What does rose colors mean?
While the concept of assigning symbolic meaning to flowers has existed since ancient times, the popularity of communicating through the “language of flowers” peaked in the Western world during the Victorian era. Both men and women consulted “flower dictionaries” to choose and interpret the appropriate flowers to send, wear, and display.
Flowers were given meaning based on both their species and their color.
So while the rose, in general, is a symbol of love, different rose colors provided different shades of meaning (or even, in some cases, a completely different meaning) to this base meaning of rose = love.
The mania for flower dictionaries may have passed, but a fascination with flower symbolism—particularly with roses, one of the most popular flowers—has persisted. If you’d like to give a bouquet of roses that’s especially thoughtful and meaningful, consider the symbolism of the colors you select. Read on for a comprehensive guide to what different colored roses mean and what occasions they are most appropriate for.
Over the course of visual arts, colors have become embedded with a rich symbolic history.
While red can denote love and passion, blue can imbue a sense of calm.
The pairing of colors and flowers in both nature and art has influenced the reading of floral imagery throughout history. For example, the Ancient Egyptians often painted artistic renderings of the blue and the white lotus.
However, the blue lotus was used as a symbol of rebirth whereas the while lotus represented innocence and modesty.
In Renaissance artworks, a red carnation was symbolic of love. A pink carnation, on the other hand, stood as a symbol of marriage or betrothal, while in Japan, yellow chrysanthemums have historically signified the Emperor and Imperial family whereas white chrysanthemums indicate purity, truth or grief.
Melding color psychology with floral symbolism touches on our perceptions of visual art history. This is especially relevant if you are presenting your images as a conceptual artwork or as a gift with a heartfelt message layered in meaning. If you are looking to convey peace or emotional depth, try photographing blue flowers.
Incorporating yellow flowers into a photograph stimulates an energetic reading and sympathy is conveyed with white floral blooms.
You can also alter the color of flowers completely in post-production, or strip it of its colorful meaning by working in black and white. This draws greater attention to a flower’s form rather than its biological pigmentation.
The language of flowers
Over time, cultures have linked flowers with specific ideas as a means of communication. Flowers like the lily and rose are used as symbols in the Hebrew Bible. This is especially the case in the Song of Solomon.
An age-old art form in Japan, the practice of Hanakotoba involves the pairing of flowers with meaning in the hopes of conveying emotion without the use of words. And for the first half of the 19th century, floriography was hugely popular in France, Britain and in the United States. Although many floriography dictionaries differed in meaning, some consensus on particular floral associations has prevailed in Western popular culture today.
Red roses (and their thorns), for example, continue to symbolize the duality of pain and pleasure in romantic love. The red poppy has become a symbol of remembrance of the fallen in war and white lilies, often used at funerals, signify sympathy and purity.
By utilizing the popular associations of flowers in a given culture, you can communicate ideas to a viewer through the photography of floral blooms.
So now let’s see what does the prepscholar says about these kinds of roses.
Rose Color Meaning: 7 Unusual Colors
In this next section, we’ll go over the rose color meanings of some of the more unusual rose colors.
Orange Rose Meaning
Fiery orange roses send a strong message of fascination, passion, enthusiasm, attraction, and desire. Coral roses, in particular, signify desire.
Orange Roses Occasions
Orange roses convey a meaning that is primarily romantic in nature. Thus, they are best for romantic occasions. They can be a slightly unusual but appropriate choice for Valentine’s Day and anniversaries. They might also make a striking wedding flower in the right color scheme!
Peach Rose Meaning
Peach roses communicate sincerity and gratitude. They can also mark the closing of a deal or agreement. They have an alternative meaning of sympathy. Pale peach roses mean modesty.
Peach Roses Occasions
Peach roses are a very appropriate thank-you gift.
Additionally, they are a good choice for a sympathy bouquet to someone who has just lost a loved one.
With their meaning of modesty, pale peach roses can also make a very pretty component of a bouquet that communicates admiration—perhaps a bouquet of peach and pink roses together. This would also make a very pretty wedding flower combination and color palette.
Burgundy Rose Meaning
Burgundy roses have a very specific connotation of unconscious beauty. In the Victorian era, deeper rose colors signified deeper passion. Per this schema, burgundy roses signify a very deep passion, even beyond that of red roses.
Burgundy Roses Occasions
Burgundy roses are very romantic. They can make a striking choice for Valentine’s Day or other romantic occasions and add depth to a bouquet with red and/or pink roses. They would also make a lush and beautiful wedding flower.
Purple Rose Meaning
Purple roses are very special and intriguing and have deep symbolic meaning. Purple roses symbolize enchantment and the mystical. Pale purple or lavender-colored roses send a message of “love at first sight.” Deeper purple roses convey majesty and royalty, adoration, and fascination.
Purple Roses Occasions
Purple roses are also very romantic and best for romantic occasions. Purple roses are an especially good choice for someone with a spiritual or mystical side. They also look beautiful in combination with red, pink, or burgundy roses.
Green Rose Meaning
Green roses symbolize peace, spiritual rejuvenation, calm, and fertility. It’s a soothing color that connotes close ties to the natural world. The pale green rose does occur in nature, although green roses that you buy from a florist may be dyed (especially if they are a bright St. Patrick’s-day green!)
Green Roses Occasions
Green roses are appropriate for any spiritual occasion, like a baptism or confirmation.
As a symbol of peace, they also make an appropriate funeral flower.
Because they are a symbol of fertility, they would also be a good choice for new parents. Pale green and white roses together would make an especially striking and appropriate combination for such an event.
Blue Rose Meaning
True blue roses are not found in nature. Natural roses that are considered “blue” are actually a blue-toned purple. However, blue roses can also be obtained by dyeing white roses. Because they can’t be obtained naturally, blue roses symbolize the unattainable and mysterious.
Blue Roses Occasions
Blue roses are not associated with many occasions, likely because they aren’t found in nature and must be artificially colored. However, with their enigmatic message, they could be used to send a message from a secret admirer.
Black Rose Meaning
Black roses are another color that is not found in nature. Natural roses that are called “black” are actually a very dark red or purple color. True black roses can only be obtained through dyeing. Black roses symbolize death, rebirth, and goodbye.
Black Roses occasions
Black roses may be an appropriate funeral flower. However, they can come across as very gothic and morbid, so they may be somewhat of a risky choice unless you were close to the deceased and are confident they (and their surviving family members) would appreciate black roses.