Much like birthstones, birth flowers signify the month someone is born, and many believe they also reflect certain personality traits. June babies are lucky to have the rose as their birth flower.
Symbolically, the rose has more meanings than one can count. A pink rose means happiness, admiration and gratitude, while a red rose means ‘I love you’. A white rose signifies innocence, purity, and new beginnings. Yellow expresses friendship and joy; orange represents enthusiasm and desire, and lilac and purple roses represent enchantment and love at first sight.
According to fossil evidence, the rose is 35 million years old. Garden cultivation of roses began some 5,000 years ago, probably in China, where Rosa chinensis has long been used in traditional medicine. Roses were also planted along the most travelled routes of early nomadic humans.
Roman high society women used petals much like currency, believing that they could banish wrinkles if used in poultices. Rose petals were often dropped in wine because it was thought that the essence of rose would stave off drunkenness, and victorious armies would return to be showered with rose petals from the civilians that crowded the balconies above the streets.
Cleopatra had her living quarters filled with the petals of roses so that when Marc Antony met her, he would long remember her for such opulence and be reminded of her every time he smelt a rose. Her scheme worked for him. Such is the power of roses.
Today, it’s an exciting time for Australian rose lovers, as there are more superior, healthy plants on the market that require less maintenance. As rose breeders work towards eliminating disease from roses while still creating a beautiful array of colours and styles, we continue to be impressed by the standard of new rose varieties available. Many of these are available at Treloar Roses.
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