Historic and Collector's Roses
Lilly's Rose Garden - Ideas for planning and designing your Rose Garden


The Rose in Literature
Botany of Roses
Roses around the World
The roses grouped on this page have a particular historic interest from a rose collector's point of view. They are not necessarily outstanding roses, but are considered historic either because they are the foundation rose of a new class, or because they were created as a tribute to an important historic event or to a famous person. Are also included here some important roses that were named after famous people.

Rose of Provins, syn.  R. gallica officinalis, a very ancient rose. It was the major source of rose oil before the introduction of the Damask roses in Europe. Also known as the Red Rose of Lancaster (see further 'York and Lancaster' rose).

Rosa Mundi, syn. R. gallica versicolor
According to the legend this rose was named after 'Fair Rosamund', mistress of Henry II.

Cardinal de Richelieu, syn. Van Sian ( Laffay, Holland, 1840): dedicated to Armand Jean du Plessis, King Louis XIII's chief minister and sometimes considered to be the world's first Prime Minister, in the modern sense of the term. Under his guidance France was transformed into a strong, centralized state.

'Semiplena': the oldest Alba rose has semi-double flowers and is known as 'Semiplena'. It is the white rose that the Yorkists chose as their badge in the 15 th century.

'Maxima', a fully double form called was the emblem of the Jacobites in the 18 th century.

'Jeanne d'Arc' (Vibert, France, 1818)

'Quatre Saisons' is an extremely ancient rose from the Middle East. In England it is known as the 'Autumn Damask', is one of the parents of both the original Portland (c.1770) and Bourbon (c.1815) roses.

Madame Hardy (1832): one of the classic Old Roses. Hardy, who was in charge of Empress Josephine's renowned rose collection at Malmaison, named this rose after his wife.

Omar Khayyam (1893): a rose that was first raised from seed from a rose on Omar Khayyam's grave at Nashipur in Persia. It was planted on the poet Edward Fitzgerald's grave at Boulge, Suffolk in 1893.

Kazanlik, 'Trigintipetala', (Middle East, very ancient): a very ancient rose from Bulgaria. It was originally used in the manufacture of 'attar of roses'. The solf-textured petals are ideal for making pot-pourri.

'York and Lancaster' syn. Rosa x damascena 'Versicolor' (origin unknown, 1551): commemorates the end of the Wars of the Roses (1455-1487) The Wars of the Roses opposed the House of Lancaster (with as blazon a white rose) and the House of York (with as emblem a red rose) in a fight over the throne of England. Both roses were united in the same coat of arms forming the famous Tudor Rose (or York and Lancaster rose). An ironic particularity of this rose is that is shows red, white and bi-colored roses on the same plant. The rose is the emblem of England since 1461.

Note that the White Rose was not first adopted by the Yorkists druing the Wars of Roses, as suggested by Shakespeare's play Henry VI Part 1, where the opposing sides pick their different-coloured roses at the Temple Church. It was an hereditary cognizance of the House of York, and had been borne by them ever since the title was first created. It was adopted by the Jacobins as an emblem of the Pretender, because his adherents were obliged to abet him sub rosa (in secret).

Gloire de Dijon
Archiduc Joseph

'Parks Yellox Tea-scented China' (1824), said to be the original Tea Rose.

'Tour de Malakoff', syn. 'Black Jack' (1856)

William Lobb, Duches d'Istrie (Laffay, 1855)

Rose de Rescht

Jacques Cartier
(Moreau-Robert, 1868), a tribute to the French navigator and explorer (1491-1557) who first discovered the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and mapped the shores of the Saint Lawrence River in the 16th century. This is not the same rose as Marchesa Boccella, which was created by Desprez in 1842, but is sometimes cited as a synonym.

Comte de Chambord

Comte de Cayla

Blanche Double de Coubert


Roseraie de l'Hay
(Gravereux, France, 1901 or 1904).
Obtained by Gravereux, who, together with the landscaper Edouard André created the famous Rose garden of l'Haÿ-les-Roses in 1892.

Blush Noisette
Mme Alfred Carrière

Souvenir de la Malmaison
Louise Odier
Zephirine Drouhin

Hybrid Perpetuals
'Mrs John Laing', 'Gloire Lyonaise', 'Mme Victor Verdier'

English Roses
'The Mayflower' (David Austin, UK, 2001)
Created as a tribute to the first ship that transported European emigrants to the Americas.

Hybrid Teas
'La France' (Guillot, 1867), the forerunner of the modern Hybrid Teas

'Madame A. Meilland' syn. 'Peace', 'Gloria Dei', (Meilland, 1939): the first rose to be honored with the title of "World Favorite Rose" by the World Federation of Rose Societies. Created close to Lyon in France, this rose is one world's most famous roses, with a strong symbol of peace.

'Baby Faurax', 'Cecile Bruner', 'Marie Jeanne'


Multiflora Ramblers
'Trier' (Lambert, 1902 or 1904), not really an outstanding variety, but interesting from an historic point of view, as it is the foundation rose of the Hybrid Roses class.

External links:
HistoricRoses.org: a group founded by members of the Royal National Rose Society with a specific interest in historic roses.

Dictionary of Phrase and Fable
Pink Ladies & Crimson Gents: Portraits and Legends of 50 Roses
by Molly Glentzer

More information:
Pink Ladies & Crimson Gents: Portraits and Legends of 50 Roses
In Search of Lost Rose
byTthomas Christopher

More information:
In Search of Lost Roses
Unless otherwise specified photos on this page © Alessandro Carocci Buzi and Lilly's Rose Garden.
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