Primary Significance: Love and Romance
The Red Rose not only carries more meaning than many other color roses, it is also one of the most universal of all symbols. The long, storied history of the red rose has lent it a wealth of significance. Red roses have been represented in countless works of art, from classical paintings and poetry to modern day music and media. They have appeared throughout history and across many cultures as political and religious symbols. The mystique of the red rose has been a source of immeasurable inspiration for many throughout the ages. However, it is as the symbol for love that the red rose is most commonly recognized.
Red roses, as we think of them today, are the traditional symbol for love and romance. The modern red rose we are now familiar with was introduced to Europe from China in the 1800's. However, the meanings associated with them can be traced back many centuries, even to some of the earliest societies. The color red itself evolved from an early primal symbol for life into a metaphor for deep emotion. In Greek and Roman mythology the red rose was closely tied to the goddess of love. Many early cultures used red roses to decorate marriage ceremonies and they were often a part of traditional wedding attire. Through this practice, the red rose became known as a symbol for love and fidelity. As the tradition of exchanging roses and other flowers as gifts of affection came into prevalence, the red rose naturally became the flower of choice for sending the strongest message of love. This is a tradition that has endured to the present day.
Red roses continue to be the most popular way to say "I love you" to someone special. The rich heritage of the red rose has culminated in its modern day image as the lover's rose. They are the definitive symbol for romantic sentiments, representing true love, stronger than thorns. Red roses are a meaningful gift, perfect for expressing feelings for a loved one on Valentine's Day, an anniversary or simply "just because." For the budding relationship, a red rose bouquet can also signal the beginning of romantic intentions. They can send a message of commitment and an invitation to take the next step. Even the simplicity of a single red rose can elicit a powerful response. Whatever the occasion, red roses have an allure that is hard to resist!
Primary Significance: Love, Gratitude, Appreciation
Pink roses have a rich history that comes with being one of the longest existing roses known to us - in fact, pink roses have even been depicted in some of the earliest known pieces of art. When roses first began to be cultivated, the majority of them existed in various shades of pink, from the palest pink to the deepest crimson. Prior to that, pink roses were the dominant species among wild roses, and were likely among the earliest roses to evolve.
In time, discoveries of new rose species and the development of modern hybridization techniques would introduce many new colors of roses. Also introduced at this time were roses with the ability to bloom repeatedly throughout the year. This was a significant development, as earlier garden roses would typically only bloom once a year. As more colors and types of roses entered the palette, each began to take on their own meanings. So too, did the meaning of the pink rose become more refined.
Above all, roses are a symbol for love and gratitude. As the pink rose was the most prevalent among the old garden roses, it was most strongly associated with these sentiments. While different roses may have more specific meanings, these are still the underlying message of any color rose. Pink roses also now carry a connotation of grace and elegance, as well as sweetness and poetic romance. Different shades of pink also carry their own significance. Dark pink roses are symbolic of gratitude and appreciation, and are a traditional way to send a message of thanks. Light pink roses are associated with gentleness and admiration, and can also be used as an expression of sympathy.
With the many ways in which they can be used to express a range of meanings, pink roses continue to maintain their popularity. The beautiful appearance and fragrance so strongly associated with roses in general, as well as their symbolic importance, can be traced back to the pink rose. While much has changed over the years, pink roses have consistently held their place of prominence in the world of flowers. Today, pink roses enjoy their own unique position representing elegance and refinement, as well as communicating thanks and admiration. The recipient of an arrangement of pink roses is sure to feel appreciated and special.
Primary Significance: Friendship, Joy, Get Well
Yellow roses have a shorter, albeit no less fascinating, history than other roses. It wasn't until around the 18th century that yellow roses were discovered growing naturally in parts of the Middle East. Prior to this, roses in cultivation predominantly existed in various shades of pink and to a lesser extent, white. However, once the first yellow roses were introduced, their popularity quickly spread.
During roughly this same time period, new rose cross-breeding and hybridization techniques were being innovated. These experiments would play an important role in the evolution of the yellow rose. One of the more compelling attributes of most roses is their sweet smelling fragrance. This was a trait that the first yellow roses did not share, and in fact, quite the opposite was true! In time however, as breeding and cultivation methods were refined, hybridizers were able to gradually phase in the more pleasing aroma that rose-lovers are accustomed to.
Also changed over the years were the meanings related to yellow roses. Throughout history, the color yellow has been closely associated with the sun. As the source of light and warmth, the sun is integral to life on Earth, and has been worshiped in many early societies. It should come as no surprise that the color of the sun would hold many positive connotations. In many Eastern cultures, for example, the color yellow represents joy, wisdom and power. However, in Europe at the time of the introduction of these roses, the color yellow carried much more negative overtones. Consequently, yellow roses were long used as a symbol for jealousy and dying love. As time went on, however, the more universal meanings connected with the color yellow have come to prevail and entwine themselves with the yellow rose. Today yellow roses are more commonly associated with joy and friendship.
A bouquet of yellow roses now brings to mind all of the sunny, cheerful feelings of warmth and happiness. In contrast to the romantic meanings attributed to other roses, the yellow rose is purely a symbol for friendship. This gives it a unique place in the pantheon of roses. Yellow roses can send the perfect message of appreciation and platonic love without the romantic subtext of other colors. They can represent feelings of joy and delight, and are an ideal way to brighten someone's day who may be feeling down. There is perhaps no other flower that is able to bring out a smile in quite the way that a yellow rose can.
