Yellow roses are the perfect pick to show your friends a little bit of extra love. Probably because the yellow rose’s meaning has evolved into one of joy and friendship, a symbol of our chosen family we feel closest to. Present-day floral symbolism has changed since Queen Victoria’s days of bustles and bonnets. Before that popular emoji meant more than just a peach, floriography was symbolic slang fashionable in Victorian England. Essentially, people would “spill the tea” using a system of assigned meanings for flowers in specific colors. The number of roses in a bouquet also contributes to the meaning.
Yellow Rose Meaning
The current yellow rose meaning of today’s bonded friendship is likely to have evolved from earlier interpretations that revolved around sharing coded messages to friends on the down-low in order to protect them. Wearers of yellow roses could communicate in secret using flowers in their hair, garments or as a handheld accessory. By displaying certain color and flower combinations, people could pass information using floral signal flags without an exchange of words.
The Secret Language of Flowers
From its roots in the Victorian language of flowers, the yellow rose has always been a symbolic flower shrouded in intrigue and mystery. Who knew floriography was even a thing?! Well, people living in the Victorian era did. They used floriography to share secret messages without speaking aloud.
Using coded rose flower meanings, they could keep their personal business inside their trusted friend circles, sending out coded communications by accessorizing. Flower language and rose meanings existed in parts of Asia like Constantinople well before Queen Victoria’s reign, yet it wasn’t until the Victorian era that communicating in flower symbolism rose to sudden popularity. See what we did there?
Floriography was so popular that a number of books were published to help people interpret flower choices, though some have stranger meanings than others. For example, the earlier version of purple orchids from the era identified the belle of the ball or the most popular female attendee at an event, while white mums meant truth and dill spice meant lust. Not exactly the first thing that comes to mind, but it could be why they added it to pickles?
Victorian floriculture defined a yellow rose as something completely different than the Japanese flower language of Hanakotoba. Each language interpreted individual flowers very differently, yet yellow roses seemed to be a symbolic beacon that beckoned one’s friends to safety.
Modern Meanings of Yellow Roses
Over time it’s likely that reliance on friends to be truthful, honest, and dependable evolved into the yellow rose meaning of friendship. Since we no longer formally use the language of flowers, nor is it typically commonplace to see people wearing fresh flowers as accessories (we should definitely bring that back) — today flowers have a completely different system of meaning. In modern times, we use flowers like aromatic emojis, personally selected arrangements with a heartfelt message.
Send a yellow rose bouquet to your friends as a way of showing you care deeply for them and that you appreciate their inner beauty. After all, these are the chosen flowers of sisterhood and emotional collaboration. Beyond the bond of friendship, the meanings of a yellow rose are joy, receiving good news, an occasion of celebration between friends, or a symbol to those visiting a home that wonderful news is imminent.
Yellow roses are a true wild rose, a beautiful rarity discovered in the 18th century growing in parts of the Middle East and Southwest Asia. It’s that wild streak that inspired its Victorian meaning, but it’s also that unique sense of freedom to grow together in the wild that aligns yellow rose meaning with the most important friendships in our lives.
Also, don’t get a traditional yellow rose confused with the forever rose, those are 24-karat gold-dipped flowers! It’s not the same thing. Next time you plan a weekend getaway with your besties, show up with a bouquet of yellow roses! Near-instant smiles will appear, and they’ll know what kind of adventure lies ahead.Shop All