US: Inflation is the thorn on this year's Valentine's Day roses

Switching gears now. Valentine's Day is just around the corner, and Americans will spend about $26 billion on dinner, chocolates, wine, and, of course, roses. It will be hard to escape the red rose for the next few days. They will be everywhere. But these little blooms have been on a big journey. And as it turns out, the whole global economy can be wrapped up in a single rose. NPR's Stacey Vanek Smith has the story.

Stacey Vanek Smith, Byline: Chances are your Valentine's Day bouquet began life near the equator in Ethiopia or Colombia, or Ecuador, maybe even at Eden Roses. Maria Fernanda (ph) and her family have been farming flowers in the mountains of Ecuador for more than 35 years.

Maria Fernanda: We are in a small city called - it's called Cayambe, surrounded by mountains. So everything you see is mountains in nature and a lot of flowers.

Vanek Smith: About 2,500 different kinds of roses, all being grown in the Andes Mountains, about 10,000 feet above sea level. The altitude apparently makes the roses very vibrant and tall, and plump. Ecuador grows some of the finest roses in the world. But Fernanda says this year was rough.

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