Centifolia, Moss, and China Roses
Historians believe that the Centifolia rose or the Cabbage rose is one of the oldest cultivated roses. It is believed to be a cross between Autumn Damask and an Alba Rose. The Centifolia or ‘Hundred-Petalled’ Rose grows to be about 4-5 feet tall and has a floppy habit. The flower blossoms are softer colors with a rich sweet scent. The flowers are commercially harvested for the production of rose oil because of their distinct rose scent.
Henri Martin Rose
The Moss rose is a variation of the Centifolia Rose. Moss roses are different than all other roses because of their mossy beards that form around their calyces, flower stalks, and sometimes their leaf stalks and stems. The ‘beards’ are greenish brown glands. The glands are sticky and the substance secreted is heavily aromatic and smells of resin
The Salet rose is known as the most reliable repeat flowerer of the Moss Roses. Double pink very fragrant blossoms cover this rose bush. It is hardy in Zones 4-10 and grows to be about 5 feet tall by 4 feet wide.
The Henri Martin rose has rich pink fragrant blossoms and it mainly flowers during the summer. It grows to be about 4-6 feet tall by 6-8 feet wide and is hardy in zones 4-9. This rose was introduced in 1852 and is named after a popular historian that was involved with the group that promoted the gift of the Statue of Liberty from France to America.
China RosesRosa chinensis ‘Mutabilis’
Rosa chinensis was introduced to the western world at the end of the eighteenth century causing a huge change in variety and the characteristics of Old Garden Roses. New colors and the ability to re-bloom changed the gene pool for rose breeders.
The Old Blush China rose has bubblegum pink blossoms that darken with age. It is a slow growing bush that grows to be about 5 feet tall and is hardy in zones 6-9. Old Blush was introduced to Europe in 1793 and it is one of the most historically significant roses due to its ability to re-bloom. All of the repeat flowering Modern Garden Roses are descendants of the Old Blush Rose.
Rosa chinensis ‘Mutabilis’ was introduced by a Swiss botanist in 1932. Mutabilis is a dainty rose with single blooms that open yellow, and transitions to crimson red through gradations of orange and pink. It can be treated as a shrub rose or it can be trained to be a climbing rose. If trained as a climbing rose it can grow 10 feet tall by 6 feet wide. Mutabilis is hardy in zones 5-10.
For more information on these and other Old Garden Roses take a look at this site http://extension.illinois.edu/roses/kinds.cfm. Check back next week to learn about Bourbon, Hybrid Perpetual, Modern Climber, Rambler and Miniature Roses.