Moss Roses

moss roses

The Moss roses are an unusual group of roses. They came about in the 17th century when a Cabbage rose (Centifolia) mutated into a strange shape with odd granular structures on the stems to the flowers, and calyxes that looked much like moss.

This strange rose was cultivated and bred. The outcome was Moss roses that had a wide range of flower colors. (Rosa Centifolia Muscosa)

They are hairy novelties that have moss-like glandular bristles that cover the buds, leaves, stems and sepals. These sticky red or green glands emit the robust fragrance.

The extremely fragrant flower globes are hardy, but prone to severe dieback. The good news is, these roses seldom die out completely, but send up new canes with plenty of new blooms!

Many of these Old garden roses are quite hardy and well suited to Northern gardens. Some of these Moss roses are once bloomers. The once bloomers are still very valuable in the garden, because although they bloom only once, the blooming lasts a very long time.

List of Moss Roses

Alfredde Dalmas These Moss roses are Light pink, flowers are about 2", double with a strong fragrance of Honeysuckle.  An excellent low spreader. Very thorny. Grows to 3'

Baron de Wassenaer  Once Blooming  Moss roses are Bright Magenta Crimson that fade to cerise pink. 4"flowers come in clusters. Grows up to 6'. Sometimes black spot is a problem.

 Black Boy  Once Blooming  Dark red (almost purple) color with a strong fragrance. It grows to nearly 5'. It is very disease resistant! Hardy zone 2b and warmer.

Blanche Moreau  Once Blooming Pure white flowers could have a hint of white as they open. Fully double, 2 1/2" flowers on these Moss roses come in tight clusters of 3-5. Tie branches down to force them to flower all along their length. Grows 5 1/2'.

Capitaine Basroger Deep, rich purple flowers  are 3", quartered, and have a button eye. Vigorous, lanky grower that does best when supported. A nice pillar rose. Grows to 6 1/2'

Capitaine John Ingram  Once Blooming Deep crimson purple, flowers are loosely double and roughly quartered, around 2 1/2". A dense, sprawling shrub growing to 4'.

Catherine de Wurtemberg Lilac pink blooms are double. Faint scent. Upright growing bush 6' x 4'

Celina Once Blooming Very dark, violet purple petals surround yellow stamens. Flowers are 3 1/2".  Dense and compact, grows to around 4'. Produces red hips.

Common Moss Medium pink 1" flowers are very double, with a strong scent.  Prickly canes. Can grow to 4'

Comtesse De Murinals  Once Blooming White with a hint of pink, muddled centers. Flowers are 2 1/2". Strong sweet scent. Widely grown, despite problem with mildew and black spot. Can grow as tall as 13'.

Crested Jewel Bright Pink, semi-double, high centered flowers  Tough, leathery mid-dark green foliage.  Grows 3' x 3'

Crested Moss  Once blooming in June. Medium Pink, 2" flowers are semi-double with a strong scent. Susceptible to black spot. Severe dieback possible. Grows to 5'

Crimson Globe Enormous buds open to large, globular deep crimson blooms with a good fragrance. Vigorous grower gets 4' tall. Leaves subject to mildew. Blooms tend to ball in wet weather.

Deuil de Paul Fontaine Mauve, double, 1" flowers. Strong fragrance. Grows to 4'. Very thorny with coarse foliage.

Dresden Doll Mini Moss rose has soft pink double, cupped blooms. Good for pots or patio or window boxes. Grows 9" x 6" Moderate fragrance.

Duchesse De Verneuil  Once Blooming  Clear rose pink, double, 3' flowers come in clusters of 3-7. Grows to 5'. Does well even in poor soils. Strong, sweet scent.

Eugenie Guinoiseau Cherry red to violet purple blooms are full, large and flat and streaked with white. Grows 6' x 4'.

Euphrosyne  Once Blooming Bright rose pink that quickly fade to white with yellow stamens. Clusters of 20-50. Once flowers turn white, they soon turn brown. Wet weather makes them rot. Grows to 13'.

Fairy Moss  Small, mid pink semi-double flowers. Light green, tough foliage. Grows vigorous and bushy 1' x 1'.

