†A rose is a perennial flowering plant belonging to the Rosaceae family, of the Rosa genus. This family contains more than 100 species of different roses. The term Rose originates from the Latin word Rosa.
Roses are the most popular and most widely cultivated flower species in the world. They are the most commonly sold type of flowers with florists. Roses are trailing or climbing shrubs with stems that have sharp thorns. Many roses are native to the Asian region. Some roses are native of Europe, northwest Africa, and North America. All varieties of roses, including native varieties, cultivars, and hybrids are grown in homes for their fragrance and beauty.
The leaves of the rose plant are pinnate and alternate among themselves. The leaflets are sharp and have an oval shape. A rose hip is the fleshy edible fruit produced by the rose plant. Climber roses can grow up to a height of 20 meters. Different species of roses can easily hybridize among themselves, producing many types of roses in the process.
Rose attar is a term that refers to the oil extracted from roses. It is used in perfumes. Damask roses are important for producing perfumes. Rose water is made out of rose oil, and is widely used in Middle Eastern and Asian cuisines. The fruits (rose hips) can be made into jelly, jam or marmalade. They can be brewed for making tea. The fruits contain high amount of Vitamin C. The fruits can be pressed to produce rose hip syrup. Rose hips are also used to make many skin-care products. Some roses are used for medicinal applications also.
There are about 3,100 species and 107 genera of roses in the world. Nearly 70 genera of roses are used for ornament, timber, decoration, and food purposes. The rose family is very abundant in the northern temperate regions. The rose family includes members like loganberry, dewberry, and thorny blackberry. Other members of this rose family are hawthorn, firethorn, rowan, flowering cherry, and cotoneaster.
Roses are classified in the order Rosales, under the family Rosaceae. The Kingdom is Plantae, and the division is Magnoliophyta. The name of subfamily of roses is Rosoideae.
There are many species of hybrid roses. Some examples of hybrid roses are Rosa x rehderana, and Rosa x odorata. The classification of cultivated roses is somewhat difficult. This is because of the large number of available cultivars and the range of hybridization that has already taken place. Rose planters have usually tried to produce large, attractive roses with little or no scent. But the wild or old roses have a strong sweet scent by nature. Old roses are usually based on a few ancestral species. Hybrid remontant roses are popular and produce large double flowers during summer. The polyantha roses are dwarf rose plants. They produce flowers in dense clusters. China roses and tea roses have been derived from old roses through hybridization. Hybrid tea roses have wider varieties of colors and flower forms. Floribunda roses are derived from hybrid tea roses and hybrid polyantha roses. Hybrid polyantha roses are themselves based on old polyantha roses and hybridized tea roses.
Roses are a variety of shrubs. They may have trailing or scrambling stems. The base of the leaf-stalk is fused with stipules, which are leaf-like appendages. The rose flowers have five sepals. The species Rosa sericea has four sepals. When viewed from above, they appear as green points interspersed with the rounded petals. There are many pistils and numerous stamens. The ovary develops below the sepals and the petals. Roses come in different colors and shades, namely yellow, pink, white, and red. The rose genus contains more than 100 species of roses.
Symbolism of Roses
Roses have traditionally been used to convey some symbolisms. Red roses usually have been used to convey love. Pink roses may stand for grace. White roses signify secrecy, friendship, and innocence. Yellow roses can indicate friendship and happiness. In Germany, yellow roses are taken to mean jealousy. Orange roses stand for passion. The aspect of beauty is conveyed by burgundy roses. Green roses stand for calmness. Blue roses depict mystery. Black roses may signify death. Purple roses usually stand for protection. As you can see, a wide variety of sentimental and symbolic meanings have been associated with different colors of roses.
Roses in our culture
Roses are generally accepted symbols of love. Roses are often used to depict the Virgin Mary. The national flower of USA and England is a rose. Rose is the state flower in four US states. A red rose when held in a hand can be a symbol of socialism. Roses are common subjects in portrayals of popular artists.
