If you or someone close to you was born in the month of June, you probably know that the official birthday flower of June is the lovely rose. Roses are the most popular flowers in the world and although all roses symbolize love and appreciation, the color of the flower petals have very specific meanings.
Roses occur as flowering shrubs with flowers of many different sizes that grow in a rainbow of colors. There are also climbing varieties of roses that will crawl up a trellis or wall.
Roses in History
Most people believe that roses were first cultivated around the Caspian Sea or Gulf of Persia millions of years ago. The oldest rose fossil in North America was found in Colorado and dates back to more than 35 million years ago.
Roses have been cherished for their beauty and fragrance for centuries. The ancient Greeks and Romans identified roses with love and passion beginning with their association with the goddesses Aphrodite, Isis and Venus. Cleopatra is said to have received Marc Anthony in a room filled literally knee-deep with roses. In early Christianity, the red rose stood for the blood of Christian martyrs, and later it became symbolic of the Virgin Mary.
Colors and Symbolism
Roses have always been used to communicate specific messages and emotions, especially in Victorian times when it was forbidden to speak to others about your feelings. Here are some traditional meanings of rose colors:
Red: Romantic love
Pink: Admiration and grace
Dark Pink: Gratitude and appreciation
Light Pink: Sweetness and innocence
White: Purity, friendship and reverence
Yellow: Friendship and caring
Yellow with red tips: Falling in love
Black: Death and farewell