Type of Flowers
Rosa × damascena, more commonly known as the Damask rose, or sometimes as the Rose of Castile, is a rose hybrid, derived from Rosa gallica and Rosa moschata.Further DNA analysis has shown that a third species, Rosa fedtschenkoana, is associated with the Damask rose.The flowers are renowned for their fine fragrance, and are commercially harvested for rose oil (either "rose otto" or "rose absolute") used in perfumery and to make rose water and "rose concrete". The flower petals are also edible. They may be used to flavor food, as a garnish, as an herbal tea, and preserved in sugar as gulkand.
The Damask rose is a deciduous shrub growing to 2.2 meters (7 ft 3 in) tall, the stems densely armed with stout, curved prickles and stiff bristles. The leaves are pinnate, with five (rarely seven) leaflets. The roses are a light to moderate pink to light red. The relatively small flowers grow in groups. The bush has an informal shape. It is considered an important type of Old Rose, and also important for its prominent place in the pedigree of many other types.
Damask rose is a cultivated flower, no longer found growing wild, and the history of just where it came from is varied, but generally understood as coming from the Middle East. The Crusader Robert de Brie is sometimes given credit for bringing the Damask rose from Syria to Europe sometime between 1254 and 1276. The name refers to Damascus, Syria a major city in the Middle Eastern region. Other stories say the Romans brought the rose to England, and a third account says that the physician of Henry VIII gave him a Damask rose, as a present, around 1540.There is a history of fragrance production in Afghanistan (Kabul Province) from the Damask rose.An attempt has been made to restore this industry as an alternative for farmers who currently produce opium.
Damascus roses are used in cooking as a flavouring ingredient or spice. It appears as one of the ingredients in the Moroccan spice mixture known as ras el hanout. Rose water and powdered roses are used in Persian, Indian, and Middle Eastern cooking. Rose water is often sprinkled on many meat dishes, while rose powder is added to sauces. Whole flowers, or petals, are also used in the herbal tea, "zuhurat". The most popular use, however, is in the flavoring of desserts such as ice cream, jam, Turkish delights, rice pudding, yogurt and etc. Chicken with rose is a popular dish in Persian cuisine. Western cookery today does not make much use of roses or rose water. However, it was a popular ingredient in ancient times and continued to be popular well into the Renaissance. In the west, it was most commonly used in desserts. Many traditional desserts in Europe, however, still make use of roses, such as Marzipan or Turrón.
For centuries, the Damascus rose (Rosa damascena) has been considered a symbol of beauty and love. The fragrance of the rose has been captured and preserved in the form of rose water by a method that can be traced back to ancient times in the Middle East, and later to the Indian subcontinent. A Persian scientist, Avicenna, is credited with the invention of the process for extracting rose water from rose petals in the early 11th century.