History of the Rose for National Red Rose Day!

History of the Rose for National Red Rose Day!


Welcome to June! Also known as National Rose Month here in the US.

Established in 1959 to support the idea of making the Rose our national flower! It wasn’t until 1986, that President Ronald Reagan declared the Rose the national flower emblem of the United States! 

President Ronald Reagan declared the Rose the national flower emblem of the United States

National Red Rose Day is the perfect time to admire the most iconic of the Roses for all of its wonderful qualities. This American holiday celebrates Red Roses every year on June 12! It is a fitting time of the season because Rose Bushes are blooming in most areas of the country!

This offers everyone the opportunity to take in the heavenly fragrance and examine the intricate petal formations of the many varieties of Rosebushes available!

All About Roses!

The Oldest Rose is in Germany and is estimated to be 1,000 years old!

Rose of HildesheimOne of the first widely cultivated flowering plants for use beyond food and medicine, the Rose is a woody perennial flowering plant of the genus Rosa, in the family Rosaceae.

Rosaceae encompasses a wide range of plants from:

  • Raspberries and Blackberries
  • Most stone fruit like Peaches, Plums, Cherries, and Apricots, and even Pear Trees
  • Flowering shrubs like Potentilla, Ninebark, Cotoneaster, Spirea, and Japanese Kerria.
  • Fruiting shrubs like Serviceberry (Juneberry), Aronia, and Hawthorn!
  • More unexpected plants include Almond trees, Cherry Laurel, and Strawberries

In fact, Rosaceae is one of the major Angiosperm plant families!

Usually deciduous woody shrubs and trees, with a few evergreen Roses in Asia, Roses grow throughout almost every part of the world!

These thorny plants all share the same basic characteristics:

  • Usually 5-petalled flowers or in multiples of 5
  • Male and female reproductive stamen and pistils in each flower (monoecious)
  • Pollinated largely by insects and bees
  • Have a 5-pointed star of green sepals behind each bloom
  • Pinnate leaves, usually have 5 leaflets per leaf with serrated margins
  • Late Eocene Florissant FormationAlternate leaf arrangements along the stem
  • Thorns are technically referred to as Prickles
  • Rose stems are referred to as canes
  • Rose Fragrance is produced in the petals from tiny glands
  • Aggregate fruit is a berry-like structure called a Rose Hip

Rose fossils date back 35 million years! The oldest remains of Roses in the US are from the Late Eocene Florissant Formation of Colorado

Wild Roses are hardy plants that handle a wide range of growing conditions and climates. But now there are many types of ornamental Roses!

From Climbing Roses, Hybrid Tea Roses, Landscape/Shrub Roses, Floribunda Roses, Grandiflora Roses, Polyantha Roses, Rugosa, and more, now encompassing 150 species and tens of thousands of cultivars!

The History of the Rose

History is Steeped in Roses!

A Roses scent comes from glands in the petals!

A tale as old as time! Have you ever wondered how the Rose came to be such an iconic symbol that transcends the ages?

Roses are part of human culture around the world, and they have been beloved for centuries! In literature, music, in poetry, ingrained in our culture, history, food, and religion (rosary beads are made from Rose clay!) and embedded in our society as the embodiment of love, affection, and beauty!

Roses have had both sentimental and functional value to humans throughout many countries around the world.

Heart made of rosesSo, how exactly did the Rose become a symbol of true love?

Roses can be found in many stories and traditions throughout history. Many of these stories and traditions describe the Rose as a mystical flower that grows or thrives - or even will only bloom - in the presence of true love!

Some Greek myths claim the word Rose derived from the name Eros. Eros is a Greek deity who is often referred to as Cupid in American culture. This deity is responsible for causing feelings of love and desire between people. Rose shrubs would often appear in places where Eros made love connections.

Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love, was a constant companion of Eros. This could explain the appearance of Rose shrubs, as white Roses were said to grow wherever she went. Greek myths also say that the red Rose was created by Aphrodite while she was tending to her wounded lover Adonis.

The Hindu culture also has a traditional tale about a woman named Lakshmi. She was the beautiful wife of Vishnu. The story goes that Lakshmi was created using a combination of small and large Rose petals.

Each cultural tale has a unique way of relating the Rose to an aspect of the human soul.

Roses Beyond The Garden

The White HouseFirst Lady Ellen Wilson created the first White House Rose Garden in 1913

It is common knowledge that a Red Rose makes a great gift for your sweetheart, but did you know that Roses have been used for medicine as well? Food?

  • Rose water is used as a perfume, in beauty products, and cooking! - Turkish Delight candies are made with Rosewater and chocolate!
  • It has also been used to add flavor to medicine, drinks, tea, and more! Rose tincture has been used to treat a variety of symptoms including upset stomachs and sore throats, it’s soothing to the skin and relieves irritation, softens, perfumes, and makes skin glow!

Many perfumes contain Rose oil extract to add a classic scent. Egyptians used Rose extracts as perfume, breath freshener, and an aromatic. Romans used Rose water to wash their clothing which would add the flower's scent to the laundry.

Rose petals and Rose water were considered so valuable in seventeenth-century Europe that they could be used as legal tender. Even Rose Hips are edible, healthy (high in Vitamin C!), tasty, and medicinal!

With so many uses for this plant, there is little wonder why the Rose has been an important symbol throughout human history!

Roses - The Symbol of Love

The Juliet Rose is the most expensive - costing £23 million pounds or just over $29,000! Displayed at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2006.

Roses have been used for many purposes throughout history, but the real value of the Rose comes with the emotions and meanings that are attached to the flowers, starting in the Victorian era when all flowers and plants seemed to be getting assigned meaning!

Rose Color Emotions

There is a color of Rose for every emotion or event! Obviously, a red Rose means love and romance, but do you know what the other colors symbolize?

  • Pink Roses, for instance, are associated with joy. These should be shared with someone that you feel deserves admiration.
  • Orange Roses symbolize desire and passion. These could be given as a tribute to a new relationship, or to show that the passion never died.
  • Yellow Roses are great to give to a friend. This color notes a valued relationship with a true friend.

The Rose hybridizers are in a race to create the blackest Rose, the truest blue Rose, and the most fragrant! And they’ve gotten close!

Although there are many emotions connected to the Rose, there is none more iconic than the feeling of romantic love that comes with a red Rose, or any color Rose bouquet for those of us who aren’t picky!

No matter what color the Rose may be, humans have given sentimental or functional value to it!

A Rose By Any Other Name Would Smell As Sweet!

Ecuador RosesEcuador is one of the largest sources of Roses for the Floral Industry!

Timeless, elegant, fragrant, and easily recognizable by even the most novice gardener, the Rose bush is a must-have in any garden!

Cottage Gardens, Cut Flower Gardens, the Rosarium … none would be as grand or enchanting if we didn’t have Roses!

Our ancestors saw the Rose as a mystical plant that was as valuable as gold. Today, a Rose can help us convey a feeling to a loved one that we simply cannot find the words for. Let's all take the time to observe National Red Rose Day, and fully appreciate the rose for all of its splendor and beauty.

No longer considered fussy or hard to grow (like orchids, the first people importing Roses in the Victorian era started this falsehood and said they were hard to grow to dissuade us ‘commoners’ from thinking we could grow them too. They didn’t like to share!), now we know the Rose is easy to grow as long as it has full sun, fertile ground, good air circulation, and regular water!

Be sure to check out all of the types of Roses Nature Hills has for your enjoyment and begin partaking in the history of the Rose today!

Happy (Rose) Planting!

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