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Rosa chinensis

China Rose
Deciduous, Shrubs


The rose is the queen of flowers, the most loved and widely planted shrub in all temperate parts of the world. More than 14,000 varieties are grown. Although mostly deciduous, roses can be evergreen in mild climates. Their stems, sometimes quite prickly, may be erect, arching, trailing, or scrambling. Leaves are divided into three, five, or seven leaflets, usually with toothed margins.

Rosa chinensis

From China. The first two China roses to reach Europe (around 1800) were garden forms of R. chinensis that had been grown by the Chinese for centuries. Flowers were pink or red, under 3 in. across, and borne in small clusters on 2–4-ft. plants. Most important, they are repeat bloomers, and brought that trait to the hybrids that came after them.

‘Old Blush’ (‘Parsons’ Pink China’), one of the original two, is still sold; others include red ‘Cramoisi Superieur’ (‘Agrippina’), white ‘Ducher’, and crimson ‘Louis Philippe’. ‘Mutabilis’ opens yellow then turns pink.

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