"The Death Rose (Rosa calvaria) is a rare and mysterious plant species. Beautiful when blooming, the buds form skull like faces when wilting.
Biologists still don’t understand how the Death Rose forms these shocking designs as they are impossible to grow in lab experiments.”
This post on Tumblr has been attributed to user burnt-roses-fallen. The user claims that they did not make it up, but rather got the information from this link (which, in turn, leads to this).
No Google search has turned up any reliable source to confirm the existence of a rose that wilts into a specific skull pattern, nor any rose named Rosa calvaria. Most results that turned up were exact copy-pastes of the above post, primarily from blogging and forum websites.
I have checked several government taxonomic databases for ‘rosa calvaria' and each returned nothing. The closest these websites came to matching it was a genus called Clavaria, a classification for fungus.
The program FotoForensics, which attempts to detect whether a photo has been manipulated, returned these results. The vast discrepancy between colours in the background and on the rose indicate a good chance of manipulation.
"Error Level Analysis (ELA) identifies areas within an image that are at different compression levels. With JPEG images, the entire picture should be at roughly the same level. If a section of the image is at a significantly different error level, then it likely indicates a digital modification."
The name Rosa calvaria likely came from ‘rosa,’ which is a real genus that encompasses (you guessed it!) roses. Calvaria is the Latin word for skull.
I have not yet been able to dig up the original image, nor any good information on what type of rose this may actually be.