The Parts of a Rose Flower
Rose Plant Information
Roses are the most popular and commonly-sold florist' flowers as well as one of the most popular garden shrubs. They are also important to the perfume industry. Rose is a flowering shrub of the genus Rosa, it is also the flower of this shrub. More than 100 species of wild roses can be found, all from the northern hemisphere but mostly from the temperate regions. In the 1800s, rose culture came into its own in Europe with the introduction of perpetual blooming roses from China. Currently, there are thousands of varieties of roses developed for bloom shape, fragrance, size and even for lack of prickles.
Leaves, Colors and Petals
The leaves of most species are 5 to 15 cm long, with leaflets and basal stipules. The flowers of most species roses have 5 petals, except Rosa sericea which often only has 4. The petals are usually pink or white, though in a few species red or yellow. Beneath the petals are 5 sepals ( or 4 in the case of some Rosa sericea). Petals of rose are actually naturally modified leaves that are given certain nutrients in order to take on different color and fragrance. They are designned this way to attract birds and bees for pollination. The petals as well as the rose hips can be eaten and have been used in medicines since ancient times.
The edible fruit produced from this rose flower is a berry-like structure called a rose hip. The hips of most species are red, but a few have dark purple to black hips. Hypanthium, an outer fleshy layer of the hip contains 5 - 160 "seeds" embedded in a matrix of fine, stiff hairs. Rose hips of some species, especially Rugosa Rose (Rosa rugosa) and Dog Rose (Rosa canina), are very rich in vitamin C, one of the richest sources of any plant.
Rose hips (which forms at base of the flower) are eaten by many animals such as waxwings, thrushes and even finches, which then disperse the seeds in their droppings. Rose hips is said to improve blood cholesterol and pressure, weight management and digestive efficiency ( and are also a special winter treat for wild animals and birds).
Thorns, Prickles and Spines
The sharp objects along a rose stem which are commonly called "thorns" are actually prickles outgrowths of the epidermis. True thorns are modified stems, (as produced by Pyracantha or Citrus), which originate at a node and which have nodes as well as internodes along the length of the thorn itself. The prickles of rose are typically sickle-shaped hooks, which aid the flower in hanging onto other vegetation when growing over it.
Species like R. pimpinellifolia and Rosa rugosa have densely packed straight spines (two of these species grow naturally on coastal sand dunes), this is believed to reduce browsing by animals and also as an adaptation to trap wind-blown sand in order to reduce erosion and protect their roots. Despite the presence of prickles, the flowers are frequently browsed by deer. A few species of them have only vestigial prickles which have no points.
Stigmas and Ovaries
The rose flower also has several stigmas within its bloom (unlike many flowers). The style of the rose flower is the tube-like formation that is attached to the stigma and is used to provide the path for pollen to ttravel to its ovaries that are located within the rose hips. Ovules are growths that are found within the ovary of the flower. They are small and somewhat hair-like, which responsible for egg production in rose pollination.
These ancient symbols of beauty and love was sacred to a number of goddesses (including Aphrodite and Isis), and is used often as a symbol of the Virgin Mary.