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Elizabeth is a Vancouver-based writer, editor, and author. Her first book “Beyond Black and White” is available now. She is an old soul who's young at heart, a human jukebox, and a corgi lady in training. Follow Elizabeth on Twitter at @ElizabethThe.

The More You Know: Red Roses

University student and perpetual procrastinator, Elizabeth Rosalyn has chosen to put her Google/Wikipedia researching skills to good use by sharing her findings on random topics in her next installment of “The More You Know”. This month, she investigates why roses are considered the flower of love.

When it comes to love, nothing symbolizes romance as powerfully as the red rose. Because of these qualities, bouquets of red roses are one of the most popular gifts to present to loved ones on Valentine’s Day.

So why is it that we value the red rose as a token of admiration during this annual celebration of love?

Image Credit: Elizabeth Rosalyn

Image Credit: Elizabeth Rosalyn


According to Greek mythology, the tale of the creation of the rose began when Chloris, the goddess of the flowers, discovered the lifeless body of beautiful nymph in the forest. Chloris was so overcome by the young creature’s fate that she reached out to the gods and goddesses to help give the girl new life by transforming her into a flower.

Aphrodite, the goddess of love, bestowed beauty upon her. Dionysus, the god of wine, added nectar, which gave her an attractive and sweet-smelling fragrance. The three Graces — Thalia, Euphrosyne, and Aglaea, also known as the Charites — adorned her with charm, joy, and brilliance. When all was complete and the flower had bloomed, the gods and goddesses admired their work and declared her the most beautiful of all flowers.

Aphrodite was asked to choose the name for this lovely flower. In honor of her son Eros, the Greek god of Love, she gave the flower the name of rose, an anagram for Eros. Holding true to its name, the rose continues to be the flower of love.

As for the origins of the red rose, when Aphrodite ran to the side of her wounded lover, Adonis (who had been fatally injured by a wild boar during a hunt), she pricked her foot on a white rose, staining it and the other roses in the bush red with her blood. Thus, the red rose becomes a symbol of undying devotion in the wake of this tragic incident.


Red is a hot, radiant, and commanding colour that draws attention. Red is also the hue of the heart and blood, and thus, the colour symbolizes love and life itself! In looking at the rose, one will observe that while its petals are delicate, the flower itself grows from a thorny stem. Here, the analogy is that love also has two sides: the one side being tender emotion, while the other side is bitter pain. This reflects the duelity of passion and pain in love and relationships. Although its stem has prickly thorns, the flower has the ability to hold something as beautiful as the rose. As with love, the purity of the feeling is able to withstand the struggles that comes with relationships, to which it can bloom into something special.

“Heart of my heart, the world is young;
Love lies hidden in every rose!”

– Alfred Noyes


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  1. Warner Bros. Valentine’s Day Giveaway | The Hudsucker - February 12, 2014

    […] observed on February 14 each year. The holiday can either be romantic; involve handing out red roses to those in your life, or spend an evening in with family or friends. Whatever you do and whoever […]

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