Old garden roses

Roses have a long history. The first civilisation whose distant successors we are arose in Mesopotamia. They already grew roses there. Throughout the millennia and centuries, roses have remained a part of civilization and culture.

Rose is a creation of the human mind and desires. New, better roses kept replacing older ones all the time. The vast majority of historical varieties have been lost for ever. Those varieties that have survived testify to the horticultural skills and beauty ideals of bygone eras.

By March 1, 2023, 258 varieties of old garden roses were planted in the Volčji Potok Arboretum. Historical roses belong to classes that existed before 1867. At the exhibition, we present roses from twelve main classes. We leave the historical climbers and classes with few representatives for another opportunity.

Zgodovinske vrtnice

The number of varieties by class of old garden roses in the Volčji Potok Arboretum

Legend: D – Damask roses, HGal – Gallica roses, A – Alba roses, C – Centifolia roses, M – Moss roses, HSpn – Scotch roses, P – Portland roses, HCh – China roses, B – Bourbon roses, N – Noisette roses, HP – Hybrid perpetual, T – Tea roses, druge grmaste – other shrub roses, druge popenjave – other climbing roses


Old garden roses are planted in the Upper and Lower Rose Garden in the Volčji Potok Arboretum.


Classes of old garden roses

The division of old garden roses into classes is more or less settled. The overview below explains how the classes got their names.

Damask roses are named after Damascus, the ancient cultural center of the Middle East.

Gallica roses have got their name after the wild rose Rosa gallica.

Alba roses are named after the predominant white colour of the flowers, which is why they bear the scientific name Rosa × alba.

Centifolia roses with their name indicate that they have a hundred or very many petals in the flower.

Moss roes are densely overgrown with glandular growths that look like moss on the flower stalks and buds.

Scotch roses originate from the wild rose Rosa spinosissima (R. pimpinellifolia)  which is hardy in Scotland and other northern countries.

Portland roses are named after the English noblewoman Margaret C. Bentinck, Duchess of Portland.

China roses were grown by Chinese gardeners before they were brought to Europe.

Bourbon roses are named after Île de Bourbon. The island’s name was changed to Réunion in the middle of the 19th century.

Noisette roses are named in honour to Philippe Noisette, a Frenchman who worked with roses in South Carolina (USA).

Hybrid perpetuals were bred by crossing of various roses. They bloom at least twice in a summer.

Tea roses were brought to Europe by ships carrying Indian tea. Another explanation says the scent of tea roses resembles the smell of black tea.

Damask roses

Damasks are famous for their scent. Attar has been distilled from their flowers for centuries. A product of distillation is rose water, which is an important ingredient in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine and a popular beauty aid. They say that ladies’ skin that is washed with rose water is firmer, fragrant and younger.

It is not known where Damask roses have been bred. It is very probable that they originate from Persia. For a long time, the wild ancestors of Damask roses were shrouded in mystery. Only modern genetic research has shown that Damask roses have Rosa gallica, Rosa moschata and Rosa fedtschenkoana as parents.

Damask roses grow as shrubs that reach two meters in height. The main branches tend to droop outward under the weight of flowers. The branches have thorns (spines) of two forms: the first are stronger, flattened and sharply curved downwards; others are short, straight, bristly and characteristic of flower-bearing twigs. The vast majority of Damask varieties bloom once a year.

Rosa × richardii
According to its parents, the “Rosa sancta” belongs to the circle of Damask roses. Some consider her to be the simplest of the Damasks.

‘Trigintipetala’ oz. ‘Kazanlak’
Trigintipetala means with thirty petals, which describes its flower. It is the most important variety for obtaining rose oil (attar) in Bulgaria, Turkey and Iran.

‘York and Lancaster’
It is a legendary rose for England. Is which symbolically ended the “wars of the roses”. In some flowers of this rose, white and red (actually pink) appear at the same time. The white rose was the symbol of the House of York, and the red rose was the symbol of the House of Lancaster. Genetic analyses have shown that the variety is a mutation of the ‘Trigintipetala’ variety.

Damask roses

Aškerc vrtnica 

A Damask rose, brought to the country by Slovenian poet Anton Aškerc (1856-1912) from his trips to the East.

