Farida Singh Galimba
The meaning of red roses and other colors
THE MEANING OF RED ROSES AND OTHER COLORS
By Farida Singh Galimba
Flowers, especially roses, are used to convey the many emotions we have for each other. Be it "I love you" or "I'm sorry," sending roses is the perfect way to give someone a lift as well as send a message that you may be reluctant to say. How simple and wonderful to be able to say, "Thanks so much!" by simply picking up the phone and ordering a dozen yellow roses.
So where and when did the color meaning of rose originate? Jack Goody, in his book 'The Culture of Flowers', says that giving meanings to flowers originally came from the East and while meaning can be highly subjective some are universally accepted.
Also called “floriography”, the art of speaking with flowers originated in Persia where illiterate women of the Ottoman seraglios used flowers to communicate, as written language was forbidden.
The tradition of using flowers as an expression then traveled to Europe and was used to impart feelings of High Society in Regency England. Though the exact meanings are lost to us for all the different flowers and colors, we still use the rose to get our emotions across to the recipient.
"The single rose is, in essence, a symbol of completion, of consummate achievement and perfection", says J. E. Cirlot in his 'A Dictionary of Symbols'.
Be it red, white or yellow, roses convey so much alone or in a bunch, or matched with other, complementary flowers. If you learn a bit about the "floriography" of the different colors of roses you can understand their true meaning and the color you choose can add special meaning to your gift.
When you send flowers, you send more than beautiful blossoms -- you send a message from your heart and the rose is a perfect choice for expressing the nuances of your deepest feelings.
Flowers have helped us convey our feelings for centuries and their colors play a big part in that. Roses are one of the most popular types of flower and being that they come in various colors and varieties, there is so much one can say when handing over a rose.
The language of color has a long history of tradition. Today color meaning interpretations are multi-faceted. Here are the most widely recognized meanings associated with rose colors:
Love, Respect, Courage, Passion, Well Done, Congratulations.
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.
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 immediately bring to mind passion and true love. A single red rose signifies "I love you" and has been made even more popular these days with the success of TV shows like "The Bachelor", where each chosen lady is given a single, long-stemmed rose to show the star's appreciation and growing passion toward her.
Red roses can also convey thoughts of courage and congratulations. The "Run for the Roses" is the symbolic name for the first race of Thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown. Held in Lexington, Kentucky at Churchill Downs, the race rewards the triumphant young racehorse with a blanket of gorgeous red roses.
Popular varieties include the scarlet red Kardinal, the dark red and very fragrant Mr. Lincoln, and the deep red tea rose Madame Delbard, which has been brought back due to popularity. Cara Mia is another deep red favorite of floral designers.
Purity, Secrecy, Innocence, Reverence, Worthiness.
One of the oldest varieties of rose, Rosa Alba or the white rose, has been a favorite of all civilizations, ancient and modern alike. White roses symbolize purity and innocence. Brides traditionally wear white and the Pope wears white on holy days.
The white rose is the perfect emblem of innocence, loyalty and purity that comes in many different shades and nuances - 20 that are easily accessible. From almost pure white to shades of ivory, white roses are the perfect choice for bridal bouquets, corsages and dramatic arrangements.
White roses are often used in bridal ceremonies because of the wholesomeness and virtue these flowers bring to mind. For use in bridal arrangements, try Escimo, a small, almost pure white rose that is very delicate in appearance and opens beautifully.
Bianca is another almost pure white rose that's sure to please any bride. This medium sized beauty has rounded buds that fill out a bouquet with style and flair.
If you like a fuller petal in a rose then Vendela is a perfect choice. This medium-sized rose is a gorgeous ivory color that is sure to stun viewers.
Happiness, Elegance, Romance, Admiration, Sweetness, Thank You.
Ranging from a subtle hint of color to deep and bright, pink roses have come to mean joy, happiness, gratitude and admiration. They're often seen in bridal arrangements, thank you or congratulations bouquets.
Considering the word "rose" brings to mind the faint blush of a fair maiden's cheeks, it's not surprising these blooms are a favorite to give and receive.
There are many different variations of pink, from a pale blush to a gentle medium pink to a vibrant pink, each having its own meaning and implication.
The palest pink roses are a sign of gentleness, joy and grace. Bridal Pink is a perfect pale pink floribunda rose that is long lasting and offers a spicy scent. The light to medium pink roses can show sympathy or admiration.
Lady Diana is a beautiful light pink rose perfect for either emotion. Deep pink roses, such as Laser and Diplomat are perfect choices to show someone how grateful you are to have them in your life.
Friendship, Caring, Welcome or Welcome Back, Joy.
In German culture these beauties are a symbol of infidelity and dying love, but more traditionally they're a symbol of friendship and happiness. Rose Magazine states that yellow roses, though actually an ancient flower as shown through fossil evidence, weren't prevalent until discovered in the Middle East in the 1700s. Since then it's been a popular favorite in gardens and bouquets alike.
Although the song, "The Yellow Rose of Texas" popularized the flower in that state, it's interesting to note the flower isn't the official State Flower -- that honor goes to the Bluebonnet. Nor is the song about a rose -- it's about a woman named Emily West Morgan.
