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A rose is a flowering shrub of genus Rosa and the flower of this shrub. There are several species of wild roses, and a great variety of cultivated roses. Twentieth-century rose breeders generally emphasized size and color, producing large, attractive blooms with little or no scent. Many wild and "old-fashioned" roses, by contrast, have a strong sweet scent.

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Roses are ancient symbols of love and beauty. The rose was sacred to a number of goddesses, and is often used as a symbol of the Virgin Mary. Roses are so important that the word means pink or red in a variety of languages (such as Romance languages and Greek).

Roses come in a variety of colors, each with a different symbolic meaning:

  • Red: love
  • Pink: grace
  • Dark Pink: gratitude
  • Light Pink: admiration, sympathy
  • White: innocence, secrecy (see also: White Rose)
  • Yellow: dying love
  • Orange: passion
  • Burgundy: beauty

Roses are among the most common flowers sold by florists, as well as one of the most popular garden shrubs. Roses are of great economic importance both as a crop for florists' use and for use in perfume.

Some cultivated varieties flower from June until December in the north temperate zone. Rosa multiflora is sometimes used as a hedge or field border, and to attract birds and other wildlife: it is very prolific, however, and often spreads beyond where the gardener wants it. In particular, they were used as borders in wheat fields in the American Midwest, and became a weed.

In addition to the flowers, the fruits, called rose hips, are used to make an herbal tea and as a source of vitamin C.

Most roses have thorns; however, the Lady Banks rose[?] has no thorns.

See also Rosaceae.

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