Aromatherapy Rose

ROSA GALLICA
ROSA DAMASCENA
ROSA CENTIFOLIA

The natural oil extracted from the petals of a rose is supposed to be amongst the priciest essential oils available. Rose essential oil possesses numerous therapeutic properties that help in boosting one’s physical and mental conditions. In addition, rose essential oil is known to be very co-active in blending with other natural oils. The aroma of rose essential oil is extremely long-lasting, so much so that even using a few drops of this oil will ensure that your small bottle lasts long.

Rose essential oil is obtained through a process known as solvent extraction of the freshly collected rose petals. There is little doubt why this essential oil is so expensive – approximately 5000 pounds of rose petals are required to obtain just one pound of rose oil. It is important to note that rose essential oil has high spiritual properties and has been used traditionally over centuries during different ceremonies. History testifies this aspect of the natural oil. In addition, as aforementioned, rose essential oil possesses several therapeutic properties. It is an effective remedy for sorrow, depression, unhappiness, lost love and the low periods in an individual’s life. Precisely speaking, rose essential oil has an uplifting effect on the mind and emotions.

The essential oil extracted from fresh rose petals through the solvent extraction process is highly beneficial natural oil for women. This oil not only facilitates in balancing their hormonal system but also helps in dealing with their emotional issues. Moreover, rose essential oil is a lavish ingredient in many perfumes, skin care products and massage oils as it adds the loaded fragrance of rose to these cosmetic products. Although surprising, use of rose essential oil helps to mend the wrecked capillaries, helps in treating susceptible and tender skin and is believed to be a fantastic tonic for the mature skin. Topical application of rose essential oil onto the skin makes it appear healthy and youthful.

As mentioned earlier, rose essential oil possesses numerous therapeutic properties. Some of them are mentioned briefly below and may be of use to you.

