How Portland, Oregon Earned its Popular Nickname “The City of Roses”

Roses in Portland, Oregon
Photo by Nik Albert on Unsplash

Like many major American cities, Portland is known by several different nicknames, but one of them stands out above all else. Oregon’s largest city is often referred to as “the city of roses” and many of the city’s top spots are dedicated to this beautiful flower.

The backstory behind this popular nickname is pretty easy to explain. Due to its convenient location in the marine west coast climate region, Portland is the ideal place for growing roses. This industry has been on the rise since the late 19th century, and the nickname “the city of roses” came into use around that time.

It was first used during the Episcopal Church convention in 1888, and the founding establishment of the International Rose Test Garden truly cemented Portland’s status as “the city of roses”. This garden is now home to an impressive collection of over 10,000 rose bushes of 650 different varieties, and it’s one of the city’s most visited tourist spots.

Portland is also a host to the annual Portland Rose Festival, and there are several more rose gardens you can explore during your visit to this city. Some of the city’s top attractions are either named after or pay homage to roses, including Rose City Park neighborhood.