A Rose is a Rose… Or is it? Let’s Decipher its Secret Language - Part 1
June 17, 2022
By Chelsea Reed
Did you know that the rose was the first cultivated flower in the world? No one exactly knows who domesticated the first rose, but it probably occurred in China about five thousand years ago. Both East and West empires cultivated different rose varieties ever since. Farmers in the Middle East grew them for decoration, perfume, and medicine. The ancient Romans loved to shower their party guests with rose petals. And of course, roses have famously been featured in still lifes by artists over the centuries.
Over time, people had developed a mysterious “flower language” depending on what they sent to each other. Naturally, the rose became front and center in the conversation. There are even different rose languages in Europe and Asia! Ready to become fluent in the fascinating rose language? Read more to learn the secret!
A Rose of a Different Color
Roses are so much more than red! Their colors hail from every hue of the rainbow. Obviously, red roses convey the classic romantic love of an admirer. Orange roses bear a similar meaning for passionate love. Dark red roses might express an intense desire or intimate feeling of mourning. Lavender roses convey love at first sight and a fascination for the person’s regal splendor. Blue roses are unusual in nature, so they are known for expressing a desire for something unattainable. Yellow roses could indicate a sense of jealousy or suspicions of infidelity. But if your lover sends you a black rose, it’s time to pull the tissues. It means that your lover is breaking up with you!
Not all rose colors are limited to lovebirds, however. Pink roses bear a similar meaning as reds, but with gentler emotion. While yellow roses are bad news for lovers, it is appropriate to give your best friend yellow roses. They express sunny joy and gratitude in nonromantic relationships. Green roses also convey a platonic message, as they “speak” peace, tranquility, and wishes for good health and prosperity.
You can mix different colors of roses to send a more complex message, but be careful. Your significant other might interpret a bouquet of mixed roses as a mixed message! What’s more, some rose colors can mean different things in the East than in the West. For example, white roses represent humility, purity, and sometimes sympathy in Western cultures. But in the East, feelings of bereavement are much stronger with white. Thus, white roses are only appropriate for Eastern funerals.
A Delightfully Complex Language
Isn’t the flower language world exciting to learn? It’s amazing that this “language” has been developed for centuries! Roses alone make the flower language delightfully complex. In honor of National Rose Month, we’ll pick up where we left off about roses in another blog. Try practicing what you learned so far the next time you wish to send roses to someone special. Sending rose artwork ensures that your message will not fade. Stay tuned for Part Two of the rose language!
Chelsea Reed is a copywriter who writes winning content, articles, blogs, and websites from her base in North Carolina. She might not be building sandcastles or swashbuckling with pirates these days, but the Outer Banks beaches continue to keep her young at heart.
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