What Do Black Roses Symbolize? Uncovering the Meaning Behind These Mysterious Blooms

Black roses are often regarded as enigmatic and mystifyingly beautiful. Yet, not many people are familiar with what these delicate flowers represent. Contrary to what some may think, black roses are not merely an assemblage of dark pigments, but they hold a more profound meaning in the expression of love and affection. They embody a diverse range of symbolism rooted in various cultures and traditions. Some believe that black roses symbolize new beginnings and positive change, while others think of them as representing death and mourning.

While black roses may reflect different meanings, they are commonly associated with intense emotions and deep desire. Their dark coloration gives them a mysterious beauty that few other flowers can match, making them the perfect gift to express one’s feelings of unfathomable passion. It’s also not uncommon to see them offered as tokens of sympathy or respect for the deceased. Moreover, black roses are imbued with significance in literature, song lyrics, and various art forms, adding to their enduring appeal over the ages.

Despite their rarity, people who choose to adorn their homes or gardens with black roses are often regarded as deeply passionate and adventurous individuals. These flowers represent not only a unique aesthetic but also an intense sense of individuality. As more people become aware of their symbolic significance, black roses are sure to continue captivating those with a taste for the unconventional and mysterious.

The History of Black Roses

Black roses, also known as a symbol of death or farewell, have long been a subject of fascination and mystery. The first notion of black roses comes from the ancient Greek mythology about the god of the underworld, Hades, who saved a beautiful woman named Persephone from death and then offered her a single flower from the earth to show his love. The flower was rumored to be black in color, and since then, black roses have been associated with the underworld and the afterlife.

However, it was not until the late 19th century that black roses became known in Europe and other parts of the world. A Scottish gardener named William Dickson discovered a type of rose with deep maroon color, almost black. He named it the “Black Baccara.” Later, hybridizers developed several new varieties of black roses by crossing different breeds with the Black Baccara.

  • The hybrid Tea Rose “Black Magic” was developed in 1962 by Pernille Poulsen of Denmark.
  • Another remarkable variety of black rose is the “Black Jade,” developed in 1972 by Sam McGredy of New Zealand. It is highly fragrant, delicate, and has a shiny appearance.
  • The “Black Beauty” was created in 1985 and is a result of crossing the “Veteran” and “Oklahoma” roses. The flowers of “Black Beauty” have much darker color than the Black Baccara roses.

Black roses have been used in literature, art, and culture to symbolize various meanings such as melancholy, rebellion, and mourning. They have also been used in funerals as a sign of respect and a farewell to the deceased. In modern times, black roses have become popular in tattoo culture as a symbol of mystery and intrigue. They are also commonly used in Goth fashion and Gothic literature.

Despite their beauty and historic significance, black roses are not often found in nature. Most roses with black color are dark red, purple, or maroon. Nevertheless, the allure and charm of black roses continue to fascinate people all over the world, with their dark and mysterious appeal never losing their fascination.

Mythology and Folklore Surrounding Black Roses

Black roses have been a subject of fascination for many centuries due to their deep and mysterious color. They have been featured in numerous myths, legends, and folklore around the world, with each culture attributing its unique symbolism to these enigmatic flowers.

  • In Greek mythology, black roses were associated with the god of the underworld, Hades. It was believed that the flowers grew in his garden, and their dark color symbolized his power and the darkness of death.
  • In Celtic folklore, black roses were believed to have magical properties. They were used in love spells and potions to attract or repel certain energies.
  • In Hindu mythology, black roses symbolized the goddess Kali, who was associated with power, destruction, and transformation. The flowers were often used in rituals to honor her and to harness her energies.

Aside from their mythological and folklore significance, black roses have also been used in popular culture as a symbol of mystery, rebellion, and death. They have appeared in literature, music, and films, often referencing their dark and ominous connotations.

Despite their association with death and darkness, black roses can also represent rebirth and transformation. In some cultures, the black rose is seen as a symbol of the end of one phase and the beginning of a new one. This dual symbolism of death and rebirth has contributed to the enduring fascination and intrigue surrounding black roses.

Death and powerGreek mythology
Magical propertiesCeltic folklore
Transformation and rebirthHindu mythology

Overall, the mythology and folklore surrounding black roses have contributed to their mysterious and alluring reputation. Whether viewed as a symbol of death, transformation, or mystery, black roses continue to captivate people’s imaginations and inspire their creative expressions.

