What exactly is in a rose? We have all felt its prominent symbol of metaphor about to happen, its perfect contradiction between beauty and thorn, its eroticism and elegance. We know that, at least in literature, every rose is unique and complete on its own (the rose in The Little Prince; the rose that “is always alone, the one that is always the rose of the roses,” Borges would say). But one can also say that on its own the flower does not pay justice to its symbol. There are too many roses in the world and that is why its charm has been worn out. However, there is a species that recovers everything that has been lost to culture; a truly odd rose, which would have certainly enchanted poets and mystics even more: the black rose of Halfeti.

It is an incredibly rare rose that refuses to grow elsewhere except in a remote and small town in Turkey called Halfeti. Its crimson is so dark (perhaps the most intense in nature) that it appears to be black. This is due to the region’s soil composition and the pH levels of the groundwater seeping from the river Euphrates. But in addition to being extravagant and unique, this ebony rose grows in extremely limited numbers, and its black color only appears in the summer months (the rest of the year it is a dark red, no less elegant than black).

If ever the Rosa mystica was to materialize, or the rose in the garden of Eros and in Dante’s Paradise, or if “the Rose of Paracelsus” were to rise again from the ashes through the art of alchemy, surely it would be in the form of this strange and uncanny black rose of Halfeti.

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What exactly is in a rose? We have all felt its prominent symbol of metaphor about to happen, its perfect contradiction between beauty and thorn, its eroticism and elegance. We know that, at least in literature, every rose is unique and complete on its own (the rose in The Little Prince; the rose that “is always alone, the one that is always the rose of the roses,” Borges would say). But one can also say that on its own the flower does not pay justice to its symbol. There are too many roses in the world and that is why its charm has been worn out. However, there is a species that recovers everything that has been lost to culture; a truly odd rose, which would have certainly enchanted poets and mystics even more: the black rose of Halfeti.

It is an incredibly rare rose that refuses to grow elsewhere except in a remote and small town in Turkey called Halfeti. Its crimson is so dark (perhaps the most intense in nature) that it appears to be black. This is due to the region’s soil composition and the pH levels of the groundwater seeping from the river Euphrates. But in addition to being extravagant and unique, this ebony rose grows in extremely limited numbers, and its black color only appears in the summer months (the rest of the year it is a dark red, no less elegant than black).

If ever the Rosa mystica was to materialize, or the rose in the garden of Eros and in Dante’s Paradise, or if “the Rose of Paracelsus” were to rise again from the ashes through the art of alchemy, surely it would be in the form of this strange and uncanny black rose of Halfeti.

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