Although there are more than 100 species of roses,Still, there is a great deal of nuance and etiquette associated with giving cut roses as a gift. The number of roses in a bouquet and the color of the flower can send very different messages. Certainly, if the bouquet is intended to express love and passionate desire, red roses, as are commonly given on Valentine’s Day, is the first choice. But how many should be given? A single, blooming red rose simply means “I love you” or perhaps “love at first sight.” A bouquet of two roses symbolizes the union of the two lovers, expressing mutual feelings and satisfaction with being together. Six roses often stands for the hardship of being apart; when you miss someone and hope to be reunited with your other half, you give your beloved half a dozen roses. A full dozen, then, is an invitation to love, meaning “be mine” as the common Valentine’s Day refrain goes. A bouquet of 50 roses stands for unconditional love.
Giving roses in other colors, however, is usually an expression of platonic love, friendship, and support. For example, a bouquet of yellow roses is a way to communicate loyalty and friendship. (Although, some believe that the gift of yellow roses actually expresses jealousy.) Dark crimson roses, on the other hand, are often used to signify mourning and therefore are appropriate gifts for the families of departed loved ones.