Primary Significance: Purity, Innocence, Sympathy, Spirituality
With its pristine appearance, the white rose has come to symbolize purity, innocence and secrecy. There are myths and legends from several different cultures relating to the origin of the first rose which is initially white in color and is then miraculously transformed. Oftentimes the pure white rose was depicted as being stained by blood, or made to blush from a kiss. The recurrence of this theme does a great deal to establish the white rose as a symbol for purity.
Early traditions also used white roses as a symbol for true love, an association which would later become the hallmark of the red rose. However, white roses continue to endure and retain their symbolism of innocence. White roses are now used to express a number of different sentiments.
Also known as the bridal rose, the white rose is a traditional wedding flower. In this sense, they are a representation of unity, virtue, and the pureness of a new bond of love. White roses are also a symbol for young love, which further strengthens the association, and makes them ideal for marriages. Bridal bouquets are often comprised of white roses and other white flowers.
White roses are also associated with honor and reverence, which makes them a fitting memorial for a departed loved one. Funeral and sympathy arrangements traditionally incorporate white roses as a part of the tribute. As a symbol of remembrance, the white rose represents heavenliness and is an expression of spiritual love and respect.
While most of the long-established meanings of white roses are still quite commonly used today, others have become less prevalent. White rosebuds, for example, are a traditional symbol for girlhood and carry an underlying message of one too young for love. While perhaps no longer falling into the realm of common knowledge, this is still very much a part of the language of roses.
White roses can mean many things to many different people. They can symbolize new beginnings, or be a sign of farewell. They can convey feelings of love, friendship, respect and hope. Underlying all of these messages is the impression of innocence and purity with which white roses are now synonymous. An arrangement of white roses is not only beautiful; it can carry a complexity that belies its simpler appearance. Whatever the reason white roses are given, it can be assured that they will be deeply appreciated by their recipient.
Primary Significance: Desire, Enthusiasm and Passion
Orange Roses have emerged as one of the true stand-outs among today's popular rose varieties. The fiery color of an orange rose immediately conjures up passionate thoughts of romance. They can also be reminiscent of the warmth of a glowing sunset, or the sweetness of citrus. Orange roses come in a range of shades, from bright orange to softer coral and peach colors. Since the introduction of the orange rose into the world of roses, they have quickly found their place in the hearts and imaginations of rose aficionados everywhere.
Near the turn of the 20th century, rose cultivators began to produce orange roses, thanks to the recent discovery of wild yellow roses, and the spread of advanced hybridization techniques. As these early experiments to produce orange roses yielded positive results, rose enthusiasts found themselves with a new layer to add to the increasingly rich tapestry of rose meanings.
The orange rose has mainly come to be regarded as the symbol for desire, enthusiasm and passion. Being a literal mixture of the colors yellow and red, orange roses were often seen as a bridge between the feelings of friendship symbolized by yellow roses, and love associated with red roses. Giving a bouquet of orange roses could be a sign of emerging romantic feelings and the desire to move a relationship beyond the stage of friendship. In addition, they can be an expression of fascination, or a gift to say "I'm proud of you." Orange roses have also become popular as a Halloween flower.
The association of orange roses with romantic expressions is fitting, considering the obvious connection between the color of fire and the metaphors we associate with it. The orange rose has become the perfect way to symbolize the heat of passion, burning desire and the flames of love. Orange roses have a power to send a message of romance that can rival even the red rose!
In the relatively short time the orange roses have been on the scene, they have had quite an impact. From those who simply enjoy the warming color, to those who wish to convey that special meaning, the orange rose has become a mainstay in the family of roses. They can have the soft radiance of an autumn sunset which warms and soothes the spirit. At the same time, orange roses can have an intensity that can consume hearts and souls, much like the fire that we associate them with. Whatever their purpose, a bouquet of orange roses is sure to heat things up!
Primary Significance: Enchantment, Majesty, Love at First Sight
One of the rarest and most visually stunning rose colors is lavender. The eye-catching shades of light purple have made the lavender rose a wildly popular alternative for romantic occasions, as well as an everyday favorite for all who enjoy its distinctive appearance. A bouquet of lavender roses can definitely make a striking impression. In addition, there are many time-honored meanings traditionally associated with them. Few other flowers can match the beauty of these fascinating roses.
Lavender roses have had a captivating allure throughout their long history. There are several lavender rose varieties in cultivation, ranging from the Old Garden varieties to more modern rose hybrids. Lavender rose species include miniature rose bushes as well as larger single bloom flowers. It is the longer stemmed variation that has become the most popular for floral arrangements, and which often carries the most symbolic significance.
As with other roses, lavender roses have their own special meanings which have evolved over the years of their existence. The lavender rose is often a sign of enchantment and love at first sight. Those who have been enraptured by feelings of love and adoration have used lavender roses to express their romantic feelings and intentions. The color purple also has a traditional association with royalty. In this regard, shades of lavender roses can suggest an air of regal majesty and splendor.
Lavender roses also share some of the symbolism of the fabled blue rose. Because blue roses do not occur naturally, they have come to represent the mysterious and unattainable. The goal of discovering the first blue rose has ignited many imaginations. While the quest for truly blue roses continues, many of the meanings associated with them have become tied to its nearest existing relative, the lavender rose. Thus, lavender roses can also represent wonder and impossibility, with a sense of the magical.
As a way to express our most sincere love and appreciation, the appeal of the lavender rose is undeniable. They can be the perfect choice for those wishing to make an impact with a unique and extraordinary flower. With the wealth of symbolism that they possess, they can also be used to convey any number of deeply meaningful messages. Throughout the history of roses, the lavender rose has stood out as one of the most remarkable and engaging varieties available. Receiving a bouquet of lavender roses can make for an unforgettable experience.
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