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The Meaning of Roses

“Of all flowers, me thinks rose is best” – Shakespeare. Roses are flowers that many people love and can be grown anywhere with suitable environmental conditions and favorable weather. Roses have a long history, as evidenced by the fossils discovered by archaeologists. Roses can live up to 35 million years and are flowers characterized by their vibrant […]

Pink Rose

“Of all flowers, me thinks rose is best” – Shakespeare.

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Roses are flowers that many people love and can be grown anywhere with suitable environmental conditions and favorable weather. Roses have a long history, as evidenced by the fossils discovered by archaeologists. Roses can live up to 35 million years and are flowers characterized by their vibrant colors. Currently, roses have become a symbol of love and romance, often given as gifts between loved ones.

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The Meaning of Roses 1

Image from the book “Harpocrates-God of Silence” (source:

According to Greek mythology, the goddess of beauty, Aphrodite, named the rose after her son, Eros. The letters of his name were rearranged to form the word “Rose.” Later on, Eros presented a rose to Harpocrates, the god of silence, as a symbol of concealing the weaknesses of the gods. This transformed the rose into a symbol of love, silence, and secrecy.

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The Great Imperial Palace Yuen Min Yuen, Pekin, Before the Burning, October 1860

Image from

In the Asian region, evidence of rose cultivation dates back over 5,000 years. There are various significant pieces of evidence that roses have been an essential part of human civilization since that time. The cultivation of roses first began in China, and even Confucius, a philosopher of the world, wrote about rose cultivation in the Imperial Gardens. It is also mentioned that during that time, the libraries in China had hundreds of books written about roses and the benefits derived from these beautiful flowers. The image depicts the gardens and pavilions of the Imperial Palace Yuen Min before it was burned and destroyed in 1860.

There is a philosophical saying by Confucius that the author would like to mention in this article. It is a comparison between roses and a preferred way of living, suggesting that readers might enjoy and apply it to their daily lives.

“A bit of fragrance always clings to the hands that give roses. If you are generous, you will gain everything. – Confucius”

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Caracalla and Geta by Lawrence Alma-Tadema

During several centuries in the Roman Empire, the local population was forced to cultivate roses instead of food crops to meet the demands of the Roman nobility. Even the tyrannical Emperor Nero used rose petals in every aspect of his life. Whether it was scattering rose petals instead of confetti at celebrations, dropping rose petals from the ceiling to the floor, sitting on carpets covered in rose petals at festive events, or bathing in water filled with rose petals, the excessive use of roses symbolized luxury and extravagance. Consequently, the rose became a flower associated with opulence. The usage of roses within the royal dynasty had to be kept secret from the public, and severe punishment awaited anyone who dared to speak about it.

Despite roses now being a symbol of love and being given to one another on special occasions, their vibrant colors carry hidden meanings and diverse symbolism.

Different colors of roses hold different meanings.

Red Rose

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The meaning of red roses is passion. During the Victorian era, people often exchanged red roses as a symbol of love, and romance, or even as a sign of forbidden love. In modern times, red roses are universally recognized, including in Thailand, as flowers given to express love. However, the true meaning of red roses also encompasses determination, deep commitment, and color that signifies good wishes.

Pink Rose

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According to ancient Hebrew texts, pink roses are the only flowers allowed to adorn the walls of the city of Jericho. In that era, pink roses were the only type of flowers found in the city of Jericho. The belief of the people of Israel at that time was that the rolled petals of a rose signified an endless journey in life, one that was rich and never-ending. In modern times, giving pink roses represents gratitude and admiration. Pink roses are the best choice for expressing heartfelt thanks to someone you are most grateful for. Additionally, the color pink also symbolizes femininity and beauty. Therefore, we often see pink roses used in important events such as engagements, weddings, or welcoming new family members.

Orange Rose

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Orange roses are hybrid flowers developed in the 20th century, created by crossing red and yellow roses. Orange roses are commonly used in wedding ceremonies during the autumn season due to their colors complementing the fall foliage. Furthermore, orange roses symbolize enthusiasm, excitement, and desire. They are a symbol of admiration and excitement in life. Giving orange roses to someone conveys encouragement and demonstrates pride in the recipient. For those seeking positive emotions and inspiration in their workdays, I recommend placing orange roses on your workspace.

Yellow Rose

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Yellow roses signify looking at the world in a positive light. Yellow is a color of warmth, brightness, and joy. It is a vibrant color that signifies liveliness. Therefore, giving yellow roses is like sending a message to the recipient saying, “Thank you for the happiness.” The symbol of yellow roses is cheerfulness, hope, and the sun.

White Rose

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The meaning of white roses is purity and unity. They represent being one and togetherness. That is why white roses are often used in weddings. White roses are also a symbol of pure love, freedom, peace, new beginnings, and spirituality. Therefore, it is no wonder that white flowers are popular in weddings to symbolize new beginnings and everlasting love with one’s partner.

Purple Rose

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Purple roses are known as “Mystical Rose” or the mysterious rose. The reason is that in the past, purple roses were extremely rare and expensive. Only royal families or kings could afford to buy purple roses. This made purple roses a symbol of luxury and beauty. However, nowadays, purple roses are easier to cultivate and find, and they have become more popular. The meaning of purple roses is often associated with calmness, coolness, and creativity. It is no wonder that roses are the favorite flowers of world-renowned artists such as Monet and Van Gogh.

Lavender Rose

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Lavender roses are the rarest and most captivating color. Lavender roses have a long history and hold great symbolic importance. The symbolism of lavender roses is first love and the enchantment of love. Although the meaning of lavender roses is similar to that of purple roses, the softness and beauty of lavender roses can be just as expressive.

Blue Rose

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Blue roses do not occur naturally in nature. However, what you often see in the market are white roses that have been dyed blue. Although in some countries, there are genetic modifications to produce blue rose petals, it is not widely available. Blue roses represent possibilities and mysteries. In some countries, giving blue roses signifies trust and deep affection. Therefore, giving blue roses to someone means that person is very special or close to us.

Green Rose

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The meaning of green roses is associated with life. Green represents growth, abundance, and wealth. Green roses are also a symbol of a sustainable life, tranquility, and stability. Therefore, if you are looking for flowers to give energy to yourself and others, green roses should be one of your choices.

Black Rose

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Although black may not represent positive messages in many aspects, as time passes, the meaning of black roses has also changed. Black roses have become a symbol of rebirth or new beginnings. Therefore, giving black roses can mean celebrating new roles or chapters in life. It signifies bidding farewell to the past and embracing new opportunities.

As we know that roses have fascinating stories and origins, along with special meanings that come with their different colors. For you who are looking for a deeply meaningful, unique, and distinctive floral arrangement, roses may be the option you are seeking. If you have ideas or would like to make a presentation for Urban Flowers Bangkok, we are pleased to provide our services. You can come and browse at our shop or, if you prefer, you can contact us online.