This page is about the flower. For the colour, see Rose (colour).
The rose is a type of floweringshrub. Its name comes from the Latin word Rosa. The flowers of the rose grow in many different colors, from the well-known red rose or yellow roses and sometimes white or purple roses. Roses belong to the family of plants called Rosaceae. All roses were originally wild and they come from several parts of the world, North America, Europe, northwest Africa and many parts of Asia and Oceania. There are over 100 different species of roses. The wild rose species can be grown in gardens, but most garden roses are cultivars, which have been chosen by people.
Over hundreds of years they have been specially bred to produce a wide variety of growing habits and a broad range of colours from dark red to white including as well yellow and a bluish/lilac colour. Many roses have a strong, pleasant scent. Most roses have prickles (incorrectly called thorns) on their stems. Rose bushes are able to tolerate a wide variety of growing conditions. The fruit of the rose is called a hip. Some roses have decorative hips.
Roses are widely used across the world as symbols of love, sympathy or sorrow.
Rose is widely used as a girl's name. Also, roses protect themselves from other predators trying to hunt them with thorns, a widely known defense system.
Roses in legend and in history[change | change source]
The rose was sacred to Venus (mythology). Venus was the Romangoddess of love and beauty. It was also linked with Cupid (son of Venus). He was the Roman god of desire – in one myth, he dropped nectar and the nectar bubbled up from the ground as roses. The rose was also sacred to Bacchus. He was the Roman god of wine.
Rich Romans would lie on couches with roses laid on them. They would wear roses tied onto string around their neck. Anything which was said "under the rose" was considered to be a secret.Cleopatra VII of Egypt was said to have had a floor of her palace covered in roses before her lover Mark Antony visited her.
The rose has been used as a symbol of love for hundreds of years.
Description and use[change | change source]
The flower of the rose plant can be different sizes. It may be as small as 1/2 inch across to a diameter of almost 7 inches. Also, roses can be used for good scent. The scent of the rose comes from tiny perfume glands on the petals, which can be seen through a powerful microscope. Sometimes rose petals are dried and packed so that you can use them for decoration or for scent.
Roses can be seen very much in gardens. Sometimes they can be in vineyards as well. In a big vineyard, a bush of roses are planted at the end of each row of vines. As long as the roses stay healthy, the vine growers can see that their vines are healthy as well.
Garden roses[change | change source]
There are thousands of rose cultivars that people grow in gardens and on farms. The names used to describe the different types often refer to one species that is the main ancestor of that group, for example, Gallica roses are mostly descended from Rosa gallica. Other groups have several different species among their ancestors. Hybrid Tea roses, Floribunda roses, and English roses are the most common in gardens today. They are of so many colours like red, yellow, orange, pink, purple and so on
- Alba roses
- Bourbon roses
- Centifolia roses
- China roses
- Climbing roses
- Damask roses
- English Roses
- Floribunda roses
- Gallica roses
- Hybrid Bracteata roses
- Hybrid Musk roses
- Hybrid Perpetual roses
- Hybrid Tea roses
- Miniature roses
- Modern Shrub roses
- Moss Roses
- Noisette roses
- Rugosa roses
Symbolism[change | change source]
In the Catholic religion, rose is a symbolic element of the Holy Rosary; it is reported that Fra Angelico, praying the rosary in the street, saw the Virgin with a group of Angels offering her hymns and prayers while they were composing a crown of roses. Surprised by the vision, he interrupted the prayer and the angels stopped; when he prayed again he saw the angels recommencing to compose the crown of roses to offer to Mary. 
Different colored roses have different meanings.
- Red – A red rose is an expression of love. Red roses usually show deep feelings, like love, longing, or desire. Red roses can also be used to show respect, admiration, or devotion. A deep red rose can be used to show regret and sorrow. The number of red roses given has a special meaning as well. 12 red roses is the most popular number to give; it means "Be mine" and "I love you".
- Pink – There are a lot of variations of the pink rose. Usually, pink roses are used to express gentle emotions such as admiration, joy, gratitude and deep or endless love.
- Dark pink – Deep pink rose blooms may mean deep gratitude and appreciation. Dark pink roses also express elegance and grace.
- Light pink – Light pink rose blooms are symbols of pleasantness and innocence.
- White – White is the color of purity, innocence and sacred love. It represents love that is eternal and endures beyond death. White roses usually may symbolize a new start, and it is a custom for brides to hold them when she walks down the aisle at her wedding. In certain faiths, the white rose can represent the sanctity of a marriage. White roses can be used to show sympathy or humility. They also may be about spiritual things.
- Yellow – Yellow roses are usually used as an expression of exuberance. Yellow roses show sunny feelings of joy, warmth, and sometimes welcome. They are symbols of friendship and caring. The yellow rose, unlike some of the other roses, does not mean or express any romance.
- Orange – Orange roses remind most people of a fiery blaze. These fiery blooms are symbols of passion and energy. Orange roses can be used to show desire and pride.
- Burgundy – The color of burgundy is a symbol of beauty.
