Two of my very favourite "old" roses, "Anais Segales" and "Complicata" belong to the Gallica family and if they can be considered typical of the species then they are very easy to grow. R."Anais Segales" can be seen on many an old farm entrance way or fence line in NZ and can be recognized by its showy rich mauve blooms with the most exquisite petal formation.
If you don't notice the flowers immediately you will certainly smell the delicious perfume wafting through the air in early October as "Anais Segales" is one of the first roses to flower in spring. R. "Complicata" by way of contrast is a simple single rose of show-off pink and in full bloom it is a wonderful sight.
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Gallica roses are another ancient species, and Rosa gallica Officinalis is better known as the Apothecary's Rose or Red Rose of Lancaster. Remember the War of the Roses between Lancaster and York? The White Rose of York is actually Rosa alba. The roses represented the warring factions of Lancaster and Yorkshire. Today peace is kept by R. damascena versicolor also known as R. York, and Lancaster which is a combination of blush pink and white.
Anyway back to Gallica roses which are characterized by neat rounded foliage with a serrated edge in a soft grey green tone. The plants are usually well contained at a height of no more than 1.5m. Warning: if grown from a cutting they will sucker and spread which is not necessarily a bad thing.
Most garden centre plants will be grafted and therefore not prone to spreading out of control. Many Gallicas have a strong fragrance but not all, so check out our individual descriptions. The flower colour ranges from deep pink to purple. Nice ornamental hips in autumn. The older wood has small bristly thorns but new growth is relatively thorn less.
One of the best features of the Gallica group is that they thrive in poor soil. So if you thought you didn't have the right conditions to grow good roses try a Gallica, we're sure you will be pleased with the results.
Gallica. An old French rose which is very early flowering. Blooms of deep lilac mauve that fade to paler shades of mauve and grey. Beautifully formed flowers with a strong fragrance. Just delightful. This rose is found growing wild in the countryside in many parts of NZ. 1837.
Colour: Mauve Habit: Arching Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 90cm x 90cm
Gallica. A beautiful summer flowering Gallica that has flat quartered flowers of textured velvet in a rich deep red/purple tone. Dark green foliage, almost thorn-less stems and a delightful strong fragrance. An ancient variety, pre 1700 often described as "the perfect old garden Rose".
Colour: Red / Purple Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1.2m x 1.2m
Gallica. An unusual rose that grows quite tall with strong arching branches. It bears single, deep pink simple flowers which aren't complicated at all. An attractive pale central zone highlights the prominent yellow stamens. Flowers mainly in summer. Good autumn hips and a soft fragrance. DOB unknown.
Colour: Pink Habit: Arching Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 3m x 1.8m
Gallica. Fully double pale pink blooms that carry a pleasant fragrance appear throughout summer. Dark grey-green foliage and an upright habit. Quite a vigorous grower that will tolerate poor soils and some shade. France 1829.
Colour: Pink Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1.5m x 1m
This rose known as the Apothecary's Rose is of great antiquity. A must have for any collector. Coarse dark green foliage complemented by semi-double large light crimson blooms in summer. Highly scented. Good hips in autumn. Known to Europe since the 13th Century and originates from Damascus.
International Herb of the Year 2012.
Colour: Red Habit: Arching Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1.3m x 0.6m
Gallica. Dark green smooth foliage and almost no thorns on the arching stems. The summer blooms are small and flat and form a perfect rosette. Coloured a deep magenta combined with softer violet tones in the centre. Prune immediately after flowering. From the early nineteenth century.
In Greek mythology Hippolyte was the Queen of the Amazons.
Colour: Red Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1.5m x 1.5m
Stunning near single flowers of a rich velvety crimson purple with stunning yellow stamen contrast. This is a tall upright bush aka Rugosa gallica violacea and is said to have originated in Holland around 1700's. Deciduous
Colour: Purple / Yellow Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 2.4m x 1.8m
Gallica. Large fragrant flowers that are fully double appear throughout summer and are set against grey-green foliage. The blooms are a rich purple-crimson tone with fiery red centres. Strong upright habit and a good tolerance of poorer soils. Suitable for a robust hedge. From England around 1848.
Colour: Purple / Pink Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1.5m x 1m
Shrub or Climber. A vigorous rose that because of its slightly sprawling habit can be used as a climber. The glowing pink flowers are globular and cupped and quite unique. They put on a drop dead gorgeous display in late spring. Nice soft fragrance and grey-green foliage. Kordes 1936.
Colour: Pink Habit: Spreading Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 2.5m x 2m