Roses are red… roses are blue? Yes, there is such as thing as a blue rose, but they only exist thanks to science. Genetic modification has led to the development of roses that contain delphinidin, a blue pigment. In the Japanese language of flowers, blue roses mean “a dream come true.” Roses can also be dyed blue, and the deep, rich color that results lends any floral gift an air of mystery, rarity, and romance. Read on to learn more about the meaning and symbolism of blue roses.
Table of Contents:
- About Blue Rose Flowers
- Varieties that have a blue tint (or at least have “blue” in their name) include:
- The History and Origin of Blue Roses
- The Meaning, Symbolism, and Cultural Significance of Blue Roses
- Blue Roses and The Language of Flowers
- Blue Rose Meaning in Ancient Times
- Blue Roses and Chinese Folklore
- Blue Roses in Art and Literature
- Suitable Gifting Occasions for Blue Rose Flowers
- Blue Rose Flower FAQs:
- Blue Rose Meaning – The Final Word
The Meaning & Symbolism of Blue Roses – The Essentials
Roses are often associated with love and romance, and the color blue adds an air of mystery, elegance, and rarity. Light blue roses send a message of peace and tranquility, while deep blue roses may signify dreams, imagination, thoughtfulness, and creativity. In the Japanese language of flowers, blue roses symbolize “a dream come true.”
About Blue Rose Flowers
While blue roses do exist, they owe their existence to technological advances. Specifically, blue roses are either dyed blue or have been genetically engineered to contain higher levels of blue pigment.
Flowers in the Rosa genus lack enough pigment to bloom in shades of blue naturally. That hasn’t stopped people from searching for that elusive and magical blue rose throughout history. Until recent years, the closest Rosa got to blue were certain shades of purple that might just have a blue-ish cast in the right light.
Varieties that have a blue tint (or at least have “blue” in their name) include:
- ‘Blueberry Hill’ has semi-double, pale lilac blooms and a sweet scent
- ‘Blue Girl’ is a silver-lilac hybrid tea rose
- ‘Shocking Blue’ is a free blooming rose with dark mauve, highly fragranced blossoms
- ‘Blue Moon’ is a hybrid tea rose with pale lavender petals
- ‘Blue Nile’ has double lavender flowers with deep purple hints
The History and Origin of Blue Roses
Despite their names, none of these roses are actually blue. The first rose to contain blue pigment was developed by a Japanese company, Suntory. Research began in the 1990s with the goal of isolating precisely the right two genes (out of tens of thousands) that produce delphinium, a blue pigment.
The team started by working with a type of dark violet petunia that had already been used in previous flower color research. A few key bits of known data guided the discovery process:
- “blue” genes are effective only in petals, not in foliage
- location of the genes within the chromosomes
- “blue” genes are most active when petals are just opening
- “blue” genes are a type of enzyme that’s key to liver detoxification
Using these criteria, the research team narrowed their search from more than 30,000 potential petunia genes to “just” 300 candidates. After years of work, the blue genes were decisively identified and isolated.
Now the task lay in how to introduce the two genes into cells, so roses would grow in shades of blue. Over the next decade, researchers tried multiple times to create blue blooms with little success. Keep in mind that it takes about a year from when genes are introduced until a rose plant grows enough to produce a bloom!
After narrowing down rose varieties, testing different pH levels, and crossing effective strains, the researchers produced the first true blue rose in 2002. The roses are the color of a pale twilight sky and have a fresh, appealing fragrance.
Because the roses were genetically modified, getting the necessary permits to sell them commercially took years. In 2009, Rosa ‘SUNTORY blue rose APPLAUSE‘ finally became available.
The name ‘APPLAUSE’ was chosen to represent cheers for years of hard work and because blue roses mean “dreams come true” in the Japanese language of flowers.
The Meaning, Symbolism, and Cultural Significance of Blue Roses
Blue Roses and The Language of Flowers
Roses have long carried deep meaning and can be used to send specific messages dependent on their color characteristics. In the Victorian language of flowers, rose meaning includes:
- Red roses: Romantic love
- Crimson roses: Sorrow and mourning
- Pink roses: Happiness and maternal love
- Yellow roses: Jealousy
- White roses: Worthiness
But the rarest of roses, the blue rose, is a color imbued with mystery. It signifies elegance and sends a message of rare romance. Of course, in the Japanese language of flowers, blue roses have another meaning: dreams come true.
