Wildly beautiful, deliciously aromatic… it’s no surprise the rose is one of the world’s favourite flowers, and one of the most used in bouquets. But there’s a lot more about roses than meets the eye (or nose). In fact, these gorgeous flowers are steeped in history and are incredibly versatile.
If you’re as obsessed with roses as we are, then this is for you. Read on for a whole new world of rose knowledge, and some great trivia facts for your next quiz.
Fun facts about Roses
- There are more than 150 species of roses, including shrubs, climbers, and groundcovers.
- There are also tens of thousands of cultivars (cultivated or hybrid roses).
- They’re one of the oldest flowers to grace the earth. Archaeologists have found fossils dating back thirty-five million years.
- Not only are they super old, but they also live for a long time, too. A typical Rose can live for up to 35 years!
- In fact, the oldest living rose is 1,000 years old! It lives on the wall of Hildesheim Cathedral in Germany. The Cathedral was bombed in World War Two, but the Rose bush survived beneath the rubble.
- Given its age and longevity, it’s no wonder that the Rose has been referenced in literature and music for centuries. There are now over 4,000 songs about them!
- The Bible only acknowledges three flowers – the Rose, the Lily and the Camphire.
- The ancient Romans cultivated these plants in plantations and hothouses to ensure they had a year-round supply. They used them for their medicinal properties, as cooking ingredients and, of course, for decoration.
- In Ancient Greece, however, the Rose came to be associated with Aphrodite, goddess of love. Legend has it that the Rose appeared from the tears she cried over the death of Adonis.
- The rose has a long history in England. Between 1455-1485, The Wars of the Roses occurred between the House of York (whose emblem was a white Rose) and the House of Lancaster (whose emblem was a red Rose). The ‘Tudor Rose’ (a combination of the white and red Rose) is now the national flower.
- Napoleon used to give his officers bags of rose petals as a gift. This was so they could boil them with white wine and cure themselves of lead poisoning if they were shot.
- The day before Columbus and his crew discovered America, they discovered a branch of a Rose in the ocean, which gave them the clue that there was land nearby.
- As we know, Roses pack a beautiful floral aroma, which is used to fragrance perfumes. But did you know that it takes over 2,000 roses to produce just one gram of Rose oil?
- Rose Valley in Bulgaria produces 85% of the world’s Rose oil!
- A whopping 54% of the land in Ecuador is filled with Roses.
- Rose oil is mostly made from Centifolia and Damask Roses. Their petals are gathered at night, as this is when they’re at their most fragrant!
- Rose water is also created as a by-product when producing Rose oil. This is also used to fragrance perfumes and cosmetics, and as a flavouring in food and in medicines. In Middle Eastern cuisine, sugar is added to create ‘rose syrup’, which is used in desserts, such as meringue and marshmallows, as well as drinks. Rose water is also often transformed into jellies and jams.
- But you can also eat the flowers! Many cultures use the petals in cooking, and you can also make Rose water from soaking the petals. Note: We don’t recommend eating them from your vase. Many cut flowers have had chemicals used on them – if you want to eat them, they need to be organic and completely chemical free!
- Roses also grow berry-shaped fruit called rose hips, which can also be eaten! They’re packed full of vitamin C, and are often used in jam, marmalades, and jelly, or to make tea and cocktails.
- Roses come in many colours, and each have different meanings. These vary in distinct cultures, but generally speaking:
Red = love and romance
Pink = grace and elegance
Yellow = friendship and cheer
White = sympathy, purity, spirituality, and innocence
Orange = congratulations or enthusiasm
- You can also change the colour of Roses yourself! Take a white Rose and put the stem in a bowl of dyed coloured water. In fact, you can make a rainbow Rose by splitting the stem into different bowls of assorted colours!
- Black and blue Roses don’t exist. Black Roses are very dark red, and blue pigments don’t occur naturally – the blue colour can only be achieved through genetic modification in a lab.
- The tallest ever Rose bush on record was over 5.6m!
- The Rose is the national flower of the U.S. It was declared by Ronald Reagan in the famous rose garden at the White House.
- It’s also the state flower of Georgia, Iowa, New York, North Dakota and D.C.
- President George Washington was the first ever Rose breeder in the US!
- The most expensive Rose in the world sold for millions of US dollars. A breeder spent 15 years breeding a rare Rose variety, which cost them a total of $5 million dollars. Yet it sold for $15.8 million – a great profit!
- Wild Roses only bloom once a year.
- The flowers of most Rose species have five petals.
- Cherries, apricots, apples, peaches, plums, pears, and almonds are all relatives of the Rose.
Roses: full of beauty and grace
So, there we have it! The beauty of the rose is not skin deep. They’ve been cherished for thousands of years, and for great reason, too.
We love roses, and we know you do too, which is why they currently feature in our Marseille, Verona, Lucerne, Osaka, Cannes, Tuscany, London, Sorrento, and Kowloon ranges. Share the beauty of roses by sending a bouquet to a friend now, or why not treat yourself!