If you have already received a dozen of gorgeous red roses, you know how wonderful it is to have these flowers delivered to you. These amazing flowers symbolize love and passion, and there are simply no other blooms like them.
Here is a dozen of interesting facts about roses that you may not already know:
Fact #1 – There are more than 300 species of roses.
Roses are of the genus Rosa, in the Rosaceae family. There are more than 300 species of roses, as well as thousands of cultivars which are grown for their beauty and their fragrances. Queen Elizabeth II, Vincent Van Gogh, Victor Hugo, and many other known individuals and fictional characters have had rose cultivars named after them.
Fact #2 – Most roses come from Asia.
Most rose species come from Asia. Others are native to Europe, northwestern Africa, and North America. Rose species vary in size and shape, and while some rose shrubs can be pretty compact, others are climbers that can reach a height of up to 7 meters.
Fact #3 – There are different colours of roses
Roses come in different colours. They can be red, pink, white, yellow, orange, purple, and everything in between. There are no natural black roses; the roses that we consider black are in fact very dark red, purple or maroon roses. However, it’s possible to darken the colour of a rose by placing it in water mixed with black ink. Roses which have been artificially coloured by splitting their stems and dipping them in coloured water are being sold as rainbow roses.
Fact #4 – Roses have different meanings based on colour.
Roses can have different meanings depending on their colour. When you give red roses to someone, it means that you love them, or that you want to express respect, passion and courage. White roses symbolize purity and innocence, while pink roses can be a gift of appreciation or gratitude. Yellow roses symbolize either joy and friendship, or jealousy and infidelity. Don’t hesitate to learn more about the language of flowers.
Fact #5 – Roses are associated with Aphrodite of Greek mythology.
In ancient Greece, the rose was associated with Aphrodite, the goddess of love, beauty and procreation. In one legend, it is said that Aphrodite created roses as they grew out of her tears mixed with the blood of Adonis, her lover, who had been mortally wounded. The rose has also been associated with Venus, the Roman goddess of love, as well as with the Virgin Mary.
Fact #6 – Rose thorns are actually prickles.
The sharp spikes on the stem of a rose are called thorns, but in fact, they are prickles. The difference is that thorns are modified branches or stems, while prickles are extensions of the outer layers of the stem. If a prickle falls off, the stem will not necessarily be damaged.
Fact #7 – Rose oil can be extracted from the petals.
Rose oil, or rose essence, is the essential oil that can be extracted from rose petals, and it’s mostly used in perfumes and in beauty products. The species that are usually used for rose oil extraction or distillation are the damask rose, and the cabbage rose. It takes a lot of rose petals to obtain a small quantity of rose oil, which explains why it’s so expensive.
Fact #8 – Rose water can be extracted from the petals.
Rose water, on the other hand, is obtained by seeping rose petals in water. It can be used in beauty products and in perfume, but it’s also used to flavour different dishes in South Asian, Persian and Middle Eastern cuisine, as well as in some religious ceremonies.
Fact #9 – Roses are rich in vitamin C.
Rose hips are the fruits of roses, and they are usually rich in vitamin C. They can be turned into jam, jelly, marmalade, herbal tea, syrup, wine, and other beverages. Rose hip seed oil is extracted from the seeds of some rose species, and it can be used in skin care products.
Fact #10 – Roses attract a lot of insects.
Roses are not that difficult to grow, depending on the climate. However, they can attract a variety of pests such as aphids, spider-mites, rose slugs, scale insects, caterpillars, Japanese beetles, leafcutter bees, and more. Roses can also be affected by different bacterial, fungal and virus-like diseases, which often present big challenges for gardeners who like to grow roses.
Fact #11 – Roses can live for many years.
Rose bushes can live for many years if they get the chance to. In Germany, a bush of roses that grows against a part of the Hildesheim Cathedral is known as the Thousand-year Rose, and it’s believed to be the oldest living one in the world. According to the legend, the rose bush was already growing in 815, while the Cathedral was built next to it between 1010 and 1020.
Fact #12 – Roses are the floral emblem for the USA.
In 1986, the rose became the floral emblem of the United States, where it is seen as a symbol of love, life, devotion, beauty, and eternity. It seems like Americans really love roses, since the rose is also the official state flower of New York, Oklahoma, Iowa, Georgia, and North Dakota. The Tudor rose, which is also called the Union rose, is the floral heraldic emblem of England.