Roses are one of those plants that are found in almost every garden, be that a bush, a climber, dark red or white.
They can transform any area into a transcendent space, so why not get one and start your new gardening journey?
And if you don’t know why you should get this plant, here are some facts about roses that you may or may not have known.
I was really surprised about some!
And I know we all want to know how to grow roses, but today we’ll focus on some historical, general, and mind-blowing facts about these plants that will encourage you to get one for your front yard.
The Oldest Rose
The oldest rose in the world is believed to be more than 1,000 years old, and you can find it growing at the Hildesheim Cathedral in Germany.
However, experts Dr. Christ and Dr. Romer concluded that the plant is no younger than 300 years old, but they’re not certain about its millennium age. (1)
The Tallest Rose
According to the Guinness World Records, the tallest rose bush in the world was cultivated by H. Khaled in Vienna and reaches a dizzying height of 28,559 feet. (2)
Another variety found its way into the Guinness World Records as the tallest climbing rose, extending 91 feet. (3)
A Rose That’s Worth Millions
David Austin developed a rose cultivar named the Juliet rose that took him 15 years to develop and cost about £3 million, which would translate to roughly $3.5 million today (although it used to be a lot more).
It is a popular wedding rose sold all over the world; you can ask your floral designer to get it for you or get in touch with David Austin Roses yourself.
All Roses Are Edible
Rose petals, hips, and leaves are all edible, and you can add them to salads, infuse your drinks with them, make jams, etc.
This plant is a good source of vitamins A, C, E, calcium, and iron.
The health benefits of roses include fighting cancer due to their phytonutrients and anti-inflammatory properties, promoting healthy skin because of the vitamins, supporting the immune system, and more. (4)
Each Rose Color Has A Different Symbolism
Roses symbolize love and beauty, a meaning that dates back to Ancient Greece. However, the different colored flowers convey different messages. We’ll mention the most popular ones below:
Red rose – These plants generally symbolize romance, love, and passion, but different hues have different connotations. For instance, darker shades signify devotion and commitment, while merlot tones represent beauty.
Orange rose – This color has many meanings, from energy, excitement, and enthusiasm to desire, attraction, and admiration.
Yellow rose – This flower is a universal symbol of friendship, although it may mean other things, such as happiness, spirituality, or even jealousy and cowardice.
Purple rose – The main meaning of this rose’s color is love at first sight, but admiration, fascination, and splendor have found their way into the definition.
Pink rose – Gratitude and fascination are the two things this shade symbolizes, usually directed towards siblings, teachers, etc. However, this hue represents femininity, charm, and delicacy, making them perfect for baby showers.
White rose – The color white is generally associated with purity, innocence, and youth, so it’s not surprising that white roses symbolize these things. However, we frequently see these flowers at weddings as they also represent new beginnings, eternal loyalty, and budding love.
Blue rose – Unfortunately, blue roses don’t exist yet, but according to the ACS, there are researchers who have achieved a short-lasting blue color in roses. (5)
However, this rose still symbolizes true, unrequited love. It also represents sensitivity and emotions, but not romantic ones.
Black rose – Unlike the blue roses, black roses truly exist in the village of Halfeti in Turkey, although they only turn black during the summer and are dark red for most of the year.
They don’t symbolize love but rather rebirth and change. Other meanings include death, despair, and hatred, not to mention their connection with the occult and black magic.
Their Scent Is Used For Perfumes
One thing that makes roses so special is the fact that the perfume industry has used their fragrance for years to enrich their products.
A rose’s floral scent makes it highly desirable, and today, we can find it in various products, including soap, body wash, lotion, cream, etc.
Also, many Italian rose varieties are used for these purposes, so imagine what growing one or two would smell like in your own garden!
Roses Are One Of The Oldest Flowers In The World
Roses are one of the oldest flowers in the world. There have even been fossils found dating back to the Paleocene era. (6)
These fossils indicate that the rose plant is about 35 million years old. (7)
But even though it’s not the oldest plant in the world, it is the oldest cultivated species according to the Guinness World Records.
