The custom of exchanging flowers may have less to do with romance and chivalry than with anxiety. For the shy or uncertain, handing over a bouquet is often the easiest way to express the sentiment.
Roses are among the oldest of cultivated flowers, with the first known to have grown in Asian gardens 5,000 years ago. In its untamed from the flower goes back even further; fossils of wild roses date back 35 million years.
Ancient myths, biblical stories, and fables all assigned meaning to flowers. In the early 1700s Charles II of Sweden introduced a new language to Europe when he brought the Persian poetical art called “the language of flowers” to the West. Floral lexicons were published throughout the 18th century, allowing secrets to be exchanged with a lily or lilac, and the entire conversation to take place in a bouquet. It seems the more popular flower, the more superstitions and meanings have been associated with it. The rose carries the most baggage by far.