Historical & Species Roses


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Beloved for centuries for their graceful beauty and full bloom, historic roses (roses in existence before 1867, the year of introduction of ʻLa Franceʼ, the first hybrid tea rose) recreate an old fashioned garden charm and bring back many memories of cherished gardens.  These roses are riding a wave of immense popularity right now.  How fortunate we are to have inherited these living horticultural treasures from our ancestors. 

In the WRHS Herb Garden the collection of heritage roses includes many cultural origins: China, England, France, and others.  The unforgettable true rose perfume, inherent beauty of form, softer hue of color, handsome foliage and very attractive hips are a few of the characteristics that attract the attention of members and visitors alike. 

The collection in this garden consists of Gallicas, Musks, Centifolias, Damasks, Noisettes, Bourbons, Portlands, Hybrid Perpetuals and others.  Many species were planted when the WRHS Herb Garden was founded and still bloom every year. 

Many visitors to the WRHS Herb Garden come to see a specific rose when it is blooming. Interest in this historical collection gives meaning and emphasis to the mission of preserving and maintaining these heritage plants. On June 5, 2012, The Herb Society of America will recognize roses in this section of the Herb Garden as a Registered Collection. 

Click on any thumbnail below for a larger view.

Photos by Kate Williams