A Rose Is Not A Rose, Across Borders

Category: Culture

Put away your wool coat and get out your linen. It’s spring again! And spring means flowers – even in the desert of Joshua Tree National Park.

Thousands of miles away in The Netherlands, flowers mean a multi-billion dollar business. $3,487,749,930 to be exact, according to the Flower Council of Holland and as quoted on the PBS documentary “The Botany of Desire” website.

The country with the largest per-capita flower consumption? Switzerland, followed by Norway and then the tulip masters themselves, Holland.

Americans buy more than 1.5 trillion cut roses a year. We suspect that most of them are red, symbolizing “love” in American culture, but does a red rose mean the same thing across borders and oceans? It’s a good idea to do some research before sending flowers to a friend or colleague abroad in order to avoid an embarrassing flower faux pas.

Read more about the localization of flowers.