Yellow rose

This is my all-time favorite rose, the yellow rose of Texas.

I was doing some research and learned that June 12 is “Red Rose Day.”

I couldn’t find the reason why this particular day is set aside each year, but it could have come to America from Australia. The rose, considered America’s favorite flower, must need its own special day to be celebrated, right? And we know that June is usually a great time to notice roses since the sun is getting more intense and rose bushes seem to bloom daily.

I’ve never seen a greeting card for national Red Rose Day, so my guess is that best way to celebrate tomorrow is to buy and give your special someone a red rose to symbolize your love and affection. And flower giving isn’t always done by men, although that seems to be more common.

There are so many beautiful roses now, and botanists are hybridizing them with varying color combinations as well as accentuating the positive and de-emphasizing the negatives. Roses come in such a variety of hues, and I thought I would look up the meanings behind the colors. I found it interesting and I hope you do as well.

Red roses symbolize love. That’s really no surprise, but they also symbolize respect, courage, passion.

Light pink roses symbolize sympathy and admiration, while dark pink ones express gratitude.

White roses stand for purity, innocence, secrecy or humility.

Orange roses suggest enthusiasm and admiration.

Coral-colored roses imply desire.

A combination of red and white roses given implies unity.

A lavender or thornless rose implies “love at first sight.”

Peach roses symbolize appreciation and gratitude.

A yellow rose, my personal favorite, is said to symbolize friendship, joy and a fresh start. I think I love it because it will always symbolize Texas in my mind.

There are, of course, other colors and shades, but these are the more common colors and their meanings. I was wondering who got together and decided the meanings of each of the colors. I never found this information. But I did see the comment that men should always send the appropriate colored roses so as not to be misinterpreted — like we women all have memorized which color means what!

While searching for information on roses, I realized that no matter the color, there is something so striking, so perfect, so emotional about a rose. The petals, their texture, their shape, their patterns, they are truly special and spectacular. And if they are the fragrant type, well, that just is the cherry on top.

Darla Horner Menking is a Texas Master Gardener and Master Naturalist. Contact her at

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