Flowers, perhaps more than any other part of the natural world, are fascinating because of the many layers of meaning people have shrouded them in throughout history.
There is a whole sub-category of etiquette surrounding which flowers are appropriate to give at what times, and to whom. The unending rules surrounding something so simple as a flower can be dizzying.
Another aspect of flower lore concerns the designated flowers for each month of the year. June’s official flower is the rose.
Roses have long been seen as the flower of passion in various cultures. The ancient Greeks believed that Aphrodite, the goddess of love, named roses in honor of her son Eros, the god of love.
There are more than 100 species of roses, in a variety of sizes and colors. A gift of roses can have many different meanings, depending on their color, and the number of roses in the bouquet.
Throughout history, roses have been adopted as the symbol of countless causes. They are the official emblem of numerous countries, including Bulgaria, the United Kingdom, and even the United States.
They have also taken on religious connotations over the centuries, being used to represent not only Jesus and the Virgin Mary, but also all Christian martyrs.
During the 20th Century, roses became a symbol of freedom and non-violent resistance in oppressed nations.
Rose oil has been used in perfume for centuries because of its distinctive, and highly aromatic scent.
Rose hips, the fruit of the rose plant, are edible and rich in vitamin C. They are often used in jams and jellies, tea and other recipes, as well as in cosmetics. The petals and leaves are frequently used in herbal medicines, primarily to treat stomach problems.
The rose bush’s characteristically thorny stems are often used as a metaphor for the unpleasant side-effects of obtaining one’s desires.
Photo by Atoma