Centifolia Roses and Moss Roses
The cabbage rose, or Provence rose, beloved of our great grandparents and long popular in English gardens, is not a wild species but a complex hybrid, presumably of garden origin. Dutch breeders began to take an interest in centifolias (as they are now called) in about 1580 and persevered for over a century to attain perfection. Their full, globularon gracefully curving stems appear in many of the flower paintings of the old Dutch masters.
‘Bullata’, 1.5 m (5 ft). A shrub of botanical and historical interest, with large, rich-pink, cup-shaped flowers, beautifully scented. Remarkable for its enormous crinkled leaves, deeply tinted with mahogany and bearing a strong resemblance to ‘Continuity’ lettuce.
‘Cristata’, 1.2 m (4 ft). Also called ‘Crested Moss’, it is not in fact regarded as a true moss rose. The crested wings of the calyx give the buds some resemblance to a three-cornered cockaded hat, giving rise to its other name, ‘Chapeau de Napoleon’. The soft rose-pink flowers are fully double.
‘De Meaux’, 1 m (3 ft). A neat, erect dwarf shrub of considerable charm which makes an attractive small hedge. The pompon-like flowers, which open from lovely buds in great profusion, are rose pink and sweetly scented. A form ‘White de Meaux’ is white with pink-centred flowers.
‘Fantin-Latour’, 1.5 m (5 ft). A favourite shrub rose. Vigorous and free-blooming, the double flowers are pale pink, shaded rich blush, and are cup shaped. A beautifully fragrant rose full of old-world charm.
‘La Noblesse’, 1.2 m (4 ft). A superb shrub with gloriously scented flowers of warm, deep rose. Continues to flower when many of the other ‘old’have finished.
‘Tour de Malakoff’, 2 m (6 ft). A large shrub inclined to be untidy in habit except on good fertile. The large, loosely double flowers, mauve-pink with purple shades, change later to Parma violet and grey lavender. Very floriferous but not recurrent, it is often used as a pillar rose.
Rosa centifolia muscosa (moss rose), 1.2 m (4 ft). This rose created a great stir early in the Z 8th century when it was introduced from the Continent. An attractive sport from the cabbage rose, it came into its heyday in the 19th century, when it featured in the garden of almost every self-respecting rose grower. The clear-pink flowers are scented and the buds are well mossed. A shrub of medium vigour and of considerable charm.
‘Alfred de Dalmas’ (also known as ‘Mousseline’). A compact shrub about 1.2 m (4 ft) high. The large, very free-flowering, cup-shaped blooms are delicate flesh pink in colour and are produced throughout the summer. Furnished with brownish green moss.
‘General Kleber’, up to 1.2 m (4 ft). A compact, vigorous shrub; its large, double flowers, open, flat, and quartered, are a soft, pure pink and richly scented. It is well furnished with greenish brown moss.
‘Henri Martin’, I.5 M (5 ft) or more. A vigorous shrub which flowers profusely. The non-recurrent large, light-crimson flowers are produced in clusters that make a fine contrast with their green moss.
‘Jeanne de Montfort’, 2 m (6 ft). A tall, robust shrub which requires a good deal of space. Clear, warm-pink flowers which fade to blush pink are freely produced in large clusters. The buds are well mossed in a brownish tone.
‘Little Gem’, 600 mm (2 ft). A charming miniature with flowers of light crimson, opening to flat pompon blooms.
‘Maréchal Davoust’, up to 1.5 m (5 ft). A good shrub with perfectly shaped buds with brownish moss. The large, saucer-shaped flowers in shades of lilac and mauve with flashes of carmine are prodigally produced and make a splendid display.
‘Nuits de Young’, 1.2 m (4 ft). A thin, somewhat sparse shrub but distinctive because of its unusual dark-purple or maroon colour, with dark, brownish red moss. One of the most famous of the moss roses.
‘William Lobb’, 1.8 m (6 ft) or more. A very vigorous, free-flowering shrub producing scented, dark purplish crimson flowers fading to pale purplish lavender. Buds and pedicels (the short stalks connecting the flower with the main stem) are well covered with green moss. Also known as the ‘old velvet moss’.