The Victorians used blue flowers to send a number of messages. For instance, bluebells mean “humility,” blue hyacinth stands for “constancy,” blue salvia means “I’m thinking of you,” and borage signifies communicating in a blunt or direct manner.
Blue Rose Meaning in Ancient Times
Across cultures, blue flowers have been associated with feelings of calm, peace, and serenity. This is likely due to a connection to water and the sky. Most types of blue flowers also signify intimacy, trust, and safety. In other cultural traditions, blue is associated with mystery, the divine, and elegance.
It’s also a rare color. Historical evidence shows that humans began creating blue pigment later than many other colors, likely because the materials needed to make blue were harder to find. Some early languages didn’t even have words for blue!
The rarity of natural materials meant the color was reserved for elites, like royalty and the wealthy. Perhaps this lent blue an air of mystery and elegance, as well as links to the divine. Until the 1500s (when people started making blue dye from the indigo plant and the color became more accessible), blue was quite rare, and blue roses were even more so.
Long described as the “holy grail” of flowers, blue roses were sought but never found until the development of flower dyes. In fact, in Judaism, blue roses symbolize “the impossible.”
Blue Roses and Chinese Folklore
Many myths surround this rarest of flowers. In Chinese folklore, The Blue Rose tells of an Emperor who had a beautiful unmarried daughter. The Emperor proclaimed that the man who brought him a blue rose could have her hand.
A hundred suitors went to seek the blue rose, but only three returned with blue roses. One had painted a white rose blue, while another brought a sapphire carved into the shape of a rose. The final suitor enlisted the help of a magician to create the illusion of a blue rose, but the daughter’s hand passed through it. None were acceptable.
But the daughter was in love with a lowly gardener. He brought her a white rose… and after examining it, she declared, “this is the blue rose.” The Emperor gave in, and the two were married.
Blue Roses in Art and Literature
Blue roses feature prominently in literature. Due to their rare nature, blue roses often symbolize seeking to attain the impossible, the elite, or the mysterious. For instance, in Tennessee Williams’s play The Glass Menagerie, an elusive and unusual character is nicknamed “Blue Roses.” The flowers are presented as a gift for royalty in George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, and Kipling’s poem Blue Roses is about the quest for unattainable love.
The rare flowers appear on the big (and small) screen. In Pan’s Labyrinth, the blue rose offered immortality to those who could find and pluck it. However, the thorny stems were full of deadly position, making it virtually unattainable. In Twin Peaks, blue roses are used to describe mysteries that involve the supernatural.
The flowers appear in music, too. Joni Mitchell invokes the mysterious in her 1969 song “Roses Blue.” The Jimmy Nail tune “Blue Roses” says the flowers will bloom in the snow before he lets his love go. And country music legend Pam Tillis sang of blue roses in a song of the same name.
Suitable Gifting Occasions for Blue Rose Flowers
Blue roses are rare. This makes them the perfect gift for special occasions. These elegant, unique flowers are ideal for loved ones on their birthdays, for a romantic date night, on Valentine’s Day, and for events that require that extra touch. They work particularly well in preserved and everlasting rose arrangements.
Blue Rose Meaning FAQs:
What does a Blue Rose symbolize?
A blue rose may symbolize mystery, rarity, and elegance. It may also mean attaining the impossible, rare romance, and a dream come true.
Are Blue Roses lucky?
A gift of a blue rose doesn’t necessarily symbolize luck. But it does signify attaining something rare or unattainable — a dream come true — making it a good choice for someone who’s achieved something through hard work.
Is a Blue Rose a flower of love?
The blue rose has associations with romance and love. It can be used to send a message of a very special, deep, and rare connection.
What do Blue Roses mean in a relationship?
Blue roses stand for rarity and elegance. They can be used to send a message of rare love and that your loved one is your dream come true.
How long do Blue Rose flowers last?
Cut blue rose flowers will last about a week. You can make the flowers look fresh longer by changing out the water frequently, using cut flower food, cleaning the container, and stripping leaves off the stems.