  • Rose essential oil helps to augment an individual’s self-respect, optimism, self-belief, mental strength as well as facilitates combating depression effectively. In fact, this natural oil has been found to be very effective to treat melancholy or hopelessness among people enduring depression owing to some reason or the other. In addition, rose essential oil is also useful in alleviating nervous anxiety. Since rose oil is a potent anti-depressant, it may be given to patients suffering from severe depression and going through psychoanalysis. Administering regular doses of rose essential oil will help in bringing back hope and optimism to their life. In aromatherapy, rose oil is extensively used to raise constructive thoughts, spiritualism as well as feelings of bliss, cheerfulness, and optimism.
  • Use of the essential oil distilled from the fresh petals of a rose is also effective in providing relief from respiratory tract spasms, seizures in the intestines as well as muscular contractions in the limbs. Rose essential oil also facilitates curing convulsions, cramps, muscle pulls as well as spasmodic cholera, which is said to be a result of spasms.
  • Administering rose essential oil helps to comfort and soothe patients running a high fever. In such conditions, essential oil distilled from fresh rose petals acts as a sedative that calms inflammation caused by fever. In addition to calming down patients suffering from fever, rose essential oil is also useful in other inflammatory conditions that may be caused by microbial contagions, indigestion, consuming toxic substances, dehydration, and others.
  • Rose essential oil also possesses astringent properties which are great benefit for our overall health. The astringent property of this natural oil helps to fortify the gums, hair roots, tone up as well as enliven the skin, tighten the muscles, intestines and blood vessels. These actions of rose essential oil provide protection from the premature fall of tooth and hair, untimely wrinkles, lack of firmness of the intestines and muscles in the abdominal region and the limbs that may be related to advancing age. In particular, use of rose oil also aids in stopping the flow of blood from wounds and cuts since its astringent property helps to contract the blood vessels. In addition, owing to its astringent property, rose essential oil is also effective in treating specific types of diarrhea.
  • Rose essential oil is often considered to be the utmost aromatic and possibly a magnificent manner to heal your injuries and also protect them from turning out to be septic or catching any infection.
  • Apart from possessing effective anti-viral properties, rose essential oil is also considered to be an excellent bactericide. Hence, this natural oil is widely used to treat ailments, such as cholera, diarrhea, food poisoning, typhoid and other diseases that are caused by bacterial infections. In addition, the essential oil of rose is also effective in curing internal contagions caused by bacteria as in the case of the stomach, colon, intestines and the urinary tract. At the same time, this oil is equally effective in treating external bacterial infections of the eyes, ears, skin, and wounds.
  • Use of rose essential oil helps to enhance the flow of bile from the gall bladder and, at the same time, control the intensity of acids in the stomach and bloodstream. By regulating the acid levels in the stomach and the bloodstream, rose oil helps in protecting one from conditions like acidosis and acidity. In addition, augmentation in the secretion of bile facilitates digestion of ingested foods along with the acids exuded in the stomach.
  • Besides the uses of rose oil mentioned above, it is also effective in treating a number of problems associated with females, such as tumors, uterine discharges, irregular menses, bleeding and others. In addition, rose essential oil also helps to disinfect the uterus and helps the organ to function properly even during advanced ages. Most importantly, regular use of rose essential oil by women may also help to delay the onset of menopause.
  • It is important to note that it is almost impossible to get protection from different viruses or get oneself vaccinated against all the pathogens. This is primarily owing to the fact that majority of these pathogens, especially viruses, camouflage them each time they return and result in various ailments by hoodwinking our immune system. The viruses that cause cold and influenza are ideal examples of this vicious cycle. Hence, people often wonder what measures they ought to initiate in order to avoid these microbes and keep them in the pink of health. In such cases, it is best to use an anti-viral that acts as a protection against all types of viruses that may attack our system. The rose essential oil is one such effective anti-viral that provides a safeguard against different types of viral infections.
  • Rose essential oil also possesses stomachic properties, which means that it facilitates digestion of ingested foods in the stomach. In addition, use of rose oil also helps to alleviate stomach problems, calm down stomach inflammations, helps the stomach to function properly and also protect it from various infections. Moreover, this natural oil is effective in protecting the stomach from getting ulcers that usually occur as a result of the surplus production of acids and their subsequent release into the stomach.
  • The attribute of rose essential oil to heal wounds (also known as cicatrizant property) may be of immense interest to people who are very cautious and concerned regarding their looks. In fact, the cicatrizant property of rose essential oil is effective in erasing the scars caused by wounds or marks left behind by chicken pox, acne, and boils from the skin surface. This attribute of rose oil is also helpful in removing stretch marks as well as scratches caused during surgery, fat cracks that are usually related to pregnancy and childbirth.
  • The essential oil extracted from the rose petals also functions as a tonic or stimulant for the nerves. In fact, rose oil provides them with potency to endure shocks and, at the same time, safeguards them from several disorders owing to advanced age, injuries and other aspects.
  • The essential oil of rose also sanitizes the blood by facilitating the blood to get rid of toxic substances by neutralizing some of them. When the blood is disinfected and made toxin free, people are naturally protected from botheration, such as ulcers, boils, skin diseases, rashes and other problems.
  • The hepatic property of rose essential oil helps in maintaining the proper health and functioning of the liver. In other words, use of rose oil is very helpful for the liver. Rose essential oil not only helps to keep the liver robust but also ensures that it functions properly and is shielded from all infections. In addition, the hepatic property of rose oil also helps in treating problems, such as surplus secretion of bile and acids into the stomach, ulcers in the gastrointestinal system and others.
  • Rose essential oil is especially beneficial for women, as it helps to heal and alleviate several problems specific to them. For instance, use of rose oil encourages secretion of hormones, thereby, activating proper menstruations. This oil is especially useful for women who have been enduring hindered and/ or irregular menses. At the same time, rose essential oil also helps in providing relief from cramps, cures nausea, and fatigue and also diminishes pains generally associated with menstruation’s and menopause.
  • The hemostatic property of rose essential oil or its ability to stop bleeding may often be extremely helpful for people who have been suffering from hemorrhage (internal or external bleeding) following an injury or surgery. This characteristic of the essential oil distilled from the fresh rose petals expedites blood clotting or coagulation of blood on the surface of the wound and helps to stop the hemorrhage. This is a vital property of the oil since it can save the life of patients suffering from a hemorrhage.

