Cabbage Rose

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Rosa centifolia foliacea
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Rosales
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Rosa
Species: R. × centifolia
Binomial name
Rosa × centifolia
L.

Rosa × centifolia (lit. hundred leaved/petaled rose; syn. R. gallica var. centifolia (L.) Regel), the provence rose or cabbage rose or Rose de Mai is a hybrid rose developed by Dutch rose breeders in the period between the 17th century and the 19th century, possibly earlier. It is a complex hybrid bred from Rosa gallica, Rosa moschata, Rosa canina, and Rosa damascena (Huxley 1992); its exact hereditary history is not well documented.

Growth

Individual plants are shrubby in appearance, growing to 1.5–2 m tall, with long drooping canes and greyish green pinnate leaves with 5-7 leaflets. The flowers are round and globular, with numerous thin overlapping petals that are highly scented; they are usually pink, less often white to dark red-purple.

Cultivation and uses

R. × centifolia is particular to the French city of Grasse, known as the perfume capital of the world. It is widely cultivated for its singular fragrance—clear and sweet, with light notes of honey. The flowers are commercially harvested for the production of rose oil, which is commonly used in perfumery.

In culture

Sylvia Plath mentions the cabbage rose in many of her earlier poems, such as The Thin People.

References and external links

  • Huxley, A., ed. (1992). New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. Macmillan.
  • Centifolia: The Hundred-Petalled Rose
  • Grasse: Villages Beyond Provence


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