The Leda rose, also called “Painted Damask”, has red-brown colored buds that open to creamy white flowers with crimson edging on the petals.
The fully opened, the white flowers on these Damask roses have a button eye, with the inner petals re-flexing to form a ball. The outermost petals have traces of the remaining crimson color on the very tips.
The once-blooming, very full, double flowers come in clusters of 3-7.
What makes this Damask rose so interesting, is the way such a dark colored bud can turn into a white rose! To look at the buds, you would assume it would become a red colored rose!
Some think this rose should be classed as a Portland instead of a Damask.
Type Damask rose
Hybridizer unknown English breeder (France) before 1827
Blooms White Blend with red edges Medium sized, double flowers are Milky
white petals with crimson edges. The size
of the flowers are 3” across, and have 17-25 petals. It is Once-blooming with occasional repeat later in the season.
Foliage gray- green leaves, and prickly canes
Growth Habits Short, bushy, Compact, it grows to around 3-4 feet tall by around 3 feet wide.
Fragrance Strong and Sweet
Hardy zones hardy zones 4-10
This is a sprawling rose bush, but can be kept compact and in check by pruning. It becomes a rather floppy shrub that grows around 3 feet tall and wide, with very prickly canes.
Leda is still popular after more than 170 years. It is a very fragrant, hardy, and disease resistant rose, with quite beautiful old fashioned flowers with re-flexed blooms and a button eye. It is considered once-blooming, but if pruned after flowering, it will sometimes be encouraged to produce a few more blooms.
If you are a lover of old (antique) roses, this is one you will want to have in your garden.
This rose is considered “disease-free”, and not usually bothered by any rose diseases.
“Leda” was named for the mythological queen of Sparta who was seduced by Zeus when he disguised himself, and appeared as a swan.
Do You grow this rose?
Please share your comments and/or especially pictures of this rose with us, so everyone can get a look at it! Submit here, and Thanks so much!