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The Evolution of the Rose

Nov 27, 2020

Roses Have Grown In Value Throughout History

We all know that roses are vibrant and beautiful. But these flowers have plenty of substance beyond their appearance. Roses actually have a rich history that extends through various centuries and across multiple continents. They were used creatively, and played a role in events with historical significance. Keep reading to learn more about the evolution of your favorite flower.

How Roses Have Evolved Over The Centuries

Roses Were Used Creatively In Ancient Rome

Roses provided many luxurious uses to Roman emperors. Some would bathe in roses, fill fountains with them, and sit on a pile of them during feasts. In other instances, roses were used as confetti and infused into aromas and perfumes. Roses were even used in food, like jams, as well as in medicines and oils. At one point, Emperors valued roses so much that they ordered peasants to grow roses instead of food. Eventually, the Roman Empire fell, and roses flickered in and out of popularity.

Wars of the Roses

Roses played an integral role in a series of civil wars fought in the 15th century. Two factions were competing for the throne of England: the House of York and the House of Lancaster. Both factions were royal families, and both wore  colored roses to represent their side: the House of York donned white roses, while the House of Lancaster represented themselves in red. The wars ended after three decades.

Paying With Roses?

During the 17th century, roses served a purpose that might surprise you. Royalty would use roses or rose water as currency to barter or pay for goods and services. Imagine if that were the case today – with a standard backyard garden, you’d be set for life.

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Cultivation in China

Most of the roses we see today exist thanks to the delivery of flowers from Europe to China in the 18th century. Roses were heavily cultivated in China, and a ton of new breeds and hybrids were introduced.

First Roses in America

Some breeds of roses have existed in North America for a long time. For example, members of the Indigenous population in Washington State would collect roses to be used in food and medicine. Roses would become significantly popular after they were brought in from Europe and China in the 18th and 19th centuries. In 1803, Thomas Jefferson – the third president of the U.S. – would grow roses and send them to friends overseas.

With such a substantial history, roses have clearly been important to people for a long time. Now, they’ve evolved into a symbol of beauty, passion, and romance, and it’s never been easier to express love through an arrangement of these fine flowers.

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