The importance of Rosa chinensis in the Rose story cannot be under-estimated. Without the parent genes of this species we would not have roses that have the ability to repeat bloom from spring until autumn. Sadly, the original species is now thought to be extinct but with China being such a huge country I, for one, am hopeful that it will be re-discovered growing happily in some little sheltered spot being cared for tenderly by an unassuming gardener. It's entirely possible (if not a little romantic) as the Chinese have cultivated Roses from about 3000BC. Confucius (551 - 479BC) recorded that a large number of roses had been planted in the Imperial Gardens in Peking and roses are certainly depicted in Chinese art from the 10th century onwards though the rose were was never as revered as the prestigious Chrysanthemum.
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The first descendant of Rosa chinensis to reach Europe is thought to be the hybrid "Old Blush" AKA "Parson's Pink" which was planted in Holland in 1781 and no doubt transported to England from there. 8 years later a red form was found growing in Calcutta and brought to England by Gilbert Slater of the British East India Company, this rose is known today as "Slater's Crimson China". These 2 humble roses are responsible for the remontancy in all the many and beautiful roses that we grow today. "Old Blush" is also an important forbear of Miniature Roses.
China. The perfect little button-hole rose which is simply charming. Almost always in flower with small perfect pink blooms that open from long pointed buds. The fragrance is sweet and spicy. Relatively few thorns and healthy foliage. This climbing sport is quite vigorous and will tolerate some shade. 1894.
Colour: Pink Habit: Climbing Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 3m x 3m
China Rose. An exceptionally graceful rose which bears masses of slender pointed buds of vivid red opening to soft yellow then changing to coppery tones of pink and later in the season crimson tones. A continuous, spectacular and unusual display. One of my firm favourites. Bred prior to 1896.
The name Mutablis means 'changeable' which is what really describes the flower colour best. This rose is also described as the 'Butterfly Rose' as the single flowers float and dance above the foliage like a - you guessed it - a butterfly.
Colour: Pink / Yellow Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 2m x 1.5m