- Green – Green roses (these are sometimes white roses with shades of green) can symbolize best wishes, luck, and blessings for a good life or recovery of good health.
- Blue – Blue roses cannot be found in the nature and so they represent the unattainable or the mysterious. Blue roses therefore show the desire for the goals you cannot reach. They may sometimes mean "I can't have you but I can't stop thinking about you".
- Black – Black is the color of death and farewell. A black roses show the death of a feeling or idea. Sending black roses to someone indicates the death of the relationship, or sometimes it may be used in burials.
- Violet and Purple – A violet or purple rose may show protection, and also a sense of majesty, royalty, and splendor. These roses are used to show adoration.
- Lavender – A lavender rose, like its color, shows enchantment. It also expresses "love at first sight".
Gallery[change | change source]
A Hybrid tea rose,'Mrs. Herbert Stevens'
References[change | change source]
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rosa.|
The RoseA thematic essay for the AnnotatedGrateful Dead Lyrics.
by David Dodd
Assistant Professor, Library
University of Colorado at Colorado Springs
One of the most pervasive symbols in Grateful Dead lyrics and iconography, therose is a symbol laden with meaning. Its first appearance in a Dead lyric wasin the "Faster We Go the Rounder We Get" (Weir's lyric) portion of "That's It forthe Other One":
"Spanish lady come to me, she lays on me this rose..."
According to J.E. Cirlot'sADictionary of Symbols, the
"single rose is, in essence, a symbol of completion, of consummate achievement andperfection. Hence, accruing to it are all those ideas associated with thesequalities: the mystic Centre, the heart, the garden of Eros, the paradise ofDante, the Beloved, the emblem of Venus and so on."
An extensive entry on the rose in Funk & WagnallsStandard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology, and Legend (Funk & Wagnalls,1972) includes the following information:
"Originally from Persia, the rose is said to have been brought tothe West by Alexander. To the Arabs the rose was a masculine flower. Itwas anciently a symbol of joy, later of secrecy and silence, but is now usuallyassociated with love."The entry continues for several hundred words, and is worth tracking down.
Gabriele Tergit's wonderful book,Flowers Through the Ages contains many pages on thehistory and folklore of the rose. Some passages:
"...Soon the mysterious rose, sacred to Venus in earlier times,became theflower of the Virgin Mary, who herself became the Rosamystica. Thetemple of Jupiter Capitolinus became St. Peter's, the temple ofJuno Lucinathe church of S. Maria Maggiore, and the processions honouringthe Mother ofGod walked on rose petals, just as the processions carrying theimages of thepagan gods had done." (p. 43)and
"The scholastics derived the origin of the rose from the drops ofChrist'sblood falling upon a thornbush." (p. 43)and
"The rose was dedicated to the goddess of love, that is, to theeternalmystery of the continuity of life. As such it was the symbol ofmystery andsecrecy. 'Mystery glows in the rose bed, the secret is hidden inthe rose,'sang the Persian poet and perfumer, Farid ud-din Attar, in thetwelfthcentury. A more prosaic explanation is that the folded structureof the rose,by its nature, conceals a secret inner core. ... in Germany, weread inSebastian Brant's Narrenschiff, [Ship ofFools] in thelate fifteenth century: 'What here we do say, shall under rosesstay.'" (p.46)and
"We do not know where the rose comes from.The Dictionary ofChristian Artdefines the rose as:
Rose fossils, 32,000,000 years old, have been found in Coloradoand Oregon;they resemble the East Asian roses more than the American ones oftoday.
The first record of an authentic European rose is a highlystylized one in afresco at Knossos in Greece; it dates from the sixteenth centuryB.C. ... Itis possible that Central Asia is the home of the rose. The mostbeautifulwoman of India, the goddess Lakshmi, is supposed to have beenborn from a rosecomposed of 108 large and 1,008 small petals.
Every country between twenty and seventy degrees north has itsindigenousroses." (pp. 147-148)
"A floral symbol sacred to Venus and signifying love, the qualityand natureof which was characterized by the color of the rose. A symbol ofpurity, awhite rose represented innoncence (nonsexual) love, while a pinkrose represented first love, and a red rose true love. When held by amartyr, the red rose signified 'red martyrdom' or the loss of life, andthe white rose 'white martyrdom' or celibacy.According to Ambrose, the thorns of the rose were a reminder ofhumanfinitude and guilt as the roses in the Paradise Garden had nothorns. Athornless rose was an attribute of Mary as the Second Eve." (p.296)
The literature is voluminous, and the point is easily taken:roses have hadtremendous significance for as long as history has been recorded,and likelyfor long before that. The rose is a metaphor waiting to happen,and peopleshave always ascribed to it some aspect of the mystery of life. Inthe words ofRobert Hunter: " ' I've got this one spirit that's laying roseson me. Roses,roses, can't get enough of those bloody roses. The rose isthe mostprominent image in the human brain, as to delicacy, beauty,short-livedness,thorniness. It's a whole. There is no better allegory for, dare Isay it,life, than roses."