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English Roses
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Crested Moss, also known as Chapeau de Napoleon, or R. centifolia cristata.

This rose has a remarkable history. It seems that by all accounts, this is a found rose, having been discovered growing on a convent wall in Fribourg, Switzerland in 1820, or thereabouts. Most accounts suggest that Vibert was the one who introduced it into commerce.

It is certainly one of the best of it's group, and not just a curiosity grown for it's odd sepals. The bloom is an exceptional clear pink color, well formed with a tidy button eye at the center. It also offers one of the best fragrances of any rose; an exquisite pure damask type fragrance, with slightly spicy or acrid undertones....very pleasant.

The shrub itself is of reasonably tidy growth, topping off at about 5 feet. As it ages, it may require some support to maintain its shape. It is a bit sparse in foliage, compared to, say, Rose de Rescht, but an attractive shrub just the same. I find it to be quite disease resistant and modestly vigorous. My three year old plant is still about 3 feet tall so far, making a foot of growth a year. As do all the Centifolias, it blooms only in the early summer, but for a long period over several weeks.  And of course, it does have those strange, parsley-like sepals to add to it's charms! This is in all respects a beautiful shrub well worth a place in any rosarians garden. Detail of the buds.

ARS merit rating: 8.7
Personal merit rating: 9.0
Hardiness: USDA zones 5 to 8, possibly zone 4 in a protected location.
Shrub size: 4 to 5 feet tall, X 4feet wide.

Fragrance: 4.0 Intense sweet Centifolia fragrance!

Alain Blanchard Duchesse de Rohan
Chapeau de Napoleon Juno
A Centifolia seedling Centifolia seedling #2

Original photographs and site content © Paul Barden 1996-2003