Blue Rose Meaning – The Final Word
Blue roses are among the rarest of flowers, leading some to describe them as “the holy grail” of blooms. For years, blue roses could only be achieved through dying until scientists developed a genetically modified blue rose in the 2000s. The rare blue rose carries the symbolic meaning of elegance, rarity, mystery, and the ability to attain the impossible.
Contributing Editor | Full Bio | + posts
Linsay is an American copywriter based in the Pacific Northwest with a background in academic writing and research. Linsay holds Master's degree in both Anthropology and Library and Information Sciences and has written for numerous national and international publications including USA Today, SFGATE, Hunker, and The Bump across an array of topics in the gardening, green living, and travel sectors. When she's not writing, you'll usually find Linsay reading, kayaking, sailing, snowboarding, or working in her garden.
Blue roses are often used to symbolize mystery or attaining the impossible. However, because of genetic limitations, they do not exist in nature. In 2004, researchers used genetic modification to create roses that contain the blue pigment delphinidin.What are the symbols of blue roses? ›
But roses are always associated with love, and blue can mean unrequited or true love. Light blue roses symbolize sensitivity and feelings. Dark shades of blue roses mean mystery and a dream come true.What does the rose symbolize in this poem? ›
' In what is probably his most famous poem, Robert Burns uses the red rose as the ultimate symbol of love. Through the rose metaphor, we learn that his love is just as beautiful and fresh as a rose that is newly in bloom.What is the moral of the story the blue rose? ›
The blue rose signifies True love, associated with the unattainable. A blue rose can mean unreachable, unattainable or unrequited love.What does blue flower mean in a relationship? ›
Because of their symbolism of trust, openness and love, blue flowers make an amazing wedding anniversary gift.What are the spiritual properties of blue rose? ›
It is a heart-healing stone of unconditional love. This Quartz integrates the heart and the mind, the emotions and the intellect. Blue Rose Quartz helps us to connect with the spiritual plane during meditation, enabling our access to the spiritual realm of the Divine.What does blue rose mean in friendship? ›
Blue rose meaning in friendship:
The blue rose is a symbol of true friendship. It means your friendship is strong and will last forever. It is also a way of saying, "thank you for being my friend."
With a white center, Rose Rhapsody in Blue is thought to be the bluest rose. Rose Indigoletta has real lavender-colored flowers and also smells fantastic. Same color as Rose Blue Moon which comes with a pale lilac color, while Rose Violet Blue has a pale purple center and darker purple outer leaves.What does blue mean in love? ›
Blue meaning in love: In love and relationships, the color blue represents fidelity and loyalty, hence the reason that, in America, it is traditional for a bride to wear "something blue" on her wedding day.What is the message of the poem the flowers? ›
Then wake to weep. 'The Flower That Smiles Today', in summary, is a poem about the brevity of all things – all hopes, desires, and delights the world has to offer are short-lived and doomed to die. Everything is fleeting and transitory.
Symbolism is a way to represent ideas through symbols. The rose serves as a symbol of sympathy for Emily, who is presented as a stubborn and sometimes harsh character. Faulkner's mention of a rose helps the reader to see a softer side of her.What life lessons does the story A rose for Emily teach us? ›
One moral, or ethical message, of this story is the risk we take in wearing rose colored glasses because we can't properly see the world when wearing them. Another moral of this story is that we need to find the balance between the morals of the old generation and the modern ideas of the new generation.What do roses symbolize in stories? ›
Roses appear frequently in literature, particularly in poetry, often as a metaphor for something else. It is a popular symbol of love, beauty and virtue in poetry, literature, music and art.What does the rose represent in the story or why does she return to the beast? ›
Obviously, the red rose symbolizes love and romance. It also symbolizes the Beast's dying hope for love; if it dies before he finds his one true love, then he'll stay the Beast forever. It symbolizes the Beast's need to reform from his past life of excess and vanity, as well as be gentler towards others.What does blue rose mean in love? ›
What does a blue rose mean in a relationship? The blue rose also signifies a fresh start. What does a blue rose mean in love? The blue roses represent true love, or unrequited love, they are great for a sense of longing, and a thirst of discovering the unknown.What flower means deep love? ›
While pink carnations are a common Mother's Day flower (they symbolize a mother's undying love), red carnations represent admiration, deep love, and affection.What blue flowers have positive meanings? ›
These beautiful, hot-hued blooms are said to represent trustworthiness. The Blue Violet flower symbolises faith, affection, intuition and love. If you're looking for romantic flowers, blue violets make a wonderful gift.
