My friend Rose commented about my page title "Every Rose Has Its Thorn". That planted a tiny seed in my mind which grew and flourished and finally bloomed into the question above, "Why do roses have thorns?"
The phrase at the header of my page was prompted by the song of the same name by the band Poison. I hadn't heard that song for quite a while and it just kind of planted itself there. I love roses, they are my favorite flower. The phrase from the song was not the first I had ever heard it by any means but until Rose's comment, I had never really thought about it.
Me and my quirky little mind. Funny how it latches on to things and just won't let go until it finds a suitable answer. The internet is a varitable garden of information. I set out with hoe, rake and shovel in hand and kept weeding and digging until I found what I was looking for. The website is called "Big Site of Amazing Facts" , Article title: History of Roses"
Check it out at: http://www.bigsiteofamazingfacts.com/history-of-roses
Below are excerpts from the web site. Read it for yourself. It's pretty interesting. (BTW, the very next article is Titled: The History of the Ruler. In case you are ever curious.)
The History of the Rose
Immortalized in songs, such as The Last Rose of Summer, Sweet Rosie O'Grady, and My Wild Irish Rose," the rose has been, and will likely forever remain, the king or queen of flowers.
The botanical family Rosaceae, which includes close to 200 species and thousands of hybrids, has flourished for millions of years. Indeed, roses have been cultivated for so long that it's impossible to determine where or when the flower was first domesticated. The Egyptians were familiar with cultivated roses by 3000 B.C., building rose gardens in their palaces and often burying roses in their tombs. By the time of Cleopatra's reign, the rose had replaced the lotus as Egypt's ceremonial flower.
The mythologies of various ancient cultures touched on the rose. Most agreed that the flower was created when the gods were still on earth. The Greeks called the rose "the king of flowers" until the poet Sappho, in her Ode to the Rose, dubbed it the "queen of flowers" forevermore. According to the Greeks, the rose first appeared with the birth of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty. When Aphrodite (in Roman mythology, Venus) first emerged from the sea, the earth produced the rose to show that it could match the gods in the creation of perfect beauty. The well-known painting by Botticelli, Birth of Venus, depicts dozens of roses in a scene of the goddess emerging from the sea.
Another myth tells of a beautiful maiden named Rhodanthe (rhodon in Greek means "rose") who was tirelessly pursued by three suitors. To escape her pursuers, Rhodanthe fled to the temple of Artemis, where her attendants, convinced that Rhodanthe was even more beautiful than Artemis, flung a statue of the goddess from its pedestal and demanded that Rhodanthe be represented there instead. The god Apollo, angered by the insult to his twin sister, Artemis, turned Rhodanthe into a rose and her attendants into thorns. The three suitors were changed into the three courtiers of the rose: the bee, the worm, and the butterfly.
Yet another myth blames the god Eros, or Cupid, for the rose's thorny stem. According to the tale, the god of love was enjoying the aroma of the thornless rose when he was stung by a bee lurking in the petals. To punish the flower, Cupid shot the stem full of his arrows, and the rose forever after was cursed with arrowhead-shaped thorns. Yet according to a Chinese proverb, "The rose has thorns only for those who gather it."
Christian lore relates that the rose became thorny only when man had been driven from the Garden of Eden. In Paradise Lost, the poet Milton tells of "flowers of all hue, and without thorn the rose." Legend also tells us that after betraying Christ, Judas hanged himself on a thorn tree, which then burst into bloom with roses, as a sign that Christ died for the sinner as well as for the saint.
So there you have it. I don't know what it's good for but it kept me busy most of the morning! LOL