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Roses and Their Meaning
Rose Symbolism

Roses and their meaning will explain rose color meanings, the symbolic meaning of roses types, rose number meaning, the meaning of a single rose, Valentine meaning of roses and the biblical meaning of a rose.

Rosa Gallica Pontiana, from "Les Roses" by Claude Antoine Thory
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The red Rosa gallica is thought to be the first rose to gain popularity in Europe. It was brought to southern Italy by the Greeks where it was widely cultivated. Maybe this was because of its medicinal uses or maybe the Romans just adored its strong rose fragrance.

Perhaps because it was so plentiful, they began using it in ceremonies and festivals. It was in Rome that the rose first became a symbol of both love and secrecy.

The 1st Meaning of Roses:

It was a Roman custom to suspend a single red rose above the table at any meeting where sensitive information was to be shared.

The meaning of a rose suspended over a table or doorway, to this day, is that all conversation taking place at that table or in that room is sub rosa (under the rose) and not to be shared elsewhere.

In modern times, rooms where important or sensitive meetings take place are often adorned by an ornate, plaster ceiling rose. So called as a reference to the ancient Roman custom.

Meaning of Rose Symbols
English Customs

Double Portrait of Elizabeth of York and Henry VII Holding the White Rose of York
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The Romans introduced roses to the British who embraced these new flowers so passionately that they made the rose their national emblem.

The royal House of Lancaster used a red rose as its emblem. The House of York, a white rose. After the war between the 2 houses, dubbed the War of the Roses, Henry Tudor married a York princess. He then joined the 2 badges into a red and white Tudor Rose emblem symbolizing the union of the families.

The Union of the Roses of the Families of Lancaster and York, 1589
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Today, the Tudor Rose is the plant badge of England and is used extensively by the government. The Portuguese Army also uses it.

It was in England that the rose meaning of sweetness in death as well as life developed. The British established the custom of planting a rose on the grave of a lover for this reason.

Roses and Their Meaning

Rose flowers and thorns are considered to be powerful by certain pagan religions. They are sometimes used in love potions and charms.

Valentine Meaning of Roses

Locomotive with Roses
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Valentine's Day began as a religious holiday. It became connected to romance when, on Valentine's Day in 1400, a "High Court of Love" was established in Paris to judge cases involving contracts with and violence against women.

Roses are red poems began to circulate:

The rose is red, the violet's blue
The honey's sweet, and so are you
Thou are my love and I am thine
...(found in a 1784 collection of English nursery rhymes)

Today, red roses are a Saint Valentine's Day staple--along with candy and greeting cards.

When the American custom of giving a dozen long-stemmed, red roses began, the

Hybrid Tea roses that we give today did not exist. The bouquet of roses a young man most commonly thrust at his heart's desire would be made up of American Beauty blooms. This Hybrid Perpetual rose was the most sought after rose in the U.S. during the years following its introduction.

American Beauty has since been overtaken in America's affections by any number of Modern Hybrid Teas. The perfect, high-centered flower of a red Hybrid Tea rose is still the most certain way to convey your devotion to the object of your affection.

Love as the Rose's Symbolic Meaning

The rose was the flower of the Greek love goddess Aphrodite. Later, it became the flower of Venus as well.

Since Roman times, poets and balladeers have connected roses with feminine perfection and romance.

After Cleopatra welcomed Marc Antony into a room filled knee deep with rose petals, roses and their meaning took a turn toward the passionate.

Roman nobles used to bathe their dinner dates with rose water, drape them in rose garlands, ply them with rose wine and glut them with rose puddings. They carried this so far that the rose eventually became a symbol of Roman debauchery.

Roses and their meaning enjoy a well-established connection to romantic love. Is there any wonder that June, the month of roses, is also the month most commonly chosen for weddings?

How mad is she

Biblical Meaning of a Rose

After first being shunned because of its association with Roman excess, the rose was adopted by Christians as a symbol of purity. White roses and their meaning began to revolve around the Virgin Mary. Pure love is the primary meaning of white roses.

Early Christians believed that the briar rose sprouted from the crown of thorns worn by their beloved Savior.

The stained-glass windows of Gothic cathedrals are often adorned by roses.

Most Common Rose Meaning:

Portrait Miniature of the Empress Josephine
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Dubbed the queen of flowers by the ancient Greeks, roses have been used to adorn just about everything imaginable throughout the ages.

Empress Josephine, a woman who understood roses and their meaning, is depicted in a 19th Century engraving wearing a coronet of yellow roses.

She also commissioned her official flower painter, Pierre-Joseph Redoute to paint the 250 roses in her personal collection so that future generations could enjoy their beauty.

From that day to this one, roses and their meaning have often been the subject of paintings.

The rose has been used in interior decorating for centuries. Whether woven into fabrics, stamped onto wall paper, or arranged in vases, versatile roses make a home more beautiful.

The wide range of rose colors and flower forms ensures that there is a rose that will enhance any style of decor.

Roses and Their Meaning
Rose Number Meaning

The meaning of roses by numbers derives from numerology. Rose number meaning is not to be interpreted independently but in conjunction with rose color meanings.

Meaning of a Single Rose: You are the one. To give someone a single rose signifies that they are your one and only. The color of the bloom will elaborate on this.

Red would convey that they are your only lover. A single white rose could be given to your mother as a way of saying, "You are a queen among women." A single pale pink rose could be given to your only daughter as a sign of the innocence and singularity of that special relationship.

I don't have space here to elaborate in this fashion on each number but I have done so in this instance just to give you an example of how to tie the number and color together in order to convey the right message.

Two Roses Represent: A couple. You and me against the world. It may be romantic or not depending on the color of the roses.

Three Roses and Their Meaning: I love you. The 3 words a romantic most longs to hear.

Five Roses Symbolize: Grace and unmerited good favor. Five roses can be given to acknowledge that your loved one has been the recipient of the grace and unmerited favor of God or to indicate that you are inclined to be gracious to them and do them a favor.

Six Roses and Their Meaning: I miss or need you. Six is the number of humanity. One of our most basic needs is the need to be loved and to be with our loved ones. Six roses could also be used to say, "I need you to love me back."

Seven Roses Symbolize: Perfection. A bouquet of seven roses says, "You are perfect", or "Our love is perfect."

Eight Roses Stand For: Supernatural abundance. Being perfect 7 plus 1, 8 says, "You seal up the sum and then some."

Nine Roses Signify: Judgment, divine or human. If you recieve 9 roses, the sender is trying to tell you that you have been weighed in the balances and found wanting. As the meaning of the black rose is farewell, 9 black roses would be an appropriate parting gift to an unfaithful lover.

Twenty-four Roses Stand For:

Each hour of the day. They say, "You're always on my mind and in my heart. I carry you with me always."

One Hundred Roses Signify: Unending devotion. A 100 year or life-long union. "I will love you till the day I die."

Roses and Their Meaning
The Bottom Line

A message is meaningless if misunderstood.

Many of the ancient rose meanings have been forgotten. These 3 have endured the test of time: love, beauty, and secrecy.

If you send roses, they will be universally accepted as a token of affection and beauty. "Beautiful flowers for a beautiful lady," has not become a cliche by accident.

Any further meaning you wish to convey may be overlooked unless you include a note. A single rose with a note reading, "To my one and only" is sure to be understood.

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Pure, organic rose water recipe. Uses of homemade rose water.

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