White Rose Meaning & Symbolism

What do white roses mean?

Uncover Hidden Flowers meanings

White Rose Symbolic Meaning

White Rose Meaning.

What does a white rose mean? I am Flo and I am here to answer that very question and help you uncover the symbolic meaning of white roses.

People say white rose is a white rose - but symbolically it is not. The white rose, for example, is so different from the red rose. As human’s, we have associated certain meanings to flowers since Greek times. The petals and shape of the white roses actually DO mean something. White roses hold symbols of peace, innocence, and love. No wedding, will, in fact, will be the same without their appearance! Flower symbology has been around in our society since Victorian times and this was generally with the upper class and it was thought each flower brings a secret message. A book entitled “Language of flowers” was written which is where I gain my meanings as well as some old London Press newspapers into flower symbolically.

On valentines day the red rose is the most popular and almost 2 billion dollars is spent on red roses! I know quite a bit! The message of the red rose is clearly “I love you” but according to Victorians, the white rose indicates love but more from a peace and innocence perspective. Mainly, pure love or pure friendship. If you don’t know me, I am crazy about white roses, in fact, I have been given a huge bouquet of hybrid tea’s (white roses) last week - which led me to keep looking in my window at the intricate beauty of each petal. I then realized I did not have a detailed article in my flower dictionary on white roses! 

White rose symbolic history: White roses symbolically go way back in time. The rose is about 35 million years old. The ancient Romans and Greeks mentioned white roses in their literature. Roses are associated with “paradise” according to the Korans and also in the middle ages roses were used in love and poetry. The white rose has many different meanings when it comes to the language of flowers. I found many different types of superstitions associated with the larger white rose (not the smaller bush types) I'm going to list these below.

  • White roses in weddings indicate life-long love with peace.
  • If you are given a white rose (single) this represents trust and peace.
  • If you are getting married and have a bouquet of less than five white roses this indicates a difficult marriage. 
  • If however, you have more than 5 white roses in a bunch this is considered the signifier of love, and forever.
  • To drop a white rose in someone else's garden means trouble to overcome.
  • If injured by a white rose it can mean trouble coming your way.
  • To be given the gift of a white rose indicates forever love.
  • White roses are connected to focus in life.
  • To tread on a white rose indicates you will hear good news
  • Cutting white roses indicates a new phase in life.
  • If you keep seeing white roses the meaning is connected to happiness in later life according to Scottish folklore.
  • To see a garden of white roses foretells good fortune.
  • Dreaming of white roses indicates a peaceful time in life.
  • If the white rose you see are dying this can suggest something is going to end life
  • If you have white roses in a vase in your home it can represent that peaceful energy is within / or throughout your home.
  • Children picking white roses indicates a reunion.

White roses symbolic meaning:

  • Innocence
  • Peace
  • Happiness
  • Focus
  • Love

White rose meaning and why you are here: Have you been given white roses? Do you keep seeing white roses? Have you sent white roses as a gift? Are you getting married? Want to start a rose garden? Are you just interested to know the white rose meaning? I am here to help you understand what white roses mean symbolically. 

The ancient Greeks loved the white rose which was normally a wild shrub in a garden in those times. They loved the beauty of the white rose and all roses were a massive industry. The white rose was found scattered in many banqueting halls or alternatively, the rose appeared in meetings of the military. The white rose was often used as a healing property/ingredient and found in herb gardens throughout Greece - normally in order to uncover cures for illnesses. In China, the rose petals were also used as a perfume which was generally mixed with other flower heads. For example, musk was extracted from the native dear.

For more than 10 years I have been studying what flowers symbolize from a spiritual and psychological perspective. The white rose has so much symbolism. Firstly, it is connected to peace, love and innocent feelings. Going back into history the white rose was used to communicate love and it was the hallmark of the red rose. The white rose is also known to be called the rose of the bride. Traditionally the wedding flower. A white rose is also connected to honor and how people interact with each other.

What does it mean for someone to gift a white rose?

Lucky you! The white rose as a gift indicates love and peace. Roses are elegant they are simply stunning. The white rose normally holds many symbolic meanings. For example, in Victorian times two lovers or friends gave each other white roses in order to signify not only peace in their relationship also the bond between themselves. Fresh white roses look amazing and can be admired by anybody. There is a hidden touch of passion and innocence when it comes to giving the gift of the white rose.

