Flora – Roses

Slovenia – The apothecary’s rose (Rosa gallica ‘Officinalis’) is the only rose variety to have survived the cultural destruction that swept western Europe at the end of antiquity. Since it was practically theonly red rose in gardens in the Middle Ages, we are able to identify it in the first Slovene love poem. The following line is preserved in the Auersperg Manuscript, dating from the fourteenth or fifteenth century: “Rasi in lubi me, luba moja gartroža rumena” – “Grow and love me, my beloved red garden rose.” In the language of the fifteenth century rumena, which in modern Slovene means “yellow”, is understood to mean “red”. The illustration of the apothecary’s rose is part of the legacy of the historian J. W. Valvasor. We know from his reports that a rich collection of roses already existed in seventeenth-century Carniola.

In the early years of the twentieth century the garden by Snežnik Castle was still famous locally for its “giant rose”. After the Second World War, however, all the castle’s roses disappeared. In 2008 the castle’s current caretaker came across a rose bush at the home of a lady who had brought it there from her home village when she got married. She had been given it as a girl by a former castle gardener, who tended a specimen of the last of the Snežnik White roses in his own garden. The newly rediscovered rose was christened the “Snežnik” rose. It is classified as a white rose (Rosa × alba), but enquiries in Germany have revealed that the original variety has not been preserved. Slovenia’s coast and the north-western Goriška region are home to some roses that do not survive in the interior of the country. The most famous Mediterranean rose in Slovenia is the yellow Lady Banks rose (Rosa banksiae ‘Lutea’) growing in the garden of the Palace Hotel in Portorož, where it entirely covers a large pergola. Its stem has a diameter of 25 centimetres. This rose blooms early – at the end of April.
Matjaž Mastnak, Dendrologist

Issue Date:
Designer: /Filatelija/2013/Poštna znamka/72149-RASTLINSTVO-V
Printer: Agencija za komercijalnu djelatnost d.o.o., Zagreb, Croatia
Process: 4-colour offset in sheets of 25 stamps
Colours: 4 Colours
Values: €0.97