‘Mme Hardy’ (Julien-Alexandre Hardy, 1831, FR)
The variety is famous for its “green eye”, which some consider a flaw, but others a welcome feature of the variety.

‘Omar Khayyam’
The rose originates from the grave of the poet Omar Khayyam, who is buried in the Iranian city of Nishapur. From there, a man named Frank Knight brought it to London’s Kew Gardens. It is also planted next to the grave of Edward FitzGerald, who became famous for translating Khayyam into English.

The origin of the variety is unknown. It is famous for its white petals, which are slightly touched by red along the edge of petals.

”Lietuviška damaskinė rastinukė”
A found rose from old Lithuanian gardens, which survives northern winters without any problems.

Gallica roses

Due to many petals in a flower gallicas do not resemble much the original wild rose Rosa gallica. What reminds of Rosa gallica are similar colour hues of petals. These take on shades between faded cyclamen and the colour of cooked beetroot.

Gallica rose flowers are borne on strong stalks that are just long enough to rise above the leaves. Neither gallicas nor other old garden roses are suitable for big bouquets which require long flower stalks.

Compared to other classes of old garden roses, gallicas are lower in stature. The shrubs are dense and leafy, the leaves are dark green, firm and not bothered by fungal diseases. Instead of curved thorns, the twigs are strewn with straight, needle-like spines.

Gallicas are easy to grow even in poor and stony soil.

Rosa gallica ‘Officinalis’
It is very probable that the apothecary’s rose survived from the antiquity to the middle ages in the monastery gardens as a medicinal plant.
For several hundred years it was the basis of a profitable manufacture that flourished around the town of Provins south of Paris. Another name for gallicas is the Provins (not Provence!) roses.

Rosa gallica ‘Versicolor’
The variety with striped flowers occurred as a mutation of the apothecary’s rose. It was for the first time mentioned in the middle of the 17th century.

For more than one hundred and fifty years, the Ogres were ruled by the Turks. The Turkish administrators brought with them their cultural goods, among which there was a special variety of Gallica, used for sweets.

Gallica roses

Galske vrtnice v Arboretumu Volčji Potok

‘Tuscany Superb’
The velvet red rose is a spectacular rose. It belongs to the gallicas of an earlier date.

As with most old gallicas, it is not known where and when the variety ‘Violace’ arose. It differs from other gallicas by its taller growth and almostly thornless stems.

‘Cardinal de Richelieu’ (Louis-Joseph-Ghislain Parmentier, 1847, FR)
The flowers turn dark purple as they age. At dusk, their color is even deeper purple.

‘Président de Sèze’ (Mme Hébert, 1828, FR)
The flowers of this variety show two different colour tones, which is a rare characteristic with gallicas.

‘Charles de Mills’
Flat flower are often quatered. In a quattered flower the inner petals are arranged in a way which makes a flower look like divided into four equal parts (pizza-like).

Gallica roses


Rosa × francofurtana ‘Agatha’
An ancient variety with smooth long stems, tall two meters or even more.
In the rose garden next to the Snežnik castle (Slovenia), this rose was planted alternating with a white alba rose to create a colour pattern from the Schönburg-Waldenburg family coat of arms. The rose garden was erased after 1945 and the rose was apparently lost.  The “Red Snežnik Rose” was found alive in the summer of 2017, overgrown by spontaneous shrubs next to the former castle stables.

‘Alain Blanchard’ (Coquerel, 1829, FR)
The spots on the petals haven’t  been caused by a disease, they are the variety’s typical feature.

‘Empress Joséphine’ (Jacques-Louis Descement, 1815, FR)
The variety is named after Napoleon’s first wife. Thanks to Joséphine, roses became irresistibly attractive to aristocratic ladies and anyone who would like to be like them.

‘Pia’ (Pirjo Rautio, 2009, SF)
Pirjo Rautio was a high school teacher who bred roses as an amateur. Her aim was to create new varieties for the harsh Finnish climate. ‘Pia’ is an example of a hybrid gallica bred in the 21st century.

‘Constance Spry’ (David Austin, 1960, UK)
This is the first “English rose” created by David Austin.  He crossed a gallica ‘Belle Isis’ with a modern floribunda.

