This old rose is still grown and is one of
the longest grown types of all the roses.
Rosa gallica i.e. French rose, was first
grown in cultivation in
Europe around the
15th century. The species is native to
Southern Europe and Western Asia. It was
typically found in the gardens of
monasteries during the Middle Ages and is
sometimes called the apothecary rose due to
its supposed medicinal qualities.
These roses are nice,
compact shrubs of 2 to 4 feet in height. It
is generally hardy and, if grown on its own
roots and not grafted, may spread by
underground runners. The fragrant flowers
range in shades of deep red to pink and may
be single, semi-double and double forms. They
bloom once per season and are susceptible to
is the Red Rose that was used as a symbol by
the Royal Lancaster Family in
the late 15th century, they fought the White
Rose, York Family in the War of the Roses.
An early development with
this species was its use in hybridizing. The
group known as
hybrid perpetuals were the result of
cross breeding with this rose.
'Versicolor' is an old
cultivar that has striped red and white
double flowers. 'Officinalis' is a double
flowered pink to red flower also known as
the Apothecary Rose or Double French Rose.