Although blue roses do not exist in nature, florists can produce blue-hued flowers by placing cut roses in dye. Also, in a painstaking 20-year effort, biotechnologists made a "blue rose" through a combination of genetic engineering and selective breeding.What color rose represents healing? ›
Pink also has many shades, and the combination is used to craft promising, often eloquent messages. What color of roses represents healing? Choose pіnk or white rose petals over bright red roses for this work.What color rose represents strength? ›
Red: Red flowers, especially roses, are most often associated with romantic love and passion. They can also mean desire, strength, courage, and respect.
Yellow roses are the quintessential friendship flower. They symbolize friendship, happiness, and new beginnings, and are the perfect way to rekindle a friendly relationship. Reach out to an old friend and send a vase full of fragrant yellow roses or a potted rose plant for their garden.What do blue roses mean in Japan? ›
Currently, the symbolism of the rose color is universal: a white rose is spiritual love, red is passion, yellow is recognition and admiration; red and white roses combined in one bouquet mean harmonious love, and a blue rose is an achievement of the impossible.What color rose is for love or friendship? ›
Similar to a sunflower, yellow roses evoke feelings of happiness, warmth and affection. While your significant other will be delighted to receive these bright blooms, yellow is also the official rose color of friendship.What is the rarest of blue roses? ›
Naturally, a true blue rose does not exist. The very first blue rose was said to be a white rose that was painted or dyed blue. In 2004, researchers used genetic modification to create roses that contain the blue pigment delphinidin, which roses do not normally carry.What was the first blue rose called? ›
The first blue roses in the world were named "SUNTORY blue rose APPLAUSE," and marketed. The applause means cheers, and the blue roses signified "dreams come true" in the language of flowers.What does 12 blue roses mean? ›
Description. 12 wonderful blue roses, symbol of peace, expectation and anticipation.What does blue mean in spirituality? ›
Blue is the color of spirituality, intuition, inspiration and inner peace. It is also associated with sadness and depression (the "blues"). In healing blue is used for cooling and calming, both physically and mentally. In the aura blue indicates serenity, contentment and spiritual development.What emotion does blue represent? ›
Blue is often associated with sadness in the English language. Blue is also used extensively to represent calmness and responsibility. Light blues can be refreshing and friendly. Dark blues are more strong and reliable.What is the spiritual color blue? ›
What is the association? The color blue represents both the sky and the sea and is associated with open spaces, freedom, intuition, imagination, inspiration, and sensitivity. Blue also represents meanings of depth, trust, loyalty, sincerity, wisdom, confidence, stability, faith, and intelligence.What lesson did flower teach us? ›
Flowers give us happiness with their positive vibes, make us feel relieved, help us reach a meditative state of mind when we smell them. What do they ask for in return? Nothing! Care for them if you will or leave them to die away, they continue to give even as their petals are turning brown.
The “flowers” represent a coddled, comfortable life where people live out a uniform existence in conformity to societal norms. The “weeds,” on the other hand, represent a freer, more challenging existence, characterized by individuality and unconventionality.Why does the poet love the flower? ›
The flowers grow in nature and they bloom and it makes the poet have faith in the creations of nature like flowers. He thinks that flowers must enjoy their existence. Like every other creature, flowers not only give joy to others but also enjoy their lives in nature and the air they breathe.What are 3 symbols in A Rose for Emily? ›
In this story, the writer found some symbols reflected a sad life from Emily Grierson. They are: The rose, Emily's hair, watch ticking, black color, and her father.What is the two major themes and main lesson of the story A Rose for Emily? ›
Isolation and loneliness are major themes in the short story 'A Rose for Emily. ' We'll study some quotes that make up this theme in Faulkner's morbid tale of oppressive spinsterhood.What is the overall interpretation of the story A Rose for Emily? ›
The story explores themes of death and resistance to change. Also, it reflects the decaying of the societal tenets of the South in the 1930s. Emily Grierson had been controlled by her overbearing father for the first 30 years of her life and she had never questioned it.What do we learn about Emily at the end of Faulkner's A Rose for Emily? ›
"A Rose for Emily" Ending
The single strand of long gray hair indicates that Emily has, at the least, been lying beside the corpse over the many years since Homer disappeared from Jefferson. The townspeople believe he had rejected her, but they do not know that Emily prevented Homer from leaving until her death.