Alba roses

The alba roses (Rosa × alba) must have been blooming in Europe already in the Middle Ages. The name »alba«, meaning white, is misleading as they are not only white, they can also be pale pink and pink. They bloom profusely in early summer. Their perfume is special. Graham Thomas wrote that in his opinion, no other rose smells as clean and fresh as albas.

They grow as tall shrubs (1.8-2.5 m) with rigid, upright with branches arching outwards. They are heavily thorny. Thorns are sharply curved and strong like those of Rosa canina. The leaves are also similar to the wild dog rose with a bluish tone. Albas are highly resistant to frost and fungal diseases.

In modern genetic research, which classifies roses according to their genetic record, albas always make a homogeneous group. They are placed closer to Rosa canina than to Rosa gallica. A plausible explanation is that the albas were created by crossing Damask roses with the dog rose.

It was first described in the 16th century. In the rose fields for attar production in Bulgaria, they grow albas of the varieties ‘Suaveolens’, ‘Maxima’ and ‘Semiplena’ next do much more numerous Damask rose ‘Trigintipetala’.

The variety is an alba rose from European medieval gardens. The flower has about fifty petals.

‘Félicité Parmentier’ (Louis-Joseph-Ghislain Parmentier, 1836, BE)
The variety has many rosebuds and very double flowers.

Alba roses

‘Maden’s Blush’ oz. ‘Cussse de Nympe’
The variety is said to have existed in Europe before 1400.

‘Chloris’ (Jacques-Lous Descement, 1815, FR)
It is an alba with perfectly smooth stems without a thorn.

‘Königin von Dänemark’ (James Booth, 1816, DE)
It has the darkest flowers among the albas.

Vrtnice albe v Arboretumu Volčji Potok

A found rose that survived the destruction of the rose garden next to Snežnik Castle (Slovenia) after 1945.

Centifolia roses

Reports of roses having a hundred petals in a flower were left by the ancient Greeks. We can only guess whether their hundred-petals-roses were the way we know them today. Centifolia roses appeared in Europe around 1600. They were different from previously known roses: their flowers were very double, more globular in shape when opening. Their perfume is beautiful.

Centifolias were sold by Dutch gardeners, but not created by them. In Europe, there was not enough horticultural knowledge, tradition and genetic resources for something like this. When Persia was ruled by Shah Abbas I the Great (1571−1629) and the Dutch sensed that the country was opening up to the west, they claimed the right to land in their ports and to trade directly with them. In Persia, among the goods unknown to Europe, they found the centifolia roses and sold them as their own for the next two hundred and fifty years.

Flowers of the hundred-petaled rose can be extremely beautiful, but only if the buds are not disturbed by rain during their development. In the rain, the flower buds ball and rot. Shrub’s branches often lie down to the ground under the weight of the flowers. Their health is threatened by powdery mildew.

“Typ Kassel”
The pink color of centifolisa fades very quickly, so the flowers become two-colored: bright on the sunny part, darker inside the flower. Old painters liked them the most.

‘Gros Choux d’Hollande’
The name means the Large Dutch Cabbage Rose in French.

‘Vierge de Cléry’ (Auguste Alexandre Baron-Veillard, 1888, FR)
Not many centifolias bloom white.

‘Rose de Meaux’
A centifolia with small and very cute flowers.

Moss roses  

The moss on the buds and flower stalks are glandular growths that are soft to the touch and somewhat sticky. Rose moss is sticky due to a resinous secretion that smells like a mixture of pine resin, balsam and roses. It absorbs well into human skin and leaves the fingers smelling for hours.

Moss roses originated as sports (mutations) on twigs of Centifolia roses. In the nineteenth century, moss roses were very popular and hundreds of moss varieties were available from specialist nurseries. With the rise of modern roses, they slipped into oblivion.

‘Gloire des Mousseux’ (M. Laffay, 1852, FR)
The flower stalk, future rosehip and sepals are overgrown with moss.

An open flower hides moss underneath.

‘Goethe’ (Peter Lambert, 1911, DE)

Lambert’s ‘Goethe’ has small, wild rose like flowers and abundant moss.

