‘What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet.’So, ‘take time to smell the roses’, but be careful, because ‘every rose has its thorn.’ Yet, remember that ‘the optimist sees the rose and not its thorns, while the pessimist stares at the thorns oblivious to the rose.’ Where the optimist may soon see ‘everything is coming up roses’, all the same ‘a rose is rose is a rose is a rose.’
The paragraph above will surely have a least one familiar line for just about anyone, as the rose pervades song lyrics, poetry and cultural consciousness around the globe. The rose is the most prolific flower from civilizations past and continues to be a reining symbol of life’s diversity. The rose has symbolized everything from friendship and passionate love to revolution and war.
Cultivation of roses probably dates back to the Old Persian civilization, where the word “Rose” is derived from. The word’s eventual evolution into the Latin and the then French, Rosa, was also accompanied by the flower’s cultivation. The presence of the rose extends back to the ancient Sumerians of Mesopotamia, ancient China, ancient Egypt and fossils have been found in Florissant, Colorado which date back to 35 million years.
Such a long and diverse lineage of both native growth and national cultivation of roses has blossomed nearly 30,000 varieties. Today, in the multibillion dollar cut flower industry, the Netherlands is the largest exporter of roses, along with Ecuador, Columbia, Brazil and countries in Africa like Zambia. Roses have dressed the emblems of several nations, including being selected as the National Flower for both England and the United States. In the United States, four states have chosen the rose for a state flower, including Georgia (Rosa laevigata or Cherokee Rose), New York, Oklahoma (Oklahoma Rose), Iowa (Rosa Arkansana or Wild Prairie Rose), and North Dakota (also the Wild Prairie Rose).
Perhaps what is most impressive about roses is the overwhelming variety of colors seen around the world. While the word Rose has described a color found between red and magenta since 1382, virtual every color of the spectrum is represented in the rose family, save for the mythical search for the blue rose.
Color, of course, is the language of flowers that we all know, or want to know, especially when it comes to roses. The classical Red Rose, filling valentine vases by the dozens, say “I love you”, like nothing else can. Pink roses can embody a meaning of grace and gentility, but also gratitude and appreciation and lighter shades relay admiration or sympathy. The bold orange or coral rose colors reveal a meaning of enthusiasm and desire, while yellow roses are a joyful gesture for friendship and also a plea for someone to try to care. White Roses convey a meaning of reverence, humility and of course innocence and purity, but also secrecy and silence. Lavender, lilac or purple roses embrace a symbol of enchanted desire and love at first sight.
A combination of rose colors in an arrangement can take on whole new meanings. Do a little research, and put together a message for someone who needs a renewed centerpiece in life. Or just give someone the burst of color that only roses can bring. Mainstreet Flower Market, in Parker, Colorado currently has bunches of roses on special.