Valentine's Day Special: The language of roses and their colours

Roses are a popular gift on Valentine's Day, but you might want to be careful about which colour you choose to hand out on that day.

Yellow roses, for instance, signify platonic love - perhaps not your intended message.

Besides roses, some other flowers take on an equally romantic meaning.

One of them is the orchid, which signifies "You are beautiful".

Tulips mean "I love you", the degree of which depends on their colour.

Pink tulips are a direct confession, yellow tulips suggest that the giver is hopelessly in love, and red tulips represent the perfect love.

Here's a guide to the perennial Valentine's Day favourite - roses - and their various shades.

Give them out wisely.


Red roses are for a loved one. They are a classic and an almost universal gift choice for Valentine's Day. They symbolise love, as the colour represents strong romantic feelings and passion.


Be careful with this colour on Valentine's Day. Yellow roses signify friendship and joy, and can be used to cheer people up. Although most people would probably be happy to receive them on any other day, they could also mean platonic love, and the dreaded "Let's just be friends."


Pink roses come in different shades, and are perfect for your love interest as well. This colour suggests grace and sweetness. Dark pink roses represent gratitude, while light pink roses convey admiration, and sometimes sympathy.


White roses are commonly used in weddings and represent values like purity, unity and virtue. They were traditionally used to symbolise true love before the red rose, and now represent emotions like reverence and honour as well.


Lavender roses are an uncommon choice, but they are suitable for a newfound love or crush. This majestic shade of purple expresses feelings of awe and enchantment.

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