GENERAL PROPERTIES

  • antidepressant
  • anti-inflammatory
  • aphrodisiac
  • laxative
  • rejuvenating
  • soothing
  • uplifting

BLENDS WELL WITH

  • chamomile
  • clary sage
  • geranium
  • jasmine
  • lavender
  • patchouli
  • sandalwood
  • ylang-ylang

GENERAL USES

  • abscess
  • aging skin
  • all skin disorders
  • anorexia
  • blood cleansing
  • broken capillaries
  • bulimia
  • coldness
  • comfort
  • constipation
  • coughing
  • depression
  • eczema
  • eye complaints
  • fever
  • frigidity
  • gall bladder
  • grief
  • headache
  • impotence
  • insomnia
  • jealousy
  • liver
  • menopause
  • migraines
  • mouth ulcers
  • nausea
  • nervous disposition
  • palpitations
  • premenstrual tension
  • respiratory problems
  • shingles
  • shock
  • sore throats
  • wrinkles

PRECAUTION

The essential oil extracted from fresh rose petal is one of the most expensive oils available in the market. Since, it is scarce, usually unscrupulous traders adulterate this natural oil by mixing it with other oils. Usually, geranium oil or geraniol is used to adulterate the essential oil extracted from fresh rose petals. Hence, while buying this essential oil you ought to be extra cautious that you are not being cheated. You ought to remember that adulterated rose oil does not possess any therapeutic property that is typical in the genuine rose essential oil.

At the same time, you ought to keep in mind that rose essential oil should never be used by pregnant women since it has emmenagogic (a medication that has the ability to stimulate menstrual discharge) properties. Moreover, this natural oil should not be used by cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. This oil is useful in alleviating headaches when used in gentle or diluted amounts. However, the effects can be reversed when rose essential oil is used in high concentrations for the same purpose.

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Directions For How To Make Rose Oil Using The Cold Infusion Method.

 

Work with intention, allowing space in your busy life to be present. It is fitting to say a short blessing or prayer that the final product is an effective healer.

Rosa centifolia and Rosa damascena are the most commonly available Roses and are well-suited for herbal skin care.

1) Fill a clean jar ¾ full with freshly dried or dry rose petals and buds. You can break up and bruise the petals gently.

2) Fill the jar to the top with carrier oil of choice. I use extra virgin olive oil most commonly, though sweet almond or coconut (melted) would work well.

3) Cap and shake to distribute the herb.

4) Label with the herb used, where it is from, the oil used, quantities of each, the date and the method of preparation.

5) Allow the jar to sit in a cool, dark place, shaking daily.

6) At 4 weeks/28 days/1 moon cycle, strain the oil into a clean bowl, squeezing the herb to get every drop. I find it helpful to use an old t-shirt or cheesecloth to catch the herb. Then lift the t-shirt with herb in it and squeeze that.

7) The strained liquid is your finished oil. Essential oil can be added or it can be left as is. It will have the sweet scent of roses, though it may be light. You could always make a double or triple infusion, where you would use the filtered herbal oil as the carrier oil for a fresh batch of rose petals.

Rose Oil can be used as any other herbal oil, for cosmetic, massage and medicinal purposes.

Therapeutic Benefits of Roses 

     Aside from providing an aesthetic appeal, which contributes to the overall pleasure and feeling of well being, roses have a genuine practical use in our regimens of good health. Rose oil and rose water are derived from the flowers and rose hips have many valuable properties.

