Rose, or Rosa, L. a genus of shrubs, consisting of 25, but, ac-cording to some botanists, of 90, species, of which the following are the principal, though the first five only are indigenous, namely:
1. The canina. See Dog-Rose.
2. The spinosossoma, v. pimpi-nellifolia,Burnet Rose, Pimpernel, or Scotch Rose, grows on heaths, in thickets, hedges, and the borders of fields, in sandy situations it flowers in the month of June or July.—This species, on account of its low growth, and the singular beauty of its diminutive leaves, which resemble the Upland Burnet, deserves to be cultivated in every garden. Its ripe fruit is eaten by children, and has a grateful, sub-acid taste. The juice, if diluted with water, dyes silk and muslin of a peach-colour ; and, with the addition of alum, it imparts a deep violet; but it has very little effect either on wool or on linen.—See also Tea.
3. The arvensis, White-Flowered Dog-Rose, Or Curn Rose, is found in hedges and heaths, particularly in the west of Yorkshire. It grows to the height of five or six feet, and has whitish blossoms, armed with prickles bowed down-wards : the former appear in July, and are succeeded by red berries; the beauty and fragrance of which have introduced it into our gardens.
-1. The villosa, or Apple-rose, grows six or eight feet high, in mountainous hedges and shady places, being very common in the north of England. Its large single red flowers blow in the month of June, and are succeeded by round prickly heps. In a cultivated state, this species often attains the height of ten feet, and its fruit the size of crabs : hence it deserves a place in every large garden, both for the singular beauty and also for the utility of its berries; which has an agreeable acid pulp, that forms a proper ingredient in sweet-meats.
5. The rubiginosa, Sweet-BRiaR, or Eglantine, abounds in hedges, where it is often five or six feet high : its small red flowers appear in the months of June and July.—There are numerous varieties of this species, the principal of which are known under the names of Common Single-flowered, Semi-double flowered, Blush-double flowered, and Yellow-flowered Roses.—The Sweet Briar is generally cultivated in gardens, chiefly in the borders of walks, and contiguously to dwelling-houses ; where its fragrant leaves diffuse a grateful odour.
6. The Gallica, or French Rose, an exotic species, which is commonly raised in Britain, on account of its beautiful red flowers.
It has almost endless varieties, the enumeration of which would swell this article to a disproportionate length. We shall therefore only state the following, viz. the Common Red Rose, with large, spreading, half-double, deep-red flowers. —The Rosa mundi, or Rose of the World, which has large expanding, semi-double red flowers, beautifully variegated with white streaks. i—The York and Lancaster Rose grows to the height of from six to eight feet ; and has elegantly striped white and red flowers.—The Monthly Rose is from four to six feet high, with green prickly shoots, producing numerous party-coloured flowers from May to August, and a second time, if the season be mild, from September or October to December.
7. The centifolia, Hundred-leaved or Damask Rose, is justly termed the Queen of Flowers, and has long been an ornament to British gardens, both for its ele-gance and fragrance. There are several varieties, known under the names of the Provence, Royal, Common Dutch Hundred-leaved, Blush Hundred-leaved Roses, etc. —The damask rose yields, on distillation, a small portion of buty-rous oil, together with a water, which possess the odour and taste of the roses, and are greatly esteemed for the agreeable flavour they impart to culinary preparations, and also to cordials. They are strongly recommended by Hoff-Man, as being singularly efficacious in exciting the strength, invigorating the spirits, and mitigating pain. Beside these properties, a decoction of its leaves, after being distilled, has a mildly purgative quality; and which, on mixing it with sugar, forms an agreeable laxative syrup, and may with advantage be given to children.
All the species of roses are hardy, deciduous shrubs, and thrive in any soil or situation ; though they flourish best in moist open lands. They are easily propagated by suckers and layers; which, when planted, require only occasional pruning of their dead and superfluous branches, as well as the removal of their suckers, every autumn.
Ottar, or Essence of Roses, is a valuable perfume, obtained from these flowers by distillation ; it may be prepared in the following manner:—Let a quantity of fresh roses be put into a still, with their flower-cups entire, together with one-third of their weight of pure water. The mass is now to be mixed with the hand, and a gentle fire kindled beneath. When the water becomes hot, all the interstices must be well luted, and cold water placed on the refrigeratory at the top.— As soon as the distilled water comet over, the heat should be gradually diminished, till a sufficient quantity of the first runnings be drawn off. Fresh water is then to be added, which should be equal in weight to the flowers, when the latter were first submitted to the still; and the same process repeated, till a due portion of second run-nings be procured. The distilled water must next be poured into shallow earthen, or tin vessels, and exposed to the air till the succeeding morning, when the ottar or essence will appear congealed on the surface. The latter is now to be carefully skimmed, poured into phials and the water, strained from the lees, should be employed for fresh distillation; the dregs, however, ought to be pre served, as they contain an equal degree of perfume with the essence.
Such is the process followed in India, where this costly drug is frequently adulterated, by distilling raspings of sandal-wood with the flowers, but the fraud may be easily detected by the smellalso by the fluidity of the oil of sandal; which Will not congeal on exposure to the air.—The true ottar of roses is sold in the East indies at the exorbitant price of twenty guineas, and upwards, per ounce. It is doubtless the most elegant perfume in vegetable nature ; as a single, drop imparls its fragrance throughout the room or dwelling, and suppresses other less agreeable odours. Lastly, there is a conserve, syrup, and vinegar of Roses prepared in the shops; though the first two only are generally sold.