The significance and symbolism of roses dates all the way back to ancient times. Cleopatra used to line her floors with their petals in an effort to woo Mark Antony (not to be confused with the former Mr. J-Lo) during his visits to Egypt. They’ve been used in everything from beauty rituals to teas. While we may associate them with The Bachelor and hilariously bad reality television, roses are unparalleled in their symbolism, usefulness, and believe it or not — dietary benefits.
We all know that red roses mean love, but did you know that roses that have six or more petals are genetically engineered to grow that way. There’s also a whole system of color symbolism behind roses. For instance — if you’re trying to break up with a significant other after you’ve been less than faithful, send them a bouquet of yellow roses — infidelity! Suave and to the point.
Rose plants are also fruit bearing, and although you won’t find a grape or a banana hanging from their stems, you will find rosehips. Commonly used in cooking, rosehips are high in vitamin C, and as an added bonus also double as a rad moisturizer.
The most expensive species of rose in the world was bred in 2006 by David Austen, and cost a whopping $5 million to create. Requiring 15 years of research to cultivate, the Juliet rose is the second most expensive flower in the world. The most expensive is the Kadupul flower which only blooms once a year, in the middle of the night, and withers by dawn.
Outkast might have made us believe that, “roses really smell like poo-poo-oo,” but they actually have small glands near the bottom of their petals that produce their naturally occurring fragrance.
Unlike Outkast, roses can stick around for years upon years. The oldest rosebush grows at the Cathedral of Hildesheim in Germany and is believed to be over 1000 years old.
Whether they’re wild, genetically modified, traditional, or illustrative roses are some of the best flowers, filler or otherwise, to consider making a part of your collection.