The colorful nature of flowers means that you can find them in almost all natural colors. However, when it comes to black flowers, they’re remarkably rare and incredibly aesthetic and unique!
But like all other flowers, black ones will also have meanings and symbolism. So what does a black flower symbolize, and when should it be used?
In today’s article, you’ll find a brief answer to this question along with everything you need to know about black flower meaning. So without further ado, let’s jump right in!
What Do Black Flowers Mean?
Black flowers can fold away a wide range of meanings within their nightly-dark petals. These meanings vary significantly and may even contradict each other at some point. Depending on the occasion and context, the meaning of a black flower will change, so here are all the meanings that are black flowers can be used for:
1. Mourning and Devotion to Lost Ones
Dark colors have always been associated with negative and tragic events. This practice is common in many civilizations all over the world, as an opposite to the cheerful vibes that bright colors bring.
In fact, the tradition to wear black while mourning the date is believed to date back to Ancient Rome.
Since black has always been the color of choice while mourning loved ones, black colors make a notable appearance in funerals and graveyards.
This association can be also inspired by tarot cards, particularly the death card. This card has a white flower in it that symbolizes hoping for a new life, so the black flowers are a symbol of those who are gone forever.
Some also believe that black is not only meant for mourning, but also as a way to show remembrance and devotion to lost ones.
So, while it’s highly unlikely to be given to convey love, black roses may symbolize the continued love for someone who passed away.
Despite the common grim meaning black colored flowers, it also has a pretty optimistic meaning.
Contrary to the previous meaning, the black rose can also be used as a symbol of rebirth, rejuvenation, and new beginnings. This can be often seen in literature when authors hint or foreshadow significant changes in a character’s path or story.
Depending on common beliefs, some people may also give black flowers to others who are starting a journey in their life.
3. End of an Era
As previously established, black flowers are often used to signify major changes in one’s life. For that reason, it can also symbolize the end of a major experience in someone’s life.
The end of an era always brings back bittersweet memories, regardless of the nature of the old experience, from a major event or journey to a relationship or even a career path.
In other words, the black flower can be used instead of words to say “Goodbye” and embrace the new beginning with hope.
In literature, black flowers are often used to convey messages of hatred and tragedy, whether in novels, paintings, or even theatrical decoration.
In addition to the tragedy, sadness, and hate, black flowers can also be used as a symbol of betrayal, which is why some might send use them as a sign of menace after the betrayal of trust
There are plenty of stories in history that include using black flowers as a sign of seeking revenge and warning after betrayals, which lines up perfectly with the previously discussed meaning.
In fact, back in the day, the Italian Mafia sent various objects to their rivals as a death threat, and one of the commonly used rituals was leaving black flowers and dead fish at the person’s doorstep.
Taking many of the other meanings of black color into consideration, sending black flowers as a sign of vengeance totally makes sense!
6. Solidarity and Politics
Black flowers also made it into the political scene, as it was used by a few political movements as a sign of solidarity against tyranny and even anarchy.
Here are some of the most notable examples where black roses were associated with anarchy:
● A Canadian anarchist libertarian book publisher and press is called “Black Rose Books”.
● A popular journal with an anarchist agenda was published in New England by the name of “The Black Rose”.
● A libertarian socialist labor party in the United Kingdom by the name of “Black Rose Labor”.
● A US Based political organization by the name of “Black Rose Anarchist Federation”
7. Gothic Symbolism and Decoration
The gothic subculture is known for its heavy association with the color black, whether in apparel or in decoration.
For that reason, people who celebrate this lifestyle would typically use black flowers to decorate as a symbol of the dark aspects of life.
8. Power and Strength in Greek Civilization
Lastly, one of the oldest relationships between humans and black flowers, especially roses, dates back to the Greek Civilization.
Back then, the color black was associated with power and strength, although black flowers are rarely used for that purpose nowadays.
Are There Any Black Flowers in Nature?
Although black flowers have a lot of meanings, whether in history or pop culture, there aren’t actually any flowers that are truly black in nature.
However, gardeners and florists came up with many workarounds in order to find black flowers. The earliest method to get black flowers was by selective cultivation of maroon and purple flowers, by only breeding the darkest shades.
Recently genetically modified flowers and the use of black pigments to color the petals allowed for extremely dark black flowers to exist, such as Petunia Black Velvet, Black Baccara Rose, and Black Calla Lily.
With that said, you now have a brief guide that walks you through everything you need to know about black flower symbolism and what it means when someone gives you one.
As you can see, black flowers have seen a lot of variation in meaning throughout history, which explains the slight contradiction between some of their meanings, as they can describe both death and rejuvenation, along with other meanings.
I’m Chris and I run this website – a resource about symbolism, metaphors, idioms, and a whole lot more! Thanks for dropping by.