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Rose Trivia

  • It is said that Cleopatra knew full well the seductive power of roses. When she entertained Mark Antony on her barge, Cleopatra made sure he was surrounded by the fragrance and extravagance of the flower. Not to do things half-assed Cleopatra had the banquet tables scattered with roses, the floors covered 18 inches deep in petals, the couches lined with rose-filled mattresses, and rose-filled net bags were used as cushions for the two lovers.
  • The great Chinese philosopher, Confucius, is said to have had a 600 book library specifically on how to care for roses.
  • The world's oldest living rose bush is thought to be 1000 years old. Today, it continues to bloom on the wall of the Hildesheim Cathedral in Germany.
  • The people of ancient Greece used roses to accessorize. On festive occasions, they would adorn themselves with garlands of roses and splash themselves with scented oil.
  • Napoleon's wife Josephine so adored roses, she grew more than 250 varieties
  • The Romans believed white roses grew where the tears of Venus fell as she mourned the loss of her beloved Adonis.
  • In Ancient Greek mythology, when Venus' son Cupid was stung by a bee he accidentally shot arrows into a rose garden. It was believed to be the sting of the arrows that caused the roses to grow thorns. When Venus walked through the garden and pricked her foot on a thorn, it was the droplets of her blood which turned the roses red.
  • Legend has it that during the Roman Empire there was an incredibly beautiful maiden named Rhodanthe. Her beauty drew many suitors who pursued her relentlessly. Exhausted by their pursuit, Rhodanthe was forced to take refuge in the temple of her friend Diana. Unfortunately, Diana was of a jealous nature and when the suitors broke down her temple gates to get near the beloved Rhodanthe, she became furious. Enraged, Diana turned Rhodanthe into a rose and her suitors into thorns.
  • In an Arabic legend, all roses were originally white until one night when the nightingale met a beautiful white rose and fell in love. At this stage nightingales were not known for their melodious song — they merely croaked and chirped like any other bird. But now the nightingale's love was so intense that he was inspired to sing for the first time. Eventually his love was such that he pressed himself to the flower and the thorns pierced his heart, colouring the rose red forever.
  • In another legend, the Prophet Mohammed was away fighting a war when he began to long for his wife, Aisha. Mohammed was tormented by the idea she was being unfaithful and asked Gabriel for help. Gabriel suggested Mohammed give his wife a simple test. When he returned home he should ask Aisha to drop whatever she was carrying into the water. If she was faithful, it would stay the same colour and prove her unwavering love. Mohammed finally returned from his battle and Aisha rushed to greet him, carrying a huge bouquet of red roses. She was surprised when he commanded her to drop them into the river, but obeyed and the roses turned yellow. Eventually, Mohammed forgave his favorite wife but, for some, the yellow rose remains a symbol of infidelity.
  • In Islam, the rose signifies the blood of Mohammed and his two sons.
  • In Christianity, the red rose is symbolic of the blood of Christ and a symbol of martyrdom, charity, the passion and resurrection. The white rose is linked to the Virgin Mary — the rose without thorns.
  • Shakespeare refers to roses more than 50 times throughout his writings.
  • While the rose may bear no fruit, the rose hips (the part left on the plant after a rose is done blooming) contain more Vitamin C than almost any other fruit or vegetable.
  • An orange / red variety was named after Dolly Parton.
  • It fits that the French were the first people to first deliver roses. It was also the French explorer Samuel de Champlain brought the first cultivated roses to North America in the seventeenth century.
  • Roses are truly ageless. Recently, archaeologists discovered the fossilized remains of wild roses over 34 million years old.

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