Rosa chinensis was brought to the West around 1750. They have the characteristic of repeat blooming with a first flush of flowers in early summer and another flush in the autumn. This was a boon to hybridizers working with most available roses which bloomed just once in early summer with only foliage the rest of the year.

These are medium size shrubs with small, unscented flowers in clusters. Colors range from pink to red and crimson. They are generally considered hardy to USDA Zone 7.

It seems that the first significant cross breeding with this species happened by chance on the Reunion Island which was then called Ile de Bourbon. In that case, Rosa chinensis cross pollinated with an autumn damask rose. A new group of roses called Bourbon Roses emerged from the resulting seedlings.

 

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