The oldest species of plant cultivated and used for decoration is the rose (genus Rosa, family Rosaceae). Documents dated to AD 50 suggest that ancient Romans grew the flowers in vast plantations and local hothouses to ensure a year-round supply of medicinal extracts, cooking ingredients and ornamentation. These rose blooms were used to decorate buildings, furniture and people whilst petals were laid to create rose carpets and walkways.
There is evidence dating back 5,000 years when the Chinese and Japanese created rose gardens, although it is not known if these were for ornamental reasons. Similarly Theophrastus (382-287 BC) wrote about the cultivation of roses in ancient Greece, but not their purpose.
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