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ROSA x alba 'Alba Semiplena'

Image of Rosa x alba 'Alba Semiplena'




Botanical Name

ROSA x alba 'Alba Semiplena'

Plant Common Name

White Rose of York

General Description

Admired for its clear white semi-double roses, 'Alba Semiplena' is also known to be quite disease resistant and vigorous. Touted as one of the oldest hybrid roses in existence, Rosa x alba is an ancestor of many modern garden roses. This hybrid of Rosa canina and probably Rosa x damascena has been long cultivated in the Middle East for many centuries. A shrubby rose, its double or semi-double white flowers emit a lovely fragrance and are used to produce valuable rose oil.

The slightly arching stems of Rosa x alba are lined with very prickly hooked thorns. The compound leaves are dull green above, gray-green beneath and each leaflet is oval with serrated edges. The fragrant roses bloom in spring or early summer and may be solitary or in clusters of three to five. Each bloom may be single, semi-double or double and white a flush of yellow stamens on the interior. Some selections have a pinkish hue. Bees and other insect pollinators visit the blooms and smooth oval red hips follow.

Roses prefer full to partial sun, moderate temperatures and perfectly drained, slightly acid soil with average to good fertility. They grow best in places with slightly dry climates, because such climates disfavor the fungal diseases that plague them. For this reason, it is important to maintain good airflow within and between planted roses through good planting and pruning practices which will dissuade fungal attacks. Roses are also susceptible to a suite of viral and bacterial diseases as well as insect pests, so it is wise to select a robust and resistant cultivar when choosing a rose. This hybrid is relatively cold-tender and will not winter in areas such as the northern United States.


  • AHS Heat Zone

    10 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    5 - 10

  • Sunset Zone

    A1, A2, A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type


  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    6'-8' / 1.8m - 2.4m

  • Width

    8'-10' / 2.4m - 3.0m

  • Bloom Time

    Spring, Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer

  • Native To

    Hybrid Origin

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate


  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit


  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Color


  • Fruit Color


  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Gray Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Gray Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Gray Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green, Gray Green, Dark Green

  • Bark Color

    Green, Sandy Brown

  • Fragrant Flowers


  • Fragrant Fruit


  • Fragrant Foliage


  • Bark or Stem Fragrant


  • Flower Petal Number

    Single, Double, Semi-Double

  • Repeat Bloomer


  • Showy Fruit


  • Edible Fruit


  • Showy Foliage


  • Foliage Texture


  • Foliage Sheen


  • Evergreen


  • Showy Bark


Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Cutflower, Feature Plant, Foundation, Hedges, Mixed Border, Topiary / Bonsai / Espalier

  • Sharp or Has Thorns


  • Invasive


  • Attracts


  • Self-Sowing