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All About Mary

Castilian Rose

Q: I have been searching everywhere for a Castilian Rose plant. I would love to grow them. Do you know where I can find one?

A: The Castilian Roses mentioned in the Guadalupe event have a special miraculous significance. They refer to roses established and common in Spain but not familiar to the indigenous population of Mexico, thus, a special surprise for the Spanish-born bishop to whom Juan Diego presented the Castilian roses. It may also be mentioned that December in Mexico City is not a month of roses! Botanically speaking, our Mary flower specialist, Mr. John Stokes, tells us that the Castilian Rose corresponds to the so-called hybrid Rosa damascena (variety semper florens) whose origin and distribution is to be found in an area west of Turkey including Europe. It became established in Spain, from where it would have been brought to the New World. (see: Peter Beales, Classic Roses, 1997, 6-7)

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