The rose is commonly used to celebrate the birthdays of those born in June and a great option to consider when looking for a birthday gift for that special Gemini.
Long a symbol of love and passion, the rose also symbolizes beauty, perfection, and virtue. The rose could easily be the most popular flower in the world – or history. The rose’s lore is long and colorful, and according to fossil evidence, the rose is a 35 million years old species.
Garden cultivation of this famous flower began some 5,000 years ago, mostly in China, though roses have ample mention in many tales of the ancient world. The Roman Empire lauded the rose and greatly increased it prevalence and popularity, using it everyday for decoration, perfume, confetti, and medicinal purposes. At the height of the rose’s popularity, it became synonymous with the worst excesses of the Roman Empire when peasants were reduced to growing roses instead of food crops in order to satisfy the elite’s demands. Emperors and the upper class would even fill their swimming baths and fountains with rose-water, and sat on carpets of rose petals for their feasts and orgies.
Later during the fifteenth century, the rose was used as a symbol for the fractions fighting to control England. The red rose symbolized York while the white rose symbolized Lancaster, thus the phrase the “War of the Roses.”
During the seventeenth century, roses were in such high demand that royalty accepted roses and rose petals as legal tender. Napolean’s wife, Josephine, established an extensive rose garden near Paris with more than 250 rose varieties.
Today, there are over 30,000 varieties of roses. Due to its complex past spanning both centuries and continents, the rose has the most complicated family tree of any known flower species. The romantic red rose first came from China around 1800. Until the 19th century, all European roses were in shades of white or pink. Yellow roses did not come to be until about 1900 when a Frenchman named Joseph Permet-Ducher stumbled upon a yellow mutant flower in the field. Ever since then, we have had yellow and orange roses.
Feeling inspired? If so, be sure to check out our Coming Up Roses bouquet. It has a spectrum of shades and is simply gorgeous. It certainly would make a unique birthday gift or a lovely housewarming gift. Maybe it’s because it has such understated colors, but it reminds me of the history of roses, which I definitely have a greater appreciation for after writing this blog….