Ellen Albertini Dow (Felisa Howard) died on May 4, 2015 at the age of 101. At the time of her death, she was the longest lived actor in "Star Trek" history. However, she has since been surpassed by Norman Lloyd, who played Professor Richard Galen in Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Chase (1993). On November 8, 2016, he became the first "Star Trek" actor to celebrate his 102nd birthday.
The title is Latin for 'under the rose', an expression meaning 'secretly', as roses were displayed at Roman gatherings as a signal that what was said there was meant to be confidential. Its one of seven Trek episodes with a Latin name.
The notion of Beverly's grandmother being a healer can be traced back to the first season episode TNG: "The Arsenal of Freedom". Injured in a subterranean cavern, Beverly uses the medicinal knowledge of roots and herbs learned from her grandmother to assist Picard in treating her wounds.
The premise of the story revolves around the "women of the Howard family," from mother to daughter, however, patrilineal traditions would dictate that the women, when married, would no longer be "Howard" women and neither would their descendants, but oddly, 800 years later, Beverly's grandmother is still a "Howard". This is not explained.
The plot strongly resembles the Anne Rice novel The Witching Hour, although the writers claim to have been unaware of this at the time. It is more likely that both stories were dependent on Henry James's The Turn of the Screw, also known as The Innocents (1961). Ned Quint and Jessel Howard are named for Peter Quint and Miss Jessel from The Turn of the Screw, which was written in the 1890s.
Felisa was said to be at least 100 years old at the time of her death, though her grave stone gives her birth year as 2291, which would make her only about 79 (which was much closer to the actual age of her performer Ellen Albertini Dow, who was about 80 years old at the time of filming). Interestingly, Dow would in fact live to be over one hundred years old.
This episode is one of eight Star Trek episodes with Latin titles. The others are "Dramatis Personae", "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges", "Ex Post Facto", "Non Sequitur", "Alter Ego", "Terra Nova" and "Vox Sola".
This is one of only five TNG episodes that doesn't have a stardate. The others are "Symbiosis", "First Contact", "Tapestry" and "Liaisons". Since Troi is still a Lieutenant commander, the episode happens earlier than 47611.2 where she becomes a Commander ("Thine Own Self"). On Netflix if you watch it with English subtitles at the end when Picard says "Captain's log supplemental" the captions say stardate 47488.2.
Michael Keenan has appeared in three Star Trek spinoffs. He has played the roles of Maturin in TNG: "Sub Rosa", Hrothgar in DS9: "Heroes and Demons", and Patrick in the DS9 episodes "Statistical Probabilities" and "Chrysalis".