Flower of the Week: Rose

In our weekly series, we're dishing on everything you need to know about the most romantic flower out there

Updated 08/18/17

In our new Flower of the Week series, we'll bring you all things flower, from the cost to the season to the little details you need to ask your florist. This is your go-to guide for blooms, ranging from ranunculus to roses. So take a minute to stop and smell (and read!) every "flower Friday."

The rose is hands-down one of the most well-loved and highly revered flowers of all time. Cultivation of roses is believed to have begun over 5,000 years in China and the Middle East (although first traces of the flower have been found in fossils that are over 30-million years old!). Roses have been treasured and traded throughout many eras in history from ancient Egypt (Cleopatra is said to have filled her room with rose petals) to medieval Europe. Roses have long symbolized love; in Greek mythology, it was believed that the goddess of love, Aphrodite, created the flower. Napoleon’s wife Josephine was an avid collector of roses, eventually gathering over 250 specimens in her gardens at Malmaison, near Paris.

There are thousands of varieties of roses grown throughout the world. Some of the most common species include hybrid tea roses (the ubiquitous, classic rose that’s available most everywhere), spray roses, and garden roses.

Photo and florals by A.P. Bio

Style:

In general, roses tend to be synonymous with a romantic style, although it’s possible to create a modern design with the more structured, long-stemmed varieties. Rambling spray roses, English roses, and garden roses are best featured in loose garden arrangements.

Photo by John Schanck, Florals by Modern Bouquet

Shelf life:

The heartiness of roses will vary based on the variety—some delicate, single-petal garden roses can wilt easily in the heat, while many hybrid tea roses are engineered to last longer outside of water.

Photo by Simply Sarah, Florals by Lindsay Colette

Seasonality:

Although it’s possible to buy roses year round, the more unusual and fragile varieties will be at their best from late spring to midsummer, depending on the region.

Photo by Anne McElwain Photography, Florals by Sarah Winward

Colors:

Colors range across the spectrum from classic reds and pinks to pale, dusty violets and saturated yellows. Creams and whites are also iconic rose tones (symbolizing purity and innocence). The perfectly sweet millennial pink and even taupe hues (found in cool new varieties like Koko Loko, Distant Drum, and Café au Lait) have come into popularity in recent years. Roses can also be found in bicolor varieties—some are actually striped like candy canes!

Photo and Florals by Putnam & Putnam

Price: $$-$$$

The price of roses ranges depending on factors such as rarity, the season, and the aroma (make sure to include a scented bloom like the David Austin Evelyn rose to carry in your bouquet).

Photo by Studio Castillero, Florals by Bourgeon

It works well with:

Roses are fantastic as both star and supporting act in arrangements. We love them in tandem with other seasonal, fluffy blooms like peonies, ranunculi, and lilacs. To channel the romantic, fresh-from-the-garden vibe, add in trailing greenery like jasmine, eucalyptus, or clematis.

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