Vrtnice mahovke v Arboretumu Volčji Potok

‘Chapeau de Napoléon’

The variety, which was found in Switzerland in 1826, has extremely rich moss on its sepals.


Scotch roses

Scotch roses originated in Northern Europe, where they have been known since the end of the 18th century. The first ones were found as sports of the wild-growing Rosa pimpinellifolia, formerly Rosa spinosissima. In the Volčji Potok Arboretum, they announce the beginning of the rose season, as they bloom already in mid-May.

The leaves and flowers are smaller on Scotch roses then on other old garden roses. The flowers smell very pleasant. Ripe rosehips are not red as with other roses but shiny black.

In the middle of the last century, the German breeder Kordes created a whole series of “spring” roses. Spring because they bloom before summer and because most cultivar names also begin with the word “Frühling”, which means spring. These varieties have large and shiny flowers, but unfortunately they are of weak health and repeat poorly.

Rosa spinosissima “Double White”
The shrub is a gift from Peter Boyd, a world-class Scotch rose specialist. Painter Maja Šubic entrusted the rose to the Volčji Potok Arboretum.

‘Red Nelly’ / ‘Single Cherry’
A really lovely variety that beckons you from afar in mid-May.

‘Poppius’ (Carl Stenberg, 1872, SE)
Gabriel Poppius use to be director of the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry.

‘Paula Vapelle’ (Ivan Louette, 2002, BE)
The variety was created in the 21st century, but because it belongs to the class of Scotch  roses, it is hold for a historical rose. It is an interesting refreshment of Scotch roses because it repeats well.


Portland roses

The vast majority of old garden roses bloomed only once a year until the end of the 18th century. The old wish of gardeners were roses that would reliably bloom at least twice a year. One of the three first classes of roses that bloom repeatedly were the Portland roses. They appeared in the first years of the 19th century.

For a long time, it was believed that Portland roses also got the genes for repeat flowering from China roses. Modern heritage research has disproved this assumption. Among the ancestors of Portlands are Damask, Gallica and Centifolia roses. Double-flowered damask rose (Rosa × damascena ‘Quatre Saisons’) inherited its ability to bloom twice in the same summer from Rosa fedtschenkoana and passed it on to Portland roses. Portland roses have also inherited scent from damask roses.

They grow a meter or so tall and are densely leafy shrubs that set flowers just above the leaves. They require little care and produce many fragrant flowers. The surface of the leaves resembles pigskin.

‘Duchesse de Portland’
The flower is similar in colour and number of petals to the apothecary’s rose (Rosa gallica ‘Officinalis’), except that the smell is much stronger and Damask rose like.

Vrtnice portlandke v Arboretumu Volčji Potok

‘Rose de Rescht’
It is an old garden rose for beginners: reliable, uncomplicated, with fragrant and abundant flowers.

‘Duchesse de Rohan’ (Rene Lévêque & fils, 1847, FR)
The centre of the flower is darker because the sun’s rays have not yet reached there and therefore it has not yet faded.

‘Indigo’ (Jean Laffay, 1845, FR)
The purple-blue, indigo shade appears only old, fading flowers.


China roses

All modern roses, which repeat flowering early summer to late autumn, inherited this ability from China roses. The first China roses reached Europe in the 18th century. Botanists gave them the name Rosa chinensis, but these were not Chinese wild roses. These were Chinese garden plants bred over the centuries. Chinese gardeners have detected a genetic defect that causes the rose to not stop blooming until it is crushed by the cold. Specimens with this characteristic were cultivated and propagated with particular care. The repeated flowering of China roses is therefore not due to Chinese nature, but rather to Chinese culture, to Chinese gardeners who have been practicing their art for thousands of years.

With the Chinas, truly new roses came to Europe: persistently blooming, with branches on which there are almost no thorns, with thin flower stalks, with red young leaves and with low growth. They brought a colour novelty: a special shade of red without admixture of purple, which is usually called cherry red. European horticulturists immediately began crossing China roses with Western roses, and the bourbons, noisettes, and hybrid perpetuals that characterized the 19th century were born.

‘Old Blush China’ / ‘Parson´s Pink China’
The variety is one of the first two China roses that found their way to Europe. Along with the first two tea roses, these roses are labeled the “Four Studs China Roses “, underscoring their enormous importance for rose breeding in Europe.