     It is suspected that the rose was probably the very first flower from which rose oil and rose water were distilled; possibly in the 10th Century Persia. Today, most of the rose oils are still produced in that region of the world. A very large quantity of rose petals is needed to produce a very small quantity of oil. Thus, it is very costly. Thankfully only a small amount of rose oil is needed in therapeutic preparations. It is not used in its concentrated state, but rather in a carrier oil such as almond, jojoba, and grapeseed.

     Generally rose oil and rose water (a by-product of distillation) are used topically rather than internally; with the exception of aromatherapy.In this case the rose essence may be inhaled, via steam or diffusion. Three varieties of rose are used in commercial production of rose oil and rose water: Rosa Centifolia, Rosa Damascena and Rosa Gallica. The product will vary slightly in colour between these species but the therapeutic benefits are the same.

     The use of the rose is far and varied. It has a long history in its use in folk remedies, especially in the area of skincare. It is suitable for all skin types, but it is especially valuable for dry, sensitive or aging skins. It has a tonic and astringent effect on the capillaries just below the skin surface, which makes it useful in diminishing the redness caused by enlarged capillaries. It is important to ensure that the product contains the genuine natural rose oil. Many manufacturers label their products containing rose essence but it could be synthetic. Synthetic rose ingredients have no therapeutic value at all! Remember, with authentic rose oil, a little goes a long way.Certainly rosewater is a less expensive way to provide skincare. It is very soothing to irritated skin.It is also a tonic and antiseptic. Rosewater has been shown to be very valuable as an antiseptic in eye infections.

     The rose also offers a soothing property to the nerves and emotional /psychological state of mind. It is regarded as a mild sedative and anti-depressant. It is increasingly used in treatments for conditions of stress: nervous tension, peptic ulcers, heart disease, among others. There is indication that rose essence may also positively influence digestion, bile secretion, womb disorders and circulation. In addition, a tea made with rose petals (pour 150 ml of boiling water over 1 /2 grams of rose petals) often soothes a mild sore throat.

     Rose hips (the flowers which have swollen to seed) are an excellent source of vitamins A, B3, C, D and E. They also contain bioflavonoids, citric acid, flavonoids, fructose, malic acid, tannins and zinc. Taken in the form of tea they are good for infections, particularly bladder infections. Rose hip tea is also used in the treatment of diarrhea. It is an especially good source of vitamin C.

     To best use rose oil for topical purposes (i.e. skin care), use approximately 8 drops of essential rose oil for every 10 ml of carrier oil. Apply directly onto skin. Rosewater may be used with abandon. There is no such thing as too much of it. For emotional wholeness and wellness, rose oil may also be used in a room diffuser, aromatherapy ring (a brass ring placed atop a hot light bulb will work to evaporate the essential essence throughout the room) or in steaming hot water on the stove. Whatever works!

     To brew rose hip tea, which by the way is truly delicious, roughly chop up entire rose hips. Cover with distilled or purified water and boil for 30 minutes (longer if desired). Strain through a fine strainer or cheesecloth and add a bit of honey if desired. One can also find Rose Hip Tea in the local health food stores.  The essence of rose need not only be used to treat ailments. Whether inhaled and enjoyed from a freshly cut bouquet of sumptuous blooms or splashed on as rosewater after a shower or bath, it is simply a pleasure to be enjoyed by all!

