Today's roses are offered in countless varieties due to their ever-persistent popularity. Hybridizing and grafting has led to unique flower and shrub forms, sizes, bloom colors and scents, even disease tolerances, yet their originals were similarly diverse. Early references identify some roses such as Gallica (Europe), Damask (Damascus), and Tea (China). "Rose" is derived from the Latin rosa, but its origin may be Persian and identified under the name gul, popular in early Islamic gardens.
Roses are packed with symbolic meaning wherever they have been or are currently available. In Landscape Design: A Cultural and Architectural History, author Elizabeth Barlow Rogers, writes in reference to Islamic gardens of delight, that the rose symbolizes a "soul at peace [and] its many petals folded into one graceful flower, the union and harmony of humankind." An interesting concept, union and harmony, that played itself out when England's Henry VII shrewdly initiated the branding of the Tudor Rose in order to bring together the country. Still today, Americans buy florist roses for their color meanings, Good Housekeeping identifies eighteen.