Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Roses

            A rose is a woody perennial of the genus Rosa, within the family Rosaceae. There are over 100 species. They form a group of erect shrubs, and climbing or trailing plants, with stems that are often armed with sharp prickles. Flowers are large and showy, in colours ranging from white through yellows and reds. Most species are native to Asia, with smaller numbers native to Europe, North America, and northwest Africa. Species, cultivars and hybrids are all widely grown for their beauty and fragrance. Rose plants range in size from compact, miniature roses, to climbers that can reach 7 meters in height. Different species hybridize easily, and this has been used in the development of the wide range of garden roses.
The rose is the symbol of love.

                                                                     Pink rose 1





Roses are best known as ornamental plants grown for their flowers in the garden and sometimes indoors. They have been also used for commercial perfumery and commercial cut flower crops. Some are used as landscape plants, for hedging and for other utilitarian purposes such as game cover and slope stabilization. They also have minor medicinal uses.
The majority of ornamental roses are hybrids that were bred for their flowers. A few, mostly species roses are grown for attractive or scented foliage, ornamental thorns or for their showy fruit .


                                                                     Pink rose 2  





Ornamental roses have been cultivated for millennia, with the earliest known cultivation known to date from at least 500 BC in Mediterranean countries, Persia, and China.  Many thousands of rose hybrids and cultivars have been bred and selected for garden use as flowering plants. Most are double-flowered with many or all of the stamens having mutated into additional petals.
In the early 19th century the Empress Josephine of France patronized the development of rose breeding at her gardens at Malmaison. As long ago as 1840 a collection numbering over one thousand different cultivars, varieties and species was possible when a rosarium was planted by Loddiges nursery for Abney Park Cemetery, an early Victorian garden cemetery and arboretum in England.
A few species and hybrids are grown for non-floral ornamental use. Among these are those grown for prominent hips, such as the flagon shaped hips of Rosa moyesii. Sometimes even the thorns can be treated as an attraction or curiosity, such as with Rosa sericea.


                                                                   Colored rose 1



Rose perfumes are made from attar of roses or rose oil, which is a mixture of volatile essential oils obtained by steam distilling the crushed petals of roses. An associated product is rose water which is used for cooking, cosmetics, medicine and in religious practices. The production technique originated in Persia then spread through Arabia and India, and more recently into eastern Europe. In Bulgaria, Iran and Germany, damask roses are used. The oil is transparent pale yellow or yellow-grey in colour. 'Rose Absolute' is solvent-extracted with hexane and produces a darker oil, dark yellow to orange in colour. The weight of oil extracted is about one three-thousandth to one six-thousandth of the weight of the flowers; for example, about two thousand flowers are required to produce one gram of oil.
The main constituents of attar of roses are the fragrant alcohols geraniol and l-citronellol; and rose camphor, an odourless paraffin.
Rose water, made as a byproduct of rose oil production, is widely used in Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine. In France there is much use of rose syrup, most commonly made from an extract of rose petals. In the United States, this French rose syrup is used to make rose scones and marshmallows.

                                                                   Colored rose 2   
              



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