Lavender Fragrance and Fancies {How To Make Potpourri}

Making your own potpourri is a delightful hobby and easier than you may think….
The ancient and fragrant art of potpourri is one of the few truly civilized and civilizing processes left for the twentieth century inhabitant to partake of. This ‘preservation of garden souls’ is a work worthy of time and loving care and its products can bring delight not only to the maker but to so many others.
We will disdain the often quoted and unworthy translation of the French ‘rotten pot’, and proceed hastily to the fact that there are two distinct techniques for potpourri production, ‘moist’ and ‘dry’.
Moist potpourri is an old method of production and its presumably the source of the French title, for it is the fragrance, and most certainly not the appearance  that is the attraction with this variety. Moist potpourri are reputed to retain their fragrance for up to fifty years, so the process results in much longer staying power. They are made from floral materials that are partly dried, despite the name.
The peak time to pick any floral ingredient is just as it is coming into full bloom. Pick after the dew has dried but as early as possible on a sunny day. Dry the flowers on papers or preferably on screens, out of sunlight but in an airy place. For moist potpourri they should be only partly dried. leathery when finished rather than crisp. Aim for a very limp appearance. Around one third of their bulk will be gone.
We use large straight sided glazed pottery crocks with good fitting tops to hold and mature moist potpourris. These should really be set aside for the purpose as it takes a number of weeks to mature a batch. Never use metallic spoons to turn the mixture. Buy some long-handled wooden spoons and keep them for this purpose alone. To make your job pleasant the crock needs to be sufficiently large and wide-mouthed to hold all the ingredients comfortably during the necessary turnings and stirrings as the mixture ages. The shortest time needed to mature the mix is two weeks. This is really far too short. The best results come with longer maturation. We wait at least six to eight weeks, but in previous centuries, far more noted for their patience than our own, the crocks were left to stew for months.
The general principles are simple. Place a layer of ‘leathery stage’ petals at the bottom of the crock, then cover with a layer of common {not iodized} salt. Add another layer of petals, then salt, alternating them until the crock is about three quarters full. A batch requires at least two weeks ageing before the remaining ingredients are added. Weigh the mixture down with a plate on which is placed some heavy non-corrodible object. A large bottle of homemade preserves is an answer. A large glass jar filled with sand and tightly capped will do the job well too. Each day the mix needs to be stirred well from the bottom. A kind of ‘petal soup’ appears and should be mixed back into the petals. If a hard crust appears, remove it and allow it to dry. Reserve this for the final mixing when it should be crushed and added back.
Next the spices, ground roots, dried peels, fragrant leaves and fixatives are added and blended. Leave for one month, stirring daily and covering again, to mellow and mix the fragrances. Finally add whatever essential oils may be required and allow the mix to continue to ‘stew’ {the word is too appropriate to be avoidable}, stirring daily, for a few more weeks.
If all this sounds tedious in the extreme, interrupting a very busy schedule, you are probably one of those who would most greatly benefit from its therapy! The fragrance alone is sufficient reward as the mixture is stirred each day, and it is no more difficult to build this routine into your day than any other daily routine.
Now is the time to move the potpourri into its final containers. Remember how long it will give pleasure to its owner and choose something worthy of the contents. Old Chinese ginger jars, oriental porcelain jars, even old-fashioned tea-caddies and marmalade jars in fine pottery are suitable. Haunt secondhand and antique shops for suitable potpourri jars. The only provisos are that there is a solid cover and that it is made of glazed pottery of some kind. Once you are looking, it is amazing how many unusual and attractive old containers suggest themselves.
The mixture in its new container will still be a little raw in its quality of fragrance, but in a few weeks will be a delight. When you wish to scent a room, remove the cover and a delicious subtle fragrance will gently pervade the whole area. Otherwise keep the lid on the mixture.
Here are a few recipes for moist potpourri. Once you have mastered the basic technique you will be able to devise your own mixes.

Herbal Bath Bags.

Lavender has a relaxing effect on the peripheral nervous system and has long been used to treat headaches originating from nervous tension. Not surprisingly with these medicinal properties combined with its sweet clean smell, lavender has long been a constituent of bath bags. These are made from squares of muslin or voile. A cupful of the mixture is placed in the center of the square, the sides drawn up and tied into a bag with appropriate colored ribbon.
Lavender Mist Bath Bags
 
