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Rosa chinensis viridiflora, a chance mutation discovered before 1856, exact origin unknown.

This has to be one of the most unusual little roses in existance! Supposedly in cultivation since1743, according to Roy E. Sheppard* It was introduced into popular culture in 1856 by a British firm, Bembridge and Harrison. The strange blooms are made up entirely of sepals rather than petals. It seems it forgot to make petals, and so made the bloom up of more sepals!

As mentioned above, this rose is thought to be a sport from the original China rose, Slater's Crimson China. This may be pure speculation, but they share a common growth habit. It is a twiggy shrub that branches freely, forming a small, tidy bush of about 3 feet in height. It is not hardy in very cold climates, and is known to die back to the ground most years in zones 5 and 6. Foliage is a bright clear green with a hint of red in young leaves, and quite disease free. This is an unusual rose that will appeal to collectors of novelties.

You can buy R. chinensis viridiflora from The Uncommon Rose.

*History of The Rose by Roy E. Sheppard, 1954

ARS merit rating: 7.8
Personal merit rating: 8.0
Hardiness: Likely USDA zones 6 to 10, zone 5 in a protected location.
Shrub size: 2.5 to 3.5 feet tall X 3 feet wide

Fragrance: 1.0, The "petals" smell of pepper when rubbed.

Eugène de Beauharnais Mutabilis
the Green Rose Old Blush
Hermosa Perle d'Or
Irene Watts Reversion Sport of Green Rose
Martha Gonzales Slater’s Crimson China

Original photographs and site content © Paul Barden 1996-2003