Rosa chinensis ‘Sanguinea’
A simple China with well exposed leaves that are very different from the leaves of old European roses. Pay attention to the shape and colour of the leaflets!

‘Fulgens’ (Modeste Guérin, 1828, FR)
In the first fleur, the whole bush is covered with flowers.

China roses 

A special feature of Chinas is that the flowers darken with age. The flower of the variety ‘Mutabilis’ opens with an apricot colour and wither with a cyclamen hue.

Vrtnice bengalke v Arboretumu Volčji Potok

‘Gruß an Teplitz’ (Rudolf Geschwind, 1897, AH)
The special feature of the variety is that the flowers of it are unsurpassed for the production of fragrant sugar syrup. Unfortunately, climate in central Slovenia is to cold and wet for the variety, so the ‘Gruß an Teplitz’ is prone to desease and has no real joy in growing and blooming. It grows better in a sunny, sheltered place next to a south wall.

'Gloire des Rosomanes'

‘Gloire des Rosomanes’
(Plantier, 1825, FR)
It was a very famous rose in its day and was important in the breeding of red roses. A seedling of ‘Gloire des Rosomanes’ is the famous ‘Général Jacqueminot’, who gave the red colour to noble red hybrid tea roses, like ‘Crimson Glory’.

‘Fürstin Esterhazy’ (Rudolf Geschwind / Chotek, 1929, CS)
The rose is from the legacy of Rudolf Geschwind, which was bought by the Rose Countess Maria Henrietta Chotek after the breeder’s death.

‘Viridiflora’ (John Smith, 1827, US)
A green rose that only florists immediately notice in the garden. The petals behave like permanent green leaves, so they do not wither. Over time, they acquire a copper tinge.

Bourbon roses

In Slovenia, Bourbon roses are the most famous group of old garden roses. This is because of the collection of Bourbon roses in Kostanjevica Monastery above the town of Nova Gorica.

Bourbons joined the floriferousness of Chine roses with the nobel flower shape of old European roses. Despite the fact that the Bourbons repeat, the first flush of flowers is much richer and more picturesque than those which follow

On the Île de Bourbon, at the beginning of the 19th century, colonial lords fenced their gardens with roses. The China rose, which we now call ‘Old Blush’, and the Damask rose of the four seasons (Rosa × damascena ‘Quatre Saisons’) were used. A story that bordered on legend says that in one of these gardens a seedling appeared, a hybrid that was more beautiful than the neighbouring roses.

Nicolas Bréon (1785-1864), a head botanical garden on the island, noticed the new rose in 1817. Convinced that the seedling was an exceptional plant, he named the rose ‘Rose Edouard’ and sent it to Europe. There, his compatriots grew Bourbon roses from it.

On the island of Réunion, which is still part of France, in 2017 the 200th anniversary of the discovery of this important rose was celebrated. On this occasion, they investigated the genetics of ‘Rose Edouard’ using modern techniques. The parents of this rose are indeed Rosa × damascena ‘Quatre Saisons’ and ‘Old Blush’. What was previously based on conjecture is now proven at the DNA level. They also confirmed that ‘Rose Edouard’ is the progenitor of all analysed Bourbons.

‘Rose Edouard’ (1817, Réunion/FR)
The variety was brought to Europe from the Bourbon Island. The rose’s ­rosehip was opened, the nuts (“seeds”) cleaned and sent to France. The most beautiful of the seedlings became the first Bourbon rose bred in France.

‘Céline’ (Laffont, 1825, FR)
It is one of the oldest surviving Bourbon roses. Later, it was used as understock for grafting roses.

‘Mme Isaac Pereire’ (Armand Garçon, 1881, FR)
When visitors to Volčji Potok Arboretum were asked to vote for the most fragrant rose, this variety was among the winners.

Bourbon roses  

‘Charles Lawson’ (Lawson, 1853, UK)
Because of the luxuriously large flowers, the variety is still popular, even though it is a Bourbon rose that blooms only once in the summer.

‘Reine Victoria’ (Joseph Schwartz, 1872, FR)
The variety is popular for its globular young flowers.