1/2 cup dried sweet cicely
1/2 cup dried sweet woodruff
1 tablespoon dried valerian roots
1/4 cup dried lavender leaves
1/2 cup dried lavender flowers
1/4 cup dried angelica leaves
1 1/2 cup medium ground oatmeal
1/2 cup almond meal
20 drops oil of lavender
Divide the mixture into 3 equal portions and tie into bags as previously described.
Soak the bag thoroughly in hot water at the bottom of the bath before topping up with cool water.
Squeeze the bag repeatedly until no more milkiness emerges. The water will now be silky soft and fragrant.
Use the bag as a final gentle skin scrub. The bag is reusable once provided it is used the next day.
Aromatic Bath
 
This recipe is adapted from the Toilet of Flora published in the seventeenth century.
Combine half a cup of each of the following dried herbs: lavender, sweet marjoram, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, wormwood, peppermint, pennyroyal, lemon balm.
Add the mixture to two litres of water in an enamelled pan, boil for ten minutes, then allow to cool.
Strain through a double layer of cloth and add half a bottle of brandy.
Bottle. Add a little to the bathtub when bathing.
The Beauty Bath
 
Ninon de Lenclos was a celebrated and exceedingly beautiful French courtesan of the seventeenth century.
She died at the age of 85 {rare indeed at that time} and reputedly retained her smooth youthful skin and curves until the end. She attributed this to her special daily herbal bath.
Here is her secret recipe.
1 handful crushed comfrey root
1 handful dried lavender flowers
1 handful dried mint leaves
1 handful dried rosemary leaves
1 handful dried Centifolia rose petals {recommended by famous French herbalist Maurice Messague for its anti-wrinkle properties}
Mix together, tie in a muslin bag and place in a large bowl. Pour boiling water over the herbs and leave to steep for 20 minutes. Pour the resulting infusion into a warm bath, squeezing the bag hard to extract all the active principles.
An Eighteenth Century Sweet Bath
 
This bath is refreshing, antiseptic and deodorising.
1 cup dried rose petals
1 cup dried orange flowers
1 cup dried Jasminum officinalis flowers
1 cup dried bay leaves
1 cup dried mint leaves
1 cup pennyroyal leaves
1 cup dried citrus peel {yellow part only}
6 drops essential oil of lavender
6 drops essential oil of musk
6 drops essential oil rose geranium
Mix well and store in a glass jar.
To use, tie 2-3 cups of the mixture in a muslin square, place in a bowl and pour boiling water over the herbs.
Allow to infuse for twenty minutes, remove the herbs squeezing the muslin bag firmly to extract all the herb extract, and add this concentrated infusion to a warm bath.
The Ultimate Tranquility Bath
 
Save this bath until evening.
You will find yourself unwinding wonderfully with this fragrant bath.
1 cup dried lavender flowers
1 cup dried linden flowers
1 cup dried chamomile flowers
1 cup dried valerian root chips
1 cup dried sweet marjoram
1/2 cup dried angelica leaves
1/2 cup dried lemon verbena leaves
Mix well together and use in the same way as the previous recipe.

June Flower – The Rose.

Chloris, the Greek Goddess of flowers, crowned the rose queen of all flowers, a title that the rose deserves today as much as it did in the Golden Age of Greece. Not only is the rose of unparalleled beauty, it has also proved itself to be useful in a hundred different ways. It has been prized for its medicinal value, cherished for its sweet scent, and appreciated for its delicate flavor.

The legend of the origin of the rose is from the days of the Roman Empire. The story is told of Rhodanthe, a woman of such exquisite beauty that she had many, many suitors. She showed little interest in any of them and sought refuge in the “Temple of Diana.” Her suitors were persistent, however, and followed her there, breaking down the gates to get close to her. Diana became incensed at this and turned Rhodanthe into a beautiful rose and the suitors into thorns. From this legend, the rose has become a symbol for love and beauty.

Romans used roses extravagantly, and soon they became synonymous with woman, wine, and the indulgent mood of that day. Because of this, early Christians would not allow roses in the church.

Medieval gardens always included many roses. These were not grown so much for their beauty as for food, for medicine, and to supply materials to make rosaries {made from compressed rose petals}.

