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ROSA x odorata 'Mutabilis'

Image of Rosa x odorata 'Mutabilis'

Mark A. Miller

Family

Rosaceae

Botanical Name

ROSA x odorata 'Mutabilis'

Plant Common Name

Butterfly Rose, Tea Rose, Tea-Scented China Rose, Tipo Ideale

General Description

Bearing masses of single flowers that undergo a fascinating color metamorphosis, this somewhat cold-tender rose is a cultivar of Rosa x odorata, a hybrid long cultivated in China. Arriving in Europe sometime in the nineteenth century and introduced to horticulture in 1934, 'Mutabilis' bears relatively small, fragrant, five-petaled flowers from late spring into summer or fall. The blooms open buff-yellow but change to salmon, pink, and finally crimson as they age. Pea-sized fruits follow, ripening to orange-red. A small- to medium-sized shrub with lax thorny branches, it can reach considerable height if trained upright on a fence or wall.

Nearly evergreen in mild climates, the compound leaves have several glossy medium-green leaflets. Young shoots and leaves are purple-tinged. Although no wider than a modest daisy, the flowers are profusely borne on the arching stems. Flowering can continue into winter in mild climates. Remove spent flowers to maximize bloom.

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. They 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.

Characteristics

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    4'-10' / 1.2m - 3.0m

  • Width

    4'-6' / 1.2m - 1.8m

  • 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

    Arching/Fountain-shaped

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color Modifier

    Multi-Color

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green, Light Green

  • Bark Color Modifier

    Multi-Color

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Evergreen

    Semi-Evergreen

  • Showy Bark

    Yes

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

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

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    Yes

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Self-Sowing

    No