Rosa x alba grows all over Scotland.
It is a bushy shrub-like rose with grey-green fern-like compound foliage,
and a small five petaled flower, one blooming in white, and another, pink.
In the 18th century, the white rose became a symbol of the Jacobite cause -
but having 6 rather than 5 petals.'
The exact origins of this rose as a symbol are somewhat lost;
however, one of its earliest references is to the birth of James Francis Edward Stuart,
(son of the deposed James II) who was born on 10th June, 1688.
This day is said to be "the longest day of the year in which the white rose flowers".
Legend also has it that Bonnie Prince Charlie, in 1745,
plucked a white rose from the roadside and stuck it in his hat,
as he made his way south from Glenfinnan to start the final Rebellion at Culloden.
In the years leading up to the final battle at Culloden,
Jacobite followers were forced to meet and plot in secret.
The white rose or white cockade (a flower made from ribbon, often worn on a hat)
became a way to identify a supporter the cause.
The 6-petaled rose was also engraved on drinking glasses,
usually accompanied by one or two buds.
"The rose of all the world is not for me.
I want for my part
Only the little white rose of Scotland.
That sharp and sweet - and breaks my heart"
----"The Little White Rose", Hugh MacDairmid, regarding the Symbol of Scotland.