The red rose is the most popular and one of the most cultivated flowers in the world.
With its flaming petals, the red rose represents love and passion. In full bloom, it expresses a simple message: "I love you".
From fossils, archeologists can tell that roses appeared 35 million years ago.
This article documents the rich history of the red rose, what the red rose symbolizes, and why people give red roses.
The history of the red rose
An ancestral flower dating back millions of years, the red rose is native to Asia.
Around 5,000 years ago, the cultivation of this flower in gardens began in China.
The flowers and seeds were then marketed all over the world.
Over the centuries, roses spread everywhere, they have been a part of mythology, medicine, and even war.
In Western culture, the origin of the red rose dates back to Greek mythology where it was believed that it was Aphrodite the goddess of love who created this unique flower.
The legend goes that this flower was stained with the tears of the goddess and the blood of her lover Adonis.
In Roman mythology, the creation of red roses is linked to Venus, the goddess of love.
As Venus ran to warn her lover of a plot to assassinate him, she walked through a thorn bush and cut her ankles.
Her blood then transformed into a beautiful red rose.
The rose in Antiquity
The Greeks and the Hebrews appreciated the red rose, they cultivated it and used it for nuptial ceremonies.
Red roses have also been found in Egyptian tombs, where they were placed to accompany the dead to eternity.
The Romans developed a real passion for this flower: its petals were strewn on the ground and they were sprinkled on the guests on feast days.
Roses were grown mainly in Egypt as well as in Persia (current Iran), which is why the Romans first imported them by boatloads before cultivating them themselves.
For this, they developed an ingenious system to force their flowering, by heating the cultivation soils using hot water pipes.
The red rose is popular in art and literature
Red roses have been used for centuries in literature, works of art, poetry, and on screens as a symbol of passion and devotion.
Shakespeare put it right: "What's in a name? That which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet."
Juliet compares Romeo to a rose itself. The red rose is a classic symbol of passion and speaks for itself in its flirtatious language.
In Alice in Wonderland, the Queen of Hearts loved them so much that her gardeners frantically painted the roses red, lest she cut off their heads if it was discovered that they had planted white roses by mistake!
In the hit television series, The Bachelor, the red rose is an undisputed and universal symbol of love.
What the red rose symbolizes
The red rose can mean a lot of things.
As the language of flowers is complicated, the meaning of flowers can change depending on the number, types of flowers, the integrity or not of the thorns, and even the shade or hue of this plant.
Here are some meanings of the flowers.
Roses are synonymous with passion, true love, romance, and desire.
When used in a wedding bouquet, red roses are a mark of appreciation and genuine respect.
A dark red version can convey the message that you are ready to commit and represents passion.
Why people give red roses
Giving red roses is a promise of dedication and eternal love.
Red roses speak of a love that does not change and does not fade. “I will love you always and all my affection is for you alone,” says a single red rose.
If they are mixed in a bouquet with other types of flowers such as a white rose, you can give them to someone you are not in love with!
Keep in mind that you don’t have to give flowers only on Valentine’s Day, birthdays, or when apologizing. You can earn a lot of points by giving a red rose just because you care.
So, offer red roses to your loved one at any time, it’s a wonderful surprise that shows that you care.