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Rose History

Roses in Chinese History

Chinese roses were widely cultivated during the Han Dynasty (141-87 BC). In 1759, after Chinese Roses (Rose chinensis) were introduced to western countries, the so-called modern roses appeared. However, what is the origin of the China Rose? When did the "Chinese Modern Rose" with high-centered and double flower emerge? Was the provenance or form of the Chinese rose already been present 600 years ago? What varieties of roses were shown on the ancient paintings and works?

Chinese dish from the
Roses are depicted on this Chinese dish from the Ch'ing Dynasty (early 1800s)

A careful study of botanical fossils, ancient painted pottery with colors, frescos, paintings, porcelain, and red wood furniture suggests that Chinese cultivated roses with characteristics of modern roses appeared about 1000 years ago. Furthermore, taxonomically distinct roses appear during various historic periods.

Based on new evidence and findings, the development of Chinese roses from ancient civilization to the early phase of the Qing Dynasty (1636 AD) could be divided into five stages: Wild roses (before Han Dynasty, 2000 years ago), cultivation of wild roses (after the Han Dynasty to the early years of Tang Dynasty, 1500 years ago), the Chinese Modern Rose stage (perpetual rose stage) (Tang Dynasty to Song Dynasty, 1000 years ago), selection for varieties (Yuan Dynasty to Ming Dynasty, 600 years ago), and popularity in urban and rural settings (Ming Dynasty to the prophase of Qing Dynasty, 400 years ago).

Citation: Wang, G. (2007). A STUDY ON THE HISTORY OF CHINESE ROSES FROM ANCIENT WORKS AND IMAGES. Acta Hortic. 751, 347-356 DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2007.751.44

War of the Roses

War of the Roses
The most well known use of roses in English history, was during the so called "war of the roses"

After the fall of the Roman Empire, the use of the rose fell out of favor. The most remembered use was in the English War of the Roses. Here the White Rose of York was pitted against the Red Rose of Lancaster, and a protracted fight broke out between the two branches of the Plantagenet family. While both sides had their victories during the 1455 to 1487 wars, the "White Rose of Lancaster" was the ultimate victor, with the taking of the throne by Henry Tudor (Henry VI). The two sides were united with the merging of both roses, to create the red and white "Tudor Rose".

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