National Flower Day
annually on October 7th (since 1986)
The rose is the national floral emblem, or national flower, of the United States. Senate Joint Resolution 159, which adopted the rose as the national floral emblem and asked the president to declare it as such with a proclamation, was passed in 1986 and was signed by President Reagan on October 7 of the same year. Accordingly, President Reagan signed Proclamation 5574 on November 20, 1986, certifying the rose as the national flower. A ceremony to mark the occasion took place in the White House Rose Garden. Therefore, the "National Flower" in today's name refers to the rose, and the holiday is not a general holiday about flowers, but a holiday about the national flower of the United States. The holiday is celebrated on October 7 because that is the anniversary of when President Reagan signed Senate Joint Resolution 159 into law.
A perennial shrub, there are about 100 species of roses, which easily hybridize with each other. Roses are native to the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere: most are native to Asia, some are native to North America, and a few are native to Europe and northwest Africa. They have a rich aroma which differs depending on their variety and the climate they grow in. Roses may be red, pink, white, or yellow, with many shades in between, such as dark crimson and maroon. They have petals and hips—their fruit—which both are edible, and have been used in medicines. Their stems have prickles which are referred to as thorns.
The rose is a symbol of love and beauty and is commonly referred to in art, music, and literature. Roses are used in parades and celebrations, are put on altars and graves, are given to loves, and are used to make perfumes. They have long held significance in the United States, and are grown in all 50 states. George Washington bred roses, and the White House has the White House Rose Garden. Some states have even adopted them as their state flower: New York has the rose, Oklahoma has the Oklahoma rose, Georgia boasts the Cherokee rose, and Iowa and North Dakota both have the wild prairie rose.
How to Observe National Flower Day
The following are a few ideas on how to celebrate the day:
- Plant roses.
- Buy roses for someone.
- It may be too late in the year in some areas, but you could visit a rose garden.
- Learn about and see pictures of the White House Rose Garden.
- Cook using rose petals and hips.