Black Roses in Literature

Black roses have been used as a symbol in literature for centuries. Often associated with death, mourning, and darkness, black roses have been used to evoke a wide range of emotions in readers. Here are some notable examples of black roses in literature:

Examples of Black Roses in Literature

  • In Edgar Allan Poe’s famous poem, “The Raven,” the narrator is visited by a raven that perches upon a bust of Pallas. The raven is described as having “Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door; / Perched, and sat, and nothing more. / Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling, / By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore, / “Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven, / Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore — / Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!” / Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”
  • In William Faulkner’s novel, “A Rose for Emily,” the protagonist, Emily Grierson, is described as a recluse who lives in a decaying mansion. When Emily dies, the townspeople discover a room with the corpse of her former lover, Homer Barron. On the pillow beside the corpse is a strand of Emily’s hair, and on the dresser is a single black rose. The black rose is a symbol of Emily’s love for Homer, which she took to the grave with her.
  • In J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” black roses are grown in the potion professor’s greenhouse. The potion professor, Severus Snape, is described as having a fascination with the dark arts, and the black roses symbolize his darkness and malevolence.

Symbolism of Black Roses in Literature

Black roses are often used to symbolize death, mourning, and the darker aspects of life. They can also represent love, particularly when given in secret or as a symbol of a forbidden love. In literature, black roses are often used to represent the darker emotions and experiences that characters go through.

Black roses are a powerful symbol in literature, evoking a range of emotions and experiences for readers. Whether used to represent death, love, or darkness, black roses are a potent symbol that can be used to create a powerful narrative in literature.

DeathRepresents the end of life and the journey into the afterlife.
MourningRepresents grief and loss, particularly during funerals or times of sorrow.
Forbidden LoveRepresents a love that is not accepted by society or a love that is forbidden for other reasons.
DarknessRepresents the darker aspects of life, such as evil, malevolence, and despair.

Overall, black roses in literature are a powerful symbol that can be used to evoke a wide range of emotions and experiences for readers. Whether used to represent death, love, or darkness, black roses add depth and complexity to literary works and are a potent symbol that can be used to create a powerful narrative.

The Meaning and Symbolism of Black Roses in Different Cultures

The beauty of black roses has captivated people for centuries. While traditionally roses are a symbol of love and affection, black roses hold a different symbolism. Let’s dive into the meaning and symbolism of black roses in different cultures.

Symbolism of Black Roses in Different Cultures

  • Western Culture: In Western culture, black roses symbolize death, mourning, and farewell. They are often used in funerals or to express condolences.
  • Japanese Culture: In Japanese culture, black roses symbolize rebirth or rejuvenation after experiencing a difficult loss or change.
  • Celtic Culture: In Celtic culture, black roses are associated with powerful magic or witchcraft.

The Number 4 and Black Roses

In many cultures, the number 4 has significant symbolism when it comes to black roses. In Japanese tradition, the number 4 is associated with death, making black roses a popular choice for funerals or in memorial arrangements. In Chinese culture, the number 4 is pronounced similarly to the word for “death,” making it an unlucky number. As a result, black roses are often used sparingly or not at all in Chinese weddings or celebrations.

CultureNumber 4 Symbolism
JapaneseAssociated with death, making black roses popular in funeral arrangements
ChinesePronounced similarly to the word for “death,” making it an unlucky number. Black roses are often used sparingly or not at all in Chinese weddings or celebrations

While the symbolism and meanings of black roses can differ depending on culture, one thing is certain – they hold a significant place in many traditions and ceremonies.

The Differences Between Natural Black Roses and Artificially Colored Black Roses

Black roses are a symbol of mystery and inexplicable phenomena. They are often associated with death, evil, mourning, and despair. Despite their beauty, they convey a message of caution, warning of impending danger or demise. Black roses have always been a popular choice among flower enthusiasts who value the non-conformist charm of unconventional flora.

  • Natural Black Roses
  • Natural black roses are rare, and their existence has been debated by horticulturists for centuries. There are no genetically engineered black roses, so natural black roses almost always have a dark red or maroon coloration that appears black. Their petals are darker than normal roses due to anthocyanin, which is responsible for the red pigment in roses. They appear black in bright sunlight or certain lighting conditions.

  • Artificially Colored Black Roses
  • Artificially colored black roses are created by dyeing white roses with black dye or by spraying black paint on them. Manufacturers use non-toxic dyes for coloring roses. However, it is difficult to get a consistent color throughout the petals, and the roses often become wilted and expired soon after because they are cut before being dyed.

Natural black roses are more valued because they occur naturally, in just a few places in the world. Their rarity makes them a symbol of exclusivity and uniqueness. They also have a longer lifespan than artificially colored roses. The price of natural black roses is significantly higher because of their rarity and difficulty in finding them in the market. On the other hand, artificially colored black roses are relatively inexpensive and readily available, but they lack the natural appeal and symbolism of a genuine black rose.

If you are looking for a black rose to symbolize mystery, beauty, and enigma, it is recommended to go for natural black roses, despite their high price and rarity. Avoid artificially colored roses as they may contain harmful chemicals and have a shorter lifespan. Choose natural black roses for a touch of natural beauty and exclusivity.

