Roses have been cultivated over the years to appear in a wide variety of colors. Each hue is meaningful in its own way, and the recipient of a rose can deduce the intent of the gift from the color of the flower.
The red rose is a classic symbol of love and romance. This striking color indicates deep passion, commitment and respect for the recipient. Rose roses are a popular gift selection for Valentine's Day, anniversaries and other special events where one wants to communicate loving sentiments and dedication to the relationship. A single red rose can be used as a way to say a simple "I love you."
Pink roses have the longest standing history of any rose color. Prior to the cultivation and hybridization of this plant, the vast majority of roses were of varying shades of pink. While all pink roses are associated with a certain sense of refinement and elegance, different hues carry different meanings. Dark pink roses communicate thanks and appreciation of another person. Light pink roses demonstrate admiration and can also be used to convey sympathy. Pale pink roses are sometimes seen in funeral arrangements to convey both admiration and respect for the deceased as well as sympathy for the grieving family.
The color white is symbolic of purity, and its presence in roses often indicates pure love. White roses are a popular choice for weddings because these flowers indicate unity and strong virtues. White roses are also considered to represent spiritual emotions. As a symbol of deep reverence and respect, they are occasionally included in funeral bouquets as well.
Yellow roses convey happiness and delight. These flowers are often used as a symbol of friendship. A bouquet of yellow roses indicates your deep pleasure in your friend, while a single yellow rose is a simple way to thank someone for her friendship. Yellow roses that are tinged with red along the tips of the petals indicate a deep friendship that is becoming romantic in nature.
Orange roses can range in color from pale peach to deep coral. These roses represent desire and the depth of the color can correlate beautifully to the depth of one's emotions. A vivid orange rose is symbolic of burning desire. A peach colored rose may indicate affection and a tentative attempt to move a friendship into a deeper relationship.
Distinctly whimsical, lavender roses convey a sense of enchantment and wonder, and are sometimes used to represent love at first sight. As purple is associated with royalty and elegance, lavender roses can also be used to set the tone for a special formal event.