Purple Roses Meaning: The History of the Purple Rose

As we begin to transition away from the cold and dreariness of winter into the gentler, warmer months, we at Venus ET Fleur® are gearing up for summer and National Rose Month in June. We want to honor our favorite flower by looking at all the different shades and variations that it can come in.

Purple roses are among the most naturally appealing and visually striking colors of roses that we know. They fit in with the bold, bright color palette that is so celebrated in the spring and summer months. For sprucing up your living room, giving as a gift to a special someone, or simply saying “Thank you,” or “I’m sorry,” we love how much you can say with a simple flower, and the purple rose is an impressive option for all of these.

In this article, we will discuss what makes the purple rose so unique in the context of traditional flower-giving, while also putting a special spotlight on arrangements that you can find with these rare and radiant blooms. We hope they bring beauty and joy to you and your loved ones.

Rose Colors and Their Meaning

For centuries, roses have been more than a simple way to add color and fragrance to your life. They have also come to serve as signs and symbols of deeper meanings, many of which are embodied in their coloration.

This usage of flowers dates to Victorian England, when flowers were used to send intimate and complex messages that conveyed a variety of meanings depending on the kind of blooms sent, as well as the different colors. Between 1827 and 1923, the United States had at least 98 different flower dictionaries in circulation. And at the same time, “flower code” was a frequent topic of discussion in prestigious literary and cultural magazines such as Harper’s and the Atlantic. This increasing popularity soon translated into the adoption of flower messages across literature and fine art.

We could spend this entire article discussing the finer points of modern floriography with regards to the many color variants of the rose (and, in fact, we have) but the star of today’s article, the bold and mysterious purple rose, demands a degree of special treatment.

The Purple Rose

Roses come in many colors, each carrying with it a special meaning all its own. For example, the red rose—easily the most popular and recognizable varietal—is typically associated with feelings of intense passion and romantic love. This makes it ideal for Valentine’s Day, anniversaries, or a spontaneous gesture of romance. The purple rose is also a wonderfully appropriate symbol of love, though one that is less explicitly romantic, making it a more versatile choice for a gift.

For thousands of years, the color purple has been associated with royalty, opulence, and grandeur. This is largely due to its rarity in nature—many of us learn in school that in the ancient world, purple dye was highly sought-after by monarchs and the wealthy for its richness and beauty. Some went so far as to extract purple dye from snails in ancient Phoenicia. Thankfully, however, modern advancements allow us to let the snails alone and still enjoy a wealth of radiant purples in our lives, feeling like royalty all the while.

That’s exactly what makes purple roses a perfect choice for that special person in your life who you respect and want to honor. Occasions for such a glorious color would include milestone anniversaries or engagements, when you want that person to feel like royalty. Purple roses traditionally convey a sense of fascination or adoration.

Roses in this voluptuous color are perfect for when you need to convey how impactful someone is in your life, be they a romantic partner or someone whose esteem you want to honor with this extravagant gift.

A History of the Purple Rose

Purple roses have been around in several different forms since the 1800s, though in its original invention, this purple was more of a plum or deep red color.

These roses were the creation of hybridist cultivators, who were driven to engineer new flower varieties in order to satisfy increasing consumer demand for luxury products. Around this time, growers were going to great lengths to cross-breed the classic European rose with newly-available varietals sourced from China. Luckily, since the rose already contains natural pigments of orange, yellow, red, and pink, the purple color was achieved without too much difficulty.

Predictably, this innovation was a smash hit. Because it was so well-received, other purple shades followed shortly. These include lavender, plum, and lilac. The purple rose was aided by the long and difficult journey toward the cultivation of the blue rose, an incredibly difficult shade to produce naturally, as roses lack delphinidin, the pigment that makes the blue color. Cultivators eventually discovered they had to insert this pigment into the rose gene, which, once successful, resulted in even more vibrant purple varieties.

Giving the Gift of Purple Roses

Today, the purple rose is incredibly popular and comes in a splendid variety. Our Eternity® Roses can come in three shades of purple—cool lavender, bright lilac, or deep, rich plum. Our signature Eternity® Roses are real roses that will last for a year with the proper care, thanks to preservation techniques that sacrifice nothing of the flower’s natural beauty. Each of these elegant blooms even retains the fragrant perfume that we expect of a rose.

Our delicate Eternity Roses are made from real roses cultivated in Ecuador’s lush, vibrant rose fields. Each bloom is carefully raised until it reaches a full bloom. The bright equatorial sunshine adds to the unique splendor of these blooms, which undergo an innovative treatment that allows them to last for up to a year with the proper care.

We can think of so many occasions and situations on which these wonderful purple blooms simply excel as a gift.

Mother’s Day

It’s certainly not a unique sentiment these days to claim that Mother’s Day is more special with the gift of roses—it’s simply the truth! If you don’t believe us, ask your mother. Someone as unique and as exceptional as she deserves only the finest and richest things in life, and one of our bespoke arrangements of opulent purple roses is sure to make her smile.

Surprise her this Mother’s Day with our unparalleled Fleura Vase, one of the richest offerings available from us. Featuring two dozen radiant, lilac-colored Eternity Roses, this elegant piece combines our coveted Le Plein style arrangement in a gorgeous handcrafted ceramic vessel. The perfect home decor item for year-round enjoyment, this arrangement is sure to make your mother feel like royalty on this special day.

A Gift of Gratitude

Flowers are such a timeless and, frankly, fool-proof way to say “Thank you.” We feel that a bouquet of fragrant purple roses can also go a tremendous distance as far as expressing feelings of gratitude and appreciation.

Consider the singular elegance and beauty of one of our bestselling pieces, the Le Mini™ Round, shown here in its rich plum color. Simplicity itself, this arrangement is sure to remind the recipient of your thoughtfulness and gratitude for a long time—and because this is an Eternity Rose, this bloom will keep its rich fragrance for much longer than the shelf life of a conventional rose. With this matchless and tasteful piece, your gesture of thankfulness will become a lasting and unforgettable one.

Graduations, Commencements, and Congratulations

One of the reasons we love roses is the way they so piquantly mark achievements and milestones. A bouquet of purple roses is the perfect way to reward that recent graduate for all their hard work and dedication. Or perhaps they’re for a close friend who just got a promotion at their job. Either way, they are sure to have their feelings of accomplishment complemented and accentuated by such a rich and royal bunch of blooms.

To match the style of the event, we highly recommend the voluminous Small Le Plein arrangement in bright and luscious lilac. Anything but plain, this magnificent piece consists of over three dozen fragrant Eternity Roses housed within an elegant black suede vessel, which we’ve modeled after a traditional Parisian hat-box. It exudes charm and class, and is perfectly at home in an office setting.

Final Thoughts

Purple roses give everyone the chance to feel like royalty. We hope you’ve enjoyed this close look at one of our favorite colors of this timeless bloom.

If you’re here because you’re looking for the perfect gift for someone special, we suggest reading up with us about the significance of the many different colors of roses. There is a great deal of fun to be had in crafting the perfect message for someone you love or greatly admire. Know also that a number of custom arrangements are also available from Venus ET Fleur, with a dazzling variety of different colors, sizes, and arrangement options with which you may craft as elaborate or understated a bouquet as you like.

Happy shopping, and please feel free to reach out to our contact line below if you have any questions or special requests!



National Rose Month - June | National Day Calendar

Victorian flowers and their meaning - The Smell of Roses

In Ancient Rome, Purple Dye Was Made from Snails | Smithsonian Mag