Natural Black RosesArtificially Colored Black Roses
RareReadily Available
Anthocyanin pigment for darker colorDyed with non-toxic dye or paint
Natural appeal and symbolismLack of natural appeal and symbolism
Higher priceRelatively inexpensive

In conclusion, black roses are not just a symbol of death and mourning, but also a beauty of mystery and enigma. Although artificially colored black roses may be easier to find and cheaper, natural black roses are worth the price for their rarity and natural beauty. Do not underestimate the subtle difference between natural and artificially colored black roses as they make an obvious difference in the long run.

The Significance of Black Roses in Romantic Relationship

Black roses are often associated with negative connotations, such as death and farewell. However, when it comes to romantic relationships, black roses can symbolize something entirely different. Here are some of the possible meanings behind black roses in romantic relationships.

The Number 6: Perfect Balance in Love

  • The number 6 is often associated with love and romance. It symbolizes perfect balance and harmony between two individuals.
  • When given in a bouquet of black roses, the number 6 can denote that the giver wishes to achieve a state of perfect balance and harmony in their relationship.
  • It can also show that they are willing to put in the effort required to achieve this balance, and that they view the relationship as a priority.

In summary, the number 6 in the context of black roses can represent the giver’s desire for a harmonious and balanced relationship with their partner.

The Use of Black Roses in Funerals and Mourning Rituals

Black roses are often associated with sadness, grief, and death, making them a popular choice for funerals and other mourning rituals. Here are some ways that black roses are used in these solemn occasions:


  • Black roses are often used to symbolize the end of a relationship or the death of a loved one. They are often seen as a symbol of finality and closure
  • Black roses can also represent rebirth or new beginnings, as they are the result of a genetic mutation that causes a rose to produce dark red or black petals instead of the usual shades of pink and red
  • Some people believe that black roses are a symbol of hope or the promise of a better future, as they are often associated with the idea that something beautiful can come out of something dark and difficult


Black roses are often used in funeral arrangements, either on their own or combined with other dark flowers or greenery. They can be arranged in wreaths, standing sprays, or as part of a casket spray. Black roses can also be used at memorial services or other events that honor the memory of a loved one.

Number 7

In some cultures, including some Native American traditions, the number 7 is considered sacred and significant. This can influence the use of black roses in funerals and mourning rituals, as arrangements may be created using 7 black roses, or 7 black roses may be placed on a gravesite as a symbol of respect and remembrance.


As with any type of flower, the symbolic meaning of black roses can vary depending on cultural and personal preferences. However, their association with death and sorrow makes them a poignant choice for funerals and other mourning rituals. Whether used as a symbol of finality and closure or as a reminder of the hope that can arise from difficult times, black roses can be a beautiful and meaningful addition to any memorial arrangement.

The Role of Black Roses in Gothic and Alternative Culture

Black roses have always been a fascinating sight for all since time immemorial. They have been the epitome of beauty with an added element of mystery. Black roses are symbolic of life, death, and rebirth. Their symbolism in Gothic and alternative culture is deeply rooted in powerful emotions, inspiring mystery and darkness.

In Gothic and alternative culture, black roses have a unique meaning that is different from the conventional red roses. They represent obscurity, rebellion, and a sense of independence. From literature to modern-day fashion, black roses have a special place in gothic subculture.

  • Gothic Literature: Black roses have been a staple in gothic literature, often symbolizing death and despair. They can be seen in several works of literature, including Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Masque of the Red Death” and Cormac McCarthy’s “All The Pretty Horses.”
  • Fashion: Black roses have been a fashion statement in gothic styles, including tattoos, clothing, and accessories. They represent individuality, rebellion, and dark beauty.
  • Music: Black roses have been used in gothic and alternative music, often embodying the emotions of loss and tragedy that go along with the gothic culture. They are an ever-growing symbol in music artists such as Evanescence, Jessie J, and Black Veil Brides.

Black roses are not just limited to gothic and alternative culture; they are symbolic of beauty in darkness, an outlet for personal expression, and a representation of lost love. They are the emblem of pride for those who don’t follow traditional beauty standards and want to embrace a darker side of life.

Symbolism of Black RosesDescription
RebellionBlack roses symbolize disobedience and non-conformity.
DeathBlack roses serve as symbols of death and mourning.
Renewed BeginningsBlack roses are also symbols of rebirth and new beginnings.

Overall, black roses have a deep connection with gothic subculture. They represent the darker side of life and are a means of escape for those who don’t conform to traditional beauty standards. While they may not be for everyone, black roses are here to stay and will always have a special place in the hearts of those who embrace the unique and mysterious aspects of life.

