Roses: One of Mankind’s Favorite Obsessions

Many people don’t realize that there are wild, native rose species, and that some have a scent that rivals any fancy-pants rose bred by a hybridizer. The catch, it seems, is that hybridized roses have intricate and extravagant blooms. David Austin, an English-born hybridizer, helped to revolutionize the rose world by breeding the flowers to have both gorgeous blooms and intoxicating scent.

Roses have been symbols of romance, love, and passion for centuries. Rose oil, a common ingredient in perfumes, lotions, potions, and more, is expensive and intensive to produce. AuraCacia, a distributor of essential oils, says this about rose oil:

A rose blossom contains only about 0.02% essential oil. It takes about 60,000 roses to produce just 1 ounce of oil, and ten thousand pounds of rose blossoms to produce 1 pound of oil.

60,000 roses! Impressive. Roses aren’t the only flowers that mankind has gone gaga over. Tulips, lavender, and lilies all have moved men, women, and society across time. Despite a cut flower’s short existence and mankind’s disconnect from nature, there is still something about flowers that stops us in our busy lives long enough to sniff, touch, or just admire.



You can find some great histories of the rose at Herbs2000 and the Santa Barbara Rose Society.

The Dallas News has a cool article about David Austin, and you can see Austin’s incredible hybrids here at David Austin Roses.

Posted on August 30, 2010, in Flora and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I often prefer the wildflowers of the springtime forest and the praries to horticulture and these selected roses.

  2. Me too, but I must admit that I’m impressed by the beauty that occurs when man fiddles with nature in terms of breeding for certain traits. I consider the same joy when I look at my smelly dog! :)

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