Although the same point (a dependence on water) can be made with many different plants, roses are an important narrative element in The Little Prince. They are also perceived to be difficult to care for—a perception the little prince’s rose justifies.
In 1936 Saint-Exupéry crash landed in the Libyan desert and very nearly died of thirst. This quotation was extracted from his account of that experience.
We think man can walk straight ahead, that man is free … We cannot see the rope
that attaches him to the well, that binds him like an umbilical cord to the womb of the earth.
If he takes one step too many, he dies.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry / Wind, Sand and Stars (1939)