The Rose- an emblem of elegance, beauty, and romance. The rich history of the Genus Rosa begins millions of years ago. Roses grew on the planet long before human beings encountered their charm and beauty. Through song and poetry, the rose has been celebrated for its beautiful colors, fragrances, and form. Once humans discovered the presence it the rose, passionate gardeners began creating lovely gardens to captivate the hearts of many. These rose gardens exposed humanity to a whole new world of natural splendor; with over 150 species of blooming beauty, the rose does not disappoint. Currently, there are more than 30,000 rose breeds.
Early Rose History:
Many are in awe of the beauty and wide variety of roses living on the planet. Archeological evidence has proven that roses were on the planet over a million years prior to humanity’s curiosity for them began to sprout. Fossil beds were found in Colorado dating back 40 million years. The original rose imprint was found on an archeological slate deposit amongst Colorado’s fluorescent fossils.
Researchers believe that the plant originated in Central Asia 60 to 70 million years ago. Roses grew wild in the Northern Hemisphere in parts of Europe, Asia, Northern Africa, and North America. The Genus Rosa grew in northern regions of the globe as well– areas such as Norway and Alaska and southern regions like Egypt and Mexico. The actual garden cultivation of the rose plant began approximately 5,000 years ago, most likely in Asia. The philosopher Confucius (about 500 BC) detailed the prevalence and beauty of the Imperial Garden roses. The Chinese emperor had a fascination for roses during that time and had hundreds of written works in his library focused on the beautiful plant.
Dating as far back as ancient civilizations of the Middle East, the Rosa Gallica is one of the oldest roses that is identifiable today. The origin of the Rosa Gallica remains a mystery, yet Rosa Gallica is believed to have originated in 12 century BC. During this time, the Persians crowned the rose as the most symbolic flower of love.
Rosa Damascena (Damask Rose), whose well-known fragrance is a rich part of the rose plant history, dates back to 900 BC. The ancient civilizations of the Egyptians, Greeks, and neighboring cultures of the Mediterranean used roses as a form of currency, bartering, and trading for the flowers. This solidified the Genus Rosa as valuable; clearly a prized possession to purchase. Roses were used to creating beautifully renowned gardens for the world’s leaders of that time.
Alexander the Great, former king of the country Macedonia, began cultivating roses in most of Europe (and possibly North Africa). Roman Emperor Charlemagne had a passion for roses, which he grew in abundance at his palace Aix-la-Chappell in Germany. The Greek Scientist and educator Theopratus dedicated studies to the Genus Rosa around 200 BC, which gained him the title “The Father of Botany.”
Rosa Alba referred to like the elegant white rose, made famous in 15th century England. It is believed to be bred from Rosa Corymbifera, Rosa Galicia, and Rosa Canina. Varieties of the Rosa Alba plant spread rapidly from growing Mediterranean regions and throughout the Middle East. Rose gardens were a significant part of the Roman culture while the Roman Empire was thriving. Legal records from that time indicate that there were approximately 2,000 rose gardens throughout the Roman Empire before its final collapse in 476 AD. The Benedictine monks, their monasteries, and colleagues kept the roses thriving throughout the tumultuous downward spiral of the Roman Empire. Benedictine monks were also conducted botanical research and grew a variety of roses and other plants for research and medicinal purposes.
7 Rose Color Meanings You Should Know:
Red rose– there is nothing secret about the red rose’s symbolism of love. Valentine’s Day would hardly exist without this bold and dramatic bloom. This rose is the ultimate symbol of romantic love and enduring passion, The red rose also conveys respect and the creative spirit of love. Representing true love stronger than thorns, the red rose is known universally as the lover’s rose. The red rose also conveys respect.
White rose– represents humility, purity, and innocence. Often referred to as the bridal rose, it is associated with young love. In Scotland, when the white rose bloomed in autumn, it was seen as a token of early marriage. Also symbolizing truth and reverence, it sends a message of loyalty and says, “I am worthy of you.”
Yellow rose– while in Victorian times, the yellow rose symbolized jealousy. Today it represents friendship, joy, and caring. It conveys warmth, gladness, and affection.
Pink rose– symbolizes gentility, femininity, elegance, and refinement. The pink rose also carries additional meanings depending on its hue. A deep pink conveys gratitude and appreciation, while pale shades denote grace, admiration, and happiness.
Orange rose– with warm, vibrant tones, they represent enthusiasm and desire. If you are looking for a way to express admiration and attraction, with an underlying message of passion and excitement, then send a bouquet filled with these fiery blooms.
Lilac and Purple roses– thought to be almost mystical in nature. With symbolism tied to enchantment, desire, and proceeding cautiously, it’s not surprising that lilac and purple roses send a message of love at first sight– a great Valentine flower.
Multicolored roses– usually when mixing red with another color rose, you can send additional messages with your choice of bouquet. For example, a mix of red and yellow roses conveys gaiety and happiness, while a mix of red and white roses symbolizes unity.
Most Popular Types of Roses (Modern Day):
Climbers: Discovered in China during the mid-1800s. By the early 20th century, many climber roses were found throughout Europe and North America.
New Dawn: One of the first hybridized roses that have been around since 1930. These roses are trainers. They are highly disease-resistant and can be trained to grow up a fence, row, trellis, or against a wall.
Don Juan: This rose has a beautiful red velvet look to it and has become a favorite in America in recent years.
Jeanne Lajoie: Beautiful pink rose that grows up to 12 feet. It has a mild fragrance.
Hybrid Teas: These are the “classic” roses
Dublin: One of the most popular hybrid tea roses, especially over the last few centuries.
Miniatures: Miniatures are excellent for beginners looking to enter the world of rose growing. They do not take up a lot of space and can be grown in pots or small garden areas. They have a tendency to bloom in clusters. Miniatures have become more popular over the past few years, especially in North America.
Gizmo: Vibrant color, makes lots of miniature flowers.
Shrubs: Shrub roses have become very popular over the past few years.
Sunrise Sunset: These shrub roses grow huge clusters of flowers with beautiful color quality.
Homerun: These shrub roses have more of the old-fashioned five-petaled rose look. They tend to repeat very well all summer long.
Rose Shows and Competitions:
Rose aficionados around the world gather to showcase their lovely blooms. In America, the first rose show dates back to about 1895. New York City hosted the first show sponsored by ARS (American Rose Society) in March 1900. During that time the ARS was an organization for professional florists and nurserymen. Shows typically judge roses based on a number of qualities and traits, such as growth patterns, disease resistance, and how well they flower.