Helping You Become a More Successful Gardener
Mark A. Miller
ROSA x damascena
An ancient cultivated rose from Asia Minor, the damask rose was first brought to Europe by the crusaders in the Middle Ages. Its intoxicating blooms are fully or semi-double, vibrant pink and emit the purest, most irresistible rose fragrance. Specimens are known to have been cultivated as far back as 1500 years and are used to make rose water, perfume and culinary rose-flavored treats.
A hybrid of the species Rosa gallica and Rosa moschata, it is a densely stemmed, rounded shrub rose that’s heavily armed with sharp, curved thorns and bristles. The compound leaves are usually made up of five (sometimes seven) leaflets which are deep green, oval and have serrated edges. Damask roses bloom in spring or summer and are typically bright pink and double or semi-double. White, paler pink and bicolored forms also exist. Blooming may continue through the season if plants are well cared for. Reddish orange hips develop after pollination by insects.
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 overwinter well in colder areas such as the northern United States.
There are many damask rose cultivars most notably the red and white striped 'York and Lancaster', a selection from around 1551 created to commemorate the end of the Wars of the Roses (1455 to 1487). These wars were fought between the House of Lancaster, which had a white rose emblem, and the House of York, with its red rose emblem, for the throne of England. This cultivar may also be called variety versicolor.
9 - 1
6 - 9
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
Full Sun, Partial Sun
4'-6' / 1.2m - 1.8m
Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer
White, Pink, Hot Pink
Green, Dark Green
Green, Sandy Brown
Container, Cutflower, Feature Plant, Foundation, Hedges, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall, Topiary / Bonsai / Espalier
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