However, there was a yellow rose grown at the time of the song's creation called Harrison's Yellow. The yellow rose became famous because the song was often sung at battle.
Try sending some of these golden beauties to a sick friend and watch the recipient perk right up! They are also perfect for new mothers, someone newly engaged or as a colorful thank you.
Some gorgeous yellow roses to consider sending are the lightly fragrant and deep yellow Gold Strike, the long-lasting favorite Aalsmeer Gold. For very special friends consider the spray rose Rhumba, with five yellow-fringed-with-orange blossoms on each stem.
ROSES IN HUES OF ORANGE
Orange, coral and peach are closely related colors, with orange being the more vivid and coral and peach being subtler, a perfect contrast for emotions that range on both ends of the scale.
Meaning desire and fascination, the various hues of orange, coral and peach lend myriad nuances to the language of flowers. All make a great gift for a friend to say "Congratulations!" or a lover to show your desire and affection.
Desire, Enthusiasm, Pride.
Just as the red rose means passion and the yellow rose means friendship, orange roses often mean a cross-over between these two emotions.
Orange roses are vibrant, cheerful and express fascination when you give them to someone. Who wouldn't be fascinated with these alluring, fiery blooms? They come in all the colors of a romantic and enthralling sunset. Whether it's the brilliant orange of Lambredo, the vermillion orange of the long-stemmed Fire King or the pale apricot of Pareo, orange roses are sure to please anyone who captivates you.
Desire, Enthusiasm, Happiness.
Just as a sunrise varies in intensity, coral is the dusky, subtle orange that graces the sky at first light.
The coral rose still speaks of desire but also of happiness and would be a perfect "thank you" gift, or a great way to remind someone that you still desire him or her. Some popular coral roses are Sonic, the peach coral mix of Harmony.
Appreciation, Sincerity, Gratitude, Modesty.
Peach roses are often sent as gesture of appreciation or gratitude rather than as a token of love. Their gentle yet pleasing color can also be sent as an expression of sympathy. These subtle, gorgeous blooms are ideal to say "thanks!" or to show how much you miss a dear friend.
Choose from the palest peach of Champagne; the spray rose Porcelina, with up to five stunning peach blooms on each stem; and the deeper peach of the flawless Orsiana.
Probably the most mystical and fairy-tale perfect color of rose is lavender. It is said if someone gives you a purple rose it means they fell in love with you at first sight, just like Cinderella's Prince Charming!
It's interesting as well to note that purple is a royal color, so sending a single purple rose means you find her majestic, opulent and special.
If you are seeking to voice your deepest love and admiration for someone consider sending the dynamic Blue Curiosa or the blend of colors in Lavender Duet.
The quest for a blue rose continues, since they are merely a fabrication of the eager, dreaming mind at this point. The blue roses that exist are actually variations of purple or lavender, which look blue in certain light.
However, you wouldn't really want to send a blue rose to someone, as it means a figment of the imagination, or something unobtainable. If you like blue roses just because they are different, consider the decadent Blue Moon hybrid tea rose.
Though true black roses don't exist, blooms that are the darkest red can look black. Giving someone black roses would mean the death of a relationship or idea. Some, however, suggest that black roses could symbolize rebirth or the beginning of something new.
If these unique dark blooms interest you or would thrill a loved one, consider choosing the mysterious and beautiful Black Magic rose for your next arrangement.
Now that you know a little more about the colorful language of flowers, consider using a gorgeous rose bouquet to express your message with an added depth of meaning.
Whether you're feeling the passion of a red rose or the subtle desire of a peach rose, this timeless method of communication is sure to please the recipient.
Be it a single stem or a vase full of roses, these colorful, beautiful blooms are enough to make anyone want to take a moment to stop and smell the roses.
My dear fellow iluko.com members, this is all for now. Be with you again next time. With all my love and best wishes. -- Farida Singh Galimba
Crowell, Robert L. -- The Lore & Legends of Flowers. 1982.
Greenaway, Kate. -- Kate Greenaway's Language of Flowers. 1978.
Laufer, Geraldine Adamich. -- Tussie-Mussies: The Victorian Art of Expressing Yourself in the Language of Flowers. 1993.
Loewer, Peter. -- Loves Me, Loves Me Not: The Hidden Language of Flowers. 2006.
Jack Goody. -- The Culture of Flowers.
|Jasmine Astudillo Rosete||8/23/2012 3:13:20 PM||Beautiful and very informative. A very pleasant read. Thanks for this Ms. Farida!||5
|John Viloria Cachola Jr.||8/5/2012 6:18:22 PM||Thanks for sharing us again, Farida, this good article about roses. There's a song about red roses that I would like to dedicate to you. The singer is AJRafael, a Filipino-American.|
If you want to listen to it, just go to the Dap-ayan section of I.kom with the thread title, "Timek dagiti i-Banayoyo, kdpy a taga-Upland”.
