Skip to main content

The Rose Flower Structure, Uses and Symbolism (With Pictures)

Radhika owns a big flower garden in her native place in Kerala that contains several species of flowers.

Learn about the beautiful rose flower in this essay.

Learn about the beautiful rose flower in this essay.

About the Beautiful Rose

Roses are one of the beautiful creations of God on earth. A bouquet of rose flowers can brighten up minds with its own unique beauty and fragrance. The rose's bright color, compact arrangement of petals and fragrance are what differentiates it from other flowers.

The rose belongs to the family Rosaceace, and most species are native to Europe, North America and Northwest Africa. A rose is a woody perennial with the stem stuffed with sharp prickles. Roses range in size from small, miniature roses to climbers that can reach up to 7m height.

The Specialized Structure of the Rose

Rose plants are erect shrubs, climbing or trailing with stems lined with thorns. Thorns are technically prickle outgrowths of the epidermis. They help roses to climb over other plants by giving them a hold while they're growing. Prickles are probably an adaptation to reduce the number of animals that try to eat the plant.

The leaves are long and borne alternately on the stem with leaflets. The shape of the leaf is serrated, with some small prickles underneath it. Most roses are deciduous, but a few are evergreen.

The flowers of most species of roses have tightly packed petals, with each petal divided into two distinct lobes of white or pink. Beneath the petals, we can see four or five sepals woven loosely. The fruit of the rose is a berry-like structure called a rose hip.

What Colors of Roses Are There?

Commonly seen colors of roses are pink and white. They are easily hybridizing and can produce flowers of varying colors. We may come across red, pink, white, blue, violet, yellow, orange, purple and several other colored flowers in a garden of roses.

Growing Rose Bushes

Growing a rose bush may seem to be a perplexing task. The right kind of soil, watering, pruning, pest control and winterizing are essential for growing rose bushes. Rose gardens host different colored rose bushes that can ornate the border.

Symbolism of the Rose Throughout History

In the past, roses were considered to be the symbols of love, beauty and purity. The Greek Goddess of Love, Aphrodite is associated with rose flowers. In Egypt, Goddess Isis is worshiped by offering rose flowers to her. Also in funerals, the ritual of keeping rose flower wreaths on the tombs is popular.

Today, roses are sent by lovers to convey their love towards each other. Roses are considered to be the best gift on a Valentine's day.

Uses for Roses

Roses are always used to ornament any special occasion. Hybrid varieties are bred for making different colors and some are grown for their scented foliage. Some species of roses such as rosa moyesii is cultivated for its showy fruit, rose hip.

1. Cut Flowers

For both domestic and commercial purposes, roses are popular crops for cut flowers. Generally, they are harvested and cut during its bud form. Then under cool conditions, they bloom and are used for display.

2. Perfume

Rose oil and attar of roses are the main sources of rose perfumes. Steam distilling the crushed petals of roses, rose oil is obtained.

3. Rose Water

This is another product used in cooking, medicine and religious occasions. During bath time, sprinkling some rosewater in the tub can give a scented bath and great refreshment. After the bath, rubbing with almond oil and rose water keeps the body clean and healthy. Rose water can also be used as a natural cleanser.

Rose syrup, the extract of rose petals is used to make rose scones and marshmallows in United States. In India, the crushed petals of roses are used to make "gulkand", a sweet preserve.

3. Rose Hips

Many home-made treats are possible with rose hips to make use of its high Vitamin C content. Rose hip syrup and rose hip seed oil are some products made out of rose hips.

4. Medicine

The fruits of some species are used in making food supplements. Herbal and folk medicines make use of roses, especially Chinese traditional medicine.

Roses in Art and Design

Roses have been portrayed as the main theme in many paintings and art. They are featured in illustrations, stamps and ornaments. As roses are symbols of purity and love, greeting cards of rose pictures is preferred for wishing in many occasions. Indian Mughal emperors were fond of rose flowers and had built many rose gardens. Rose pictures always allure everyone as the design and color of these flowers stand out.

What Do Rose Tattoos Mean?

Even if the color of roses are assigned different meanings symbolically, the main purpose of wearing a rose tattoo is to express love. The prickles in a rose tattoo reveal that love passes through a journey of many obstacles. To be in love can be easily possible, but to succeed is not that easy.

© 2012 Radhika Sreekanth

Related Articles