Valentine’s Day is known as the day of love. Roses have symbolized this day for decades, but before they became an icon of love, they had other significances.
According to research done by the University of Illinois, roses originated in Central Asia about 70 million years ago. Early civilizations appreciated roses and grew them widely and thus they spread into the northern hemisphere. The research done by the University said the rose is the most loved and cherished flower.
The oldest rose that has been identified is the Rosa Gallica, otherwise called the French rose. While the exact origin is unknown, it is said that the Persians considered it a symbol of love and grew it for good spirits.
The first rose was not red, like the most popular rose is today. The first shades were pink and white; almost a century later came the first red roses that bloomed in.
Around 500 B.C., Confucius, a philosopher, wrote about the rose growing in the imperial gardens and made it apparent that the library of the Chinese emperor contained more than 100 books about roses. It is said that in the gardens of the Han Dynasty there were gardens strewn with roses, so much that they threatened the engulf the land that was needed for crops.
In modern America and in several places around the world the rose is the universal symbol of love. Many give the standard dozen roses, which is said by the ProFlowers Company to mean that a person is thinking of you 12 months a year or a complete cycle.
“Roses are just what girls expect (on Valentine’s Day),” said Adam Wilkey, freshman from Bowling Green, Ky. “It’s the traditional thing to (buy). I’d rather get a girl something she wants.”
Another way people decide what type of flower to give to someone is by the meaning of the petal colors. According to oldroses.org, simple red symbolizes love, beauty and courage, a light pink color means admiration, sympathy and sweetness and a white rose represents purity, silence and youthfulness but these are just a few of the many colors roses are naturally grown.
Also, the number of roses given to someone has a meaning such as a single rose depicts devotion and six roses assure the recipient of deep love.
“Red roses are full of life and the ultimate symbol of romance,” said Jennifer Wyatt, sophomore from LaGrange, Ky.
Depending on the occasion, roses can be given to that special someone for any situation.
Story by Kelsey Randolph, Staff writer.