An absorption and emission spectroscopic characterization of roseoflavin (8-dimethylamino-8-demethyl-riboflavin, RoF) in aqueous solutions was carried out. The studies were concentrated on roseoflavin in pH 8 phosphate buffer. Absorption cross-section spectra, fluorescence excitation spectra, fluorescence quantum distributions, fluorescence quantum yields and fluorescence lifetimes were determined. The fluorescence of RoF is quenched by photo-induced intra-molecular charge-transfer at room temperature. The photo-degradation of RoF in un-buffered water, in Tris–HCl buffer, and in phosphate buffer was studied. Phosphate buffer and to a smaller extent Tris buffer catalyse the RoF photo-degradation. Photo-excitation of the primary photoproduct, 8-methylamino-riboflavin (8-MNH-RF), enhanced the RoF degradation by triplet 8-MNH-RF – singlet RoF excitation transfer with subsequent triplet-state RoF degradation.