How roses enriched our history

Of all the flowers you will find at your local florist, roses are arguably the most popular and easy to recognize. What many people may not know about these beautiful blooms is that they are associated with a number of legends, myths and traditions.

Historical uses of roses

Roses have been used by many civilizations over the years. The Romans used it for perfume, for its medicinal purposes and even as confetti. Come to think of it, rose petals are still used today as confetti at weddings! The famous Cleopatra herself had her living quarters filled with rose petals. This was her way of making Marc Antony think of her whenever he smelt a rose.

Rose petals were also added to wine in an effort to delay the effects of the alcohol and also to celebrate victory in battle. During the renaissance period, roses were associated with rebirth and, in the 15th century, the famous War of the Roses was symbolized by this beautiful bloom. White varieties represented the House of York while the red rose was the symbol of the House of Lancaster.

Rose legends

Apart from the various traditions and historical uses for this flower, they are also associated with various legends. In Greek mythology, roses were created by the tears of Aphrodite and the blood of Adonis, her lover. Another Greek myth surrounding this flower involves Cupid. After he was stung by a bee, he shot arrows into a rose garden and this is how they believe that the flower got its thorns.

In Roman mythology, Diana is believed to have turned Rhodanthe into a rose after Diana’s temple was broken into by Rhodanthe’s suitors.

As you can see, roses have played an important role in our lives for many years. Today, they are a popular flower to give as a gift and each colour is associated with its very own meaning. While red roses represent passion, yellow roses are the symbol of friendship. When sending a rose bouquet, make sure that you always choose the right colour.