The Powerful Meaning Behind Black Roses

The Powerful Meaning Behind Black Roses

Table of Contents

Did you know that not only do black roses exist but that they also have a powerful meaning behind them? These elegant flowers – associated with black magic, death, and tragedy – have evolved over time to signify everything from eternal devotion to anarchism. In this article, we will take you into the dark and mystical world of floriography, and uncover black roses’ meaning and their importance in bouquets and flower arranging today.

We will look at:

  • What is a black rose and what does it stand for?
  • What does a black rose mean?
  • What is the history of black roses?
  • What do these flowers signify today? 
  • What do black roses mean in a relationship?
  • When should you send black roses?

What is a black rose and what does a black rose stand for?

First of all, do these flowers exist? While truly black roses are not naturally occurring in nature, their name is often given to darker-colored roses in shades of deep red, purple, maroon or burgundy. They are also created artificially by dying the flower’s petals with ink to create a truly intense and rich flower.

Whether it is a deeply red rose or a dyed midnight flower, these kinds of roses are unrivalled in their striking beauty and evocative symbolism. Let’s look at this black rose significance now.

What does a black rose mean?

Traditionally, like most of the associations tied to the color black, the meaning of black roses has been synonymous with tragedy, death, and mourning. However, this flower has many other - and contradictory - meanings. 

Death vs Rebirth

For example, while it can symbolise actual death, it equally represents a metaphorical death - a kind of rebirth as one’s old self is left behind during a seismic life event or change. In this instance, the flower’s meaning is one of powerful optimism and even hope. It speaks of rebirth and renewal which, in the circle of life, are always closely linked to death.

Hatred vs Romance

Similarly, black is a color typically associated with hatred and evil and therefore black roses have been thought to symbolize these parts of our psyche. However, these flowers are equally thought to epitomize romantic love. Or rather, tragic love between partners. 

They signify the sadness that can exist in a relationship and are believed to foreshadow the ending of romantic love. In some readings, particularly in cultural history, they are also thought to embody obsessive love.

Again, we see the paradoxical meanings of this elusive flower as its rare and unusual coloring can represent both the dark and toxic nature of hatred or the impassioned devotion of tragic or obsessive love.

What is the history of black roses?

The black rose history is a fascinating one. In the civilizations of Ancient Greece and Rome, they were a universal symbol of strength and power. 

During Victorian times, when the coded messages of flowers were a whole language that people used to communicate in secret, they were thought to represent hatred, death, sorrow, and mourning. This became further popularized during the gothic era in literature and the arts, where black roses were commonly featured in gothic and macabre texts.

The underlying dark meaning of this flower took on a sinister tone later on, when it became a favored symbol of the Sicilian mafia. Black roses were used to send secret messages to their enemies. If you received this flower from the mafia, it meant that death was imminent and murder was approaching.

What does a black rose signify today? 

While the associations with death, sorrow, and resistance remain, the significance of these flowers has become somewhat more hopeful. These days, they signify the rebirth or rejuvenation that occurs after a farewell or drastic change. Thus, they are a perfect gift for someone whose life is undergoing a dramatic transformation or who has begun a new and exciting chapter in life.  

What does a black rose mean in a relationship?

According toGood Housekeeping, these sooty blooms in a relationship can signify this same sense of new beginnings and rebirth. They can represent a long-lasting love between partners. However, be warned! This black rose meaning is only applicable to full bouquets - a single one of these dark flowers carries a much more tragic message. 

In a relationship, giving a single black rose is thought to symbolize a tragic love or farewell. Essentially, it can be interpreted as a symbol that the relationship is over or doomed. This has been replicated throughout pop culture and literature. 

Take, for example, the moment in American Horror Story: Murder House, when Violet is given a black rose by Tate. This gift is a signifier of the tragedy awaiting their romance. Therefore, if considering giving your partner some of these gothic and elegant flowers, make sure you understand the meaning of giving someone a black rose and always give a full bouquet! 

When should you send black roses?

Despite the darker symbolism and murky past of this flower, it can be an ideal and unique gift for many occasions. For example, given their links to renewal and rebirth, these flowers make a wonderful present for a friend beginning a new job or career or else are a special marker for someone who has recently said goodbye to an old chapter in their life and is starting again.

Of course, they also make a fabulous “just because” treat to any friends who love gothic style and would adore the broody, complicated nature of these flowers. 

Now you know how powerful these flowers can be, why not share their dark magic with a friend? Find your perfect arrangement at 1800 Flowers, where they have specially-designed gift boxes bursting with these preserved midnight flowers.

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