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What Does a White Flower or Rose Symbolize?

By Thomas Urbauer ; Updated September 21, 2017
White Roses
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Giving flowers at times of great joy or sadness has developed into a common ritual in many societies throughout the world. The type and color of the flowers given also have come to symbolize various emotions and sentiments.


Roses symbolize a variety of different emotions but carry the meaning of love for most people, according to the University of Colorado. A single bloom shows love while an entire bouquet may express thankfulness or gratitude to the recipient. A garland of roses shows exceptional worth or merit.

White Rose

The white rose symbolizes innocent love, purity or worthiness. The unopened state of the white rosebud symbolizes girlhood, according to Texas A&M.

Additional Flowers

Many white flowers stand for some combination of sweetness and innocence, and other good virtues, including the lily and zinnia. A white camellia means that the giver finds the recipient adorable. A white carnation stands for pure love and sweetness, while the white chrysanthemum symbolizes truth. White heather symbolizes protection and fulfilled desires, and a white hyacinth means the giver is praying for you.