Gardening Texoma: Language of Roses

Roses are one of the oldest of flowers, and with their age come a long history of meaning. Their early usage had meanings. The rose was used by early Christians as a code for their faith. Red roses symbolized the blood of the martyrs and white roses the purity of Christ.

In the second half of the fifteenth century during England's War of the Roses the red rose was the symbol of the House of Lancaster and the white rose was the symbol of the House of York. After 32 years of fighting the two houses were joined by marriage and the roses combined into a red and white rose known as the Tudor rose. This became the traditional floral emblem of England.

The Language of Roses is really a subset of the Language of Flowers. The idea of flowers conveying different meanings originated in Persian harems in the 15th century and was brought to Europe in the 18th century. During the 19th century Victorian period, this floral code became very popular and people would send messages in bouquets to each other. Since each flower, color, and number had a specific meaning, conversations between lovers could take place without a single word being used. Roses were, and continue to be the perfect gift to convey your emotions.
Rosebuds denote youth and beauty; red rosebuds mean "pure and lovely," while white rosebuds symbolize girlhood or "too young to love." The moss rosebud stands for confessions of love. And rose leaves symbolize hope.
The position of the rose also had meaning. Some of the meanings are:
Bent to the right - ~l~,
Bent to the left - ~you~,
Ribbon knotted on the left - message from the giver,
Ribbon knotted on the right - message about the recipient,
Accepted with right hand - agreement, affirmative,
Accepted with left hand - disagreement, negative,
Worn over heart - love,
Worn in hair - caution,
Worn in cleavage - friendship, remembrance.
The number of roses sent has several meanings. Single roses stand for simplicity, and in full bloom mean, "I love you" or "I love you still." A bouquet of roses in full bloom is an expression of gratitude. Two roses together on a single stem indicate engagement and upcoming marriage. A rose without thorns conveys love at first sight. In full bloom, it means "I love you" or "I love you still," and a bouquet of roses in full bloom signifies gratitude. A rose in full bloom placed over two buds creates a combination signifying secrecy. Tea roses mean that you will be always remembered. Hybrid tea roses mean "I'll remember you always" and sweetheart roses symbolize just what their name implies. A crown made of roses signifies virtue and reward. Larger numbers of roses have their own meaning. Twelve roses indicate gratitude. Twenty five roses indicate congratulations and 50 roses mean unconditional love. (or a very rich suitor…)

The different colors of the rose convey their own meaning. White roses have several meanings: "You're heavenly," and stand for innocence, purity, reverence, and humility, but can also mean secrecy and silence. Withered white roses have two meanings: fleeting beauty and "you made no impression." In Japan white roses are a sign of death. The red rose says "I love you" and symbolizes love, respect, courage, and desire. Dark crimson roses are given as a symbol of mourning. Deep burgundy roses denote inner beauty. Pink roses in general symbolize grace and gentility. For more subtle shades of meaning, choose deep pink to stand for gratitude and appreciation. Light pink conveys admiration and sympathy. Yellow roses denoted jealousy in Victorian times, but are now given to express friendship, joy, gladness, and freedom but can also say "try to care." They are used for wedding showers. In Islamic folklore, they symbolize deceit, treachery, and adultery. In Mexico yellow roses are a sign of death. In France yellow roses represent infidelity. Red and yellow roses together signify happiness and joviality. One yellow rose with 11 red ones means love and passion Coral and orange roses convey enthusiasm and desire, and say, "I am proud of you". Pale colors convey sociability and friendship while pale peach roses are a symbol of modesty. Black colored roses signify death, hatred, farewell, used at funerals. A single black rose was used by a close friend and/or loved one leaving for a war or on a journey he did not expect to return from. "Blue" roses are associated with fantasy, the impossible, miracles, and new possibilities, as no blue or black roses truly exist in nature.

Some other meanings are:
Rose (Bridal) - Happiness
Rose (Burgundy) - Unconscious Beauty
Rose (Coral) - Desire
Rose (Damask) - Freshness, Persian Ambassador of Love
Rose (Dark Crimson) - Mourning
Rose (Dog) - Pleasure & Pain
Rose (Green) - Fertility
Rose (Lavender) - Enchantment
Rose (Orange) - Fascination
Rose (Pink) - Perfect Happiness, Secret Love, Grace & Sweetness, Indecision
Rose (Dark Pink) - Thankfulness
Rose (Pale Pink) - Grace, Joy
Rose (Peach) - Immortality, Modesty
Rose (Red) - Love, I love you, Respect, Beauty
Rose (Deep Red) - Bashful, Shame
Rose (Tea) - I'll Remember - Always
Rose (White & Red together) - Unity,
Rose (White-dried) - Death is Preferable to Loss of Virtue
Rose (Yellow) - Joy, Jealousy, Friendship
Rosebud - Beauty & Youth, A Heart Innocent of Love
Rosebud (Red) - Pure & Lovely
Rosebud (White) - Girlhood, Heart Ignorant of Love
Rosebud (Moss) - Confessions of Love
Roses (Bouquet of full bloom) - Gratitude
Roses (Single full bloom) -1 truly love you, Simplicity.
Roses (Garland or Crown of) - Beware of Virtue, Reward of Merit, Symbol of
Superior Merit
Rose (Musk cluster) - Charming
Regardless of color or stage of development, roses sent every month convey the message: "beauty ever new." As time passes florist are adding new meanings just as our language is continuing to change. Even if the rose recipient is not familiar with these subtle shades of meaning, one message always stands out loud and clear: The person who sends roses is a romantic saying something very special!

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