The rose has a very long and distinguished history. Earliest fossil records of the rose date back 3 and half billion years, making this symbol of beauty one of the oldest flowers known to man. The earliest known written record of the rose is from the time of around 2500 B.C., by the Sumerians. Damask-like roses have been found in the tombs of the ancient Egyptians. The Romans not only imported this exotic flower from Egypt, they also developed sophisticated methods in hot-house technology to enable them to force roses to bloom more than nature could already provide. The rose played a role in the religious rites of the Romans and Greeks, as well as the religious festivals of Christianity during the Middle Ages.

      The 1800s saw further breeding and hybridizing of new roses, an activity encouraged by the French Empress Josephine. Indeed, Josephine's fascination with the rose led to her collection of over 250 varieties of the flower, all that were known at the time. Thus, it came to be that the French were intensely involved in the creation of new roses, ultimately developing several hundred varieties of the flower. Around the same time, the Chinese were also breeding roses, and four cultivars in particular had been developed by the Chinese. By the 1825s, attention turned to cross-breeding of the Oriental and European roses with each other.

  Old Roses
Tuscany Sir Walter Raleigh
Sheer Bliss Sir Walter Raleigh
Sheer Bliss Alba Semi-plena
Conrad Ferdinand Meyer Alba Semi-plena
Conrad Ferdinand Meyer