The Connection between Black Roses and Spirituality or Occultism

Black roses have a rich history of symbolism in spirituality and occultism. The dark color of this flower is associated with mystery, death, and the unknown, making it a popular choice for those exploring the spiritual realm. One popular theory is that the black rose represents the end of a cycle and the beginning of a new one.

  • In Wiccan tradition, the black rose is said to be the symbol of power and protection, particularly for women who wish to connect with their inner goddess.
  • In Christianity, the black rose is seen as a symbol of the end of times and mourning.
  • The black rose has also been associated with the tarot card, The Lovers, which represents choice and transformation.

But perhaps the most interesting connection between black roses and spirituality is their association with numerology. In numerology, the number 9 is seen as a powerful and mystical number. As the highest single-digit number, it is seen as the number of completion and the end of one cycle, with the beginning of another.

When we look at the number of petals on a rose, we can see that most roses have either 5 or 6 petals, but the black rose has 9 petals. This coincides with the numerological significance of the number 9, making the black rose an even more mystical and powerful symbol in spiritual and occult practices.

Number of Petals on RosesNumerological Significance
5Represents balance, change, and adventure
6Represents love, family, and domesticity
9Represents completion, transformation, and spirituality

In conclusion, the black rose has a deep connection to spirituality and occultism. Its dark color and the number of petals make it a powerful symbol of completion, transformation, and new beginnings. Whether you are a Wiccan, Christian, or someone interested in exploring spirituality, the black rose can serve as a beautiful and potent symbol.

Famous Black Rose Varieties and their Unique Characteristics

Black roses are a mystery to many, as they are often associated with death and dark symbolism. However, there are several famous black rose varieties that are highly sought after for their breathtaking beauty and unique characteristics.

  • The Black Baccara: This rose is deep crimson in color, but appears black to the naked eye. It is highly fragrant and has a velvety texture. Its dark color is caused by a high concentration of pigment in the petals.
  • The Black Magic: This rose is truly black in color, with dark, velvety petals that are almost opaque. It is a hybrid tea rose that is prized for its striking appearance and long-lasting blooms.
  • The Black Pearl: This rose has ruffled, deep purple petals that appear black in certain lighting. It is a floribunda rose that produces clusters of blooms throughout the season.

These famous black rose varieties are not only visually stunning, but also have unique characteristics that set them apart from other roses. The Black Baccara, for example, is known for its rich fragrance that can fill a room with its scent. The Black Magic is prized for its long-lasting blooms that can survive for up to two weeks in a vase. The Black Pearl, on the other hand, is known for its hardiness and disease resistance.

If you are looking to add a touch of mystery and intrigue to your garden, these famous black rose varieties are an excellent choice. Their unique characteristics make them stand out from other roses, and their stunning beauty is sure to impress anyone who sees them.

Rose VarietyColorFragranceBloom Time
Black BaccaraDeep crimson, appears blackHighly fragrantSummer
Black MagicTrue blackModerate fragranceSummer
Black PearlPurple, appears blackModerate fragranceSummer to fall

If you decide to grow these famous black rose varieties, be sure to research their specific care requirements. While they are generally easy to care for, each variety has its own unique needs. With proper care, your black roses will thrive and continue to impress for years to come.

What do black roses symbolize?

Q: Are black roses real?
A: Yes, they are real. Black roses are created by artificially dyeing a lighter-colored rose to achieve the desired deep black color.

Q: What do black roses symbolize?
A: Black roses often symbolize death, darkness, or farewell. They can also represent rebirth and new beginnings.

Q: Are black roses appropriate to send as a gift?
A: It depends on the context and recipient. If you know the recipient loves gothic culture or has a fascination with dark symbolism, then black roses could be an appropriate gift. However, for most occasions, they may not be the best choice.

Q: What cultures associate black roses with death?
A: In some cultures, like Victorian England, black roses were associated with death and mourning. In others, like Mexican culture, the black rose represents the death of a relationship or a negative aspect of life.

Q: Can black roses be used in weddings?
A: Black roses can be used in weddings, but they are not a traditional choice for most couples. They may be a good option for couples who want to incorporate a Gothic or dark theme into their wedding.

Q: Do black roses have any positive symbolism?
A: Yes, black roses can represent the start of a new beginning. They can symbolize the end of something negative and the beginning of something positive.

Q: Can black roses be combined with other colored roses in a bouquet?
A: Yes, black roses can be combined with other colors to create a unique and striking bouquet. They pair well with deep reds, purples, and whites.

Wrap Up: Thanks for Learning with Us!

Now that you know what black roses symbolize, you can decide if they are the right choice for your next occasion. Whether you are creating a Gothic wedding or sending a bouquet to a friend going through a tough time, black roses can be a powerful and meaningful choice. Thanks for reading and be sure to visit us again for more articles about symbolism and flowers.