No flower garden is complete without roses, and with Valentine’s Day only a couple of days away, these beautiful blooms are on everyone’s mind. Here are five fascinating facts about these popular blossoms.
- Roses belong to the genus “Rosa”, and over 100 wild species can be found in Africa, Europe, and North America, and Asia. About 10 of these wild species, mainly from Asia, have been hybridized and cross-bred to create the more than 13,000 identifiable varieties of garden roses grown today.
- Roses are woody perennials that can range from the very small miniature tea rose plants, to large shrub roses and climbers that can spread over very large areas. The world’s largest rosebush is found in Tombstone, Arizona, where it was planted in 1885. It’s a sprawling Lady Banks rose that covers nearly 9,000 square feet of trellis and has a trunk with a circumference of 12 feet! It blooms each year in April, when a festival is held in its honor. (Learn more here.)
- Roses are so popular that they have their own Hall of Fame, created by the World Federation of Rose Societies. Inductees include the Peace rose (inducted in 1976), the Queen Elizabeth (1979), and the Graham Thomas (2009). See all the roses in the Hall of Fame by clicking here.
- Many countries have adopted the rose as their national emblem, including the United States (Ronald Reagan signed it into law in 1986). Five U.S. states call the rose their state flower. Georgia has the Cherokee Rose (Rosa laevigata), while Iowa and North Dakota claim the Wild Prairie Rose (Rosa arkansana) – both wild species that are native to these areas. Oklahoma has its own cultivated rose, Rosa ‘Oklahoma’, and New York just celebrates the rose in general. The Canadian province of Alberta uses the Wild Rose (Rosa acicularis) as its symbol.
- Roses are incredibly popular on Valentine’s Day, when almost 200 million are sold. Men buy as many as 75% of these, and red roses are the most popular. California produces 60% of the roses sold in the U.S. each year, but can’t possibly meet the demand, especially at Valentine’s Day, when many millions are imported from places like Columbia.
Looking for tips on growing roses in your own flower garden? Check out this post by my fellow blogger Noelle.