Where Do Roses Come From?

roses-come Credit: John Coletti/Photolibrary/Getty Images

The rose is 35 million years old according to fossil evidence, though garden growth of the famed flower likely began in China some 5,000 years ago, according to the University of Illinois. This perennial flower has over 150 various species in the Northern Hemisphere, spanning Alaska to Mexico and Africa to the Far East.

First made popular by the Romans, who constructed large public rose gardens, the fragrant flower served as celebratory confetti, medicine and an ingredient in perfume. Though the rose was extremely popular at the time, following the fall of the Roman Empire the flower has both waned and waxed in popularity.

Roses are low maintenance, grow well in several soil types and don't require pruning. The plant that produces the flower can also survive in winter without protection. Their disease and insect resilience have also helped make roses one of the most desired flowers.

Roses exude seven different fragrances: rose, clove, violet, apple, lemon, nasturtium and tea scents. However, it is antique roses that emit the typical "rosy" scent most associated with the flower.

Known as the queen of flowers, roses have played a major role as a cultural contributor to works of poetry, art, literature and music throughout history.