genus of plants
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For other uses, see Rose (disambiguation).

Roses are perennial plants of the genus Rosa, within the family Rosaceae. There are over 100 species. They form a group of erect shrubs, and climbing or trailing plants, with stems that are often armed with sharp prickles. Flowers are large and showy, in a number of colours from white through yellows and reds. Most species are native to Asia, with smaller numbers native to Europe, North America, and northwest Africa. Species, cultivars and hybrids are all widely grown for their beauty and fragrance. Rose plants range in size from compact, miniature roses, to climbers that can reach 7 meters in height. Species from different parts of the world easily hybridize, which has given rise to the many types of garden roses. Roses are also considered a symbol of love in certain cultures.

Rose! thou art the sweetest flower,
That ever drank the amber shower;
Rose! thou art the fondest child
Of dimpled Spring, the wood-nymph wild. ~ Thomas Moore
Go right to the rose. Go right to the White Rose (For me.) ~ Kate Bush


  • Now the milch-cows chew the cud,
    Everywhere are roses, roses;
    Here a-blow, and there a-bud,
    Here in pairs, and there in posies.
    Roses from the gable's cliff
    With pale flaky petals strowing
    All the garden-paths, as if
    Frolic summer took to snowing.
    • Alfred Austin, Fortunatus the Pessimist (London: Macmillan and Co., 1892), Act II, sc. ii; p. 99.
  • O Rose thou art sick.
    The invisible worm,
    That flies in the night
    In the howling storm:
  • Has found out thy bed
    Of crimson joy:
    And his dark secret love
    Does thy life destroy.
  • When we desire to confine our words, we commonly say they are spoken under the rose.
    • Thomas Browne, Vulgar Errors, as reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).
  • This guelder rose, at far too slight a beck
    Of the wind, will toss about her flower-apples.
  • 'Twas a yellow rose,
    By that south window of the little house,
    My cousin Romney gathered with his hand
    On all my birthdays, for me, save the last;
    And then I shook the tree too rough, too rough,
    For roses to stay after.
  • Oh, my Luve is like a red, red rose,
    That's newly sprung in June.
    O, my Luve is like the melodie,
    That's sweetly played in tune.
  • Give me one wish, and I'd be wassailing
    In the orchard, my English rose,
    Or with my shepherd, who'll bring me home.
  • This little girl inside me
    Is retreating to her favourite place.
    Go into the garden.
    Go under the ivy,
    Under the leaves,
    Away from the party.
    Go right to the rose.
    Go right to the White Rose
    (For me.)
  • It never will rain roses: when we want
    To have more roses we must plant more trees.
  • You can't really measure the effect of this kind of resistance in whether or not X number of bridges were blown up or a regime fell... The White Rose really has a more symbolic value, but that's a very important value.
  • The red rose whispers of passion,
    And the white rose breathes of love;
    O, the red rose is a falcon,
    And the white rose is a dove.
  • Every rose has its thorn
    Just like every night has its dawn
    Just like every cowboy sings his sad, sad song.
    Every rose has its thorn.
    • Poison, "Every Rose Has Its Thorn", Open Up And Say... Ahh (1988).
  • Die of a rose in aromatic pain.
  • Like roses, that in deserts bloom and die.
  • God gave His children memory
    That in life's garden there might be
    June roses in December.
  • In the mean time, Emily sat picking to pieces a rosebud, from the first deep crimson leaf to the delicate pink inside. Oh! that organ of destructiveness! She had gathered it only an hour ago—a single solitary flower, where the shrubbery had run into too luxuriant a vegetation for much bloom—the very Una of roses among the green leaves, "Making a sunshine in the shady place;" and now she was destroying it.
  • As rich and purposeless as is the rose:
    Thy simple doom is to be beautiful.
    • Stephen Phillips, "Marpessa", line 51, in Poems (London: John Lane, 1897), p. 11.
  • Inter omnes flores principatum Rosa facile obtinet.
    • Among all the flowers the rose enjoys indisputable primacy.
    • Crispijn van de Passe, Hortus floridus, Vol. 2 (Arnhem, 1614), p. 12.
  • Viera estar rosal florido,
    cogí rosas con sospiro:
    vengo del rosale.

    Del rosal vengo, mi madre,
    vengo del rosale.

    • I saw the rose-grove blushing in pride,
      I gathered the blushing rose—and sigh'd—
      I come from the rose-grove, mother,
      I come from the grove of roses.
    • Gil Vicente, Del rosal vengo, mi madre ("I Come from the Rose-grove, Mother"), as translated by J. Bowring in Ancient Poetry and Romances of Spain (1824), p. 317.
  • The rose-buds lay their crimson lips together.
    • Amelia B. Welby, "Hopeless Love", Stanza 5, in Poems (New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1860), p. 230.
  • Red rose, proud Rose, sad Rose of all my days!

