Traditional red roses are arguably one of the most well-known flowers in the world, often given as gifts to express love and joy. They are the universal symbol for romance, and also are the reflection of beauty and perfection. Black roses are a little bit more complex when it comes to their symbolism. Their meaning is different depending on the context in which they are being used.
Generally speaking, the color black goes hand in hand with mourning and death. For this reason, black roses are often used and given during times of sadness and bereavement. They are frequently used to say goodbye to friends or loved ones, sometimes as a way to comfort those who have lost someone close to them. In other instances, one may give a friend a single black rose as a farewell if they are not sure that they will ever see the other again during this lifetime. Because the black rose often symbolizes death, it also has become a symbol of a big upcoming change. For example, it can also symbolize the death of old habits and the birth of new positive ones.
Despite the usual connotation, these roses are not always a symbol of death and despair. As previously mentioned, the black rose symbolism can drastically change depending on the context. Because it symbolizes things like rebirth and the death of old habits, it inspires enthusiasm about the future by signifying the beginning of a new chapter of joy and hope. For this reason, they may be used as gifts when someone is entering a new chapter in life, like when a student graduates from a university or a senior enters retirement. There are also many groups of people who have started to use black rose as a symbol of strength and rebellion. For this reason, they also symbolize things like courage and bravery.
Although there are roses that are extremely dark red that occur naturally, a rose that is truly devoid of all color has yet to be found in nature. Because of this, black roses have an underlying hint of fantasy. They have been used in video games, anime, and literature as mythological elements among other things. In one video game, for example, a rose that is black represents a very intense romance and other-worldly beauty. In another, one of the characters’ sword is adorned with roses that are black. Dozens of other references like these are made in other works of art, linking the beauty of the traditional red rose to the uniqueness of the darker counterpart.
The black rose symbolism is textured and complex, much more so than that of the red rose. While red roses are traditionally the flower that says “I love you,” one could easily argue that a rose that is black can be used to say the same just as effectively. With so many different meanings, it is not difficult to see why these beautiful flowers are given as gifts for almost any occasion.