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If you thought Shah Jahan was the only one who created an unparalleled symbol of love in the memory of his wife, you may be way off the mark. Because, with some cash and patience, you can--probably-- do one better: have a variety of rose named after your loved one.

The scheme is by the Mumbai Rose Society (MRS), which is seeking unusual avenues to fund its research into new varieties of the flower. "Many scientists and rose growers in and around the city carry out research on the flower. But it requires complete dedication, because it can take more than a year to develop a new variety. Also, due to a resource crunch, many give up mid-way," said Arshad Bhiwandiwalla, secretary, MRS.

To prevent this, the MRS has come up with the naming scheme. The average cost of developing a new rose variety is Rs 2-10 lakh, depending on colour, size and fragrance.

Bhiwandiwalla said MRS will coordinate with rose breeders and researchers from, besides Mumbai, Pune, Nashik and Nagpur. "This will act as a great encouragement to the researchers. Also, this way, common citizens can dedicate a unique variety of rose to loved ones. All they have to do is bear the cost of research."

Take B R Rose, for example. The variety was developed by Dr Narayan Shastri--a rose breeder--and dedicated to his friend, the late B R Pimpalapure. Likewise, Dr B P Pal, a former director-general of the Indian Council of Agriculture Research, developed a variety of white rose and named it Dr Homi Bhabha Rose after the late nuclear scientist.

"This is a new concept. Until now, researchers had been naming roses after famous personalities out of goodwill," said Jagdish Mhatre, ex-secretary and member, MRS.

observations gunna buy you a dozen roses howRose experts say research on developing a new variety is carried out in three phases: breeding, germination and trial. Sometimes the period of time to complete the research can stretch to over two years.

But what about exclusivity? Well, there are around 3,000 varieties of roses in India, and around 33,000 worldwide.


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