19.9.10

Why The Rose Is Our Favourite Flower

Article

Nature provides a bountiful supply of beautiful flowers, each unique and special in their own way. Botanists estimate that there are more than 10,000 species of flowering plants. As we have such a huge assortment to choose from, why is it that the rose is our favourite flower?

A rose is a perennial flower shrub or vine of the genus Rosa, within the family Rosaceae, which contains over 100 species in itself, and comes in a variety of colours. Roses have always been one of the most popular flowers to give or receive. So, what is it about roses that make it our favourite flower?

The rose is an ancient symbol of love, and has always been valued for its beauty. It has a long history of symbolism. The ancient Greeks and Romans identified the rose with their goddesses of love, referred to as Aphrodite and Venus, and the rose is often used as a symbol of the Virgin Mary. Today, roses are the most popular gift for those countries that celebrate “Valentines Day”.

Rose perfumes are made from “attar of roses”, or rose oil, which is a mixture of volatile essential oils obtained by steam distilling the crushed petals of roses. Attar of rose, is the steam-extracted essential oil from rose flowers that has been used in perfumes for centuries. Rose water, made from the rose oil, is also widely used in Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine.

Many famous poets have been inspired by this beautiful flower, including Shakespeare, and Burns, and the Luxembourg born Belgium artist Pierre-Joseph Redoute, produced some of the most detailed paintings of roses. Other famous impressionists including Claude Monet, Paul Cezanne and Pierre-Auguste Renoir have paintings of roses among their works also.

“What's in a name? That which we call a rose; by any other name would smell as sweet” - William Shakespeare; Romeo and Juliet, actII, sc.Ii.

“O, my love's like a red, red rose; that's newly sprung in June” - Robert Burns; A Red, Red Rose.

We have been entranced and inspired by the rose since ancient times. Perhaps it is the visual aspect of the soft petals in an assortment of colours. Perhaps it is the danger of the thorns which somehow make the delicate flower seem all the more appealing. Perhaps it is the rich unique fragrance that invigorates our sense of smell akin to memories and emotions. Whatever the reason, it seems the rose will always remain our favourite flower.


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