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The Rose: Christina Aguilera's Favorite Flower?

By Wesley Berry

The rose has long been a favorite flower of many women, but is it the favorite flower of Christina Aguilera? The truth is, I don't know, but judging by the elaborate floral chuppah of brightly colored orange, yellow, and burgundy roses conspicuously present at her wedding and the thick bouquets of hot pink roses and rose petals surrounding her wedding cake, it's a sure bet the rose ranks high on Aguilera's list of favorite flowers.

What is it about the rose that makes it such a popular floral choice and a powerful symbol of love, war, and politics? Perhaps the answers lie in its long and varied history.

Fossils show that roses have existed for about 35 million years. However, cultivation of the rose for gardening purposes began about 5000 years ago in China. It didn't take long for their popularity to spread, and during the Roman Empire, roses played a significant role in the Roman society-but not just for their beauty. Along with being admired as an ornamental piece, roses were also used for food, medicine, and perfume. As a symbol, they were used to honor heroes who would be showered with petals and attend celebrations where the floor was carpeted in petals that would release their fragrance each time a step was taken. Roses became such an important part of the Roman culture that the Romans invented the greenhouse specifically for growing roses.

China and Rome were not the only areas of the world to be touched by the beauty of the rose. Roses also appear in ancient Hindu stories. In these stories, Brahma, who created the world, debated with Vishnu, who protected the world, about whether the lotus or the rose was the more beautiful flower. Brahma argued that there was no flower more exquisite than the lotus while Vishnu believed the rose to be the most beauteous. Brahma, who had never seen a rose before, conceded upon first seeing one and created a bride for Vishnu using 108 large and 1,008 small rose petals.

Europe, too, fell under the spell of the beautiful rose. During the seventeenth century, they were considered so valuable that roses and rose water were used as legal tender. Josephine Bonaparte, the wife of Napoleon, was so taken by the rose that she developed an enormous collection of roses at an estate just outside of Paris.

In America, roses are often associated with our own American royalty-celebrities. In fact, there are numerous roses named after American celebrities. Among them are the:

* Marilyn Monroe: A gorgeous light apricot-colored rose that blooms well in hot weather.

* Judy Garland: A sweetly yellow rose that blushes out to a hot orange and scarlet red.

* Grace Allen: A delicately pink rose.

* George Burns: A lively yellow rose striped with red.

* Josephine Baker: A deep red rose with a soft fragrance.

* Cary Grant: A stunning orange rose.

Whether or not the rose is among Christina Aguilera's favorite flowers, it's clearly among the favorites of the world.

About The Author
Wesley Berry is the President of Wesley Berry Flowers, a successful multi-million dollar business that was established in 1946. He is also the Headmaster of the Professional Florists' Institute, a floral design school located in Michigan.

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