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922)

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 678-682.
The red rose on triumphant brier. ~ William Shakespeare
  • She wore a wreath of roses,
    The night that first we met.
  • The rose that all are praising
    Is not the rose for me.
  • Go pretty rose, go to my fair,
    Go tell her all I fain would dare,
    Tell her of hope; tell her of spring,
    Tell her of all I fain would sing,
    Oh! were I like thee, so fair a thing.
  • Thus to the Rose, the Thistle:
    Why art thou not of thistle-breed?
    Of use thou'dst, then, be truly,
    For asses might upon thee feed.
    • F. N. Bodenstedt, The Rose and Thistle. Translation from the German by Frederick Ricord.
  • The full-blown rose, mid dewy sweets
    Most perfect dies.
  • O rose, who dares to name thee?
    No longer roseate now, nor soft, nor sweet,
    But pale, and hard, and dry, as stubblewheat,—
    Kept seven years in a drawer, thy titles shame thee.
  • And thus, what can we do,
    Poor rose and poet too,
    Who both antedate our mission
    In an unprepared season?
  • "For if I wait," said she,
    "Till time for roses be,—
    For the moss-rose and the musk-rose,
    Maiden-blush and royal-dusk rose,—

    "What glory then for me
    In such a company?—
    Roses plenty, roses plenty
    And one nightingale for twenty?"
  • All June I bound the rose in sheaves,
    Now, rose by rose, I strip the leaves.
  • Loveliest of lovely things are they
    On earth that soonest pass away.
    The rose that lives its little hour
    Is prized beyond the sculptured flower.
  • I'll pu' the budding rose, when Phœbus peeps in view,
    For its like a baumy kiss o'er her sweet bonnie mou'!.
  • Yon rose-buds in the morning dew,
    How pure amang the leaves sae green!
  • When love came first to earth, the Spring
    Spread rose-beds to receive him.
  • Roses were sette of swete savour,
    With many roses that thei bere.
  • Je ne suis pas la rose, mais j'ai vécu pres d'elle.
    • I am not the rose, but I have lived near the rose.
    • Attributed to H. B. Constant by A. Hayward in Introduction to Letters of Mrs. Piozzi. Saadi, the Persian poet, represents a lump of clay with perfume still clinging to it from the petals fallen from the rose-trees. In his Gulistan (Rose Garden).
  • I wish I might a rose-bud grow
    And thou wouldst cull me from the bower,
    To place me on that breast of snow
    Where I should bloom a wintry flower.
  • O beautiful, royal Rose,
    O Rose, so fair and sweet!
    Queen of the garden art thou,
    And I—the Clay at thy feet!
    * * * *
    Yet, O thou beautiful Rose!
    Queen rose, so fair and sweet,
    What were lover or crown to thee
    Without the Clay at thy feet?
  • Oh, raise your deep-fringed lids that close
    To wrap you in some sweet dream's thrall;
    I am the spectre of the rose
    You wore but last night at the ball.
    • Gautier, Spectre of the Rose (from the French). See Werner's Readings No. 8.
  • In Heaven's happy bowers
    There blossom two flowers,
    One with fiery glow
    And one as white as snow;
    While lo! before them stands,
    With pale and trembling hands,
    A spirit who must choose
    One, and one refuse.
  • Pflücke Rosen, weil sie blühn,
    Morgen ist nicht heut!
    Keine Stunde lass entfliehn.
    Morgen ist nicht heut.
    • Gather roses while they bloom,
      To-morrow is yet far away.
      Moments lost have no room
      In to-morrow or to-day.
    • Gleim, Benutzung der Zeit.
  • It is written on the rose
    In its glory's full array:
    Read what those buds disclose—
    "Passing away."
  • Sweet rose, whose hue, angry and brave,
    Bids the rash gazer wipe his eye,
    Thy root is even in the grave,
    And thou must die.
  • Roses at first were white,
    'Till they co'd not agree,
    Whether my Sappho's breast
    Or they more white sho'd be.
  • He came and took me by the hand,
    Up to a red rose tree,
    He kept His meaning to Himself,
    But gave a rose to me.