Roses were thought to cure a wide variety of ailments, including toothaches and earaches; diseases of the stomach, lungs, and intestines; overindulgence in wine; headaches; hemorrhages, sleeplessness; excessive perspiration; and hydrophobia. According to the doctrine of signatures, red roses were used to treat nosebleeds.

The rose is dedicated to Harpocrates, god of silence. The term sub rosa, “under the rose,” comes from the Roman practice of hanging a rose or swag of roses over a conference table. The code of honor was that no gossip passed at the table under the roses could be repeated. Today sub rosa means confidential or in secret.

Roses have been cultivated in Greece and the Orient for over 3,000 years. It is thought that all cultivated roses came from the dog rose, R. canina. Fossils of this rose species from 35 million years ago have been found in Montana.

One of the first lavish displays of roses was seen in England in the seventeenth century when Catherine of Braganza {from Portugal} married Charles ll of England, and roses were brought from the Orient for the ceremony. This helped to open up the Orient to the British, and the British India Company soon opened botanical gardens in Singapore and Calcutta.

The rose adapted exceedingly well to the English climate and quickly gained great popularity there.

The English Wars of the Roses were fought between the House of York {symbolized by a white rose} and the House of Lancaster {whose symbol was a red rose}.

During World War ll the nutritional value of rose hips {from the dog rose} was discovered. Rose hips contains  more vitamin C than almost any fruit or vegetable. Gathering rose hips became a national passion for a time, and the dog rose was a patriotic symbol.

To the Arabs, roses signified masculine beauty, and the white rose was often associated with Mohammed. The Arabs brought the art of distilling to Europe and rose essence soon became an important ingredient in perfumes, cooking, and medicines. Rose were used extensively as flavoring and were important in making candy.

Josephine Bonaparte, Napoleon’s empress, was an ardent rose lover and had a collection of over 250 varieties.

Associations with the rose were not always happy. In Switzerland roses were often associated with death, and cemeteries were sometimes called rose gardens. Ancient Saxons believed that when a child died, one could see the image of death plucking a rose. The rose also symbolized rebirth and resurrection.

Cultivated roses arrived in North America in the early seventeenth century when Samuel de Champlain brought roses from France to plant in his garden in Quebec. The greatest rose collection in the New World in 1630 was held by Peter Stuyvesant in New Netherland. Although twenty-six species of roses are native to North America, over 90 percent of those grown in cultivation are non-native.

Americans have always loved the rose. It is the state flower of New York, and the American Beauty Rose is the floral emblem of Washington, D.C. In 1986 the rose was chosen as the national flower of the United States.

The Shakers grew roses extensively and used the petals to make rose water, which they sold. The Shaker Rose Rule was that no rose could be cut to use for decoration or personal enjoyment. All roses were cut without stems and were used only to make rose water.

Perhaps the most famous quotation about roses is from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet: “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Roses have never been known by any other name, and their scent today remains as hauntingly sweet as it was 3,000 years ago when roses were grown in the Orient.

Common Name: rose

Genus: Rosa

Species, Hybrids, Cultivars:

Types of roses: Old-fashioned – includes the older hybrids. Hybrid tea – large blooms.

Floribundas – smaller blossoms borne in clusters. Modern shrub – large flowered.

Climbers and ramblers – vigorous climbing habit. Miniature – tiny, with semi-double or double flowers.

Family: Rosaceae

Blooms: summer

Type: perennial

Description: It is difficult to find any flower more beautiful than roses. The grace and elegance of the flower forms and richness of their color make them true beauties of the garden. New varieties constantly come on the market to compete with the popular old-fashioned roses that have been known and loved for centuries.

Cultivation: Rose gardens should be created in an open, airy spot in full sun with rich, deep soil. Dig the area 1 foot deep and allow it to settle before planting. Roses require a good bit of care. They should be watered regularly, fed periodically, and checked frequently for pests or disease. Pruning is necessary to cut out dead or weak branches and to clip out lateral buds to produce larger center flowers.