R. alba maxima, from Europe, pre-15th century, exact history unknown.
This beautiful rose is one of the most subtle and simple of the Albas, and yet also a sophisticated shrub of great character. Also known as the 'Jacobite Rose', or the 'White Rose of York'.
This is a fairly tall rose in most climates, growing to 6 feet, or in mild climates, to as much as 10 feet. The shrub form is upright and arching, or fountain shaped. The foliage is typical of the Albas: grey-green and dark, generally disease free, although rarely this rose will get rust. Blooms are white when fully open, but depending on the weather, they will have a cream or blush pink tone at the center at the beginning. They are produced in small clusters of 3 or as many as 8, and are very strongly, and sweetly scented. There is a very old plant of Maxima here on the farm, and it is in bloom in the early summer for 6 to 8 weeks! Even though it is a once-bloomer, it makes up for that with its lasting display.
R. alba maxima is not an ordinary rose....it is a sublime beauty that works very well in cottage gardens. Just remember that Albas are best left unpruned so that they may develope their true shrub form, so don't plant one unless you can allow it the room to grow as it pleases.
merit rating: 8.4