Uses of the Rose Flower

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Orange roses have more of a citrus smell than a rose.
Orange roses have more of a citrus smell than a rose. (Image: Rose Rose image by Jan Wowra, Frankfurt from Fotolia.com)

When men contemplate sending a woman flowers, it is often the rose that is selected. They come in a variety of colors, offer a fragrance, and have a colorful and velvet-like touch. But roses have more uses than as special occasion flowers: food, fragrance and landscaping are other uses.

Food

Roses can be eaten, but you need to remove the white base from the petal first. The white base is bitter and can ruin the taste of the dish. You can add rose petals to your salad or use in making jelly. The edible flower adds a scent as well as flavoring when used in culinary dishes. But roses aren't just used to add flavor to a dish, as they can also add texture to your food. In addition, roses add color to dishes when used as a garnish.

Do not use roses that have been growing by the roadside or possibly exposed to pesticide use, according to the Iowa State University. And if you have allergies, asthma or hay fever, you should consult your doctor before eating edible flowers.

Scented Toiletries

Roses are used to fragrance perfumes, soaps and other oiletries. According to the University of Kentucky, some roses are more fragrant than others, making them more sought after commercially. Damask, bourbon, cabbage and musk roses fall into that category, as do French and rugosa roses. There are more than two dozen rose scents, according to Texas A&M University, with some of them combining scents of more than one rose. The seven basic scents most often found in hybrid tea roses include apple, clover, lemon, nasturtium, orris, rose and violet.

Roses produce other scents, like orange, lily-of-the-valley and raspberry. If you want to grow roses to use in perfumed products, the red and pink roses will be the ones more likely to smell like a rose. White and yellow roses will smell more like lemon, orris, nasturtium or a violet. Orange roses will have more of a citrus scent.

Landscaping

Roses can be used in a number of places in your landscape. Some roses grow low to the ground, and are suitable as ground cover. These low-growers can also be used to create borders or as edging in the lawn. Climbing roses, such as the May queen, can be used to adorn fences, the side of a home and garden structures.

Patio roses, such as pink Pollyanna and red rascal, are small and grow between two to four feet tall. They bloom all summer and take up minimal space. Roses can be grown and used as a screen or hedge in the landscape, or wrapping around a trellis, for example. There are rose bushes and shrubs too.

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