Plant The Centifolia Rose (Cabbage Rose) For Fragrant, Elegant And Pretty Flowers

Centifolia Roses: Pretty Flowers Known as Cabbage Roses

Ancient roses are varieties of rose bushes that were known to be in existence prior to 1867 when modern hybridization techniques were introduced and began to gain momentum.  These beautiful roses fell out of favor in the 20th century but are quickly regaining popularity as people discover that old rose varieties are easy to grow and elegant.  The Centifolia rose, also known as the cabbage rose, is a type of ancient rose that was extremely popular from the 1600s to the 1800s. 
Cabbage rose
Creative Commons License photo credit: quinn.anya

Cabbage roses are believed to have originated in the early 1600s and are thought to be a mixture of multiple rose species, however its pedigree is not well documented.  The term, Centifolia, was used to describe this type of rose flower because it these plants produce pretty flowers that have hundreds of petals that have the appearance of cabbage.  Centifolia rose varieties are very fragrant and produce blooms in various shades of red, white and pink.  

These pretty types of flowers are accented by lush grey-green foliage. The beautiful Centifolia roses can reach heights of seven feet and have dramatic, long, arching canes that will have blooming flowers only once each year, typically in the late spring.  They are typically medium sized bushes but there are also dwarf varieties of centifolia roses. Centifolia roses should be pruned after flowering. Always remove dead or diseased wood and trim back new growth by about one half.

Varieties of Cabbage Roses (Centifolia Roses) include:

  • Black Jack:  Developed in the 1850s, this Centifolia produces pretty flowers that are about four inches in diameter.  This is one of the tallest varieties as well, growing to eight feet tall.  The flowers of Black Jack are a unique magenta that fades to blue-violet as the blooms age. 
  • Blanchefleur Centifolia Rose:  This variety of cabbage rose originated in France and is compact, reaching heights of four feet and spreading approximately four feet wide.  The Blanchefleur Centifolia rose produces large, flat, white double blooms. They have a soft, light fragrance and will bloom only once during the summer months.
  • Crested Moss: This elegant Centifolia was developed in Switzerland and was known to be in existence in the early 1800s.  This gorgeous variety produces double pretty flowers in a unique shade of pink.  This shrub will grow to about five feet tall and grows well in most conditions.
  • De Meaux Centifolia Rose: This variety of cabbage rose was developed in the 1700s and has elegant, small flowers that are a lovely shade of pink. This Centifolia is small, only about two feet tall, and has plenty of lovely green leaves and produces an abundance of pretty flowers.  This variety is known for it strong fragrance and tends to be more difficult to grow than other Centifolia varieties.
  • Juno Centifolia Rose:  This rose bush dates back to the early 19th century and is known for its lovely light pink roses with a yellow center.  Juno is known for its strong fragrance.  This variety of Centifolia tolerates most conditions and is quite hardy.
  • La Rubanee:  La Rubanee is a moderate sized rose shrub that blooms in mid-Summer. It grows well in most conditions but is best known for its unique blooms that are off-white and accented with purple and red stripes.  These pretty flowers have a strong, pleasant aroma.
  • Petite Lisette:  The Petite Lisette Centifolia rose blooms annually producing cute pompon like flowers in a bright pink hue.  This plant has long arching canes and can become quite large.
  • Pompon de Bourgogne: This small variety of Centifolia produces tiny, pretty purple-pink flowers and only grows to about two feet high.  This rose dates back to the 1600s.
  • Rosa Centifolia:  Dating back to at least the 16th century, Rosa Centifolia is a classic variety of the cabbage rose that is also known Provence Rose.  This plant produces large, double blooms in a deep shade of pink and can grow up to six feet tall.  
  • Robert le Diable:  If you are searching for a Centifolia variety that blooms later than most, consider adding this rose to your yard.  Robert le Diable grows to about three feet high and has interesting flowers in shades ranging from red to lilac.  This unpredictable shrub is sure to add drama and interest to almost any landscaping design.
  • The Bishop: The Bishop is another medium sized rose that produces deep pink blooms with a strong fragrance.  This plant requires full sun for best performance.
  • White Provence:  For a lovely cabbage rose that has bright white flowers, consider planting this variety of Centifolia. This plant will bloom throughout the summer and into fall if conditions are right

The Centifolia rose is a unique variety of old rose with abundent petals and strong fragrance.  These plants tolerate most conditions and are available in many colors and sizes to fit almost any landscaping design. Consult your local nursery to see which varieties will perform best in your locations. For more information about old roses check out our article, For Beautiful Roses Try Growing Old Roses.  If you prefer modern varieties, learn more from our article, Modern Roses Make Beautiful Summer Flowers.

Or learn more about the following individual types of old roses from our related articles about:

Cabbage rose
Creative Commons License photo credit: quinn.anya