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America’s Flower receives national recognition

How many of the United States’ National symbols do you know? Most people can name the Bald Eagle as our National Bird. The United States has designated various national symbols to represent the country. What about our National Flower? The national flower of the United States is the rose, regarded as a symbol of love and affection.

RoseMonth1 June is National Rose Month. The rose is a symbol of beauty and love which holds a special place in our hearts and in our country’s history. While it’s a little vague as to when or where National Rose Month started, it is hard to ignore the far-reaching popularity of the rose.

During the colonization of North America, there were around 200 known different species of roses. Today around 35 species remain much like they were. William Penn, who founded Pennsylvania during his travel to America in the 1600s, made notes about the roses he saw. As American settlers moved west across their new country, many roses were brought with them. These roses were planted and left to grow. Roses ultimately found their way into almost every garden — some grown for their beauty and some for medicinal purposes. Rose hips became valued as a rich source of vitamin C and sailors carried it with them on long voyages to prevent scurvy.

Ever since George Washington, our first president, became our first rose breeder, Americans have had a love affair with this native flower. Thomas Jefferson, an avid horticulturist, grew them at Monticello, and John Adams is credited with planting the first rose at the White House. Years later in 1913, First Lady Ellen Wilson started the White House Rose Garden — also known as the West Garden. The current garden design dates to the Kennedy Administration.

Americans have long been celebrating roses with parades and other events. Since 1890, the Tournament of Roses has brought the tradition of the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game to Pasadena, California and to the world for nearly 130 years.

In 1985, the United States Senate passed a resolution requesting the president to declare the rose as the national floral emblem. On November 20, 1986, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the rose as the National Floral Emblem of the United States, saying “Americans have always loved the flowers with which God decorates our land. More often than any other flower, we hold the rose dear as the symbol of life, love, devotion, beauty and eternity.”

National symbols represent a country’s history, heritage, culture, and government. Roses carry a lot of meaning and make the world more beautiful. With such an impressive presence, the rose was bound to stir up attention.

Melissa Jones is an experienced mass market and e-commerce buyer with over 15 years in the floriculture industry.