When Emily's father dies, she attempts to retain the corpse and secludes herself when she fails. The townspeople excuse her by saying, "We remembered all the young men her father had driven away, and we knew that with nothing left, she would have to cling to that which had robbed her, as people will"(CS 124).What is the conclusion of A Rose for Emily? ›
The town's people see and accept that Emily has discovered love. Emily's cousins show up and Homer vanishes stripping Emily of her rose once more. Homer later returns and Emily utilizes what her dad showed her while adoring somebody, she kills him so he can be her rose for eternity.What are the symbols of 7 roses? ›
7 Roses: I'm infatuated with you. 8 Roses: A symbol of support for friends or family that are going through a difficult time. 9 Roses: To signify eternal love and show that you want to spend the rest of your life with that significant other.Who does the rose symbolize? ›
Most of us are familiar with what the red rose means, having been used across cultures to represent love and romance for centuries. The meaning of red roses is universally understood to be love and passion.
The red rose is known as the flower of love. The red rose symbolizes deep emotions and desires. Red roses are traditionally given to symbolize love, but aren't the only ones to earn this title. Other types of love flowers include peonies, sunflowers, or tulips, which symbolize happiness, prosperity and romance.What happened to the rose at the end of the story? ›
When the girl rejects the flower, however, the Student carelessly tosses it into the road, concluding that love is a waste of time. This dishonors the one request the Nightingale has made of him—to be a true lover—but it is in keeping with his personality.What destroys the life of the rose answer? ›
The rose used to be beautiful but since the worm has come, it has eaten up the parts of the rose. “Does thy life destroy” means that the rose is no longer this beautiful flower it has been infected and diseased by this worm that has been feasting on this rose.What does the symbolism of the rose foreshadow regarding the ending of the story in Dr Heidegger? ›
The rose anticipates what happens to the guests. Dr. Heidegger first uses it to demonstrate the rejuvenating power of the elixir; and later it withers right before the same thing happens to the old guests.What do the colors of a rose mean? ›
Darker shades of pink convey a sense of appreciation, while pale pinks are generally used to give a sense of admiration, joy or gentleness. Lavender: In the language of flowers, lavender roses are used to tell someone that you're enchanted by them. They also represent desire and love at first sight.What is the meaning of 12 blue roses? ›
Description. 12 wonderful blue roses, symbol of peace, expectation and anticipation. The meaning of the blue rose is perfect for: telling the loved one that you are thinking about the evolution of your relationship and testifying to your love to someone you find unreachable.What color is a grieving rose? ›
At a funeral, the classic deep red rose evokes love and grief. The yellow rose is often given by friends to show their bond. The rarer dark pink roses are used to express thankfulness to the deceased. Tip: Roses can be mixed in with other flowers or used in a casket spray, standing spray, or wreath.What color rose is for trust? ›
Meaning of white roses
The symbolism of the elegant white rose is trust, innocence, purity, loyalty and respect.
'Black' roses are actually very dark purple. Unfortunately, despite their beauty, they are associated with death and despair, hatred and revenge.What is the name of blue rose? ›
With a white center, Rose Rhapsody in Blue is thought to be the bluest rose. Rose Indigoletta has real lavender-colored flowers and also smells fantastic. Same color as Rose Blue Moon which comes with a pale lilac color, while Rose Violet Blue has a pale purple center and darker purple outer leaves.
Blue Rose Tattoo Meanings
As an artificial flower created solely for our enjoyment, blue roses will not be found as natural blossoms growing in the wild. As such, blue rose tattoos often represent the imagination, fantasy, impossibility, and the mysterious allure of the unattainable.
The flower language of 11 blue roses: the commitment for the whole life. Blue roses stand for “pure love, honest, sincere and kind” A single blue enchantress represents it is a commitment to be together. In the whole life, it is lucky to own a good relationship.What does 12 and 24 roses mean? ›
12 Roses – gifting someone you are fond of with 12 single roses is a simple way to ask them to be yours. 24 Roses – let a special somebody know they're always on your mind with a gift of 24 single rose stems.