Botanical Name and Pronunciation:
Rosa spp. and hybrids (ROW-za)
many colors except blue, including white, pink, yellow, orange, red, lavender, green, bicolors
Form and Size:
The thorny and leafy stems of sweetheart roses are 6 – 15 inches long. At stem ends there is a single petite blossom that is ½ - 1 inch long with many petals and a 2 – 3-inch diameter.
3 – 7 days, sometimes longer
Remove any leaves from the bottom of the stem that fall below the water line, cut under water and place in fresh water with flower food.
History and Usage:
A member of the Rosaceae (rose) family, sweetheart roses originated in the northern hemisphere. Its botanical name, rosa, is the Latin word for red. This is in reference to its most common color. The rose, which is one of the oldest flowers known, was one of the only plants in the Middle Ages cultivated solely for its beauty and ornamental purposes. Most plants and flowers in the Middle Ages were grown for practical or medicinal purposes only. Later, after the Second Crusade, rose water was used to treat many kinds of illnesses, including throat infections and insomnia. Sweetheart roses are a lovely addition to any arrangement or arranged alone in a vase. They are also readily used in corsages and bridal bouquets.
Points of Interest:
Relatives of the sweetheart rose include almond, cherry, apple, raspberry and pear. The rose represents many things in the language of flowers, as each color often has its own meaning. For example, the red rose represents beauty and passion. One Greek myth explains that the rose got its red color when Aphrodite, the goddess of love, scratched herself on the thorns of a white rose bush while she rushed to the aid of her lover Adonis after he had been attacked by a wild boar. Her drops of blood stained the white rose, making it the deep crimson color it is today. Cleopatra has long been associated with red roses. When she seduced Roman soldier, Mark Antony, red rose petals covered the chamber floor, two feet deep! Another legend states that she always had the sails of her ship soaked in rose water, so when the wind caught the sail, the scent of roses filled the air. Many said that they could always smell her ship well before they saw it. She also covered her palace floors with rose petals and scattered them on her sheets daily.