Roses are regarded by many as a staple for the home landscape, coming in a variety of colors, habits and site preferences. One considerable reason for this is the traditional influence of history.
Simply put, perhaps we love roses because they have been loved globally throughout the test of time. Read on for some interesting facts about the rose!
- The rose has traditionally been a symbol for love, beauty, war and politics.
- According to fossil evidence, some claim that the rose is more than 35 million years old.
- The genus Rosa has around 150 named species, most of them being found in the Northern Hemisphere and parts of Africa. In fact, many of today’s cut roses are shipped in from Africa.
- Humans began cultivating roses around 5,000 years ago, very likely by the Chinese. During the age of the Roman Empire, roses were cultivated again throughout the Middle East. Later in the 1700s, cultivated roses from China that were the first repeat-bloom types were introduced in Europe. Most of today’s roses result from this time period.
- Also during the Roman Empire, rose petals were used as confetti, for medicinal usage and in perfumes.
- In the 1400s, the rose symbolized political control of England between York (white rose) and Lancaster (red rose). The dissension was termed the “War of the Roses.”
- In the 1600s, roses were considered highly valuable and were often used in bartering as payment.
- Some associate colors of roses with psychological meaning. Red signifies love or respect. Dark pink signifies gratitude or appreciation. Light pink implies admiration or sympathy. White implies reverence or humility. Yellow indicates joy or gladness. Orange indicates enthusiasm or desire.
- Rose canina, also known as the Dog Rose, was believed to heal the bite from a mad dog.
- The Chinese tended to name roses for poetic concepts such as ‘Yu-go-tain-tsing’ which means ‘Clear Shining after Rain.’
- Empress Josephine, the ex-wife of Napoleon Bonaparte whose rose garden was considered the most renowned in France, was said to have carried a rose with her always so she could hide her bad teeth behind it when she laughed.
As you can see, the rose is a very interesting and historically important plant. For more information on how to care for your rose check out the following website: http://www2.ca.uky.edu/agc/pubs/id/id118/id118.pdf.
Also, check out the world’s largest rose, “Lady Banksia,” planted in the 1880s in Arizona. Visit the following website to view it on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kq2SEOeAf8Y.
If you have any questions or comments please share them with me at email@example.com or call the Franklin County Extension Service at 502-695-9035.