Receiving red roses from a romantic partner or love interest is a well known expression of affection. We witness it on our favorite television shows, in film, through literature, and with our friends and family on occasions such as Valentine’s Day and anniversaries. So how did this flower come to stand for what it does today?

Dating back to Roman and Greek mythology, the red rose was associated with the goddesses of love: Venus and Aphrodite. During the Victorian Era, the Victorians developed floriography, or the language of flowers, creating special meanings for different flower varieties and colors. This allowed them to communicate during times when they couldn’t, resulting in the red rose sending a message of love. Early cultures also used red roses to decorate wedding ceremonies and incorporated them into their wedding attire as part of their traditions. We even see the greatest poets of all time, including Shakespeare, talking about romance and the sumptuous red rose.

Today, red roses continue to be used as a classic way to say “I love you.” However, as the practice has developed, it has expanded into sharing pink roses to show passion and yellow roses to show your fondness for friends. Whether it be for a special occasion or a simple reminder, these flowers genuinely represent all aspects of affection and make a remarkable gift for those you care about.