Known for its sunny tones and warm golden glow, the yellow rose stands out like a beacon of light amidst dull-petaled flowers. Its bright, optimistic color brings joy to all who receive it. Often regarded as the friendship flower, among other connotations, the meaning of yellow rose stems from its history and symbolism. 

Today, yellow roses are used in some of the most popular flower bouquets. As rose lovers divert from their typical red or white roses, yellow hues have become mainstream for their positive and lighthearted energy. The yellow rose’s luminosity and spirit make it the perfect gift for friends and family.

History of the Yellow Rose

Yellow roses grew wild in the Middle East and gained international interest in the 18th century. These flowers were used for medicinal purposes, confetti and decoration. After some time, the flowers were crossbred to create various species of yellow roses — some that even still exist! 

In crossbreeding the first roses, it is said that the flowers had a very unpleasant smell, which simply wouldn’t do. After changes in cultivation, the less-than-sweet yellow rose adopted the signature aroma that each flower has today!

During the Victorian era, when flower arrangements became the centerpieces of celebrations, birthday flowers, and even for religious ceremonies, gifted yellow flowers were adored by many. Yellow rose displays were even shaped into symbols to conceal secret messages between royal families at balls.

However, the beloved flower was not always appreciated in other parts of the world. In early Japanese and Korean culture, the yellow rose was given as a sign of jealousy. Seen as a symbol of possible infidelity and mistrust, if you received a yellow rose at this time, you were in trouble with your spouse or partner. 

Over time, people were hesitant to give their significant others yellow roses, especially for wedding anniversaries, because of the “myth of the yellow rose.” The myth describes a man giving his wife a yellow rose as a way of asking for divorce and forgiveness for his cheating scandal. Not the most romantic gesture in the book.

In modern Western culture, the yellow rose represents friendship and love. The yellow rose’s joyous character and eye-catching hue make it a flower that has maintained its timeless beauty throughout history.

What Do Yellow Roses Mean?

yellow rose symbolism 

While yellow roses are commonly associated with warmth, light and the sun, they also resonate with other symbols — both good and bad! Below you’ll find different meanings of the yellow rose when given as a gift to friends and family.

Friendship: 

Most commonly known as the “friendship flower,” the yellow rose holds significance for a long-lasting friendship. While yellow roses are a perfect gift to symbolize your strong platonic connection, it is not suggested to give them to someone you are romantically interested in. While they may not be best for your crush, they will mean the world to a friend in need. Whether a friend needs a pick-me-up during a difficult time in their life or as a thank you for their impact on your life, sending yellow roses can signify your support and well wishes. 

Happiness: 

As yellow is the color of happiness and optimism, the yellow rose embodies this meaning in each of its petals. Whether you grow roses in your backyard or purchase them from your local florist, what flowers could symbolize happiness better than a bundle of bright yellow roses? 

Jealousy: 

It is believed that during Victorian times, bright yellow roses could have a potential message of infidelity or the end of a relationship. This was because the flower lacked the potent smell of other colored roses for some time.

Spirituality: 

Yellow roses have had strong religious connotations as well, both sacred and profane. In Christianity, while all roses signify God’s love at work on Earth, yellow roses resonate with wisdom and joy. In the Islamic faith, however, the yellow rose can symbolize deceit, adulterous actions and treachery. While the red rose is the “flower of heaven” in the Islam religion, the yellow rose’s vibrant aroma and color is not as revered.

When To Send Yellow Roses

yellow rose gifts

Sending yellow roses to friends and family is a supportive and loving gesture. There’s no better way to show the people you care about that you’re thinking of them than to light up their day with some sunny flowers. 

Friendship Flower Arrangements

If your friend has a big surgery coming up, is starting a new job or might just need a pick-me-up, sending a yellow rose arrangement is the perfect gift. Maybe your friend could use get well cards and a bouquet amidst sickness or stress. While the flower is visually appealing, the meaning will speak for itself as the friendship flower.

Funeral or Bereavement Ceremonies

Mourning the loss of a loved one or friend can be very difficult. By offering yellow roses as a sign of support during this time, you can remember all of the memories you made with that person. The yellow rose symbolizes the strong ties that you shared with that person and will express your unconditional love and remembrance.

Wedding Gift to the Happy Couple

Who wouldn’t want to wish a newly married couple luck and happy new beginnings with a bouquet of golden flowers? Yellow roses are a charming gift for wedding ceremonies to offer a blessing. Ordering yellow roses will show your care and wish the couple luck in married life.

FAQs About Yellow Roses

When it comes to yellow roses, there are many different meanings that vary from person to person throughout time. To help guide those who are curious about what other symbols the yellow rose represents, we’ve answered frequently asked questions below.

What Does a Single Yellow Rose Stand For?

While in Victorian times, gifting a significant other with a single yellow rose represented jealousy, but these days a single rose signifies mutual respect, happiness and friendship.

Do Yellow Flowers Mean Death?

Offering yellow rose bouquets in South and Central America can represent honoring the deceased. In Mexico, on Día de los Muertos, yellow roses are given to remember the life of a loved one who has passed. 

How To Choose the Right Color Rose To Send

There are a ton of rose color meanings that vary from rose to rose. Whether you give or receive, get to know the significance of each flower to fully understand your bond with someone else. If you’re planning on giving roses as gifts in the near future, be sure to understand their color meaning first before you offer them to a friend or loved one!  

The most heartwarming gifts are not only beautiful on the outside, but also hold special meaning on the inside. Gifting a friend or loved one with a bouquet of yellow roses will show your sentimental feelings and how much you value the bond you share.

Visit ProFlowers to learn more about the meaning of yellow roses and to purchase elegant flower arrangements for recipients to enjoy and admire.