‘Fulgens’ (Modeste Guérin, 1828, FR)
Every year, the bush shrinks under the amount of red flowers.

‘Souvenir de St. Anne’s’
The rose is named after the estate of St. Anne’s, located near Dublin, Ireland. Part of the former property is now a public park with a modern rose garden. The origin of the variety is uncertain, but it is attributed to the head gardener on the estate, Andrew Campbell, who died in 1917.

Burbonke v Arboretumu Volčji Potok

‘Souvenir de la Malmaison’ (Jean Beluze, 1843, FR)
It belongs to the parade, the most persistently flourishing Bourbons.

Bourbon roses  

‘Blairii No 2’ (Blair, 1843, UK)
This Bourbon is a true rambler rose. In the Volčji Potok Arboretum, the rose has outgrown the crown of a 12 m tall alder tree. In the photo, there are long shoots coming down from the branches of the tree, being full of flowers.

‘Zéphirine Drouhin’ (Bizot, 1868, FR)
This is the famous thornless climber rose. Colour variants of ‘Zéphirine Drouhin’, which are also thornless, are ‘Martha’ and ‘Kathleen Harrop’.

‘Coupe d’Hébé’ (Jean Laffay, 1840, FR)
The name means Hebe’s cup in French. Hebe was the goddess who served the Greek gods with nectar and ambrosia.

‘Louise Odier’ (Jacques-Julien, Jules Margottin Père & fils, 1851, FR)
It is an exception among Bourbons because it thrives well in cooler climates.

‘Kronprinzessin Viktoria’ (Späth, 1888, DE)
It was found in Germany as a sport of the variety ‘Souvenir de la Malmaison’. The centre of the flower is slightly yellowish and this is a big exception among Bourbons.

Noisette roses 

Noisette roses originated in America, in South Carolina, near the city of Charleston. Philippe Noisette, who as a horticulturist tended the South Carolina Medicinal Plant Garden, received an ‘Old Blush’ rose from his brother from France. He propagated it and gave it to a neighbour, who pollinated his Musk rose with China’s pollen. He came to germinating seeds. In 1811, a descendant flowered: it had large fragrant pink flowers in clusters and grew like a poppy. But it bloomed once in the summer, the same as the mother Musk rose.

The neighbor returned the favour and repaid ‘Old Blush’ with ripe hips of his hybrid. Philippe Noisette sowed the seeds from the rosehip. In 1814, a seedling blossomed, which repeated happily. Hit the bingo! The seedling represents the beginning of a new class of repeat-blooming roses, which was crated prior to Bourbon roses.

Noisettes are predominantly climbers. Soon after their creation, they began to be crossed with tea roses. The yellow tea rose spawned a series of yellow flowering Noisettes which are still popular in warmer climates.

‘Blush Noisette’ (Philippe Noisette, 1814, US)
The first Noisette, which led to the new class of Noisette roses. It does not grow as a climber in central Slovenia because the summer are not hot and long enough. It tolerates the winter cold without damage.

The flowers of ‘Blush Noisette’ have a slightly pungent perfume, which resemble cloves.

‘Mme Alfred Carrière’ (Joseph Schwartz, 1875, FR)
A vigorous variety. The five meterw high support is just right for her.

‘Meteor’ (Rudolf Geschwind / P. Lambert, 1887, AH)
Most noisettes are pale in color. The most important Austro-Hungarian breeder Rudolf Geschwind managed to create a dark pink one.

Noisette roses


‘Chrometella’ (Coquereau, 1841, FR)
An early attempts to create a yellow climber.

‘Crépuscule’ (Francis Dubreuil, 1904, FR)
Among the orange climbers, the old ‘Crepuscule’ is still competitive. It has many flowers and repeats. However, it doesn’t clean itself, so spent flowers must be removed with scissors.

A characteristic feature of Noisettes that bloom yellow is the red young leaves.

‘Marechal Niel’ (Henri & Giraud Predel, 1864, FR)
The flowers are an attractive yellow until the sun shines on them. Then they turn pale. The scent of this rose is legendary, of apricots and raspberries. Noisettes crossed with teas have problems with wintering in central Slovenia.

‘Marie Dermar’ (Rudolf Geschwind, 1888, AH)
Geschwind’s noisettes are winter-hardy.