There is data that shows that roses were cultivated in Ancient Rome for medicinal and decorative purposes, but they gained popularity among Europeans in the 13th and 14th centuries. (8)
Some other texts suggest that the cultivation of roses started even earlier in China (5,000 BC) based on the pottery from that era, although it is certain that these plants were grown in this region for their ornamental purposes around 2,000 years ago. (9)
National Flower Of Many Countries
Roses have been popular for centuries, so it’s unsurprising that many countries have adopted them as their national flower.
For instance, the Tudor rose is the floral emblem of England, taken as a symbol of peace after the Wars of the Roses, signifying the unification of the warring parties.
The national flower of the US is also the rose, but it became a floral symbol of the country only in 1986, a year after the Senate asked the president to declare it the national flower.
Some other countries that have taken up this plant as their floral emblem are the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Luxembourg.
Wars Of The Roses
During the Wars of the Roses, two houses claimed the English throne, the houses of Lancaster and York. The emblem of Lancaster was the red rose, while the heraldic badge of York was a white rose.
The fighting lasted for 30 years (1455–1485), although some historians prefer the year 1487 as the date of the cessation of war.
In the end, Henry Tudor of the House of Lancaster defeated Richard III, married Elizabeth of York, and united the houses as well as their emblems, resulting in the Tudor rose, which is England’s national flower to this day.
The Myth Of Rose Origin
Roses are deeply rooted in mythology and are still on a list of popular Greek flowers due to their origin story.
They are the subject of two Greek myths. In the first, the goddess Aphrodite takes center stage. She is said to have discovered her lover, Adonis, fatally wounded by a wild boar. As her tears mixed with his blood, a red rose bush sprouted from the soil.
Another legend has it that when the goddess of flowers, Chloris, spoke, roses fell from her mouth.
There is another version of the rose myth and Chloris that is slightly different and considerably sadder. The goddess came across the lifeless body of an exceptionally beautiful nymph.
Her beauty mesmerized Chloris, so she turned her into a flower. Other gods contributed to this, so Aphrodite gave the flower beauty, Dionysus the nectar, which is what gives the rose its sweet scent, Zephyrus blew the winds and cleared the sky, while Apollo made the sun shine and helped it blossom.
George Washington And Abraham Lincoln’s Connection To Roses
One thing I didn’t know about one of our favorite presidents was that he was a horticulturist.
I’m talking about George Washington and his never-ending love for roses. He had vegetable gardens, yes, but also something he liked to call “Pleasure Gardens.” Here he grew all sorts of flowers, including roses.
George was a master gardener and even hybridized one cultivar, naming it after his mother, “Mary Washington.”
Abraham Lincoln is another president connected to roses, although he never grew them, as far as I can tell.
However, after his assassination, the French nursery Moreau-Robert named a new rose “Souvenir du President Lincoln,” which is still available to this day. It has large crimson-pink blossoms with a potent fragrance, making it perfect for every garden.
There’s another hybrid rose named in honor of this man, “Mister Lincoln.” It is a hybrid tea rose with deep red shades, huge blossoms, and a strong scent.
Countries That Produce The Most Roses
The top five exporters of roses are the Netherlands, Ecuador, Kenya, Colombia, and Ethiopia.
These countries make millions and millions of dollars by exporting roses, so we can only imagine how big this industry is.
However, according to certain data, we can assume that Ecuador is the largest producer of roses, as the Netherlands imports a great number of these flowers.
So these were 12 fascinating facts about roses. Did you know that the tallest rose bush is more than 28,000 feet tall? Or that George Washington cultivated them?
These plants have a rich history, and it would be a shame to miss out on it, especially if you have one in your flower garden.
Until next time!
1. The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Adviser (1893). The Oldest Rose Bush in the World.
2. Guinness World Records (2020). Tallest Rose Bush.
3. Guinness World Records (2004). Tallest Climbing Rose.
4. WebMD Editorial Contributors (n.d). Rose Tea: Is It Good For You. WebMD
5. Blue roses could be coming soon to a garden near you (2018). American Chemical Society.
6. Becker, H. F. (1963). The Fossil Record of the Genus Rosa. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club.
7. The History of Roses (n.d.) University of Illinois Extension.
8. Touw, M. (1982). Roses in Middle Ages. Economic Botany.
9. Wang, G. (2007). A Study on the History of Chinese Roses from Ancient Works and Images. Acta Horticulturae.