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Roses: Over 60 Million Years History; Made Popular by Empress Josephine

April 29th, 2015

Empress Josephine, Napoleon Bonaparte’s wife, played a large role in making the rose so loved by people. She began a rose garden by growing all familiar varieties of roses in her country home near Paris. As a result rose growing became very fashionable.

History of the Rose

Roses have been in existence long before humans – most likely originating in Central Asia more than 60 million years ago. The oldest preserved species of rose was found in Egypt while excavating tombs and dates back to AD 170.

The archaeologist discovered vestiges of a rose garland used as a funeral wreath during the second century A.D. The petals of the rose in the wreath had withered, they still had their pink hue and when the petals were immersed in water they were almost restored to their natural condition!

Roses Have Always Been Deemed Valuable

Similar to our post about tulips , roses also became like currency. The ancient Romans, Greeks and Phoenicians cultivated and traded roses. They acquired roses while traveling and conquering different places and brought them home to cultivate. As a result, roses spread rapidly and extensively all through the Middle East and the Mediterranean.

Roses in America

Rose fossils have been discovered in Montana, Colorado and Oregon that date back about 35 to 40 million years.

In 18th century America, trade in roses was flourishing. In fact, the first rose nursery in America was opened in Flushing, Long Island, by Robert Prince in 1737. This nursery began importing large number of various types of rose plants, especially new varieties.

There are over 200 species of roses although no-one actually knows the number – botanists can’t agree! But as many as 35 species are native to the U.S.

And here is a fun fact: Did you know that there is no history or roses growing south of the equator?

Order your Roses to Ensure they Arrive in Time

Be sure to order your beautiful bouquet today so they arrive in time for Mother’s Day. There are dozens of selections of gorgeous cut flowers to chose from, many offering 50% off.

You can also see our top choices of flowers here to help you choose.


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