No matter the occasion, when we think of sending flowers to the people in our lives, roses are the first type of flowers that we consider. Called the “Queen of Flowers” due to their popularity, roses are celebrated for their beauty, colors, and fragrance. Truly a universally loved flower, rose gardens have been created around the world to showcase their exquisite beauty. Flower bouquets are often not considered complete unless they include roses. Not only are roses used in cut flowers, but they are also featured in ornamental plants, perfumes, food and drinks, and medicine. Ranging in colors, from red to white and all of the colors in between, roses are the most popular cut flower for their beauty and their enduring symbolism.
What is the Significance of Roses?
Roses often symbolize achievement, perfection, and completion. If you look closely at a rose, the long stems have thorns, but you are rewarded with a beautiful flower and their remarkable fragrance. In art and in life, roses symbolize the act of overcoming difficulty to find beauty, harmony, and happiness. The popular saying “every rose has its thorn” harkens back to the belief that roses symbolize that nothing is perfect.
Interestingly, the significance of rose flowers is illuminated throughout history. Ancient Egyptians and Greeks used roses to symbolize secrecy, as individuals wore roses during ceremonies to pledge fidelity and keep familial secrets. Furthermore, for hundreds of years, roses were hung over the doorways when a secret meeting or gathering was being held. Finally, in the British Kingdom in the 15th century, the Wars of the Roses was called such because it involved a war between the House of York (with a badge that consisted of white roses) and the House of Lancaster (which had a badge with red roses).
In literature, roses usually symbolize love and beauty, as well as femininity. The color of the rose also holds important significance:
- Red for romantic love, beauty, courage
- White for perfection, purity, youthfulness, silence, and innocence
- Yellow for friendship, freedom, and joy
- Pink for youth, gratitude, and early love
- Orange for desire and sensuality
- Blue for fantasy
- Black for death
Interestingly, the number of roses that a person sends to another also has special meaning.
- 1 rose symbolizes love at first sight.
- 2 roses symbolize deep love.
- 3 roses say, “I love you.”
- 6 roses symbolize “I want to be yours.”
- 7 roses symbolize infatuation.
- 9 roses symbolize eternal love.
- 10 roses say, “You are perfect.”
As you consider sending flowers to a special someone, consider what you are trying to convey to them through the floral arrangement. Not only are roses beautiful showpieces, but they can also share a message of love, friendship, and fidelity.
Types of Rose Flowers
There are over 150 species of rose flowers, as well as thousands of hybrid roses that appear in a variety of shapes and colors. Interestingly, all roses are considered shrubs. Rose plants range in size from compact, miniature roses to climbing roses that can reach over 7 meters high. Miniature roses would be perfect for a flower bouquet, while climbing rose flowers would make any home garden a centerpiece of your outdoor space.
There are three main types of roses: old garden roses, wild roses, and modern garden roses. Each type of rose is unique in its fragrance, shape, and color. As you create a flower bouquet or home garden, consider your vision and how each type of rose can help you make a beautiful statement.
Wild roses include the natural species of rose flowers and are low maintenance compared to other garden roses. Additionally, wild roses include musk rose, Lady Banks’ rose, burnet rose (pictured above), sweetbriar, or Persian Double. They have colorful autumnal foliage, and typically have one flush of blooms per year.
Old garden roses
Old garden roses are defined as any rose that existed before the introduction of the modern rose in 1867. They are typically of European or Mediterranean origin and are notable for their fragrant, double-flowered blooms; typically, old garden roses are in shades of white, pink, or crimson red. Some classifications of old garden roses include Alba Rosa, Damask roses, China roses, hybrid rugosas (pictured above), and Bermuda “Mystery” roses, among others.
Modern garden roses
Modern garden roses vary in form and tend to be classified by growth and flowering characteristics. The most popular modern garden rose is the hybrid tea rose, which is well-formed with large, high-centered buds. Other modern garden roses include miniature roses (pictured above), climbing and rambling roses, English (aka David Austin) roses, landscape roses, and patio roses.
Including roses in a flower bouquet is not as simple as first imagined, thanks to the variety of types of roses as well as the range of symbolism that roses can convey. As you begin creating a beautiful flower arrangement, consider the type of flower, the color of the flower, and the meaning behind your gift so that a special someone knows just how you feel about them. Roses can be a showpiece for a variety of special moments, including Valentine’s Day, birthdays, graduations, and more. Plus, with a personalized message, your loved one will remember their gift and this special moment forever.