The Apothecarys rose, also known as the Red Rose of Lancaster, (Rosa gallica officinalis), is a very old Species rose.
It is possibly the oldest cultivated rose of Europe. This rose was initially used for medicinal purposes, as well as culinary uses, and still is today.
If you find an old recipe that calls for 'Red Rofes' this would be the rose they refer to. This Species rose bush was also part of the story of the 'War of the Roses'.
Type Species Rose
Hybridizer Unknown before 1600
Growth Habits Upright growing, lax, branching canes grow 3-4’
Blooms bright crimson blooms mature to near purple. Blooms have 18-25 petals. flowers are 3-4” across
Foliage medium size, dark green, leathery foliage (few thorns)
Hardy zone zones 4-11
The blooms on this rose are semi-double, with 4 rows of petals. The color changes from bright crimson to almost purple, with prominent golden stamens.
The foliage is dark green, and very disease resistant. There are very few prickles (thorns) on this rose bush. It is a one-time bloomer, that produces lots of blooms on a compact bush.
The flowers on the bush are not especially fragrant, however, once they are dried, the fragrance is intense. For this reason, the flowers are the perfect choice for potpourri. If you save your rose petals for making potpourri, or other crafts using rose petals, this is a bush that you might consider planting just for that reason.
This old garden rose bush produces enormous numbers of informal blooms of cluster flowered red roses. Red roses that age to a more purple color. They are very attractive rose blooms, on a well branched bush.
Because if its disease resistance, and vigorous growth, 'Apothecarys' is often planted on steep banks, and used for erosion control. It readily suckers, and spreads well on its own roots. The rose hips produce lots of seeds, and can be used for naturalizing.
Also known as 'Rose of Provins', Double French Rose', Red Damask'.