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Rose Flowers


"The red rose whispers of passion,
And the white rose breathes of love;
O, the red rose is a falcon,
And the white rose is a dove.

But I send you a cream-white rosebud
With a flush on its petal tips;   
For the love that is purest and sweetest   
Has a kiss of desire on the lips."

So goes John O’Reilly’s poem, “A White Rose.” Historically considered the flower of love, the symbol of the rose fills the pages of mythology, art, literature, and folklore. The rose’s intricate design and beauty lends itself to ample symbolism.
Rose symbolism could be traced to the 17th century, when the Turks created various flower meanings. In 1718, the wife of the British ambassador to Constantinople, Lady Mary Wortley, wrote a letter expounding on the "Secret Language of Flowers" that she had discovered during her visits to Turkey. Europe quickly picked up on the concept.


In 1819 Louise Cortambert, under the pen name, Madame Charlotte de la Tour, wrote and published what seems to have been the first dictionary of the flower language entitled, Le Language des Fleurs.

During the Victorian era, the reign of Queen Victoria from 1837 to

Rose Flowers Symbolism
1901, the meaning and language of flowers became increasingly popular. Victorian women especially picked up the silent language that allowed them to communicate feelings and meanings that the strict propriety of the times would not allow. Tussie-mussies, a bouquet of flowers wrapped with a lace doily and tied with a satin ribbon became a popular and valued gift of the times.

In 1884, Jean Marsh wrote a whole book on the subject and entitled it The Language of Flowers, by Jean Marsh. It became popular and respected and has been the standard source for Victorian flower meaning ever since.
From this secret code of flowers, roses too have imbibed a language all their own.