FiftyFlowers describes the white rose as a symbol of purity, innocence, young love, and new beginnings. Commonly associated with pure love, the white rose is a classic choice for bridal bouquets or anniversary gifts. Due to their neutral color, these beautiful flowers are also an excellent choice for decorating political ceremonies, graduations, and birthdays.
What is the history behind white roses? While white roses are most commonly associated with purity, can the white rose mean death? Do white roses grow naturally, and can you grow them yourself? When should you send someone a white rose? Also, how does a white rose differ from a green rose or a red rose?
Read further to understand the meaning behind white roses.
A Brief History of White Roses
The white rose is a popular motif that has served various purposes throughout history. According to the Greek poet Anacreon, the white rose first appeared when Aphrodite was born. In another myth, Aphrodite rushes to warn her lover of danger when she scratches herself on the thorns of a rose. Speckling the pure white petals with her blood, Aphrodite turns the roses red.
In 14th century England, the Duke of York donned the white rose as his family’s sigil during the War of the Roses against the Lancaster family, who donned the red rose.Centuries later, a group of students from the University of Munich used a white rose as the symbol for a non-violent resistance group called the White Rose. The group came together to resist the evils of the Nazi regime in 1942.
The white rose symbolizes truth, purity, and nobility in these examples throughout history.
Do White Roses Mean Death?
White roses do not symbolize death; instead, they convey spiritual brevity and solemnity associated with contemplation about death. White roses are often displayed at funerals to evoke reverence and spiritual peace. Receiving white roses at a funeral can also communicate the idea that the departed loved one is now spiritually pure in heaven, according to Christian tradition.
Do White Roses Grow Naturally?
While some shades of roses must be unnaturally dyed to achieve their hue, white is among several colors that occur naturally when growing roses.
All roses have varying Ph levels that result in specific pigmentations, and these pigmentations attract pollinators. Only pigmentation that attracts pollinators will occur naturally, including white, red, and pink. So, you may find white rose bushes that have grown independently through pollination.
Can You Grow Your Own White Roses?
It is possible to grow your own white roses. You can purchase a rose bush partially grown or start from the seeds a rose bush produces. There are numerous white rose flowers; care depends on which one you choose to grow.
While the different types of white roses each require unique care, most variations of white roses thrive in USDA zones 3-10, needing chalky soil and total sun exposure. Most white roses can also be propagated through hardwood cutting.
When Should You Send Someone a White Rose?
There are many appropriate occasions for sending white roses: birthdays, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, anniversaries, and funerals. The innocence and purity of white roses make them a popular choice for friends or family members, especially when paired with yellow or pink roses.
You can communicate your eternal love by giving your spouse a beautiful bouquet of white roses or offering your sympathy to a sick friend. The neutrality of the white rose makes them an incredibly versatile gift.
What is the Difference Between a White Rose and a Green Rose?
The main difference between white and green roses is their range of meaning. Green roses represent growth and rejuvenation and are usually best for joyful occasions. A new mother or a friend recently promoted would appreciate the excitement conveyed by a vase of fresh green roses. However, green roses would not be appropriate for someone unwell or mourning.
In contrast, white roses can represent both joyful and solemn occasions. Brides and mourners alike appreciate the solemn beauty of white roses.
What is the Difference Between a White Rose and a Red Rose?
When contrasting white and red roses, the critical difference is in who you would send the roses to. Red roses represent desire and passion and would be best suited for someone with whom you have a romantic relationship. Red roses are perfect if you want to communicate desire and love for a spouse or partner.
The neutrality of their color makes white roses ideal for romantic and unromantic occasions.
The innocence of white roses communicates true love without passion or desire, making them more suitable for family members or close friends than red roses.
Conclusion: What Does a White Rose Mean?
As described by FiftyFlowers, white roses symbolize purity, innocence, and spiritual brevity. White roses are an excellent gift for happy and sad occasions, as they evoke innocent joy and solemn contemplation. Because white roses convey different meanings, they make a wonderful gift for almost every occasion.
White roses are the most popular choice to decorate for a bride’s wedding day as they pair well with other colors of roses. Wedding bouquets often consist of red and white roses or white and peach roses.
White roses pollinate and grow naturally but can also be propagated through hardwood cuttings. There are numerous variations of white roses, most of which can be grown in USDA zones 3-10.