The History of the Rose Flower
A symbol of love, romance and beauty, no other flower evokes the sentiment like the rose. Eros, the Greek god of love, his name an anagram of “rose,” is credited with giving the world‘s first rose. The world’s most beloved flower, roses survived ancient volcanic eruptions, wars, and drought to remain the premier flower grown in gardens and used in bouquets. According to the Cut Flowers Growers Association, as of 2011, roses account for $6 billion in the worldwide flower market.
red-roseColor SignificanceThe range of colors found in roses represents different meanings. The traditional red rose is the ultimate symbol of love, and favorite flower for Valentine‘s Day. A white rose is a sign of purity. Joy best describes the pink rose, while passion is for an orange rose. Yellow is the color of friendship and a popular song, “The Yellow Rose of Texas.” The blue rose symbolizes mystery and spirituality.Ancient RosesIn 900 B.C., roses appeared throughout the known world from the Mediterranean to Asia. Alexander the Great studied botany and grew his own roses that he introduced in every country he conquered. The Greeks and Romans traded them as money. The Egyptian queen, Cleopatra, slept on a bed of roses, and garlands of roses made elaborate funeral wreaths for pharaohs. The first catalog of roses appeared in 300 B.C.Medieval RosesThe dark ages brought a halt to many cultural and artistic movements including growing and using roses. Christian monks saved many types by growing roses and other flowers to use as holistic medicine. At the start of the 12th century, herbal gardens flourished in monasteries. English gardeners recorded 24 different roses in 1629. In his book “Classic Roses, Peter Beales noted the first rose book, “A Collection of Roses from Nature” identified 90 types in 1700. New World RosesSwamp rose, pasture rose, Virginia rose and prairie rose were among the 35 types found only in the United States. In 1699, William Penn in his book, “Book of Physic” stated Pennsylvania settlers planted 18 different types of English roses to use for medical purposes, from the 100-petal cabbage rose to the petite moss rose. The 17th century saw new research methods in developing rose genetics and hybrids. The first nursery in the U.S. opened on Long Island in 1737.Oriental RosesThe rose revolution started in China with roses bred to bloom repeatedly. The roses were imported to England in 1730, then to America. In 1752, the popular new China rose, known for its hardy evergreen leaves, spread throughout Europe and Russia. The delicate yet durable tea rose, a favorite at tea parties, had mildew-resistant foliage. The China and tea roses laid the groundwork for many other types.Renaissance RosesFrench Empress Josephine elevated roses in style and stature during the 1800s by growing all known types in her garden. By 1814, she grew 250 species of roses, the world’s largest collection of any flower. Almost 5,000 rose varieties were grown in France in the 1830s. French growers exported China and tea roses to southern states prior to the Civil War.Modern RosesRose hybrids made a major impact in the floral world. Breeding farms refined French methods and created the first climbing rose, the Crimson Rambler, in 1893. A hybrid rose that could survive cold weather was developed in Germany. In the 1960s, experiments with pigments created the first orange-red rose. By 1970, over 30,000 different types of roses were grown, according to Rex Wolfe in his book “All About Roses.” Rose Knowledge rose, rose history