    I did not pray Him to lay bare
    The mystery to me,
    Enough the rose was Heaven to smell,
    And His own face to see.
  • It was not in the winter
    Our loving lot was cast:
    It was the time of roses
    We pluck'd them as we pass'd.
  • Poor Peggy hawks nosegays from street to street
    Till—think of that who find life so sweet!—
    She hates the smell of roses.
  • And the guelder rose
    In a great stillness dropped, and ever dropped,
    Her wealth about her feet.
  • The roses that in yonder hedge appear
    Outdo our garden-buds which bloom within;
    But since the hand may pluck them every day,
    Unmarked they bud, bloom, drop, and drift away.
  • The vermeil rose had blown
    In frightful scarlet, and its thorns outgrown
    Like spiked aloe.
  • But the rose leaves herself upon the brier,
    For winds to kiss and grateful bees to feed.
  • Woo on, with odour wooing me,
    Faint rose with fading core;
    For God's rose-thought, that blooms in thee,
    Will bloom forevermore.
  • Mais elle était du monde, où les plus belles choses
    Ont le pire destin;
    Et Rose, elle a vécu ce que vivent les roses,
    L'espace d'un matin.
    • But she bloomed on earth, where the most beautiful things have the saddest destiny;
      And Rose, she lived as live the roses, for the space of a morning.
    • François de Malherbe. In a letter of condolence to M. Du Perrier on the loss of his daughter.
  • And I will make thee beds of roses,
    And a thousand fragrant posies.
    • Christopher Marlowe, The Passionate Shepherd to his Love, Stanza 3. Said to be written by Shakespeare and Marlowe.
  • Rose of the desert! thou art to me
    An emblem of stainless purity,—
    Of those who, keeping their garments white,
    Walk on through life with steps aright.
  • While rose-buds scarcely show'd their hue,
    But coyly linger'd on the thorn.
  • Two roses on one slender spray
    In sweet communion grew,
    Together hailed the morning ray
    And drank the evening dew.
  • Sometimes, when on the Alpine rose
    The golden sunset leaves its ray,
    So like a gem the flow'ret glows,
    We thither bend our headlong way;
    And though we find no treasure there,
    We bless the rose that shines so fair.
  • Long, long be my heart with such memories fill'd!
    Like the vase, in which roses have once been distill'd—
    You may break, you may shatter the vase if you will,
    But the scent of the roses will hang round it still.
  • There's a bower of roses by Bendemeer's stream,
    And the nightingale sings round it all the day long,
    In the time of my childhood 'twas like a sweet dream,
    To sit in the roses and hear the bird's song.
    • Thomas Moore, Lalla Rookh (1817), The Veiled Prophet of Khorassan.
  • No flower of her kindred,
    No rosebud is nigh,
    To reflect back her blushes,
    Or give sigh for sigh.
  • 'Tis the last rose of summer,
    Left blooming alone.
  • What would the rose with all her pride be worth,
    Were there no sun to call her brightness forth?
  • Why do we shed the rose's bloom
    Upon the cold, insensate tomb?
    Can flowery breeze or odor's breath,
    Affect the slumbering chill of death?
  • Rose! thou art the sweetest flower,
    That ever drank the amber shower;
    Rose! thou art the fondest child
    Of dimpled Spring, the wood-nymph wild.
  • Oh! there is naught in nature bright
    Whose roses do not shed their light;
    When morning paints the Orient skies,
    Her fingers burn with roseate dyes.
  • The rose distils a healing balm
    The beating pulse of pain to calm.
  • Rose of the Desert! thus should woman be
    Shining uncourted, lone and safe, like thee.
  • Rose of the Garden! such is woman's lot—
    Worshipp'd while blooming—when she fades, forgot.
  • Each Morn a thousand Roses brings, you say;
    Yes, but where leaves the Rose of Yesterday?
  • O rose! the sweetest blossom,
    Of spring the fairest flower,
    O rose! the joy of heaven.
    The god of love, with roses
    His yellow locks adorning,
    Dances with the hours and graces.
    • J. G. Percival—Anacreontic, Stanza 2.
  • The sweetest flower that blows,
    I give you as we part
    For you it is a rose
    For me it is my heart.
    • Frederic Peterson—At Parting.
  • There was never a daughter of Eve but once, ere the tale of her years be done,
    Shall know the scent of the Eden Rose, but once beneath the sun;
    Though the years may bring her joy or pain, fame, sorrow or sacrifice,
    The hour that brought her the scent of the Rose, she lived it in Paradise.
    • Susan K. Phillips, The Eden Rose. Quoted by Kipling in Mrs. Hauksbee Sits it Out. Published anonymously in St. Louis Globe Democrat, July 13, 1878.
  • There is no gathering the rose without being pricked by the thorns.
    • Pilpay, The Two Travellers, Chapter II. Fable VI.
  • Let opening roses knotted oaks adorn,
    And liquid amber drop from every thorn.
  • And when the parent-rose decays and dies,
    With a resembling face the daughter-buds arise.
  • We bring roses, beautiful fresh roses,
    Dewy as the morning and coloured like the dawn;
    Little tents of odour, where the bee reposes,
    Swooning in sweetness of the bed he dreams upon.
  • Die Rose blüht nicht ohne Dornen. Ja: wenn nur aber nicht die Dornen die Rose überlebten.
    • The rose does not bloom without thorns.
      True: but would that the thorns did not outlive the rose.
    • Jean Paul Richter, Titan, Zykel 105.
  • The rose saith in the dewy morn,
    I am most fair;
    Yet all my loveliness is born
    Upon a thorn.
  • I watched a rose-bud very long
    Brought on by dew and sun and shower,
    Waiting to see the perfect flower:
    Then when I thought it should be strong
    It opened at the matin hour
    And fell at even-song.
  • The rose is fairest when 'tis budding new,
    And hope is brightest when it dawns from fears;
    The rose is sweetest wash'd with morning dew,
    And love is loveliest when embalm'd in tears.
  • Hoary-headed frosts
    Fall in the fresh lap of the crimson rose.
  • The red rose on triumphant brier.
  • And the rose like a nymph to the bath addrest,
    Which unveiled the depth of her glowing breast,
    Till, fold after fold, to the fainting air,
    The soul of her beauty and love lay bare.
  • Should this fair rose offend thy sight,
    Placed in thy bosom bare,
    'Twill blush to find itself less white,
    And turn Lancastrian there.
  • I am the one rich thing that morn
    Leaves for the ardent noon to win;
    Grasp me not, I have a thorn,
    But bend and take my being in.
  • It was nothing but a rose I gave her,—
    Nothing but a rose
    Any wind might rob of half its savor,
    Any wind that blows.
    * * * * *
    Withered, faded, pressed between these pages,
    Crumpled, fold on fold,—
    Once it lay upon her breast, and ages
    Cannot make it old!
  • The year of the rose is brief;
    From the first blade blown to the sheaf,
    From the thin green leaf to the gold,
    It has time to be sweet and grow old,
    To triumph and leave not a leaf.
  • And half in shade and half in sun;
    The Rose sat in her bower,
    With a passionate thrill in her crimson heart.
    • Bayard Taylor, Poems of the Orient, The Poet in the East, Stanza 5.
  • And is there any moral shut
    Within the bosom of the rose?
  • The fairest things have fleetest end:
    Their scent survives their close,
    But the rose's scent is bitterness
    To him that loved the rose!
  • Go, lovely Rose!
    Tell her that wastes her time and me
    That now she knows.
    When I resemble her to thee,
    How sweet and fair she seems to be.
  • How fair is the Rose! what a beautiful flower.
    The glory of April and May!
    But the leaves are beginning to fade in an hour,
    And they wither and die in a day.
    Yet the Rose has one powerful virtue to boast,
    Above all the flowers of the field;
    When its leaves are all dead, and fine colours are lost,
    Still how sweet a perfume it will yield!
  • Let us crown ourselves with rosebuds before they be withered.
    • Wisdom of Solomon, II. 8.
  • Far off, most secret, and inviolate Rose,
    Enfold me in my hour of hours; where those
    Who sought thee in the Holy Sepulchre
    Or in the wine vat, dwell beyond the stir
    And tumult of defeated dreams.

