Moss roses are generally accepted as being part of the Centifolia Group (rose of 100 petals). They are easy to recognise because of the "bristles" or "whiskers" that cover the stems and buds. In the rose world this designer stubble is known as "moss". The green or bronze coloured moss is full of aromatic resinous oils and is sticky to the touch. Gardeners in the Victorian era were enchanted by the Moss Rose and this is when it was at the height of its popularity. There is no definite record as to when or how this quirk of nature occurred though the original Moss rose Rosa centifolia muscosa is accepted as being a sport of Rosa centifolia. Moss Roses are mentioned in written records from the early 1700's onwards.
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Characteristics of Moss Roses
- "Mossing" of stems, buds and sometimes the base of leaves
- Small and compact habit
- Blooms that are beautifully fragrant
- Colour ranges from deep purple, pink white and striped
- Prune after flowering
Some of our favourites are Chapeau de Napoleon, Shailers White Moss, Nuits de Young, Marechal Davoust and William Lobb.
Centifolia. A chance seedling classed as a Centifolia but some say it is a modern hybrid. No matter the heritage it is a truly beautiful rose with pink quartered blooms that have a strong sweet fragrance. The blooms appear in large clusters for a long period but do not repeat thereafter. C1940.
Colour: Pink Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1.5m x 0.9m
Moss. Beautiful double, fragrant blooms of rich pink with a hint of purple and grey. Very free-flowering throughout summer. Nice dark foliage, the light 'mossing' is also dark green. Best lightly pruned immediately after flowering. From France, 1853.
Named for a young general in Napoleon's army - Marechal Devout - who remained loyal to the very end.
Colour: Pink / Purple Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1.2m x 1m
Moss. The stems and buds of this lovely rose are decorated with reddish green furry 'moss'. The buds open to large, rich pink, informal blooms that are very fragrant and quite frilly. Repeats well and is easy to grow. Prune lightly after flowering. From France 1852.
Colour: Pink Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1.5m x 1m
Moss. An exquisite rose with tight buds clad with dark green 'moss' that open to reveal small flowers in sumptuous maroon-black highlighted with golden stamens. The blooms carry a sweet fragrance and appear in summer. Small dainty leaves and few prickles. France 1845.
Pronounced 'Nwee duh yoong' this rose is named for poet Edward Young whose poem 'Night Thoughts' was very popular in the 19th century.
Colour: Brown / Black Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1.2m x 0.9m
Moss. Very fragrant, large, fully double blooms of pure white (with just the occasional blush) open from buds that are covered in soft green 'moss'. A lovely rose that will perform best if protected from harsh afternoon sun. Prune immediately after the summer flowering if required. 1788.
Colour: White / Pink Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1.5m x 1.2m
Moss. A tall and vigorous rose with sprays of buds covered in green 'moss' that open out to large crimson-purple, informal blooms that gently fade to soft mauve. Deliciously fragrant. Flowers in early summer only but well worth planting. From France 1855.
William Lobb was Plant Collector in the Victorian era who hailed from Cornwall England.
Colour: Purple / Red Habit: Upright Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 2.5m x 1.5m