The Nomenclature of Roses
Updated: Feb 18
Roses can be many things, beautiful, an expensive commodity, cultural expression and so forth. Something most individuals don’t think about is that roses are also a language, and like any language, it has evolved during the years that this industry has blossomed.
There are plenty of steps in between the production and final sales of roses, the reason all these steps that involve lots of people can happen coherently is that we all speak the same language, the language of producing the most beautiful rose in the world.
Perhaps there is still a bit of confusion about what we mean by language, it is not a literal language that we have invented to talk among ourselves, but more of a set of terminology, parameters and common culture among the dynamic world of this business. It is of uttermost importance to be familiar with this language if you are involved in any part of the chain of value.
For example, sales need to be able to understand when talking to the farm and more specifically production. They must know how every different variety behaves in the greenhouse, then in classification and packaging, this way they can deliver the most asserted product to their customers and make their projections and budgets.
If you keep working up the chain of value, clear communication is essential. Sales have also to talk to the clients, and there are many types like wholesalers, florists, events planners or even the final consumer. These conversations are mostly conducted by certain terminology and all that goes behind it.
The first one is the rose variety.
This might sound like something obvious but knowing your varieties means you know when to buy, what roses are more productive than others when doing certain varieties go up in price during the year and what might be good substitutes if there is no availability for the certain one that you are looking for.
The next one is stem length, this is very important because if you’re making a bouquet you need longer stems, but if you are making an arrangement perhaps a shorter stem would be more suiting.
Stem length is characteristic of every variety and it can go from 40cm to 130cm, also some varieties produce certain lengths more than others so having that in mind is useful while placing your orders.
Finally, we have button size, this usually is strictly correlated with stem length, the longer the stem the bigger the button or head.
At the same time, there is a vast variety of button sizes that are strictly characteristic of the variety. Some have bigger buttons, and some have smaller, this is essential to know not only for making your bouquet or arrangement but also to determine packaging. It may be the case that 100 stems of certain variety fit perfectly in a box and others don’t, for being larger or smaller, and this can determine how your flower travels and arrives at its destination.
There are so many more technicalities and terminology when you talk about roses, but we feel that these basic ones we discussed are the most important ones you need to remember.
Perhaps next time you go to your local flower shop or designer you can have a more detailed personal conversation with the florist, now that you understand it’s not just flowers in a field, but much more than that.