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Roses: Truly Symbolic

Roses: Truly Symbolic

Roses been long used as symbols in a number of societies. Roses are ancient symbols of love and beauty. "Rose” means red or pink in a variety of languages (such as some of the Romance languages and Greek).

Throughout the centuries roses and their meaning have been used to silently communicate messages of love, friendship, and admiration. For example, in the Classical Era, the rose was sacred to a number of goddesses including Isis, whose rose appears in the late classical allegorical novel The Golden Ass as "the sweet Rose of reason and virtue" that saves the hero from his bewitched life in the form of a donkey.The ancient Greeks and Romans identified the rose with the goddess of love, Aphrodite (Greek name) and Venus (Roman name).

In Rome, a wild rose would be placed on the door of a room where secret or confidential matters were discussed. The phrase sub rosa, or "under the rose", means to keep a secret — derived from this ancient Roman practice.


Colors of Roses and Their Meaning

  • Red -"I love you."
    • A red rosebud symbolizes simple love, purity and loveliness.
  • Burgundy -"You have an unconscious beauty."
  • White - Purity, spiritual love.
  • Yellow - Joy, happiness, friendship. There is some indication that historically they represented decreased love and infidelity. Victorians used them to represent jealousy.
  • Coral - Desire.
  • Orange - Fascination.
  • Light Pink - Admiration.
  • Dark Pink - "Thank You".
  • Lavender - Love at first sight.
  • Pale Colors - Friendship.
  • Pale Peach - Modesty.


Fun Facts

  • Tea Roses signify remembrance.
  • A bouquet of mature blooms symbolizes gratitude.
  • Two roses intertwined signify engagement and marriage.
  • A fully opened rose with two buds in a bouquet implies a secret.
  • It is the birth flower for June.
  • It is the symbol of the fifteenth wedding anniversary.
  • It is the state flower of the following states: Georgia, Iowa, New York, North Dakota, and the District of Columbia
  • Roses were once used in place of money by the wealthy.
  • The white rose is worn on Mother's Day for those whose mothers have passed away, while the red rose is worn on Mother's Day for those with mothers still alive.
  • Cleopatra met Marc Antony in a room that was filled knee deep in rose petals.
  • The oldest living rose is thought to be one-thousand years old. It flourishes on the wall of the Hildesheim Cathedral in Germany.
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