Yellow Rose: Friendship, Joy, Good Health

With their optimistic hue and general association with good cheer, yellow roses are the perfect way to toast friends, lift spirits and send a general wish for well-being. And that’s great news for those who love roses—the rose is known for its simple, architectural beauty, but some colors are so loaded with significance that they can be a bit tricky to work with. Sending a get-well bouquet of red roses to your administrative assistant might raise eyebrows around the office, for instance. Suffice it to say, you can never go wrong with yellow roses.

Long associated with the sun and its life-giving warmth, yellow is the age-old spokes-color for warm feelings of friendship and optimism. In many Eastern cultures, the color represents joy, wisdom and power. But while any yellow flower will send a lighthearted message, the history of the yellow rose in particular has an optimistic, serendipitous character that really makes it the complete package.

By the 18th century the worldwide love of roses was in full swing, but they were only cultivated in shades of pink and white. At last, the elusive yellow rose was discovered growing wild in the Middle East, and the European love affair with yellow roses was born. The early yellow rose lacked the sweet scent for which the rose is famous, however, which was not to be tolerated. So, as cultivation methods were developed and refined, the beloved sweet-and-spicy rose scent was soon introduced and the yellow rose achieved all its optimistic and aromatic glory.

Back to Rose Guide: History and Meaning of Roses and their Colors