Rosa Chinensis ‘Viridiflora’: The Green Rose

Rosa chinensis 'Viridiflora' (The Green Rose)

Rosa chinensis ‘Viridiflora’, the green rose, is a curiosity that has small whorls of bracts in place of flowers. The bracts are like tiny leaves, with jagged edges and reddish tips and/or streaks. These examples were photographed at The Antique Rose Emporium, and are neater in form than some others I’ve seen. While never showy, the rose repeats well and has a light, peppery, spicy scent.

As it lacks true flowers, Rosa chinensis ‘Viridiflora’ is sterile. The rose has been traced back to 1845, but may be much earlier than that. Since the first chance mutation was noticed and admired enough to multiply, it has been kept in circulation by rooting or grafting.

Famously described as a little monstrosity when it was first exhibited in Paris, it is mostly grown by rosarians and used by florists.

12 Replies to “Rosa Chinensis ‘Viridiflora’: The Green Rose”

    1. It’s a chance mutation of a China rose – Rosa chinensis ‘Viridiflora’. The flowers are made up of many green petals (technically elongated sepals). You’ll sometimes spot green roses in flower arrangements or see them growing in rose lovers’ gardens.

    1. These three blooms had been cut so visitors could admire them at an Antique Rose Emporium event. My sweetheart has wanted one for a while, so he brought one back. It’s still a young plant, but I’m looking forward to lots of green flowers for posies before too long.

    1. It’s quite subtle from a distance but amazing up close, with the little red highlights on the tips to give the edge to all that green.

  1. I see an endless market for these on St. Patrick’s Day. Curious, indeed. Mother Nature does not allow us to get complacent.

    1. I like the mixture of Mother Nature and the helping hand of humans – in this case, rose lovers. This rose is infertile, so left to itself it would have vanished but someone saw it, treasured it, and passed it along, so we still have it today.

  2. [D] OMG! Really! Wow! No, come to think of it … I don’t see the point. A novelty, a gimmick. Certainly not something I would want in my garden. But good to know about. As you say, a testament to what can be, and the human ability to observe, value, and treasure – especially, it seems, what is intrinsically temporal.

    1. It was once called ‘an engaging monstrosity’. It’s intriguing to me, but then many plants are, especially the doubles.

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