Rosa – Peter E. Kukielski

Rosa is a beautiful book about roses. I’ve wanted to learn more about this queen of the flowers for a long time. I’ve always thought that roses are exceptional, and there is something that sets them apart from the other flowers. I cannot stop myself but smell them whenever I see them. They turn me into a bee! I realised they make me happy and they help me be present. And this is huge!


Rosa - Peter E. Kukielski

Rosa covers the flower’s history, many of its species, its use in medicine and cosmetics, its relation to spiritualism, religions, politics and many more! It has many beautiful colour illustrations, and it is easy to read. I especially liked the part about roses in art; in paintings and poems and fiction. Its symbolism alone is highly interesting.

To sum up, I’ve learned a lot from this book—both about roses and the culture around it. It made me want to learn a lot more, and this is always a good sign. It would make an excellent gift for flower lovers because it is gorgeous and informative. Enjoy!

Rosa - Peter E. Kukielski


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

Peter E. Kukielski is widely recognized for his work toward sustainability and so disease resistance in rose gardens.  He was curator of the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden at the New York Botanical Garden from 2006 to 2013.  In 2007, he redesigned the rose collection of their world-renowned Beatrix Farrand – designed garden.  In 2008, he implemented a new mission: planting and so trialling roses for disease resistance and less chemical usage in the garden.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges: 

A Non-Fiction a Month

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