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Roses are red…. or are they?


Roses have long been used as a symbol of love, and with Valentines Day upon us, romance is definitely in the air. The giving of roses as a token of affection has long been a tradition, but different colours have different meanings and significance attached to them. In the ‘language of flowers’, the colour of the rose you choose has deeper significance attached to it.

Red roses

The red rose is, of course, one of the most instantly recognisable tokens of devotion and affection. A red rose is supposed to say ‘I love you’, and to represent an unconditional and everlasting bond of love. They are also believed to represent respect and courage, meaning the red rose carries an incredible depth of emotion and symbolism. For that reason, they’re reserved for someone very special to the giver and shouldn’t be given to someone you don’t share a deep and meaningful partnership with.

Yellow roses

Beware of giving yellow roses! In the traditional language of flowers, a yellow rose is said to represent infidelity, jealousy and falling out of love, so not the token you want to give your partner on the most romantic date in the calendar. In more recent times there has been an effort to ‘rebrand’ the yellow rose as a symbol of friendship, but this later meaning has no real depth or history to it.

Pink roses

Pink roses are said to represent elegance, friendship and platonic love. Softer than the vivid red rose, pink roses have traditionally been given as an expression of admiration and long-lasting affection, but not as a token of adoration and love.

Red and white striped roses

Roses with red and white stripes are supposed to represent harmony and unity. They are often seen as a symbol of togetherness, with the traditional York and Lancaster rose symbolising the joining in marriage and the end of conflict between the two great royal houses.

The number of roses you give also carries traditional meaning. A single rose means ‘I love you’, while a dozen reinforces that message as well as symbolising deep gratitude. If your budget will stretch to it, a hundred roses represent the hundred years in a century and are symbolic of eternal and unchanging love and devotion.

Valentines Day is the perfect occasion to show your true feelings through the traditional language of flowers. Choose your blooms carefully, if you want to express your devotion to that special person in your life.