In every moment you were given a red rose, did you ever stop to ask yourself why that specific flower gets all the attention? We all agree that the infinite beauty of a red rose bouquet is the truest tangible way to say I love you. But did you know that red rose meaning has actually been one of romance for centuries?
Red roses have been sending sincere love from the heart since people wore togas to work. (No judgments, kaftans don’t count.) Love before red roses is like Jeopardy! before Alex Trebek, perfection before Beyonce, or comedy before Broad City. Did those things even exist before? (They didn’t.) Traveling back to the roots of red roses may give your gifts a bigger story than just the favorite flower of Valentine’s Day.
Red Rose Meaning By the Numbers
Since ancient Greece the rose has been a symbol of love, passion, pleasure, and ahem… procreation. The goddess Aphrodite was represented with many symbols, but her flower was the rose. In fact, her name is where we get the term aphrodisiac. Red rose meaning adapted over time from the literal icon of a love goddess to a symbol of love. Except being treated like a goddess, that should obviously still be happening.
The number of blooms in a bouquet adds a personalized red rose meaning:
1 Rose: New love, love at first sight, a one and only love. A single red rose is symbolic of giving your heart.
2 Roses: Bonded love. The joining of two singular roses together means that you are two of a kind, two halves of the same bunch. Give two roses to that special person that complements your life with love.
3 Roses: Three syllables – I.Love.You.
10 Roses: If you’re made for each other in every way, 10 is the magic number. Give your love a perfect score with ten red roses that lets them know they’re number 1 in your heart.
12 Roses: A “lover’s dozen” of red roses is the most popular way to express your love.
24 Roses: This can mean congratulations for a personal achievement for everything from a new career path, to a new baby or both; you know how we do.
36 Roses: Definitely above and beyond, three dozen roses means you’re head over heels in love. This arrangement of roses also serves as a pledge to remember your romantic moments together.
50 Roses: The favored way to express the constant flame of romance is with a grand arrangement of red roses. If you’re celebrating a life of love, this bouquet can symbolize the wonderful years you’ve spent together, or the years ahead.
100 Roses: What did he do?
Meaning of Red Roses in Pop Culture
Emojis are a shorthand visual language we use everyday. The red rose is a commonly used icon to symbolize romance and beauty. We send digital flowers on a daily basis until we can give our loved ones the real thing.
The red rose is a frequent model in the artwork of famous painters. It’s been immortalized as much for beauty as its symbolism. Painters like Salvador Dali, Alex Katz, Rene Magritte, and Frida Kahlo have created tributes to the red rose’s impact on society. In fact, both Frida Kahlo and Pablo Picasso have varieties of red roses named after them.
In Beauty and the Beast, a single red rose under glass signifies the perseverance of true love across time. An enchanted rose suspended in a glass case acted as an hourglass to countdown the years that a spell cast upon the Beast could be broken. In the film, the red rose would lose its petals for 21 years to preserve the spell that would only be broken by true love.
Originally written in her poem Sacred Emily, Gertrude Stein is known for her famous quote, “A rose is a rose is a rose.” It’s used to describe things that are what they appear to be, particularly comparing beautiful things that are similar. How would you compare the beauty of one rose to another?
A flower by any other name may not have made the same impact, but in Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare wrote, “…a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Juliet tells her true love in this moment that his name isn’t what defines him. In the famous love story, their love defies the divisions of their families.
Today, red rose meaning has grown directly from its origin as a symbol of the goddess of love, but because of their growth as the most popular color, they’re given for all kinds of love beyond between romantic partners. Clearly, no single flower has made a bigger impact on society. As popular Valentine’s Day bouquets, red roses are what we all love, appreciate and anticipate as a gift of love. For romantic moments worth commemorating, send an arrangement that takes red rose meaning to the next level. Now you’ll send exactly the right message to express what you’re feeling to that special someone in the language of beautiful flowers.