Sunday, June 24, 2012

"Every Rose Has It's Thorn"

MH-One of the most widely recognized flowers is the rose. Coming from family Rosaceae, there are more than 100 species making it difficult to pinpoint a specific species with an untrained eye. Most species have leaves on alternate sides of the stem with small leaflets. Except for a minute amount, most species are deciduous, meaning that they lose their flowers and leaves during certain seasons. Basic wild roses consist of 5 petals with 5 sepals underneath, but different varieties like hybrids might have larger numbers. One widely known and disliked feature of roses is the painful prick you feel when trying to tend to your rose bush. These protrusions are technically called “prickles.” Roses use their prickles to help ward off curious animals from damaging the bushes. The difference between prickles and thorns is that prickles are cortex and epidermis extensions, while thorns are modified stems. But, I guess Brett Michaels thought that "Every Rose Has It's Prickle," just didn't flow quite as well. 

The most popular use of roses today is their role as ornamental plants. Heavily hybridized over the years, these roses are bred for their beautiful colors and petals. Unfortunately, this has just about led to the extinction of the famous rose scent in these types of roses. While they may not smell as nice as other roses, they are quite beautiful to look at. With brilliant colors ranging from reds and pinks to oranges, yellows, and whites, each is known to have a specific meaning. Reds standing for love and beauty, and white meaning purity and innocence, are both very popular for weddings.

On our journeys, roses have been just about anywhere you might look. It seems that every citizen has a rose bush or two peeking out of his or her fence. Even on the side of the road, rose bushes line the streets in unexpected places. The roses pictured were blooming on one of the twisty roads near Santa Chiara. There are so many types and colors of roses here scattered about, it feels like you could hardly run into the same variety twice!

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