Musk rose (Rosa Moschata)

I saw the sweetest flower wild nature yields,
A fresh-blown musk-rose; 'twas the first that threw
Its sweets upon the summer. ~ John Keats
  • I saw the sweetest flower wild nature yields,
    A fresh-blown musk-rose; 'twas the first that threw
    Its sweets upon the summer.
  • And mid-May's eldest child,
    The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine,
    The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eyes.

Sweetbrier rose (Eglantine; Rosa Rubiginosa)

Wild-rose, Sweetbriar, Eglantine,
All these pretty names are mine,
And scent in every leaf is mine,
And a leaf for all is mine,
And the scent—Oh, that's divine!
Happy-sweet and pungent fine,
Pure as dew, and pick'd as wine. ~ Leigh Hunt
  • The fresh eglantine exhaled a breath,
    Those odours were of power to raise from death.
  • Wild-rose, Sweetbriar, Eglantine,
    All these pretty names are mine,
    And scent in every leaf is mine,
    And a leaf for all is mine,
    And the scent—Oh, that's divine!
    Happy-sweet and pungent fine,
    Pure as dew, and pick'd as wine.
    • Leigh Hunt, Songs and Chorus of the Flowers, Sweetbriar.
  • Rain-scented eglantine
    Gave temperate sweets to that well-wooing sun.
  • Its sides I'll plant with dew-sweet eglantine.
  • As through the verdant maze
    Of sweetbriar hedges I pursue my walk;
    Or taste the smell of dairy.
  • The garden rose may richly bloom
    In cultured soil and genial air,
    To cloud the light of Fashion's room
    Or droop in Beauty's midnight hair,
    In lonelier grace, to sun and dew
    The sweetbrier on the hillside shows
    Its single leaf and fainter hue,
    Untrained and wildly free, yet still a sister rose!

Wild rose (Rosa Lucida)

  • A brier rose, whose buds
    Yield fragrant harvest for the honey bee.
  • A waft from the roadside bank
    Tells where the wild rose nods.
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