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Black Rose: Beauty that does(not) exist

Black Rose: Beauty that does(not) exist

They are rare and very beautiful, though have a cynical and hidden secret folded within the petals which leaves people baffled about the meaning they give to an occasion or as a gift. The tragedy in life is almost always symbolized by the color black, and it isn’t surprising that black roses have gained a reputation of being a rose which signifies some kind of sadness or distress. Let’s look at the history of black roses and determine the essence of meaning that lies in it’s presentation and amid the beauty and originality of the rose itself.

Roses have been around for thousands of years, but surprisingly it is only since Victorian times that specific meanings and connotations have been attached to various rose colours. Giving coloured roses in place of verbalising sensitive emotions enabled the gentry from days gone by to express their feelings, without putting themselves in a vulnerable situation. From there, the tradition grew, culminating in the red rose becoming a popular token of affection from a man to a women, especially on St Valentine’s Day.
Amazingly these beautiful roses do not exist in our natural world. There is no such color in nature that will create a beautiful black rose. Florists use a variation of deep maroon and dark red varieties to create their collection of black roses. Some of the most popular varieties are Black Magic , Black Baccara and Black Beauty.One of the most interesting uses for the roses of black variety was made popular by mob bosses. There were delivered as a warning to members of the organization who may be seen as an informant. The implication was there would soon be a funeral if things didn’t change.

What Does the Black Rose Mean?

There are many different meanings, the majority of popular interpretations which surround the beauty of the rare black (or in reality deepest burgundy colored rose), are negative ones, though there is a difference between the negative aspects of the interpretation and the positive aspects of renewal.


In most parts of the world, the color black defines all things associated with death. When black roses are used in funerals, often this represents the darkness of loss experienced by people who loved the deceased. Black roses make a statement, just as poignant as the white lilies of innocence do and are often chosen because of their rarity as each person sees their mourning experience as a rare event.

An end of an era.

A black rose is symbolic of change and may not only represent the aspect of something ending which cannot be replaced. The end of an era, the end of an experience or the hope for a beginning can also be signified by a black rose. It’s almost like saying goodbye to old ways and embracing the new.


Black roses are particularly good flowers to send mixed in with other colors to represent the sadness we feel. While on their own they are a stark reminder of sadness, mixed with other colors of a less harsh nature, the symbolism is clearer as being moments within a life when sadness tinges and touches the soul of those people we care about. It shows an element of serious reflection that a bunch of bright flowers cannot demonstrate, and an air of regret, brought together with the foliage and color of other flowers to symbolize moving on.


Worldwide, the black rose has a history of being used as a sign of betrayal, being sent to ex lovers as a sign of disrespect for the betrayal of trust and love.


Many political organizations use the black rose as a symbol of solidarity or protest against those political opponents who go against their beliefs. The black rose in this instance signals those who are for and those who are against a particular cause.


A black rose is rarely given for a cause of love, though in the event of loss of love, the black rose symbolizes the continued love for one whose love is unrequited. It’s a form of symbol that says “I still love you against all odds”, and has a sinister meaning as a reminder to the recipient that love conquers all though takes little account of whether it is a welcomed love or a love which is overly zealous.


We all make mistakes. Often a bunch of flowers and a note are sufficient to say we are sorry, though on that rare occasion when our errors of judgment are grave, the darkest red rose, again mixed with other rare flowers rather than on its own symbolizes sincerity of the apology, and the appreciation on the rarity of the friendship betrayed by misguided loyalty. One would never send a black rose without other floral tribute for an apology as the meaning would certainly be misinterpreted, although with a nice card explaining the appreciation of the rarity of your friendship, the black rose acts as a thoughtful goodbye to the behavior which led you to apologize.

Gothic symbolism.

In this diverse world, someone who celebrates Goth would interpret receiving a black rose as a positive thing, since their world revolves around the darker side of life, and this would symbolize their style.

Black roses have been used to celebrate Halloween, and have been used to signify so many of the darker aspects of life, that there is little wonder that what lies within the heart of a black rose is considered dark and mysterious. The mystery of the black rose always unfolds with time, though used in a symbolic manner can be an effective message to those who receive it, and a relief for those who sent it. Nature didn’t make a black rose – humanity did, and the message is clearly an interpretation based on emotions, strengths and weaknesses put in the path of mankind during the course of their lives.

The biggest proponents of the black roses’ positive meanings are the Irish. During their never ending battle with the British, the Irish have used the lyrics of “The Little Black Roses” to symbolize their courage and resistance to the opposition. There have been various groups who have used the black rose to be a symbol for their strength and will to stand up against the government who go against their anarchist ways.

During World War II, there was a non-violent group called the White Rose, led by Hans and Sophie Scholl, were formed to oppose the Nazi regime. They had little success and were soon dismantled by the Nazis and the six core members were executed. Some historians claim though the group was short lived, the Nazis used the white rose as the symbol of a traitor while the black rose was a symbol for everything being well.

So, we can conclude that black rose meanings can differ significantly depending on the human perception. For some, black rose can be an embodiment of everything dark in life like, death and agony, while for others, it can represent a new beginning. So, the meaning of this unique flower depends on the sender, as well as the receiver. To sum up, the black rose is mysterious and elusive, and can be interpreted in many different ways. Therefore, it is better to leave a note to explain the particular meaning, for which you are sending black roses. This would help the receiver to comprehend and appreciate the meaning of your gift.

Information and image sources: 1 2 3 4 5

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