Iowa History & Culture Of The Rose

state shape flag for history & culture of the rose in Iowa

In the picturesque state of Iowa, roses bloom, capturing the hearts and imaginations of residents. Laden with history and cultural significance, roses have played a vital role in Iowa’s horticultural heritage. In this blog post, we will embark on a journey that unravels the captivating history of the rose in Iowa and encompasses its importance to the state’s culture, economy, art, and literature.

Historical Roots

Roses have flourished in Iowa for centuries, with their story intertwined with the state’s horticultural traditions. European settlers introduced various rose varieties to the landscapes of Iowa during the 19th century. Over time, adaptable native roses and cultivated species blended, creating captivating gardens and natural habitats across the state.

The establishment of rose societies and clubs throughout Iowa, such as the Iowa Rose Society and the Des Moines Rose Society, further promoted and nurtured the love for roses. Annual rose shows and educational events became a platform for enthusiasts to share their knowledge and showcase their prized blooms.

Cultural Significance

Roses have acquired immense cultural significance in Iowa, evoking emotions of love, beauty, and admiration. These blossoms are often associated with meaningful occasions such as weddings, anniversaries, and funerals, becoming a timeless symbol of affection and remembrance. Furthermore, the state flower of Iowa is Rosa arkansana, more commonly known as the wild prairie rose.

In addition to personal celebrations, roses have become integral to many community events, festivals, and parades across Iowa. These gatherings strengthen the sense of communal belonging and celebration, as the alluring fragrance and vibrant colors of roses captivate visitors and participants. Moreover, the state is home to several botanical gardens that feature beautiful roses. For example, the Reiman Gardens and Wells Fargo Rose Garden are just some of the state’s structures that celebrate and appreciate the timeless beauty and symbolism of roses.

Economic Impact

The rose industry in Iowa makes a substantial contribution to the state’s economy. With numerous greenhouses, nurseries, and retail businesses dedicated to rose cultivation, the industry generates employment opportunities and fosters economic growth.

Furthermore, Iowa’s flourishing rose gardens and parks attract tourists, drawn by the allure and tranquility of these floral havens. These tourists provide a boost to the local economy by patronizing hotels, restaurants, and other establishments. The economic impact of the rose industry showcases the significance of roses beyond their aesthetic appeal.

Artistic & Literary Influence

Roses have long been a muse for artists and writers, inspiring creative expressions throughout Iowa’s rich artistic history. Renowned Iowa painters like Grant Wood and Edward Hopper have captured the delicate beauty of roses in their art, incorporating them into iconic works that endure to this day.

Iowa’s literary traditions have also embraced the symbolism and allure of roses. Authors such as Susan Glaspell and Paul Engle have woven tales and poems, infusing the essence of roses into their literary creations. These works not only celebrate the beauty of roses but also reflect the emotions and experiences unique to Iowa’s residents.


The legacy of roses is deeply rooted in Iowa’s landscape, history, and culture. As these flowers continue to bloom across the state, their captivating beauty connects Iowans through generations. The history, cultural significance, economic impact, and artistic influence of roses highlight their enduring presence and remind us of the timeless allure that adorns the Hawkeye State.

state shape flag for history & culture of the rose in Iowa


Visit Store

From Clothes & Apparel To Home Décor & Accessories. Free Returns. Unique Designs. Worldwide Shipping.