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The History of Roses: How Roses Became a Symbol of Love

For over 100 million years flowers have existed. Out of all these stunning creations, the rose has evolved between around 35 to 70 million years ago and remains one of the most beautiful and popular flowers to date. This elegant blossom continues to symbolise beauty and love and there are over 30,000 species all throughout Europe, Asia, and North America. We take a look at the history of roses and where they originated from.

Origin of Rose Flower

There are many legends when it comes to the origin of rose flower. Here’s a few:

According to Greek mythology, the goddess of beauty, Aphrodite gave the flower its name by rearranging her son Eros’s name. Over time, Eros was said to have given a rose to Harpocrates who was the god of silence, as a bribe in order to conceal the weakness of the gods. After this, roses became a symbol of secrecy, silence, and love.

Legend also has it, that Venus’s son, Cupid was stung by a bee once and accidentally shot some arrows into a rose bush which led to the flowering plant growing thorns. As Venus walked through this garden with the roses, she pricked her foot on one of the thorns and her blood turned the roses red.

In Arabic legends, they believed that flowers were originally white until a nightingale fell in love with a rose. Not realising it had the capability to sing a melodious song, it professed its love for the flower by pressing itself against it and singing. The thorns pierced his heart and stained the rose to be red forever.

Which one of these origin of rose flower stories is your favourite?

Rose Flower History

When it comes to the history of roses, fossil records show that roses probably originated in Central Asia and spread through the entire northern hemisphere. After being cultivated in Asia 5000 years ago and found on paintings and artifacts from the 5th century Egyptian tombs, it’s hard to know the true history of roses and where they originally came from.

Centuries later, the history of roses continued with the Romans who associated roses with love, beauty, and passion. They were part of their lavish lifestyles from emperors filling their baths with rose water and carpets filled with scattered rose petals for their feasts. It is said that peasants were forced to grow roses instead of food to appease the Roman aristocracy with the emperor Nero wanting them to fall from the ceiling during banquets.

Early Christians believed that the rose was symbolic of paganism with many Roman oppressors warning the church not to plant it. Once this was ignored and the flower gained popularity especially in religious ceremonies, roses became a rich part of Christian culture and literature.

From being introduced during the crusades with Alexander the Great during the 12th and 13th century to 17th century Europe where roses were a prized possession and even considered legal tender to pay debts. In the 18th century, China introduced the rose to Europe and many roses were later bred in the mid-19th century too leading to many hybrids and new colours and flowers evolving all over the world.

Over the years, many people have debated the rose flower history and where they originated from, with numerous breeds having evolved ever since.

Curious to Learn More?

At Poco Posy, we take the stress out of picking the right flowers as our dedicated florists are up early picking the best flowers Brisbane locals chose for special occasions. All you need to do is pick the right size! If you’d like a bouquet of roses from Poco Posy, place your order online now and get in touch on 1300 868 168 for more information or any questions you may have.

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