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A rose is a perennial flower shrub or vine of the genus Rosa, within the family Rosaceae, that contains over 100 species and comes in a variety of colours. The species form a group of erect shrubs, and climbing or trailing plants, with stems that are often armed with sharp prickles. Most are native to Asia, with smaller numbers of species native to Europe, North America, and northwest Africa.
The name rose comes from French, itself from Latin, rosa, which was borrowed from Oscan, from Greek ρόδιόν rhodion (Aeolic υρόδιόν wrodion), from Old Persian wurdi "flower" (cf. Avest. warda, Sogdian ward, Parthian wâr).
Classification of modern roses can be quite confusing because many modern roses have old garden roses in their ancestry and their form varies so much. The classifications tend to be by growth and flowering characteristics, such as "large-flowered shrub", "recurrent, large-flowered shrub", "cluster-flowered", "rambler recurrent", or "ground-cover non-recurrent".
The favourite rose for much of the history of modern roses, hybrid teas were initially created by hybridising Hybrid Perpetuals with Tea roses in the late 1800s. ‘La France,’ created in 1867, is universally acknowledged as the first indication of a new class of roses. Hybrid teas exhibit traits midway between both parents: hardier than the teas but less hardy than the hybrid perpetuals, and more ever-blooming than the hybrid perpetuals but less so than the teas.
The hybrid tea remains the standard rose of the floral industry, however, and is still favoured in small gardens in formal situations. Examples: ‘Peace’ (yellow), ‘Mister Lincoln (red), ‘Double Delight’ (bi-colour cream and red).
Rose perfumes are made from attar of roses or rose oil, which is a mixture of volatile essential oils obtained by steam distilling the crushed petals of roses. The technique originated in Persia then spread through Arabia and India, but nowadays about 70% to 80% of production is in the Rose Valley near Kazanluk in Bulgaria, with some production in Qamsar in Iran and Germany. The Kaaba in Mecca is annually washed by the Iranian rose water from Qamsar. In Bulgaria, Iran and Germany, damask roses (Rosa damascena ‘Trigintipetala’) are used. In the French rose oil industry Rosa centifolia is used. The oil is transparent pale yellow or yellow-grey in colour. ‘Rose Absolute’ is solvent-extracted with hexane and produces a darker oil, dark yellow to orange in colour. The weight of oil extracted is about one three-thousandth to one six-thousandth of the weight of the flowers; for example, about two thousand flowers are required to produce one gram of oil.
Roses are often portrayed by artists. The Luxembourg born Belgian artist Pierre-Joseph Redouté produced some of the most detailed paintings of roses.
Henri Fantin-Latour was also a prolific painter of still life, particularly flowers including roses. The Rose ‘Fantin-Latour’ was named after the artist.
Other impressionists including Claude Monet, Paul Cézanne and Pierre-Auguste Renoir have paintings of roses among their works.
Roses are ancient symbols of love and beauty. ‘Rose’ means pink or red in a variety of languages (such as Romance languages, Greek, and Polish). The rose was sacred to a number of goddesses (including Isis and Aphrodite), and is often used as a symbol of the Virgin Mary.
The rose is the national flower of England and the United States, as well as being the symbol of England Rugby, and of the Rugby Football Union. It is also the provincial flower of Yorkshire and Lancashire in England (the white rose and red rose respectively), of Alberta (the wild rose) in Canada, and of Islamabad Capital Territory in Pakistan. It is the state flower of four US states: Iowa and North Dakota (R. arkansana), Georgia (R. laevigata), and New York (Rosa generally). Portland, Oregon counts "City of Roses" among its nicknames, and holds an annual Rose Festival.
A red rose (often held in a hand) is a symbol of socialism or social democracy: it is used as a symbol by British, Irish, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, Finnish, Brazilian, Dutch, Bulgarian and other European labour, socialist or social democratic parties, mostly adopted in the period after World War II.
A bouquet of red roses is often used to show love. It is used as a Valentine’s Day gift in many countries.
Posted by >Kugarth on 2009-08-02 14:17:14