Symbolic Meanings of the Color of Roses


Thanks to the aesthetically minded gardeners of yore, roses come available in a variety of colors. However, these shades aren't just for visual stimulation. Every shade of rose has a meaning and communicates something from the recipient to the receiver. To be sure that you are sending the right message, or understand what your gift of roses might mean, become better acquainted with the symbolic meanings of the color of roses.

Red: I Love You

Since before recorded history, red roses have had similar connotations. In ancient Greece, they were associated with the goddess of love. And in many parts of the world they have been associated with weddings since ancient times. A gift of red roses represents undying love. A staple of Valentine's Day and weddings, the lover's rose represents devotion stronger than their thorns.

Pink: Thank You

Just as pink is a more subdued shade of red, pink roses still mean love and affection but in a less passionate manner. A pale rose represents grace and admiration and is often given to someone that you care about and respect. Roses of a deeper shade of pink, however, are often given to say thank you for some kindness and show your high esteem of the recipient. However, even when given as a thank you, they still represent love to some degree.

Yellow: Friendship

The color yellow evokes the feelings of the lighthearted joy brought on by a bright, sunny day. It is no wonder then that yellow roses are given to cheer up friends in need and share with friends that are dear to your heart. And the pure uncompromising joy of yellow roses makes them one of the few roses that can be given without any romantic connotations.

White: Purity

In the western world, white symbolizes purity and the impeccable rose is no exception. Closely associated with heaven, white roses are given during times we consider sacred: at the wedding of a young bride, as a final goodbye at a funeral, or to show honor and respect to those that we closely revere. However, when given as a bud, white roses represent the chaste purity of youth and are the perfect gift for young girls.

Orange: Passionate Excitement

A blend of colors, the orange rose can represent many things. Somewhere between yellow and red, it represents the excitement of a newly developing romance. And as a color of fire, it can represent passionate love. Consequently orange roses are an ideal gift to signify a romantic relationship that you would like to see blossom. The beauty of the color in and of itself means that it can also be used simply to celebrate fall. As a fall wedding decoration, fall birthday gift or decoration they complement the season perfectly.

Lavender: Love at First Sight

The whimsical beauty of the lavender rose represents fantasy, imagination and fun. This exotic rose is most often given to symbolize the magic of love at first sight.

Keywords: meaning rose color, why rose color, symbolic rose color

About this Author

Based in Houston, Texas, Meg Butler is a professional farmer, house flipper and landscaper. When not busy learning about homes and appliances she's sharing that knowledge. Butler began blogging, editing and writing in 2000. Her work has appered in the "Houston Press" and several other publications. She has an A.A. in journalism and a B.A. in history from New York University.