For centuries, roses have inspired love and brought beauty to those who have received them. In fact, the rose’s rich heritage dates back thousands of years. The Society of American Florists compiled this list of interesting rose facts from a variety of sources:
- People have been passionate about roses since the beginning of time. In fact, it is said that the floors of Cleopatra’s palace were carpeted with delicate rose petals, and that the wise and knowing Confucius had a 600 book library specifically on how to care for roses.
- Wherefore art thou rose? In the readings of Shakespeare, of course. He refers to roses more than 50 times throughout his writings.
- 1,000 years old. That’s the age the world’s oldest living rose is thought to be. Today it continues to flourish on the wall of the Hildesheim Cathedral of Germany.
- Why white roses are so special is no mystery – it’s a myth. Perhaps it started with the Romans who believed white roses grew where the tears of Venus fell as she mourned the loss of her beloved Adonis. Myth also has it that Venus’ son Cupid accidentally shot arrows into the rose garden when a bee stung him, and it was the “sting” of the arrows that caused the roses to grow thorns. And when Venus walked through the garden and pricked her foot on a thorn, it was the droplets of her blood which turned the roses red.
- It’s official – the rose is New York’s state flower.
- The rose is a legend in it’s own. The story goes that during the Roman empire, there was an incredibly beautiful maiden named Rhodanthe. Her beauty drew many zealous suitors who pursued her relentlessly. Exhausted by their pursuit, Rhodanthe was forced to take refuge from her suitors in the temple of her friend Diana. Unfortunately, Diana became jealous. And when the suitors broke down her temple gates to get near their beloved Rhodanthe she also became angry, turning Rhodanthe into a rose and her suitors into thorns.
- Dolly Parton may be known for her music and theme park. But rose lovers know her for the orange red variety bearing her name.
- A rose by any other name… according to Greek Mythology, it was Aphrodite who gave the rose its name.
- While the rose may bear no fruit, the rose hips (the part left on the plant after a rose is done blooming) contain more Vitamin C than almost any other fruit or vegetable.
- The rose is a symbol of times. In fact, it’s the official National Floral Emblem of the United States.
- Leave it to the romantic French to be the ones to first deliver roses. It was in the seventeenth century that French explorer Samuel deChamplain brought the first cultivated roses to North America.
- Roses are truly ageless. Recently, archaeologists discovered the fossilized remains of wild roses over 40 million years old.
- The people of ancient Greece used roses to accessorize. On festive occasions they would adorn themselves with garlands of roses, and splash themselves with rose-scented oil.
- Napoleon’s wife Josephine so adored roses, she grew more than 250 varieties.
- June has been the National Rose Month in the United States.
- Rose color trends.
Rose Care Tips
- If your roses arrived in plastic water tubes, remove them before arranging.
- Remove any leaves that will be under water, taking care not to cut through or scrape the green bark.
- Recut stems by removing 1-2 inches with a sharp knife.
- Immediately after cutting, place roses in a clean, deep vase of water containing a flower food provided by your florist.
- Check the flower food solution daily and make sure to keep it full, clean, and fresh. If the solution becomes cloudy, replace it entirely.
- Keep your roses in a cool place, out of direct sun and drafts.
Factors Affecting Valentine’s Day Rose Prices
A simple case of supply and demand affects the price of Valentine’s Day roses:
- Valentine’s Day inspires the heaviest demand for long-stemmed roses, and several rosebuds must be sacrificed to create a single long-stemmed rose.
- After the Christmas season demand for red roses is filled, growers need 50-70 days to produce enough roses for Valentine’s Day.
- Winter’s shorter daylight hours and higher energy costs hamper efforts to grow large rose crops.
- Inclement weather often requires extreme measures to ensure that flowers are delivered in time.
- To fulfill the tremendous number of orders for Valentine’s Day flowers, florists have to hire additional help, work longer hours and acquire extra delivery vehicles and drivers.
In short, roses in February are every bit as special as you would expect.
Aboutflowers.com is hosted by the Society of American Florists, the U.S. floral industry trade association. Click below to find a local SAF member florist to send flowers, roses and gifts for delivery.