The rose is a perennial flower shrub or vine that contains over 100 species and comes in a variety of colors. The species form a group of erect shrubs and climbing or trailing plants, with stems that are often armed with sharp prickles. It is a common error to refer to roses as having thorns. Thorns are modified branches or stems, whereas these sharp protrusions on a rose are modified epidermal tissue. Most are native to Asia, with smaller numbers of species native to Europe, North America, and northwest Africa.
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. The French are known for their 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.
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 and some makeup products.
It 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. A bouquet of red roses is often used to show love. It is used as a Valentine’s Day gift in many countries.
A red rose, often held in a hand, is a symbol of socialism or social democracy. It is used as a symbol by British, Irish, French, and other European labour, socialist or social democratic parties. This originated when the red rose was used as a badge by marchers in the May 1968 street protests in Paris. The White Rose was a World War II non violent resistance group in Germany.