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Is rose a Colour or flower?

Is rose a Colour or flower?

Both! The word “rose” can refer to a specific colour as well as a type of flower. Let’s take a closer look at the meanings and uses of the word rose.

Rose as a Colour

Rose is a light pinkish red colour that is named after the rose flower. The distinctive colour of most rose flowers comes from anthocyanin pigments in the flower petals. When we refer to rose as a colour, we are talking about a soft, pinkish hue ranging from very pale (almost white) to deep reddish pink.

There are many shades of rose colour, including:

  • Baby rose: Very pale, whitish pink
  • Rose pink: Light pink
  • Rose red: Medium pinkish red
  • Persian rose: Deeper pinkish red

The rose colour is commonly associated with feminine beauty, love, and romance. It is used in fashion, interior design, art, and cosmetics to express delicate, romantic, or youthful qualities.

Technical Specifications of Rose Colour

In colour theory, rose is located between red and magenta on the hue wheel. Its hue code is around 330 degrees.

In the RGB colour model, rose colour has the following values:

Shade Red Green Blue
Baby rose 254 228 225
Rose pink 255 192 203
Rose red 255 102 203
Persian rose 246 74 138

In the CMYK colour model, rose colour is created by combining the following percentages of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black pigments:

Shade Cyan Magenta Yellow Black
Baby rose 5% 10% 12% 0%
Rose pink 15% 25% 20% 0%
Rose red 20% 50% 20% 0%
Persian rose 10% 65% 30% 0%

Rose as a Flower

When used as a noun instead of an adjective, the word “rose” refers specifically to flowers of the genus Rosa. Roses belong to the large family of plants called Rosaceae, which also includes fruits like apples, pears, plums, cherries, almonds, and strawberries.

There are over 300 species and tens of thousands of cultivars of roses. All roses belong to the genus Rosa, but they come in a vast array of sizes, forms, and colours including pink, red, white, yellow, orange, purple, and multi-coloured blooms.

Some of the most popular types of roses are:

  • Hybrid tea roses – Large, classic flower form on long stems perfect for cutting.
  • Floribunda roses – Clusters of medium-sized blooms.
  • Grandiflora roses – Similar to hybrid teas but with more blooms.
  • Climbing and rambling roses – Vigorous growers trained to climb trellises and arbors.
  • Miniature and patio roses – Dwarf bushy types under 12 inches tall.
  • Shrub and landscape roses – Hardy with good disease resistance.

Roses are prized as ornamental plants in gardens and flower arrangements. They are icons of love and beauty in culture and poetry. And they can be distilled into essential oils or used to make products like rose water, perfumes, cosmetics, and confections.

History and Symbolism of Roses

Roses have a long and colourful history that dates back thousands of years. Fossil evidence indicates that roses were present in Asia, North America, and Europe as far back as 35 million years ago. Garden cultivation of roses began around 5000 years ago in China, where they were grown extensively.

Throughout history, different rose colours and types have carried deep symbolic meaning:

  • Red roses symbolize love, passion, and romance.
  • White roses signify purity, innocence, reverence, and new beginnings.
  • Pink roses express gentleness, admiration, and joy.
  • Yellow roses represent friendship and care.
  • Black roses signify death, farewell, and sadness.

Roses often appear in myths, legends, and folklore around the world. In ancient Greece and Rome, they were associated with goddesses of love. Christianity adopted the rose as a symbol of the Virgin Mary. The “war of roses” was a 15th century English power struggle between houses represented by red and white roses.

Cultivation and Care of Roses

Roses thrive in temperate climates with cool winters and sufficient summer warmth. They prefer locations with full sun (at least 6 hours per day) and fertile, well-draining soil. Most varieties grow best in slightly acidic soil with a pH between 6.0-7.0.

Basic rose care involves:

  • Watering regularly to maintain moist (but not soaked) soil.
  • Applying a balanced fertilizer every 6-8 weeks during the growing season.
  • Pruning each bush back by 1/3 to 1/2 its height in late winter/early spring before new growth begins.
  • Protecting against common pests like aphids, Japanese beetles, and powdery mildew.

With proper site selection, planting, and care, roses can thrive for many years, providing colourful and fragrant flowers from early summer until fall.

Significance and Meaning of Roses

For thousands of years, roses have maintained cultural and symbolic importance around the world due to:

  • Their long association with love, romance, beauty, and femininity.
  • Use in cosmetics, perfumes, food, medicine, and ornamentation dating to ancient civilizations.
  • Symbolic meanings of different rose colours representing emotions and ideas.
  • Appearance in myths, legends, art, poetry, film, and other creative works spanning many eras and cultures.
  • Extensive cultivation in gardens and floriculture for their fragrance and aesthetics.

Today, roses remain icons of beauty and romance. They are popular decorative plants as well as cut flowers for special occasions. The depths of meaning and symbolism ascribed to roses throughout history reinforce their enduring mystique and significance.


In summary, the word “rose” has dual meanings. It can refer to a light pinkish red colour inspired by rose blooms. And it names the beloved flowers in the genus Rosa acclaimed for beauty, fragrance, and symbolism. Roses have decorative, cultural, and religious importance globally. They continue to charm and fascinate us with their delicate petals, heady scents, and evocative meanings.