"Rosa" by Peter E. Kukielski

Rosa The Story of the Rose Peter E. Kukielski, Charles Phillips, Judith B Tankard

Publication date:
16 Feb 2021
Yale University Press
256 pages: 246 x 190mm
143 color illus.
Sales territories:

A beautifully illustrated and unique history of the rose—the “queen of flowers”—in art, medicine, cuisine, and more

"From noted rosarian Peter Kukielski comes this unique and handsome book that traces the many ways that roses have captured human imagination throughout the history of civilization."—Meghan Shinn, Horticulture

"I would recommend Rosa as a gift for anyone who loves flowers, although once purchased you would find it hard to pass on!"—Judith Blacklock, Flora Magazine

Few flowers have quite the same allure or as significant a place in history as the rose. A symbol of love, power, royalty, beauty, and joy, the rose has played many roles, both literal and symbolic, in poetry, art, literature, music, fashion, medicine, perfume, decoration, cuisine, and more.
In this beautifully illustrated guide, award-winning horticulturist Peter E. Kukielski and his coauthor, Charles Phillips, tell the fascinating and many-layered history of this “queen of flowers.” The book explores many stories from the long association of roses with human societies, from their first cultivation—likely in China some five thousand years ago—to their modern genetic cultivars. It shows how roses have been prominent across time and many cultures, including ancient Greece and Rome, Christianity, Islam, and Sufism.
The book, with more than 140 color illustrations, offers a unique look at the essential contributions that roses have made throughout human history.

Peter E. Kukielski is an acclaimed horticulturalist who was curator of the award-winning Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden at the New York Botanical Garden from 2006 to 2014. He lives in Portland, ME. Charles Phillips is a writer and editor with more than 30 years’ experience. He lives in London, England.

“The social, cultural and horticultural history of the rose is entertainingly and thoughtfully displayed in this exquisitely produced hardback title...The narrative in the nine chapters, each usefully distilled into bite-sized sections, takes a world view on the rose's rise to fame.”—Garden News

"Packed with so many fascinating stories and facts...I would recommend Rosa: The Story of the Rose as a gift for anyone who loves flowers, although once purchased you would find it hard to pass on!"—Judith Blacklock, Flora Magazine

“The authors present the most comprehensive exploration of the evolution, development, impact and importance of roses from antiquity to present times that I have ever found.”—Gaye Hammond, Past President of the Houston Rose Society

Rosa emphasizes the wonder of the rose by tracing the many ways it has shaped cultures around the world. It is wonderfully and richly illustrated.”—Michael Marriott, Senior Rosarian at David Austin Roses, and Rose Garden Designer

“Rich in fascinating cultural history, Rosa takes us on a joyous visual romp through the stories and symbolism of the most iconic of all garden flowers.”—Peter Crane, author of Ginkgo: The Tree that Time Forgot