We know and love roses as a symbol of love and care. But, how much do we really know about them? As a floral company, we are obsessed with learning everything there is to know about our favorite flower. A lot of the time, people are stunned when they hear a fun fact about roses, so for your enjoyment, we put together the best fun facts we’d love for you to read.
We picked only the most interesting 21 facts, which will truly spark your imagination, like they did ours. Let’s dive in, starting with some that will hit close to home for many of our readers:
Roses Are A Symbol Of Many Things, Not Just Love
We can all agree on their universal message, but, in some historical periods, they were assigned additional meanings. Some of them you may be familiar with already, but others may catch you off guard.
THE UNITED STATES NATIONAL FLOWER
On November 20, 1986, the rose was declared the United States National Flower by President Ronald Reagan, during a special ceremony hosted at the White House Rose Garden. Among other things, he stated: “More often than any other flower, we hold the rose dear as the symbol of life and love and devotion, of beauty and eternity...”
MANY STATES HOLD ROSES AS STATE FLOWERS
Not only do the United States as a whole have roses as their symbol, but also Georgia, New York, Iowa, North Dakota and Washington, D.C hold different varieties as their state flowers.
THE ANCIENT GREECE PERIOD
In ancient Greece, the rose flower was a symbol closely associated with Aphrodite, the goddess of love, sexuality, and beauty. According to the beliefs of this time, red roses came to be when Aphrodite met her lover, Adonis. He was wounded by a wild boar, and a mixture of his blood and Aphrodite’s tears produced a red rose bush when they hit the ground.
THE WAR OF ROSES
They say all is fair in love and war. Well, roses saw their appearance not only in love, but in war as well. War of The Roses was a name given to a conflict in England between 1455 and 1485, where a red rose represented the Lancaster house, feuding against the house of York, which was represented by a white rose.
The Biology Of Roses
When you think of a rose, there is a very specific image and view of it in your mind. However, as biology shows, we only tie the idea of roses to a few specific types. Here’s what science has to say about the family of roses.
ETYMOLOGY OF ROSES - HOW ROSES GOT THEIR NAME
Since we are talking about biology, let’s quickly talk about the Latin term for roses, Rosa. As Latin is the foundation of most biology terms, but also many modern languages, it’s a term known throughout the world. It’s believed this Latin term came into the language from Greek rhódon (Aeolic wródon), itself borrowed from Old Persian wrd- (wurdi).
ORIGIN OF ROSES
Roses hail from the plant genus Rosa, in the family Rosaceae, a very wide and diverse family. This genus is subdivided into four subgenera: Hulthemia, Hesperrhodos, Platyrhodon and the Rosa subgenus, containing all roses which aren’t a part of other subsections. The rose family contains over 300 species, and thousands of cultivated or hybrid types of roses.
ROSES OF THE WORLD'S CONTINENTS
Most rose species are native to the Asia continent, with a lot of them being native to North America, and the least to Europe and Africa. In modern times, roses have spread to every continent and corner of the world. Not a lot of rose species are native to South America, for example, yet some of the most beautiful modern roses can be found there. Our Glam Fleur roses come from the rose fields of Ecuador, and they are the prettiest we’ve ever come across.
Compared to traditional cultivated roses, wild roses bloom only once a year, and they depend on insects for pollination. Many rose species found in the wild, or sometimes even cultivated, differ from traditional roses. They don’t grow as a single flower necessarily, and include shrubs, climbers, trailers and groundcovers. They come in every imaginable color, with only blue roses being extremely rare and needing special cultivation.
Roses Are An Ancient Flower
Our love of roses wasn’t born overnight. In fact, rose flowers have accompanied us for thousands of years as decorative pieces, and have been in the wild for millions of years before that. Without diving too deep into their history, which we covered in a different article, here are some of the most fascinating historical facts:
THE COLORADO FOSSIL
Did you know that fossils uncovered at the Colorado’s Florissant Fossil Beds prove roses have been around for at least 35-40 million years. That’s not as long as some other flowers, but it’s still very impressive, considering modern humans are believed to have evolved less than 300,000 years ago.
DOCUMENTED HISTORY OF ROSES
As for their documented history, roses have been mentioned throughout historic records for nearly 5 thousand years, and it’s safe to assume their organized cultivation predates even this period, which is supported by archeological findings.
CULTIVATION OF ROSES
Roses may not be the oldest flower, but they are believed to be the oldest flower cultivated specifically for decoration. They were grown in Mesopotamia in the period of 2800 BC, as well as in Egypt and China during 500 BC.
World Records of Roses
As with anything important in our lives, there are several world records related to roses that may blow your mind. We contrasted some of these world records to what you would normally expect, to help put these feats into perspective.
LARGEST ROSE EVER
Nikita K. Rulhoksoffski, a Californian rose grower, managed to grow a pink rose with a 33 inch diameter, or about 84 centimeters. The stem was around 6 feet long, or around 1.8 meters. This massive creation was presented at a rose show, and had to be displayed on the floor, as it was too big to place vertically. This rose was over five times bigger than typical large hybrid roses, which are very large to begin with.
THE TALLEST ROSE BUSH EVER
Largest doesn’t mean tallest. Nikita from California grew a rose with a huge diameter, but the tallest recorded rose plant was a bush. It was 18 feet and 8 inches, or around 5 and a half meters tall. It was grown by Christopher Rose in La Puente, California, and entered into the Guinness World Record book in 2017.
THE MOST EXPENSIVE ROSE EVER SOLD
A famous rose breeder by the name of David Austin spent around 15 years and millions of dollars breeding a rare rose variety, which he named Juliet. The Juliet rose would end up selling for $15 million in 2006. That price point is well out of reach for almost all people, but, if you would still like a taste of luxury, we have some truly glamorous arrangements that can fill that need.
THE OLDEST LIVING ROSE
Rose plants and bushes can survive many years before their natural cycle reaches its peak, and they die off to give way to a new plant. One rose withstood the test of time for 1,000 years, and still grows to this day on a wall of the Hildesheim Cathedral in Germany.
A Few Bonus Facts About Rose Use
In 1998, a rose named Overnight Scentsation, pun completely intended, was sent into orbit on the STS-95 Discovery Mission. It was the first rose to be sent into outer space.
Did you know rose petals are completely edible, and can even be eaten raw? It’s also common to soak them in water to create rose water. If that’s not enough, rose syrup can be created by adding sugar to aforementioned rose water, delicious.
That’s not the only edible part though. Roses can grow small fruit, known as rosehip, usually of red, orange, or dark purple color. The rosehip fruit is an excellent source of vitamin C, and it’s commonly used to make tea.
As expected, their edible properties and the existence of vitamin C rich tea made them favorable in many historic medicinal practices, such as traditional Chinese medicine.
Roses are commonly used to create perfume, by extracting the essential oil from their flowerheads. The amount of oil in each flower is very miniscule, so it takes around 2000 flowers to extract just a gram of rose oil for perfume production.
Have These Facts Impressed You? Let Us Know.
Share this article with your friends, rose lovers, or nerdy love interests. In the case of a love interest, maybe consider sharing a flower arrangement as well, with a note inviting them to read the fun facts. You can browse all of them in our web store.
Thank you for reading, and until next time, stay glamorous!