What Exactly is a Cabbage Rose?

“Dear HorticultureTalk,

My wife’s aunt used to have a rose bush when my wife was a young girl.  She said it was a cabbage rose.  Do you know anything about a rose called a cabbage rose.  Isn’t that a flowering cabbage?  Is it a rose?  If so, where can I buy one?


Coy in Colorado”


Dear Coy,

Thanks for posting your comment on our Facebook page.  First of all, a Cabbage Rose is a Rose.

Cabbage roses (Rosa × centifolia) is also known as a Provence Rose or Rose de Mai.  It  is a hybrid rose developed by Dutch rose breeders in the period between the 17th century and the 19th century, or possibly earlier. It is a complex hybrid bred from Rosa galica, Rosa moschata, Rosa canina, and Rosa damascena. Unfortunately, the exact parental crosses to identify its exact hereditary history is not well documented.

Cabbage Rose plants are shrubby in appearance and grow4-6 feet tall, with long drooping canes and olivey-green-gray pinnate leaves with 5-7 leaflets each. The flowers are round and globular, with numerous thin overlapping petals that are highly scented.  The flowers are usually pink or less often white to dark red-purple.

Cabbage Roses are often found in wallpaper, fabric, and carpet patterns in the Victorian Era.

In the U.S., there is only one supplier of Cabbage Roses, and that is Heirloom Roses.  Click here to go to their catalog listing for Cabbage Roses.




© Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk!, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk! with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s