Any rose seen alone, just for itself, certainly is beautiful, but knowing something of its historical context can enhance the rose fancier’s interest and appreciation.

In the latest issue of the newsletter from the World Federation of Rose Societies, roses are imbued with the scent of history, starting with the Swedish writer Håkan Kjellin’s meditation on the poetess Sappho and the “Queen of Roses.” Next, Jeff Wyckoff's deep research into the question “What exactly are the Centifolias?” is a trip into rose history. Darrell G. H. Schramm presents nine roses that highlight events and personalities from the mid-19th century. Girija and Viru Viraraghavan discuss the many ways how during more than two millennia “foreign” roses might have reached the India subcontinent. Finally, a newly formed WFRS panel of specialists is available to help any rose lover identify “what’s that rose growing in my garden?”

Read the newsletter here.