance is so strong is that it dates back to ancient times. Both Greek and Roman mythology have stories of the goddess of love rushing to warn her lover about threats against his life. On the way, she is cut by a thorn, and everywhere her blood falls, a red rose blooms. Although the lover tragically dies, the red roses serve as an ongoing reminder of their love.

Yellow Roses

Yellow roses have come to represent friendship. Although, this hasn't always been the case. In the past, yellow roses were thought to signify jealousy or betrayal. In the Victorian era, getting a yellow rose from your beloved might have been a sign that your relationship was nearing its end.

But it's perhaps apt that these roses reminiscent of the sun and its rays have come to be associated with warmer feelings. Today, yellow roses are most commonly gifted to friends or colleagues as a symbol of congratulations or overall warm and fuzzy vibes.

White Roses

Very popular at weddings, white roses are sometimes referred to as the "bridal rose" and are generally thought to represent purity and innocence. Additionally, perhaps because of the association with wedding ceremonies, white roses have also come to symbolize new beginnings and young love.

White roses are also thought to convey a sense of honor and remembrance. For this reason, they are also commonly found in funeral arrangements and can be appropriately given as a sympathy gesture.

Pink Roses

Pink roses can represent a variety of things, with different shades of pink carrying different connotations. Although, generally speaking, any pink rose can represent gratitude, so you can't go wrong sending pink roses as a thank you. Lighter, paler pinks also tend to represent femininity, happiness, and grace, while darker, deeper shades carry associations of honor and admiration.

Although pink roses don't have the same associations with love as red roses, that doesn't mean they aren't appropriate for your love interest. But they're also quite appropriate as a non-romantic gesture, for instance as a graduation gift or a congratulatory gesture after a performance.

Peach Roses

The word peach conjures pleasant and sweet connotations, whether it makes you think about taking a bite out of a juicy piece of fruit or it just has you feeling peachy keen. Appropriately, then, peach roses are known to represent uniformly warm, positive attributes like sincerity and gratitude.

A peach rose is an ideal expression of friendship and makes a great gift for your host when you're attending a fancy brunch or a dinner party. Alternatively, sending peach roses as a thank you will leave no doubt about the genuine nature of your feelings.

Orange Roses

While the sincerity associated with peach roses makes them an appropriate gift for an old friend or a trusted work colleague, orange roses call to mind something a bit more adventurous. This fiery color signifies energy, passion, and desire. This means a gift of orange roses is better reserved for someone with whom you have a flirtatious or romantic relationship. It's a great way to let your partner or crush know you're excited about them!

Purple Roses

Purple roses are not commonly found in the wild, but they are beautiful flowers with a very specific meaning. The color purple has been associated with royalty for centuries. The raw materials needed to make purple dyes have historically been rare and, therefore, expensive. As such, the color was often reserved for the rich and powerful.

Darker purple roses, therefore, are symbolic of royalty and majesty. A gift of purple roses also implies a sense of adoration, so tends to be appropriate for a very special occasion. Softer purples, like lavender, have a more specific meaning of love at first sight.

Blue Roses

Roses this color do not occur naturally in the wild, but in 2004, a team of scientists successfully genetically engineered a species of blue rose. Because of their rarity, the blue rose can symbolize the unattainable or the mysterious. As a relatively recent creation, they also carry an association with new beginnings. Because of this association, they can make an appropriate gift for someone experiencing a change, like a new job or a move to a new home.

Roses for You

If you're looking to buy a bouquet of roses for a special someone, a special occasion, or just because you want some beautiful flowers around the house, UrbanStems has a variety of options. And now that you know better what each rose color represents, you're all the more equipped to make the perfect choice for any occasion.

The Adore You is a beautiful bouquet of creamy pink roses with a sweet vibe that is sure to put a smile on anyone's face. For something bold and modern, try The Firecracker, a stunning bouquet with bursts of orange and yellow. For a more direct romantic message, try The Valentine, a sensual bouquet of red roses that won't leave any doubt in your recipient's mind that they are the one for you.


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