The rose is a perennial plant of the genus Rosa, within the family Rosaceae and for a long time has been given the honour of being one of the most popular and loved flowers in the world. The reason for its popularity could be because of its wide range of variety - its colour, fragrance, size and its uses.
The rose forms part of a group of climbing or trailing plants that often have very sharp prickles. The flowers are often large and come in a number of beautiful colours and are either species, cultivars or hybrids. There are over 100 species of the rose, which are available all year round and these can be divided into three sections, ’species’ roses, ’old garden’ roses and ’modern’ roses.
’Species’ roses are often called ’wild species’ and usually have a simple five-petalled flower which is followed by colourful hips that last well into winter, providing food for birds and winter colour. ’Species roses’ are often hybridised with other roses, the most popular species today being the Rosa rugosa. Most species are native to Asia but smaller numbers are native to North America, Northwest Africa and Europe and are usually grown for their scent and showy fruit.
’Old garden’ roses are a diverse group, which includes roses such as ’China roses’, ’Tea roses’, ’Moss roses’, ’Damask roses’ and ’Bourbon roses’. These have a delicate beauty and a fabulous perfume, which is often not found in modern hybrid roses. ’Old garden’ roses are easy to grow, disease resistant, and hardy in the winter. Colours do vary, but are usually pastel or light in colour.
‘Modern’ roses are any rose identified after 1867. The ’old garden’ roses are their predecessors, the ’modern’ rose being a result of cross- breeding the hybrid with a variety of primrose called the Polyanthus. They usually have a rich and vibrant colour, which makes them very popular.
Rose plants range in size and are best known as ornamental plants grown for their flowers both in the garden or to brighten up interior spaces. They are also very popular as cut flowers, which are generally harvested when in bud then refrigerated until ready for display.
Roses can also be used for their fragrance and perfume used in rose oil, rosewater, cooking, medicines or cosmetics.
The rose hip, the fruit of the rose can be made into jam, jelly, marmalade or brewed for tea. It has a high level of vitamin C so they are also used in food supplements, herbal remedies and medicines.
The rose with all its properties and uses has long been used as a symbol of love and beauty as well as of war and politics. The national flower of England is the rose and has been used as an emblem since the Wars of the Roses, between the royal House of Lancaster, whose emblem was the red rose and the royal House of York whose emblem was the white rose. Henry Tudor then created the Tudor Rose (the rose of England by cross breeding).
DID YOU KNOW THAT:
The earliest rose fossils were found in Colorado dating back more than 35 million years.
The birthplace of the cultivated rose was probably northern Persia.
Roses were considered the most sacred flowers in ancient Egypt and were used as offerings for the goddess Isis.
While no black roses exist yet, there are deep red roses that suggest the colour black.
A few fans of roses:
‘’I don’t know whether nice people tend to grow roses or growing roses makes people nice."
Roland A. Browne
‘’I’d rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck’’.
“ When love came first to earth the Spring Spread rose-beds to receive him."
‘’And I will make thee beds of roses, And a thousand fragrant posies’’.