Scientific name: Rosacea – Rosa
“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” is a frequently referenced part of William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet. We know we have featured Roses before as part of our Flower/Grower of the Month series, but with so many beautiful local production farms and the many varieties available…we can’t help but fall in love all over again. Our focus this month is on our local grower “Bloomin’ Koomen”. You can read all about this terrific family owned business here. Most rose species are native to Asia, with smaller numbers native to Europe, North America, and northwest Africa. Species, cultivars and hybrids are all widely grown for their beauty and often are fragrant. You can find roses growing almost in each country in the world for this flower can adapt well in any kinds of weather. Thus, this flower is considered as a universal flower. Roses can be used as a source of wealth in some countries. The leading exporter for roses in the world is Netherland even though this country also grows many tulips than any other countries. Besides Netherlands, this flower is cultivated on Ecuador. More than 54 percent of the land in Ecuador is filled with roses. More than 80 percent of land in Zambia is also dominated with rose cultivation.
Images from left to right: Red Roses on silver by Emiliorobba.com, Rose filled hat box by Jane Packer via Houzz.com, Mauve Rose flower crown via Pinterest
Colours of Roses
Roses can be used to show your passion, feeling and emotion. You can choose red roses if you want to show the people’s romance, love, and passion. If you want to show empathy, happiness, and familiar love, you can give yellow roses. To deliver the poetic romance and gentleness, choose soft pink roses.
Roses in History
- Roses had been popular in the past due to their beautiful petals. It was mentioned by Confucius that the Chinese Imperial Library had many collections of books about roses. In 2860 BC, the people living in Tigris-Euphrates River Valley spoke about roses in their system of writing or a cuneiform table. It signifies that roses have been known by Ancient Sumerians of Mesopotamia. The ancient Egypt people considered roses as the sacred flowers. They used them in funeral to form a beautiful wreath on the tomb stone. The flower was used to serve the Goddess Isis in a sacred ritual.
- The world’s oldest living rose is believed to be 1,000 years old. It grows on the wall of the Cathedral of Hildesheim in Germany and its presence is documented since A.D. 815. According to the legend, the rosebush symbolizes the prosperity of the city of Hildesheim; as long as it flourishes, Hildesheim will not decline. In 1945 allied bombers destroyed the cathedral, yet the bush survived. Its roots remained intact beneath the debris, and soon the bush was growing strong again.
- The oldest garden rose is the Rosa Gallica Officinalis, the apothecary rose. The oldest garden rose classes include the Albas, Centifolias and Damasks. The first patent ever registered for a plant was a patent for a hybridized rose, which gave “ever-blooming” characteristics to the climbing rose. It was issued by the United States Patent Office on August 18th to Henry F. Bosenberg for his “Climbing or Trailing Rose”.
- The largest rose ever bred was a pink rose measuring approximately 33 inches in diameter. It was bred by Nikita K. Rulhoksoffski from San Onofre, California.
- The world’s largest rosebush is a white Lady Banksia located in Tombstone, Arizona. It’s original root came over from Scotland in 1885. From a single trunk, which is nearly six feet in diameter, it spreads over an arbor that covers over 8,00 square feet, enough to shelter a crowd of 150 people.
- The largest private rose garden in the world is in Cavriglia, Italy, and holds over 7,500 different varieties of roses. More about the Cavriglia rose garden and other famous rose gardens.
- The only rose known to have only four petals is Rosa Sericea, brought to Europe form the Himalayas at the end of the nineteenth century.
- The oldest representation of a rose is a fresco in the palace of Minos in Cnossos, Crete. It depicts a five-petaled pink rose dates to about 1450 B.C.
- At first, rose oil was added to medicine to mask their bitter taste. It was only afterwards that the medicinal virtues of rose oil were discovered.
- The first rose to leave the earth was as miniature rose called “Overnight Scentsation” that had been cultivated by IFF researcher Dr. Braja Mookherjee for experiments in space. The rose needed to be small to fit inside Astroculture, a plant growth chamber measuring 17 by 9 by 21 inch enclosure and developed for the middeck of the space shuttle to provides plants with the appropriate temperature, humidity, light, and nutrients during spaceflight. The purpose was to measure how low-gravity would influence the rose’s smell.
- The buds of the smallest rose, “Si”, are the size of a grain of rice.
The Roses of Heliogabalus, painted in 1888 ( pictured below) is an oil painting by Lawrence Alma-Tadema. As it was painted during the winter, Tadema arranged to have roses sent weekly from the French Riviera for four months to ensure the accuracy of each petal! Born in Dronrijp, the Netherlands, Alma-Tadema trained at the Royal Academy of Antwerp, Belgium, and settled in England in 1870, spending the rest of his life there. A classical-subject painter, he became famous for his depictions of the luxury and decadence of the Roman Empire, with languorous figures set in fabulous marbled interiors or against a backdrop of dazzling blue Mediterranean Sea and sky.