'O my luve is like a red, red rose ...'

Poet Robert Burns had it right in 1794, when he lent his love the hue and hauteur of one of the garden's fussiest friends. But how, exactly, would the context - and cadence - of Mr. Burns's poem have changed if he'd chosen a rose of a different stripe? Here are the Victorian-era meanings of various tinges, from blush to bouquet:

• Red indicates courage, respect, and passion.

• Dark red means unconscious beauty.

• Pink is a gentle, gracious gesture, with a note of pleasure.

• Deep pink signifies gratitude.

• Light pink indicates grace, sweetness, admiration, and joy.

• Orange betrays the giver's obsession, interest, and eagerness.

• Lavender marks love at first sight and acknowledges improvement.

• Bridal white indicates a happy love.

• Plain white conveys innocence, purity, quiet, and charm.

• Coral is a sign of desire.

• Yellow signifies friendship, happiness, and a message of concern.

• A single red rose says, "I love you."

• Red and white bouquets mark unity.

• A single rose - of any color - conveys simplicity and gratefulness.

Source: Just Roses

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