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ROSA x damascena

Image of Rosa x damascena

Mark A. Miller

Family

Rosaceae

Botanical Name

ROSA x damascena

Plant Common Name

Damask Rose

General Description

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.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    6 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    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

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    4'-6' / 1.2m - 1.8m

  • Width

    4'-6' / 1.2m - 1.8m

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer

  • Native To

    Hybrid Origin

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Pink, Hot Pink

  • Fruit Color

    Orange Red

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Bark Color

    Green, Sandy Brown

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Double, Semi-Double

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    Yes

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Evergreen

    Semi-Evergreen

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Cutflower, Feature Plant, Foundation, Hedges, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall, Topiary / Bonsai / Espalier

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    Yes

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Birds, Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes