Rosa ‘Queen of Denmark’ | Pink Alba Rose

Rosa Queen of Denmark | Pink Alba Rose with long sepals
This old rose has full, flat, quartered blooms

I’m aware that rose cultivars achieve something approaching immortality when small parts of the plant are passed from person to person down the generations, but it still seems amazing to think that Rosa ‘Queen Of Denmark’ has been around since 1816.

Its bicentenary came and went with less fanfare than that accorded a human queen, but the important thing is that people are quietly growing it around the world. You may know it as Rosa ‘Königin von Dänemark’. Continue reading “Rosa ‘Queen of Denmark’ | Pink Alba Rose”

Rosa ‘Tuscany Superb’: A Crimson Purple Gallica Rose With A Classic Old Rose Scent

A semi-double dark crimson rose with golden stamens

Rosa ‘Tuscany Superb”s semi-double flowers are full enough to amply frame a central boss of golden stamens, lifted by glimpses of white around the eye. The petals have a rich, velvety character. You’ll see ‘Tuscany Superb’ described as maroon, purple, crimson, burgundy. I’ve contented myself with crimson-purple, but you can take your pick! As the flowers age, their colour darkens.

We have relatively few scented, crimson-purple rose varieties, and this one remains popular with those who are willing to grow roses that are summer flowering (the industry term for once-flowering). While some roses are grown as a thorny deterrent, ‘Tuscany Superb’ rose is prickly at best.

Depending on which expert you believe (in the absence of the luxury of having a bloom before you to savour), the fragrance is either medium or strong. Everyone agrees on its character, which is a classic Old Rose fragrance.  Continue reading “Rosa ‘Tuscany Superb’: A Crimson Purple Gallica Rose With A Classic Old Rose Scent”

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.