Rose Home | Pictures of Roses | Contact | About | Resources | Site Map
Rose Home > Rose Bushes > Antique Roses
Share |

Antique Roses

Over the centuries, roses have evoked romance, religion, and wars. The oldest rose fossils date back 60-70 million years. No other flower to date has been so loved and cherished as the rose throughout its history. Many of the early civilizations cultivated, respected, sold, and traded roses including, the Chinese, Egyptians, Romans, Greeks and Phoenicians. The oldest group of roses (currently in existence) that can be dated is the Gallica to around 12th century B.C.

Descendants of Gallica's are the Rosa Damascenaor the Damask rose, Rosa Moschata, Rosa Phoenicia, Rosa Canina, Rosa Corymbifera, Rosa Alba, Rosa Centifolia, Rosa Mutiflora, China, Portland, Bourbon, Noisette, Tea, and Hybrid Perpetual. All of these roses are considered Old Garden Roses that dated before "1867".

Many people call any rose before 1869 Old Garden or Antique Roses. Technically, Old Garden roses are a group of different classes of Roses and their are two sub-classes, Antique Roses and Old Rose Class:

  • Antique Class
    Antique roses were from Europe before the late 1700's and most roses in this class only bloom once.

  • Old Rose Class
    Old Roses trace back to Rosa Chinensis (The China Rose) most roses in this class have repeat bloom.

If you are looking for roses that are hardy, long lived, and have wonderful fragrance, Old Garden roses are for you. Each class has outstanding roses that still can be purchased today at various nurseries through out the world. They come in colors from purest white, to palest pinks and blood reds. Most are disease resistant but not all, some have existed in gardens for centuries with little care and keep blooming but with a deadheading and a little extra care repeat blooming OGRs will give you more blooms. OGRs are hardy and if they do die-back to the ground they will come back from the crown. As with all rose classes including modern roses, you have to grow OGRs in your own gardens to see how they prosper in your zone. Ask other rose growers or rose societies in your area how OGRs will do in your area, again it all comes back to each class of OGRs and which you choose.

Some outstanding OGRs:

Class Rose Bush Color Fragrance Features
Damask Rose
Rosa Alba
Andre' Du Pont
Autumn Damask
White Rose of York
Bishop Rose
Old Blush
Mary Washington
Dresden China
Comte De Chamboard
William Lobb
purple red
pale yellow
pink blend
pink blend
deep yellow mauve
strong fragrance
strong fragrance
strong fragrance
strong fragrance
strong fragrance
strong fragrance
strong fragrant
once blooming
very hardy
shade tolerant
repeat blooming
shade tolerant
quartered blooms
repeat bloom
quartered blooms

Diagram #1 for the History of Roses

history of roses