Turley's Florist - Nanaimo flowers

Discover Rose Colour Meanings & Send the Right One

While every flower has a wonderful story to tell, the rose stands alone in its abundant history and colour meaning. So much so that we couldn’t resist giving it a little preferential treatment and dedicating a separate space to its rich symbolism.

Used for hundreds of years to convey messages without words, roses have long been a symbol of confidentiality – the Latin expression sub rosa (literally “under the rose”) means something told in secret.

Regardless of colour, their unique beauty and subtle fragrance convey a message guaranteed to elicit delight from the recipient and envy from others. If you’re looking for a way to add a little extra sentiment to your silent message of affection, we’ve put together a list of the meanings associated with the different colours of roses.


Red roses


There’s nothing secret about the red rose’s symbolism of love. Valentine’s Day would hardly exist without this bold and dramatic bloom. The ultimate symbol of romantic love and enduring passion, the red roses also conveys respect and the creative spirit of love. Representing true love stronger than thorns, the red rose is known universally as the lover’s rose.
White rose


Representing, humility, purity and innocence, the white rose – often referred to as the bridal rose – is associated with young love. In Scotland, when the white roses bloomed in autumn, it was seen as a token of early marriage. Also symbolizing truth and reverence, it sends a message of loyalty and says “I am worthy of you.”
Yellow roses


While in Victorian times,  the yellow rose symbolized jealousy, today it represents friendship, joy and caring. A bouquet of these sun-filled blossoms conveys warmth, gladness and affection.
Pink roses


Symbolizing gentility, femininity, elegance and refinement, the pink rose also carries additional meanings depending on its hue. A deep pink conveys gratitude and appreciation, while pale shades connote grace and gentleness, admiration and happiness.
Orange roses


With their warm, vibrant tones, orange roses symbolize enthusiasm and desire. If you’re looking for a way to express admiration and attraction – with an underlying message of passion and excitement – then send a bouquet filled with these fiery blooms.
Lilac roses

Lilac & Purple

Thought to be almost mystical in nature, with symbolism tied to enchantment, desire and even proceeding cautiously, it’s not surprising that lilac and purple/lilac rises send a message of love at first sight, A great Valentine flower.
Multi-colored roses

Multi-coloured Roses

In some instances – usually when mixing red with another colour rose – you can send additional messages with your choice of bouquet. For example, a combination of red and yellow roses conveys gaiety and happiness, while a mix of red and white roses symbolizes unity.


As if colors weren’t enough to express your innermost thoughts, there are still more ways that roses can convey your message. For example, while fresh flowers in a bouquet – like roses in full bloom-express deep gratitude, a single rose says “I still love you.” A bouquet of rosebuds – representing innocent love – says “you are forever young and beautiful.” And a rose without thorns says “love at first sight,”; while a short rose says “I’ll remember you always.”
But, as a cautionary Note, even though you are aware of all these different meanings for roses, the recipient will probably not know.



As if choosing a specific rose color weren’t enough to express your innermost thoughts, you can convey your message through the number of stems or the type of rose you select. For example, a bouquet of roses (representing innocent love) says “you’re forever young and beautiful,” while a thornless rose says “love at first sight,” and the tea rose says “I’ll remember you always.” Refer to the list below to find out how different numbers of stems can represent different messages of love