Mythology, Q-U


“If you enjoy the fragrance of a rose, you must accept the thorns which it bears.” – Isaac Hayes

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Fossils of roses go back to the paleontological Tertiary Period which started about 70 million years ago. Fossil records of roses go back 35-40 million years.

Red rose = “Love”, “Respect”

The Stonerose Fossil Beds in Washington State have some of the earliest known records of the rose family.

Pink rose = “Admiration”, “Joy and Grace”, “Sweetness”, “Gratitude and Appreciation”, “Sympathy”

No ghostly creatures or vampires, may cross the path of a wild rose.

Sadly roses do not grow south of the equator, but they do grow almost everywhere in the Northern Hemisphere.

White rose = “Honor”, “Remembrance”, “Chastity” “Innocence”

It is thought that the earliest planting of roses was along the most travelled roads of nomadic humans. Garden cultivation of roses began some 5,000 years ago, probably in China.

Orange rose = “Togetherness”, “Passion and Energy”, “Enthusiasm”, “Desire”, “Pride”

Seafoam dripping from the body of Aphrodite as she is born turns into white roses or white roses grew from the tears that Venus wept after the loss of her Adonis.

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Yellow rose = “Happiness,” “Friendship”, Exuberance”, “Joy”, “Warmth”

Red roses come from the blood of Venus (Aphrodite) either when she is helping Adonis or when she pricks her foot while walking through her garden.

Cupid was enjoying the aroma of the rose when he was stung by a bee lurking in the petals. To punish the flower, Cupid shot the stem full of his arrows, and the rose forever after was cursed with arrowhead-shaped thorns.

Peach rose = “Anticipation”, “Hope for the future”, “Modesty”, “Gratitude”, “Sympathy”

Roses, images of roses and petrified rose wreaths have been found in ancient Egyptian tombs.

Burgundy rose = “Beauty”

“The fragrance always stays in the hand that gives the rose.” – George William Curtis

The world’s oldest living rose bush is thought to be about 1000 years old. It still blooms at Hildesheim Cathedral in Germany.

“Climbing the apse of the cathedral in the courtyard is Hildesheim’s famous 1000-year-old rose, said to be the oldest in the world. It is a symbol of the city and its prosperity – legend has it that Hildesheim will never decline as long as the rose keeps blooming.”

Light purple rose = “Love at first sight”, “Enchantment”, “Enthrallment”

Some sources say Confucius had a 600 book library specifically on how to care for roses.

Dark purple rose = “Splendor”, “Enchantment”, “Enthrallment”

Shakespeare refers to roses more than 50 times throughout his writings.

Eglantine rose = “You inspire poetry”

The War of the Roses (1455-1487) was between the House of York (the white rose) and the House of Lancaster (the red rose). The winner, Henry VII combined the red rose of Lancaster with the white of his bride and created the Tudor Rose, the Rose of England.

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Withered red rose = “Our love is over”
Withered white rose =” I would rather die”
Black rose = “Death”, “Farewell”

In England, the rose stood for death for those who betrayed their word. During the medieval era, people spoke under a white rose to symbolize the confidential nature of the conversation. And the Latin “sub rosa” means something spoken in secret.

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Blue rose = “mystery”, “enchantment”, “Fantasy”, “Impossibility”

The Blue Rose was my favorite flower long before I found out that “fantasy” was one of its meanings. Blue roses do not naturally occur. Roses lack the genes that create blue pigment. Until 2004, the only way to get a blue rose was to dye a white one. In 2004 a genetic modification was used to create a hybrid blue rose.

Green rose = “Best wishes”, “luck”, “blessings”, “good health”

Then there is the Greek myth of Rhodanthe. Rhodanthe fled to the temple of Artemis to escape her three suitors. Her attendants, convinced that Rhodanthe was even more beautiful than Artemis, flung a statue of the goddess from its pedestal and demanded that Rhodanthe be represented there instead. The god Apollo, angered by the insult to his sister turned Rhodanthe into a rose and her attendants into thorns. The three suitors were changed into the three courtiers of the rose: the bee, the worm, and the butterfly.

Turquoise Rose = “Calm”, “fertility”, “Bounty”, “Well-being”

The rose has been a symbol of secrecy. In sixteenth-century England, a rose was sometimes worn behind the ear by servants, tavern workers, and others to indicate that the wearer heard all and told nothing.

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One rose = “love at first sight”

A seventeenth-century German book lists thirty-three diseases that can be cured by rose water or oil.

Three roses = “I love you”

During the eighteenth century, rose petals occasionally were included in English salads, and the essence of roses was used to flavor ice cream.

Nine roses = “Everlasting love”

Rose hips, the fruits of the rose plant, are used to make tea, or as a source of Vitamin C.

10 Roses – You are perfect
12 Roses – Be my sweetheart
15 Roses – I am truly sorry, please forgive me
101 Roses – You are my only love
108 Roses – Marry me
999 Roses – Eternal Love

By the way, Roses have been here much longer than we have. Roses are about 45 million years old – Stone-age people, Homo Habilis, only date back about 2.3 million years.


“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” – William Shakespeare

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The American Rose Society
What the number of roses means
Meaning of Green Roses
Meaning of Blue Roses
Roses in Mythology
Rose Folklore
Meaning of roses by colors and number
Outstanding site on colors and number meanings of roses

“One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today.” – Dale Carnegie


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