Visitors enjoying the rose blossoms in Nanyang, Henan province, on May 8, 2012. [Photo by Cui Peilin/asianewsphoto.com]
The city's affair with roses dates back to the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907), then flourished during the Ming (1368 - 1644) and Qing (1644 - 1911) dynasties, giving it quite a rich rose patrimony thanks in no small part to its perfect climate. But there is also the government's role in supporting new technology in rose cultivation, making roses a major contributor to the economy.
The city has spent years researching and developing new varieties and gives a lot of support to rose labs and has China's first rose gene pool, giving it some of the rarest rose varieties, which can be profitable. For example, a variety called Guzhuang, which pulled down the highest price at an auction at the 2nd Beijing Rose Festival, in June 2010, at 1.03 million yuan ($166,000). So, the Nanyang rose business is worth 1 billion yuan annually, and employs more than 100,000, while its roses go to many parts of the world.
In recent years the city has seen its rose contracts with other regions grow and it is expanding its industrial chain, it says, ecologically. Meanwhile, rose exhibitions are a good way to bring more business opportunities to the city.