Firefighter rose could prove popular with Australians this Valentine's Day

A long-stemmed rose is traditionally the flower of Valentine's Day, and people will most certainly be on the lookout for the red variety next week. 

This year a budding romance is blooming for one in particular — a hybrid tea, dark-red, highly fragrant rose named the Firefighter.

It is a flower recognised at Australian agricultural shows but not well represented at flower markets.

Bred by Joseph Orard in France in 1998, the rose was appropriated to commemorate firefighters who lost their lives in the terrorist attack on New York's Twin Towers in 2001.

The intensely fragrant, long-stemmed rose was introduced to Australia in 2009 by rose grower and distributor Ben Swain and was used to commemorate volunteers who risked their lives during the Black Saturday Victorian bushfires.

According to Lyndall Turner, secretary of the Southern Sydney Rose Society, this intense red rose is one of the most fragrant of all the red roses and hardy enough for our climate.

"It is disease-resistant and almost thornless," she said. 

"Given the hot dry season we have experienced, this rose is a good selection as it can withstand periods of intense heat."

National president of the Rose Society of Australia, Colin Hollis, is encouraging a greater uptake of the Firefighter.

"As it's been such a dreadful fire season, one way we can acknowledge the work the volunteer bush fire brigade has been doing is to plant Firefighter roses, at the fire brigade in Loftus, and other stations across the county," he said.

Read more at ABC News (Sarah Moss)

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