White Rose History

White roses have a distinct historical background. Obviously, white roses and red roses are generally given on Valentine's Day to simplify the love between two people. It is common to see red roses given to others in this way. I want to discuss the history of roses and how these can affect the white rose. It was believed in ancient times, according to the evidence of fossils the White Rose is about 30 million years old.

When I have researched deeper into the white rose, it was, however, in China where the first white rose was created around 4,750 years ago. During this time roses were very popular in Asia and the Middle East and they were generally used as confetti and thrown over a congregation in order to celebrate successes. Additionally, white roses were also used as medicine. In Roman times the white rose was a source used for perfume.

Name: White rose

Color meaning: Known as the rose of peace the white rose sometimes comes in different color forms. White roses are common in weddings. 

Shape meaning: The rose shape does vary and they can have a patterned look or can be clustered.  

Number of petals: White roses for weddings can have between 4-45 petals especially the hybrid variety. 

Victorian flower interpretation: in Victorian times the white roses were generally associated with peace and love. This is why white roses were generally used in the bouquet of brides to signify contentment and lifelong happiness in love.

Fact: White roses were very much in demand in the 17th century. Interestingly, people used white roses to exchange them with material possessions such as food and money. Rosewater was also connected to legal tender during this time. Roses were generally popular as shrubs and the White Rose was used in Victorian gardens.

White Rose Greek mythology: White roses are connected with the God known as Adonis, who is responsible for not only rebirth but also the greenery on the earth plane.

Blossom Time: White roses normally come out in the springtime and this is the most popular type flower. There are various species of white roses in total around 3000 and these generally blossom from April to May. Some roses flower in the summer and autumn. Roses can be picked during this time. The summer flowering groups are normally Perpetual, hybrid tea, Noisette and the multiflora (known as the rambler)

Superstitions: White Rose is connected to marriage and love which I've already discussed in my research. There is a superstition (in addition to those I have detailed at the beginning of my article) that if you see a white rose this indicates great luck and contentment in the coming months. The white rose is also connected to the fact that you are likely to be host in the future to other people. According to Victorian times, a man would give a lady a white rose when he wants to create peace in the relationship. If a friend gives another friend of White Rose then this suggests that the friendship is pure, as I mentioned in my opening paragraph.

Negative meaning of the white rose:  

Not everything in history is so positive about the white rose meaning. For example, Shakespeare makes many different references to the white flower. For example, in the war of the roses conflict between the houses of Lancaster and York were discussed in relation to the white rose. The rose is a badge and emblem for the purposes of war. However, most ancient uses of the white rose are generally a positive message. William Morris used the stems of white roses for his designs on printed fabric. And, in many homes throughout England in the Victorian times roses were on the walls.

Types of white roses:

There are many different types of white roses and I will briefly go over what these are so you have a deeper understanding. White roses are all different. And, white roses are generally classified into three types. Firstly, the modern rose, secondly the old garden rose and finally the roses of species. If you're planning a rose garden or a wedding then it is interesting to understand the different types of roses that you can choose from. Most roses that come to mind when you think about a rose is what is known as the white hybrid tea class rose. This is because it blooms and is a traditional rose that is used by florists.

Hybrid teas are absolutely beautiful, they grow to almost 6 feet high and they tend to have a bushy structure which is straight and upright which makes them ideal to be cut and putting a vase. The old garden rose “boule de neige” is my favorite, it is normally used for bridal flowers. It is a rose in Victorian times which was connected to revealing a secret. The fact there are petals can signify that the secret will be a snowball effect. This is also due to the fact that the name “Boule de Neige” is French for Snowball.

The “Commonwealth glory rose” is also super beautiful. It is normally extremely yellow in the actual center of the rose which in symbolic terms represents happiness and contentment. These flowers often make a good cut meaning that they are often found in many wedding bouquets.

The next type of white rose is what I call a species rose known as the “Rose Susan” this flower has beautiful roughly type petals and is normally used for perfume. Symbolically the white rose Susan indicates a time of contemplation. The best white rose for hedges is known as Rosa Rugosa which is a Japanese rose that has thick glossy leaves.

Black and white rose symbol meaning

Some users have emailed me about the meaning of a black and white rose tattoo. Is this good or bad? What can this can mean from a symbolic perspective? Black and white roses signify two opposites attracting. In symbolic terms, it means that no matter what will happen you will find a way through dark times – into the light. In fact, I think I might do a whole new article on this meaning as there is too much I want to say on black and white roses.

In summary, the white rose has many different symbolic meanings. It is deep in history and provides a delicate fragrance. I do hope you liked this meaning and it provides you with how special white roses are!

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