‘Madame Plantier’ (Plantier, 1835, FR)
A white climber without thorns, which has several characteristics of Noisettes but the main one: it does repeat.

Hybrid perpetuals

Hybrid perpetuals were in the focus of gardeners’ attention between 1840 and 1900. After June they bloom again in September, and some already bloom several times in the same summer. Hybrid perpetuals have got their name for repeating flowering. The first hybrid perpetuals were obtained by crossing Portland roses with Gallicas and twice-flowering Damasks. Later they used Chinas and Bourbons instead of Portlands. All the rose genes that were available to gardeners were mixed for breeding hybrid perpetuals. After 1900, the hybrid perpetuals faded into the background because they were surpassed by more beautiful and more fashionable hybrid tea trees.

‘Ulrich Brunner Fils’ (Antoine Levet (père), 1881, FR)
In the Volčji Potok Arboretum, this is by far the most profusely flowering hybrid perpetual. The flowers are similar in shape to the grandifloras that appeared many decades later.

‘Paul Neyron’ (Antoine Levet, 1869, FR)
The variety is known for its large flowers, which can reach 15 cm in diameter. The shade of pink was named after the variety: Neyron rose.

‘Commandant Beaurepaire’ (Robert & Moreau, 1864, FR)
The flowers are beautifully shaped and attractively striped.

‘Frau Karl Druschki’ (Peter Lambert, 1901, DE)
It is the most famous white hybrid perpetual with one flaw: it has not a trace of scent.


Hybrid perpetuals

‘Generál Štefánik’ (Jan Böhm, 1931, CS)
In the evening light, older flowers are blue indeed. The color in the photo has not been digitally modified.

‘Baron Girod de L’Ain’ (Reverchon, 1897, FR)
The white border of the petals is a great feature of this rose.

‘Havlíčkova Národní’ (Jan Böhm, 1935, CS)
It is a sport of the variety ‘Baron Girod de L’Ain’ and is even more unusual than the mother plant.

‘Paul Verdier’ (Charles-Félix Verdier, 1866, FR)
As with many hybrid perpetuals, shoot bend down under the weight of the flowers.

‘Docteur Hurta’ (Rudolf Geschwind / Soupert & Notting, 1867, AH)
It is the oldest preserved variety of the most important Austro-Hungarian breeder Rudolf Geschwind.

‘Reine des Violettes’ (Mille-Mallet, 1860, FR)
Roses do not develop very dark colors in the soil of the Arboretum Volčji Potok. In photos from other places, the “queen of violets” is bluish, but here it is simply pink.

Tea roses

Tea roses are parents of hybrid tea roses. The former belong to old garden roses, the latter marked the era of modern roses.

The era of original teas began around 1830 and has not ended in the Mediterranean until today. These are beauties that bloom without respite in warm weather, but grow poorly in cold climates and fail in severe winters. In the Volčji Potok Arboretum, we only grew a few teas. Some are grown in pots so that they can be moved to the cold glasshouse over the winter.

The original teas come from the south of China. The first tea was obtained by crossing of the China rose (Rosa chinensis) with the subtropical wild rose Rosa gigantea. Teas was brought to Europe in 1810. In 1824, the first pale yellow tea tree arrived, which gave rise to the long-desired yellow roses. The main breeders of tea roses were Frenchmen, especially in the south of France, where the climate is right for them.

‘Alliance franco-rousse’ (Goinard, 1899, FR)
Teas have tall and slender buds.

In the flower of original teas (in the photo there is ‘Alliance franco-rousse’) the petals are not ordered as strictly as in hybrid teas. In the background on the upper right the characteristically redish young shoots can be seen.

‘Étoile de Lyon’ (J.-B. André Guillot, 1876, FR)
A beautiful yellow tea rose. Unfortunatelly, the yellow fades in the sun.

‘Comtesse de Woronzoff’ / ‘Grafinia Vorontsova’ (Nikolaj A. Gartvis, 1829, RU)
A vigorous climber. It was bred to green the upper class’s gardens in the Crimea, when Tsarist Russia wrested it from the Ottomans and annexed it to its empire.