I hope you like the song.
|Leo Beligan||8/5/2012 3:43:19 PM||I am sending you a bunch of roses in all colors, from my garden. ||5
|Augie A. Madarang||7/31/2012 2:14:45 AM||Farida, once again I take great pleasure in greeting and congratulating you for this very very beautiful and enchanting sequel to your previous articles which touched on the "incredible beauty of flowers" and "wedding flowers". Yes, like your previous articles -- and poems -- this is simply beautiful, well-researched, very informative... and well-written. |
Again, thanks for sharing this with us, Farida. Please keep coming!
|Angel Rizalina Abaya Garcia||7/30/2012 7:14:56 AM||Farida, as always, this is a very nice, well-researched and very informative article you have shared with us. Ngayon, alam na namin na ang mga rosas ay may mga kahulugan sang-ayon sa kulay. Thanks for sharing. Regards and God bless you and your sister and her family!||5
|Katrina Joy M. Galimba||7/30/2012 5:13:37 AM||Ate Farida, I join the others in greeting and thanking you for this very beautiful and informative article you have shared with us. Now, I know the meaning and significance of the different colors of roses. Thanks, ate. Regards and God bless!||5
|Laramie Dario Gracia||7/30/2012 1:26:00 AM||Farida, sis, gaya nang sinabi ni sis Christia, ang kukyut itong series of article mo about the incredible beauty of flowers, lalo na yong tungkol sa ibat-ibang klase ng wedding flowers gaya nong naunang article mo para sa mga "May at June at July Brides". At ngayon ay tungkol naman sa meaning ng ibat-ibang kulay ng rosas, ang paboritong bulaklak ni brod Joker (na gusto na yatang maging makata!). Pis, brod Joker... Haha... Anyway, regards, sis, and please stay safe and healthy... and happy, always!||5
|Christia R. Tobias||7/30/2012 12:59:06 AM||Sis Farida, nasabi ko na ito don sa mga unang article mo, pero gusto kung ulitin (ulit! hehe...) ngayon. Sis, yes, this is another beautiful article! Beautiful as a fresh, blooming flower in July (and August)! Beautiful as a radiant "July (and August) Bride"! Beautiful as the author! Hehe... Tutoo, sis, walang bola. Pramis! Hehe...|
@Brod Joker -- Very cute itong poem na idinedikayt mo kay sis Farida! Seryuso na yata 'yan ah! Ano naman kaya ang masasabi ni brod Agosto (Augie na pala... hehe...).
|Emmanuel Brilliantes Rivera||7/29/2012 11:22:24 PM||Yes, another great piece of research and writing, Farida. As in your earlier articles, I enjoyed reading this. Indeed, you have become very good at writing about flowers -- one of the most interesting subjects in the whole world, specially among the young and the young at heart! And speaking of roses... of course, who doesn't love and adore roses? Again, great article, Farida. Please keep coming!||5
|Anna Malea B. Sales||7/29/2012 11:05:48 PM||Farida, this is another very beautiful and very informative article you have just shared with us. As I have mentioned in your previous article, although I am new here at iluko.com, I have gone over your other articles, specially those which deal on the "incredible beauty of flowers" and "wedding flowers" and I found them all very informative and of course, beautiful and entertaining! Thanks for sharing these with us. Please keep coming!||5
|Joker Castro Santamaria||7/29/2012 7:48:22 PM||Farida, at long last! This is the article I have been waiting for you to post here at our website. All about my favorite flower -- the LOVELY LOVELY ROSE! And so, for you I offer armfuls and armfuls of freshly cut ROSES in all imaginable colors (all with red tips)! And with it, I wish to dedicate the following poem which, although borrowed from an anonymous author, comes directly from my heart:|
“The TRANSPARENT ROSE”
“In my heart lies a Vase
With five roses
Five roses all for you
With five different colors
All to show you what you mean to me:
“The First Rose -- The YELLOW ROSE
The yellow rose is the rose for you from me
To let you know you’re my friend, my best friend
That is a way to show you I’ll be always there for you.
“The Second Rose -- The BLUE ROSE
The blue rose is to show you
With all my heart what you mean to me
With this rose I show you
There is no battle that I won’t fight for you there is no ocean big enough that can separate my love from you
There is no mountain high enough that I can’t climb for you
With this rose is the beginning of my love to you.
“The Third Rose -- The RED ROSE
Within this rose lies all the love I have for you
All the caring, All the loving
I will give to you
This rose show you how you should be treated
I will always romance your heart just to see you smile --
Like an Angel!
“The Fourth Rose -- The WHITE ROSE
With this rose I show you
All the passion that lies in my heart
All the tenderness I have towards you
All the love that I will show you each time I have and can
With all my strength and love
My heart cries for you!
“The Fifth Rose -- A ROSE THAT HAS NO COLOR
A rose that is undying
A rose that you can see trough and that there is nothing to hide
A rose so pure and true
That all that lies in it is you
So perfectly, so preciously
A girl that is so pure of heart like an angel!
“This Rose is a Transparent Rose
With this rose I show you all that I am
With this rose I show you I have nothing to hide
Here you can see your reflection that lies in my heart
A love so deeply living in me
I love you with all my heart
And there is no way that these roses will die
Your love is the water to keep them alive!”