With their unparalleled beauty and versatility, it’s clear why roses are amongst the most popular flower around the world. From being showcased around homes to being a key ingredient in perfumes to being the subject of works of art throughout history, the rose has been immortalized from a flower to an iconic part of human culture.
History of Roses
Like the flower itself, the history of the rose is very colorful. Evidence suggests that roses have been naturally growing for over 35 millions years! However, they were not known to be cultivated until about 5,000 years ago. Their usage began not just as a decorative touch to one’s home, but they were also used for medicinal purposes, to make perfumes, and their petals were even used as confetti for festive occasions.
During the 1400s, there was even a war named after this stunning bloom. The “War of the Roses,” as it came to be known, was fought between two opposing powers in England, with white roses representing York and red roses representing Lancaster.
The popularity of the rose did not dwindle throughout history. In fact, Napoleon Bonaparte’s wife began collecting them at their French estate. This garden inspired Pierre Joseph Redoute’s botanical illustration “Les Rose” which remains infamous in that field.
Today, roses are grown in gardens, given as gifts to symbolize various types of love, and of course showcased in vases to add a fresh touch to décor.
What Roses Symbolize
Depending on the color and type, each rose has its own meaning and symbolism. Classic red roses representing a more romantic love, while pink roses are better for a platonic love and friendship. White roses are commonly associated with innocence while orange roses just scream passion. Learn more about the specific rose colors and their meanings for each.
- There are over 100 species of roses
- During the 1600s, royalty used roses as a form of currency
- Ancient Egyptians considered roses to be sacred
- The world record for tallest rose bush belongs to Robert Bendel; at a record 18 ft 8 in high. (source: Guinness World Records)