Welcome to the very first Blooming Blog from SuEllen’s Floral Company. Each week, we will be providing you with fun and unique trivia about the many flowers we carry, as well as some tips and tricks as to how to care for and manage these flowers.

Just for everyone’s information, we have noticed shortages from some of our flower farms, especially those coming from California. This is due to COVID-19 and the state’s forest fires, and has led to varied and inconsistent availability. Some flowers, like the gladiolus, are completely unavailable or may be temporary out of stock. Because of this, substitutions may be made your order. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience, and expect to be back to normal soon.

  • The Blooming Blog: Rose

Ah, the ROSE. No flower is more well-known or beloved as the Rose. It’s name alone denotes love, passion, and romance. When you think of the flower, you may be thinking of a rose. The rose has been used as an artistic symbol of romance for ages, referenced by both Shakespeare and Seal.

There are over three hundred species of roses, or Rosa for you taxonomy nerds out there, with flowers varying in shapes, sizes, and colors, almost all of them large and flashy, almost as if the rose was proud of her exquisite beauty and wanted to show it.

These three hundred species are generally divided into fourteen categories:

  • Hesperrhodos, or “Western Rose”, which are only the Baja and desert roses of North America.
  • Hulthemia, which include two Asian roses that are the only ones without compound leaves or stipules
  • Platyrhodon, or “Flaky Rose”, which only includes the chestnut rose of East Asia
  • Banksianaei, white and yellow roses from China
  • Bracteatea, which include two Chinese and an Indian species
  • Caninae, the familiar pink and white roses
  • Carolinae, white and pink roses grown in North America
  • Chinensis, mixed-color roses originating from China and Myanmar
  • Gallicaae, crimson and striped roses from Europe and western Asia
  • Gymnocarpae, an East Asian species that also has a single North American cohort, the dwarf rose or wood rose, Rosa gymnocarpa
  • Laevigatae, a single white rose species from China
  • Pimpnellifoliae, a Eurasian rose that can be white, pink, bright yellow, mauve, or striped
  • Rosa, which are white, pink, lilac, mulberry, or red roses that grow everywhere but North Africa
  • Synstylae, a white, pink, and crimson rose that is grown across the globe

The rose is quite protective of her beauty, and you may know this if you are not careful with their stems. As the Guns N Roses most famously sang, every rose has its thorn, or rather several thorns.

Though roses are most often use to decorate a room or office, or to shower your significant other with love and adoration, they are also used in perfumes and the fruit from a rose plant (yes, they produce a fruit called a ROSE HIP) is a source of vitamin C and is sometimes used in medication.

The rose’s beauty is exemplified in her long symbolic history, with its meaning different across cultures. Our common romantic understanding of the rose comes its association with Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty. Aphrodite famously used rose oil to protect Hector’s body in the Iliad, and the rose’s thorns were noted to prick her finger, which is why the petals have that red color.

Following the Christianization of the Roman Empire, the rose became a symbol of the Virgin Mary, and led to the creation of the rosary. One religious order, Carthusians, believed the rose symbol had significant mystical meaning. The rose is the national flower of England, its origin dating back to the War of the Roses, and is the state flower of Iowa, North Dakota, Georgia, New York, and Oklahoma.

In Iran, the rose often held a “place of pride” in geometrical gardens, with a Persian poem detailing that the rose’s beauty is the cause of the nightingale’s song. Some Sufi mystics associate the rose with 99 Names of God.

With such a rich history associated with its beauty, it is no wonder that the rose stands at the pinnacle of flowers.

HOW TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR ROSES:

  1. Keep the roses away from drafts, such as ceiling fans or open windows.
  2. Keep the roses in a cool room, with air-conditioning being best. Do NOT keep it in the heat, or near sunlight.
  3. Do not leave the roses in the car. The heat will kill your flowers.
  4. On the second day, dump all the water from the vase and rinse both the stems and the vase. Be sure to keep all the roses together.
  5. After cleaning your rose stems, open a packet of floral food and put half of the packet into the vase and fill with lukewarm water.
  6. Remove each rose and recut 1/2 inch off the stem, either diagonally in water or under running water. IMMEDIATELY AFTER, insert the stem back in the vase. This cuts the bacteria off the stem and allows the water to travel up the stem to the rose.
  7. Repeat 4-6 every 2-3 days.

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