Overview of varieties of old garden roses

The overview lists old garden roses that grow in the Volčji Potok Arboretum. Classes of predominantly rose shrubs are included.

One can find locations of varieties using the application on the website https://www.arboretum.si/digitalni-rozarij/

Damask roses
Hebe’s Lip
Kazanalak / Trigintipetala
Lietuviška damaskinė rastinukė
Mme Hardy
Omar Khayyam
Perle von Weissenstein
Rosa × damascena cv.
St. Nicholas
York and Lancaster
Gallica roses
Alain Blanchard
Assemblage des Beautés
Cardinal de Richelieu
Charles de Mills
Empress Joséphine
Jenny Duval
Krymskaia Krasnaia
Président de Sèze
Rosa × francofurtana ‘Agatha’
Rosa gallica ‘Officinalis’
Rosa gallica ‘Splendens’
Rosa gallica ‘Versicolor’
Alba roses
Ännchen von Tharau
Cuisse de Nymphe Émue
Dragon’s Teeth
Félicité Parmentier
Königin von Dänemark
Maiden’s Blush
“Snežniška” – mutant
Centifolia roses
Gros Choux d’Hollande
Rosa × centifolia
Rosa centifolia vietinė rastinukė
Rose de Meaux
“Šmarata Centifolia”
“Typ Kassel”
Vierge de Cléry
Moss roses
Chapeau de Napoleon
Général Kléber
Gloire des Mousseux
Soupert et Notting
Scotch roses
Glory of Edzell
Golden Wings
Karl Foerster
Mon Amie Claire
Paula Vapelle
Red Nelly / Single Cherry
Rosa spinosissima “Double White”
Rosa spinosissima ‘Plena’
Stanwell Perpetual
Portland roses
Blanc de Vibert
Duchesse de Portland
Duchesse de Rohan
Rose de Resht
China roses
Fürstin Esterhazy
Général Jacqueminot
Gloire des Rosomanes
Gruß an Teplitz
Martha Gonzales / Fabvier
Old Blush China / Parson´s Pink China
Rosa chiensis ‘Sanguinea’
Bourbon roses
Adam Messerich
Amédée de Langlois
Baron Gonella 150-150
Blarii No.2
Boule de Neige
Bourbon Queen
Charles Lawson
Comtesse de Rocquigny
Coupe d’Hébé
“Edi pisanolistna”
Great Western
Honorine de Barbant
Kathleen Harrop
Kronprinzessin Viktoria
Louise Odier
Madame Charles Baltet
Madame Charles Detreaux
Madame Nobécour
Madame Pierre Oger
Marechal du Palais
Mme Ernest Calvat
Mme Isaac Pereire
Mme Jeaninne Jaubert
Mme Lauriol de Barny
Mme Létuvé de Colnet
Mrs. Paul
Prince Charles
Reine Victoria
Rose Edouard
Sir Joseph Paxton
Souvenir de la Malmaison
Souvenir de Mme Auguste Charles
Souvenir de St. Anne’s
Souvenir de Victor Landeau
Souvenir du President Lincoln
Variegata (mutirana)
Variegata di Bologna
Zéphirine Drouhin
Noisette roses
Blush Noisette
Marechal Niel
Marie Dermar
Mignonette d’Alupka
Mme Alfred Carrière
Hybrid perpetuals
Anna Scharsach
Antonie Schürz
Archiduchesse Elizabeth d’Autriche
Baron Girod de L’Ain
Cäcilie Scharsach
Commandant Beaurepaire
Docteur Hurta
Enfant de France
Ferdinand Pichard
Frau Karl Druschki
Generál Štefánik
Générale Marie Raievsky
Havlíčkova Národní
Jacques Cartier
Madame Boll
Madame Marguerite Marsault
Mrs. John Laing
Paul Neyron
Reine des Violettes
Ulrich Brunner Fils
Paul Verdier
White Jacques Cartier
Tea roses
Alliance franco-rousse
Comtesse de Woronzoff
Étoile de Lyon
Other shruby old garden roses
Amy Robsart
Egidijaus rožė
Rosa × francofurtana ‘Agatha’
Rosa × harisonii
Rosa roxburghii ‘Lampion’
Rosa villosa Duplex