Cultivation of roses
Some roses are cultivated in their natural state, but majority of the cultivars are a result of selection and hybridization from few rose species. The cultivars can be classified into old roses and contemporary roses. Contemporary roses are currently in the process of being hybridized producing new rose forms. Hundreds of new contemporary roses are introduced every year. Majority of the roses are deciduous in nature but a few species, especially in Southeast Asia, are evergreen in nature.
Roses can grow in well-drained soils. Clay soils are better than sandy soils, as they aid for rose growth. Warmer temperatures are better for roses. Roses grow better when they are planted separately from other plants. The preferred fertilizer for roses is cow dung. Other organic fertilizers like composts can also be used. Rose plants may require pruning from time to time. Pruning is a horticultural art form which involves removal of the old canes to make room for new ones.
Roses are usually grown through planting understocks (bottom portion of a plant). The understocks are obtained from cuttings and seeds. Roses are subject to diseases like Phragmidium mucronatum (rose rust), powdery mildew, and rose black spot. Roses need to be sprayed with fungicides and insecticides often to protect against infections. If infection occurs, then the spread of the infection can be minimized through pruning. But the infection itself cannot usually be reversed. Some varieties of roses are less susceptible to diseases caused by fungi.
Rose species that grow open flowers attract many bees and insects. They also produce more hips. Many domestic rose cultivars are closely petalled and do not provide enough access for pollination to happen. The rose hips of most species are red in color. Some species like Rosa pimpinellifolia produce black or dark purple hips. The hips are eaten by birds like waxwings and thrushes. Some birds like finches also eat the seeds in the hips.
The \"thorns\" in a rose stem are actually outgrowths of the epidermis (outer tissue of the stem). Thorns produced by Pyracantha or Citrus species are actually modified stems. Rose prickles are sickle-shaped hooks. They help the growing rose to hang over other vegetation. Some species like Rosa rugosa and R. pimpinellifolia have dense and straight spines. They may be an adaptation to reduce animal interference in growth. But animals like deers browse the roses even when prickles are present. Some rose species may have vestigial prickles with no points.
Modern Garden Roses
Hybrid tea roses are modern garden type roses. They date back to the late 1800s. They are harder than normal tea roses, and less hard than hybrid perpetual roses. The flowers are large with highly centered buds. Hybrid tea roses became very popular during the twentieth century. But today landscapers and gardeners see hybrid tea roses as requiring more maintenance. They opt for \"landscape\" roses that require lesser maintenance. But the hybrid tea rose remains the standard in the floral industry.
Polyantha roses - The name is derived from Greek words \"poly\" and \"anthos\" which mean \"many\" and \"flower\" respectively. Polyanthas first appeared in France during the late 1800s. They come in typical colors of red, pink, and white. Polyantha roses are generally considered as a disease-resistant and low-maintenance variety. Thatís why they are very popular. Some examples of polyantha roses are Red Fairy and Cecile Brunner.
Landscape roses are a modern variety of roses, also known as shrub roses. Landscape roses satisfy the consumer need for garden roses that have form, color, and fragrance. They need low maintenance and are easy to care for. They have good disease and pest resistance characteristics.
China roses have been grown in East Asia for hundreds of years. China roses are less fragrant, and are smaller. They bloom repeatedly during the summer and late autumn seasons. China roses have a tendency to gain \"tan\" over time, that is, they darken over a period of time. China roses were introduced in Europe during the late eighteenth century. Some examples of China roses are Mutabilis and Old Blush China.
In this article we have thus covered an overview of roses, their scientific traits, their cultivation, and the major types of roses. Roses make very good gifts and are often used to express love during Valentines\' Day. Roses have high aesthetic value and personal appeal and satisfy the most demanding flower enthusiasts. Roses are seen as symbols of love and it is a good idea to gift roses to a lover.