Each year on April 29th we recognize National Peace Rose Day. The day is set aside to honor the “Peace” rose, a well-known and fruitful garden rose.
The light yellow to large cream-colored flowers of the Peace rose have slightly flushed crimson pink petal edges. It is a hybrid tea rose that is hardy, vigorous and highly resistant to disease.
- French horticulturist Francis Meilland, developed the Peace rose between 1935 and 1939. When Meilland foresaw the German invasion of France, to protect the new rose, he sent cutting to his friends in Italy, Turkey, Germany and the United States. It is believed these cuttings were sent to the United States on the last plane available before the German invasion.
- The rose received different names in each country it was sent. In France, it was called “Madame A. Meilland” in honor of the breeder’s mother. In Italy, it was called Gioia, meaning Joy. In Germany, the name of the rose was Gloria Dei, for glory to God. In the United States, the rose was named Peace.
- As the Second World War was coming to a close in Europe, the trade name “Peace” was publicly announced on April 29, 1945, the name it was given in the United States.
- Later in 1945, Peace roses were given to each delegate at the inaugural meeting of the United Nations, in San Francisco, with a note that read: “We hope the Peace rose will influence men’s thoughts for everlasting world peace.”
- The Peace rose, formally Rosa ‘Madame A. Meilland’, is a well-known and successful garden rose. By 1992, over one hundred million plants of this hybrid tea had been sold. The cultivar has large flowers of a light yellow to cream color, slightly flushed at the petal edges with crimson-pink. It is hardy and vigorous and relatively resistant to disease, making it popular in gardens as well as in the floral trade.
- Nikita K. Rulhoksoffski from San Onofre California bred what has come to be known as the largest rose ever. The rose was pink in color and measured approximately 33 inches in diameter.
- The world’s largest rosebush is a white Lady Banksia located in Tombstone, Arizona. The rose bush spreads over an arbor that covers over 9,000 square feet.
- The world’s oldest living rose is believed to be 1,000 years old. It grows on the wall of the Cathedral of Hildesheim in Germany and its presence is documented since A.D. 815. According to the legend, the rosebush symbolizes the prosperity of the city of Hildesheim; as long as it flourishes, Hildesheim will not decline. In 1945 allied bombers destroyed the cathedral, yet the bush survived. Its roots remained intact beneath the debris, and soon the bush was growing strong again.
- The world’s most expensive rose is a 2006 variety by famed rose breeder David Austin that was christened Juliet. Breeding the rose took a total 15 years and cost 5 million dollars. Juliet is now considered the world’s most expensive rose cultivar.
- Cavriglia in Italy is the largest private rose garden in the world, having over 7,500 different varieties of roses.
- There are over 100 species of the rose.
- We usually call the sharp spikes on the stem of a rose bush “thorns”. But these are in fact technically prickles.
- The flowers of most species of rose have five petals except for the species ‘Rosa sericea’ which has only four.
- Rose hips of some species are extremely rich in vitamin C, because of this the hip is sometimes made into jam, jelly, or brewed for tea. The hip also has minor medicinal uses, used in food supplements and can be pressed or filtered to make rose hip syrup. Hip seed oil is also used in skin products and makeup products.
- The rose can come in all colors although a “black rose” is not actually black it is usually a dark red. Each color has a different meaning or symbolises something different to us for example red means love, orange – desire, yellow – joy etc.
- In 1986 the rose also became the floral emblem of the United States. It is the official flower of four states including the state of New York, Iowa, North Dakota and Georgia.
- President George Washington was one of the very first rose breeders in the United States. He named a rose variety Mary Washington, paying homage to his sweet mother.
- According to the Society of American Florists, 250 million roses were produced for the Valentine’s Day holiday in 2017.
- The Guinness Book of World Records lists roses as the oldest species of flowers. A fossil was found in Colorado dating back 40 million years!
- In Ecuador, 54% of the land is used to cultivate roses. In Zambia, the amount of land used for rose cultivation is a stunning 84%
- Rose is the most popular flower in the world followed by other flowers such as Chrysanthemums, Tulips, Lilies, Poinsettias, Narcissus etc.
- During the fifteenth century, the factions fighting to control England used the rose as a symbol. The white rose represented York, and the red rose symbolised Lancaster. Not surprisingly, the conflict between these factions became known as the “War of the Roses“.
- The Rainbow Rose is a genuine rose with highly attractive colors. Each rose petal has one of the colors of the rainbow. And so, with her seven different colors, this rose sets the imagination on fire.
- There are over 4000 songs dedicated to roses.