Wednesday, September 24, 2008

ROSES

A rose is a perennial flowering shrub or vine of the genus Rosa, within the family Rosaceae, that contains over 100 species. The species form a group of erect shrubs, and climbing or trailing plants, with stems that are often armed with sharp thorns. Most are native to Asia, with smaller numbers of species native to Europe, North America, and northwest Africa. Natives, cultivars and hybrids are all widely grown for their beauty and fragrance.

The leaves are alternate and pinnately compound, with sharply toothed oval-shaped leaflets. The plants fleshy edible fruit is called a rose hip. Rose plants range in size from tiny, miniature roses, to climbers that can reach 20 metres in height. Species from different parts of the world easily hybridize, which has given rise to the many types of garden roses. The name originates from Latin rosa, borrowed through Oscan from colonial Greek in southern Italy: rhodon (Aeolic form: wrodon), from Aramaic wurrdā, from Assyrian wurtinnu, from Old Iranian *warda (cf. Armenian vard, Avestan warda, Sogdian ward, Parthian wâr).


Attar of rose is the steam-extracted essential oil from rose flowers that has been used in perfumes for centuries. Rose water, made from the rose oil, is widely used in Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine. Rose hips are occasionally made into jam, jelly, and marmalade, or are brewed for tea, primarily for their high Vitamin C content. They are also pressed and filtered to make rose hip syrup. Rose hips are also used to produce Rose hip seed oil, which is used in skin products.

Roses are subject to several diseases, such as rose rust (Phragmidium mucronatum), rose black spot, and powdery mildew. Fungal diseases in the Rose are best solved by a preventative fungicidal spray program rather than by trying to cure an infection after it emerges on the plant. After the disease is visible, its spread can be minimized through pruning and the use of fungicides, although the actual infection cannot be reversed. Certain rose varieties are considerably less susceptible than others to fungal diseases.
The main insect pest affecting roses is the aphid (greenfly), which sucks the sap and weakens the plant. (Ladybirds are a predator of aphids and should be encouraged in the rose garden.) The spraying with insecticide of roses is often recommended but should be done with care to minimize the loss of beneficial insects. Roses are also used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera (butterfly and moth) species; see list of Lepidoptera that feed on roses.

The rose has always been valued for its beauty and has a long history of symbolism. The ancient Greeks and Romans identified the rose with their goddesses of love referred to as Aphrodite and Venus. In Rome a wild rose would be placed on the door of a room where secret or confidential matters were discussed. The phrase sub rosa, or "under the rose", means to keep a secret — derived from this ancient Roman practice.
Early Christians identified the five petals of the rose with the five wounds of Christ. Despite this interpretation, their leaders were hesitant to adopt it because of its association with Roman excesses and pagan ritual. The red rose was eventually adopted as a symbol of the blood of the Christian martyrs. Roses also later came to be associated with the Virgin Mary.
Rose culture came into its own in Europe in the 1800s with the introduction of perpetual blooming roses from China. There are currently thousands of varieties of roses developed for bloom shape, size, fragrance and even for lack of prickles.


Roses are ancient symbols of love and beauty. The rose was sacred to a number of goddesses (including Isis and Aphrodite), and is often used as a symbol of the Virgin Mary. 'Rose' means pink or red in a variety of languages (such as Romance languages, Greek, and Polish).
The rose is the national flower of England and the United States, as well as being the symbol of England Rugby, and of the Rugby Football Union. It is also the provincial flower of Yorkshire and Lancashire in England (the white rose and red rose respectively) and of Alberta (the wild rose), and the state flower of four US states: Iowa and North Dakota (R. arkansana), Georgia (R. laevigata), and New York (Rosa generally). Portland, Oregon counts "City of Roses" among its nicknames, and holds an annual Rose Festival.
Roses are occasionally the basis of design for rose windows, such windows comprising five or ten segments (the five petals and five sepals of a rose) or multiples thereof; however most Gothic rose windows are much more elaborate and were probably based originally on the wheel and other symbolism. A red rose (often held in a hand) is a symbol of socialism or social democracy; it is also used as a symbol by the British and Irish Labour Parties, as well as by the French, Spanish (Spanish Socialist Workers' Party), Portuguese, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, Finnish, Brazilian, Dutch (Partij van de Arbeid) and European socialist or social democratic parties. This originated when the red rose was used as a badge by the marchers in the May 1968 street protests in Paris. White Rose was a World War II non violent resistance group in Germany.

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. The technique originated in Persia (the word Rose itself is from Persian) then spread through Arabia and India, but nowadays about 70% to 80% of production is in the Rose Valley near Kazanluk in Bulgaria, with some production in Qamsar in Iran and Germany.[citation needed] The Kaaba in Mecca is annually washed by the Iranian rose water from Qamsar. In Bulgaria, Iran and Germany, damask roses (Rosa damascena 'Trigintipetala') are used. In the French rose oil industry Rosa centifolia is used. The oil, pale yellow or yellow-grey in color, is sometimes called 'Rose Absolute' oil to distinguish it from diluted versions. 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. β-Damascenone is also a significant contributor to the scent.

Pictures taken By Spera Gerardo at Pomarico (Italy), text by:
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Hello everyone and welcome in my photoblog. The photos are all taken in italy and specifically in basilicata. My small town called POMARICO is located in the province of Matera, ITALY. Good Vision! Dino.

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