Moss roses are a distinctive group of roses, their flowers fill the air with fragrance whilst the soft sticky growth that covers their buds, act as sellotape on anything that passes by. The moss roses are indeed part of the larger centifolia group of roses but these roses at sometime, produced sticky soft growth to ward off sap sucking insects like aphids. The rose breeders during the 1800’s leaped apon this natural deviation and bred even more roses that were covered in this sticky soft mossy type growth. Some as a result were slightly less sticky than others!
This mossy growth is basically formed from the glandular projections that cover the Rose stems and buds, this is what gives the roses the scent. In moss roses this somehow took a slight turn and became this soft sticky fragrant growth, which to many smells of spicy apples.
The moss roses were introduced to the uk from Europe in about 1700 and indeed many 100’s were bred although sadly we only have a handful of that figure left
Well here’s 10 great moss roses to give you a taste of what this fabulous plant can bring us, some grow to a few feet tall while others make 8ft quite easy. They are indeed a great group of roses to grow
Mousseline was bred in France in 1855 and repeat flowers thoughout the summer, fragrant and gets to about 4ft tall
General kleber was bred in France in 1856, great quality blooms which are highly scented, flowers in June and July only. grows to about 5ft tall and is great rose for a large pot
Celina was again bred in 1855 in France, smells Devine but does suffer quite badly will mildew but the striped flowers are stunning to say the least
Henri Martin, bred in France in 1863is one of the real stunners of this group, it’s flowers are one of the darkest of the moss roses and changes to a deep red as it ages. It is well scented, can can be successful grown either as a supported shrub rose or as a climbing rose
Rosa oeillet panache is the only stripped moss rose left now sadly, it’s fragrant flowers only born during June and into July. It is a sport off the common moss rose
James veitch is a little stunner, bred in France around 1864, it barely gets to 2ft in height and flowers all summer long although sadly the flowers aren’t the most highly scent of the group. It also grows well in pots
Little gem is One of my favourites as well, wonder scent and gets to about 3ft high in the garden, it’s featured in my six on Saturday a few times now. Bred in the uk in 1880
Muscosa is the father of them all, this stunning rose has been around for over 400yrs now, it can get to nearly 4ft in size and flowers just the once
Shailers white Mose rose is a sport off the common moss and can indeed at times revert back to the pink form just as the pink form can at times throw up this white form, again highly scented and once flowering. Though to of been around since 1790.
William lobb, well I am saving the best to the last, one of the most highly of scented and beautiful of all the moss roses, indeed is one of my top ten roses of all time, bred in France in 1855 it a big rose growing to over 6ft as a shrub or 8ft as a climber. It works well trimmed as a shrub or having the long stems pinned down, but it is as a climber it performs best as. It flowers on and off all summer long
I hope you enjoyed my brief look at moss roses and this will led you to enjoy, study and hopefully grow many of these stunning plants. There are lots more available than I can list or feature here but this is just a taste for you all
5 Comments Add yours
This is so not what I was expecting. I think of ‘moss rose’ as Portulaca grandiflora.
A lovely selection of Moss roses, Tom. Sorry, tonytomeo, but we’re talking real roses here! Despite all of the many varieties raised since 1840, I still regard the so-called “Common Moss” as the best! Pure Centifolia flower and scent, rich dark green moss and that fantastic spicy fragrance! One of my ‘Top Ten’ shrub roses.
Why thank you indeed, the scent is stunning on the main moss rose isn’t