Roses are a symbol of love and care and are the go-to flowers for birthdays, wedding anniversary and even proposals. But how and why did roses become so popular as gifts for special occasions? In this article we will look at some interesting and fun facts about roses throughout history until the modern days, facts that make roses stand out and remain the most popular flowers for gift giving. But first, let’s see what roses are.
What are Roses?
By definition, a rose is either a woody perennial flowering plant of the genus Rosa, in the family Rosaceae, or the flower it bears. The name “Rose” comes from the latin word “Rosa” which means “a flower”. Roses flowers come in a wide variety of colours, shapes and sizes, with over three hundred species and tens of thousands of cultivars (a cultivar is a type of flower/ plant that people have breed to reach certain desired traits. They are generally created through purposeful human manipulation). Roses come in the form of shrubs or they can be climbing or trailing. Roses’ stems are usually covered in thorns and their beautiful flowers vary in shape, size and colours. Most of the rose species are native to Asia, however there are some species of roses that are native to Europe, Africa and North America. Roses are generally grown for their beautiful and fragranced flowers and thought history they have acquired cultural significance in many societies.
Now that we know some background information about roses, let’s see some fun and interesting facts about this elegant and impressive flowers.
Roses one of the oldest known flowers
Archaeologists have discovered rose fossils as old as 35 million years, which makes roses one of the oldest flowers we know. Petrified rose wreaths have also been found in ancient Egyptian tombs. To paint a bigger, picture- the older fossils of Homo sapiens discovered date back from 300,000 years ago and the first human ancestors are believed to have appeared between five and seven million years ago. Needless to say, roses have a much longer history than we humans have. The cultivation of roses is believed to have started about 5000 years ago in Asia.
2. The oldest rose alive is 1000 years old
The oldest rose alive in the world is believed to be 1000 years old. It can be found growing on the wall of the Cathedral of Hildesheim in Germany. In 1945 the cathedral was bombed and destroyed, however the roots of the rose bush have survived and it came back to life blossoming through the ruins. The legend in Hildesheim is that as long as the rose bush flourishes, the city will prosper.
3. Roses are edible
Yes, you can eat roses. To be more specific, their petals are edible and you can even eat them raw. Roses can look good as decor in your bedroom (or any room in your house) but can also beautify your plate. Their petals are also used in jams and jellies or as flavouring in Indian and Chinese cuisine. And if you’re struggling to meet your water intake needs, add some rose petals to your water for a subtle floral flavour. Moreover, roses are also used in beauty products such as body lotions or body fragrances for their beautiful smell and properties.
4. Roses’ fragrance is used in perfumes
We all know that one of the most loved traits of the roses is their beautiful smell. Because of that, roses’ fragrance is widely used in perfumes, being one of the most popular floral scents. Rose oil is an important ingredient in the perfume industry and it is also used in home fragrances ( diffusers, candles, etc). Rose oil production requires a huge amount of rose flowers; to produce only a gram of rose oil requires two thousand roses, however besides its use in perfume products, it is also believed to have many other benefits, which leads us to the next fact.
5. Rose oil is believed to have many health benefits
Besides its beautiful smell, rose oil is believed to have many health benefits. Although more research need to be done to confirm, rose oil is could be used to reduce anxiety, depression, stress, pain and to increase libido (thus roses are a popular choice as flowers for romantic occasions such as wedding anniversary or proposals). It is also believed that rose oil could protect against harmful bacteria and fungi. To take advantage of these benefits, you can have a roses bath by adding a few drops of rose essential oil to a carrier oil then added to a warm tub or you can have a roses foot bath by adding a few drops of rose oil in the water and soaking your feet for 10 minutes.
6. Different rose colours have different meanings
Are you stuck choosing the right rose colour for your loved one or even for yourself? We know it is a hard choice to choose the right colour of roses either if it is for a gift for a special occasion like birthdays or simply for home decor. If you find yourself in this difficult situation, you can choose the colour of your roses based on its meaning. The romantic red roses represent love and passion, orange roses signify energy and desire, pink roses represent grace, sweetness, elegance and femininity, white roses signify purity and loyalty, but they are also the right choice to offer your sympathy, whereas yellow roses represent friendship and cheer- the perfect gift for friend’s birthday. Despite popular belief, black roses have a positive meaning, signifying change and courage, making the perfect gift for new beginnings.
7. The most expensive rose in the world costs $5million
David Austin, a famous breeder, has bred and sold the most expensive rose in the world. The Juliet rose is a beautiful peach flower with apricot heart which took 15 years to be developed. A wedding decoration favourite, the most expensive rose in the world sells for up to $5million.
8. There are roses that last for years
Roses are one of the most beautiful and loved flowers in the world, but the sad thing about them is that they wilt quite quickly. Luckily, nowadays, you can find roses that last for years which are called preserved roses (also known as eternity roses, infinity roses, forever roses, eternal roses, etc). Eternity roses are natural roses that go through a special preservation process which allows them to keep their beautiful fresh appearance and colours for up to 3 years. For that, the roses need to be cut when they are looking their best as that will be the appearance they’ll preserve for years to come. The best thing about infinity roses? They are natural roses that require little to no maintenance. Once you place the forever roses in a safe spot in your house away from direct sunlight or humidity, you’ll only have to dust them once in a while. Infinity Rose Boxes (eternity roses in a hat box) make amazing statement pieces for your home decor and they can really impress as a gift for birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, new home or baby shower. They really are an amazing gift for any special occasion, especially as they come in so many different colours. If you want a natural flower arrangement of roses that last for years for your home decor or as a unique gift, you can purchase it here.
9. Roses are the United States of America’s national flower
On the 20th November 1986, USA President Ronald Reagan declared the rose as the national flower of the United States in a special ceremony hosted in the Rose Garden at the White House. During his speech at the ceremony, the President said about roses: “More often than any other flower, we hold the rose dear as the symbol of life and love and devotion, of beauty and eternity…”. Besides being the national flower of the USA, other states such as New York, Georgia or North Dakota also chose roses (classic or other varieties) to be their “National State Flower”.
10. The largest rose ever grown was 33in/84cm in diameter.
Grown by Californian rose breeder Nikita K. Rulhoksoffski, the biggest rose ever known was 33 inches or 84 cm in diameter and its stem reached 6 feet/ 1.8m long. The rose which was presented at a rose show, reached a size five times bigger than average large hybrid roses.
Did you like this article about roses?
If you enjoyed reading these facts about roses, share this article with your friends and family. Or even better, show them you thought about them by sending them a rose flower arrangement that lasts for years! You can even add a free message card to express your wishes and feelings. You can view and purchase our beautiful eternity roses in a box on our website by clicking here.