THE ROSE

A rose is a woody perennial of the genus Rosa, within the family Rosaceae. There are over 100 species. They form a group of plants that can be erect shrubs, climbing or trailing with stems that are often armed with sharp prickles. Flowers vary in size and shape and are usually large and showy, in colors ranging from white through yellows and reds. Most species are native to Asia, with smaller numbers native to Europe, North America, and northwest Africa. Species, cultivars and hybrids are all widely grown for their beauty and often are fragrant. 

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Rose hips are occasionally made into jam, jelly, and marmalade, or are brewed for tea, primarily for their high vitamin C content. They are also pressed and filtered to make rose hip syrup. Rose hips are also used to produce Rose hip seed oil, which is used in skin products and some makeup products.  Rose petals or flower buds are sometimes used to flavor ordinary tea, or combined with other herbs to make tisanes. In France the use of rose syrup is very popular, most commonly made from an extract of rose petals. In the United States, this French rose syrup is used to make rose scones and marshmallows.

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The rose was sacred to a number of goddesses including Isis, whose rose appears in the late classical allegorical novel The Golden Ass as “the sweet Rose of reason and virtue” that saves the hero from his bewitched life in the form of a donkey.  The ancient Greeks and Romans identified the rose with the goddess of love, Aphrodite (Greek name) and Venus (Roman name).  In Rome a wild rose would be placed on the door of a room where secret or confidential matters were discussed. The phrase sub rosa, or “under the rose”, means to keep a secret — derived from this ancient Roman practice.

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The Queen of Flowers, the Rose has been grown and loved by man from earliest times.   There are about 125 different species of roses occurring naturally throughout the Northern Hemisphere, from the Arctic to the tropics, with many species freely hybridizing in the wild.  At the same time, the Empress Josephine, wife of Napoleon, was keenly amassing a collection of roses which she planted together in the first recorded ‘rose garden’. With her interest, rose growing became very fashionable and led to amazing and feverish activity among rose breeders. For the first time, they used planning rather than chance to produce roses with desirable characteristics and this resulted in new groups of roses, i.e., Portlands, Boursalts, Bourbons, Hybrid Perpetuals and Noisettes and thousands of new varieties. 

 

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Text via Heritage Rose, Geino & Wikipedia

The Rose | Featuring: Ken Delaney

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