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Here is a conversation excerpt:

(娘) 初めて貰った花束がお別れの花束なんて悲しい。
(母)この前の誕生日にバラの花を貰ったでしょう。

"バラの花" seems redundant to me. There is no reason to state that a rose is a flower. Does

(母)この前の誕生日にバラを貰ったでしょう。

also sound natural?

If "...バラを貰った..." does not sound natural, then my conjecture:
(-) "バラの花束" definitely means more than one rose.
(-) Maybe does "バラの花" explicitly means just one rose?
(-) And, "バラ" by itself could mean one, or many, roses?

note: That the daughter had initially received just one rose last year, instead of a bouquet, was central to the larger discussion that they were having.

  • (not native speaker) I am under the impression that バラ is a generic word for the species (seed or flower), and バラの花 is the specific form. – Avery Mar 6 '17 at 16:32
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誕生日にバラの花を貰った and 誕生日にバラを貰った are both natural, and people usually imagine exactly the same thing. Both can mean ether one rose or or a bouquet. In this sense, yes, ~の花 is redundant.

But many people add ~の花 anyway. It's hard to logically explain why, but perhaps it's just because it's a very common and nice way of putting it. We see バラの花 in ads, lyrics and everywhere, and virtually no one wonders if it's unnecessarily long.

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バラ can refer to the rosebush, not just the rose. The term developed from older form 茨{うばら}, which referred generally to brambles and other thorny shrubs.

  • 3
    でも「バラをもらった」と聞いて「バラの木をもらったんだなあ」とは思いませんけどね・・^^ – Chocolate Mar 7 '17 at 2:02

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