Felicite Bohain Small, bright pink flowers are folded and crinkled with a button eye. Grows 4' x 3'

Gabriel Noyelle Bright salmon, fully double flowers have highlights of orange and yellow. Fragrant. Dark green foliage. Grows upright and bushy 4' x 4'.

General Kleber  Once Blooming Pure rose pink with a hint of salmon at first. Fully double, rosettes are almost 4". Strong, sweet fragrance. Grows to almost 6'.

Glore des Mousseux Medium pink, double, 4 1/2" flowers. Strong scent. Flowers have a deeper toned center. Light green foliage. Grows 4-6'.

(Many call this one the finest of all Moss Roses!)  It has the largest flowers, a lovely rich scent, and wonderful color and shape.

Goethe Once Blooming  Lightly cupped, dark pink flowers have a white center. Clusters of up to 15. Flowers are 1 1/2'. Strong, sweet scent. Grows to about 8'.

Golden Moss Once Blooming Opens apricot then fades to pale buff. Flowers are almost 3'and double, with a medium, sweet fragrance.  Vigorous grower to at least 9' in warmer climates. It will arch and fill in a large area.

Henri Martin  Once Blooming Medium red, semi-double strong scent. Vigorous bush produces clusters of crimson blooms! Deep green foliage. Grows to 6'.  More about Henri Martin..

Hunslett Moss Large, full, heavily mossed deep pink with a strong perfume. Dark foliage. Upright growing 4' x 3'.

James Mitchell  Once Blooming Rich rose pink, 2" flowers with masses of long petals rayed out from a rough button eye. Vigorous, dense shrub flowers profusely, and earlier than most Moss roses. Grows to around 5'

James Veitch  Flowers begin crimson, then change to violet, lilac, lavender, then grey. Clusters of 3-5. Better repeat with deadheading. Strong sweet scent, grows to 4'.

Jean Bodin Lilac pink flowers brushed deeper, with lighter edges. Fully double with a central button. Fragrant. Cloudy greyish green foliage. Upright and bushy growing 3' x 3'.

Jeanne de Monfort Medium Pink, and silvery undertones and yellow stamens . Flowers are semi-double, 1" blooms with very apparent moss. Blooms are quite loose. Grows to 6'

Laneii  Once Blooming Dark pink/pale crimson 4"blooms. Strong sweet fragrance. Grows to almost 6'.  Dense, vigorous, can be used on a pillar. One of the best; yet not widely grown (it is difficult to propagate).

Little Gem Bright, cherry crimson 2" flowers with an old fashioned muddled look come in clusters of 5-12. Strong, sweet scent. Grows about 3 1/2'. Short growing shrub, sometimes produces a few later flowers. 

Louis Gimard  Once  Blooming Crimson centers with pink fading to lilac at the edges. Flowers are 3" and in clusters of 3-5. Grows to 5'.Does well in poor soil.

MaPonctuee Small double flowers are pinkish red with white flecks. Well mossed.  Grows 3' x 3' Needs good soil to flourish!

Marechal Davoust  Once Blooming Rich crimson, lightly cupped, quilled, sometimes quartered with a button eye. Flowers are 3 1/2" grows to 5'


Marie De Blois Medium pink that fade to a pale pink with a tinge of lilac. Flowers are large almost 4" with a disorganized mass of ruffled petals.

Flowers appear singly, and in clusters of up to 5, starting early in the season, and repeating until fall.

Vigorous and healthy growing!  Strong, sweet scent. Hardy to zone 5.

(Like this one!) ***

Mme de la Roche-Lambert Mauve, double, 2" blooms come in clusters of 3-5. Strong fragrance. Grows to 5' The best of the crimsons!

Mme Louis Leveque Rose pink, globular flowers are quartered, almost 4'" Vigorous, fairly healthy plant that does best in dry weather. Grows to around 5'.

Nuits De Young Once Blooming Darkest purple with golden yellow stamens. Flowers come on long cutting stems in clusters of 3-9.  Flowers are only 1 1/2'. Grows to around 5'.  Tolerates poor soil. Very hardy to zone 4.

Pelisson  Once Blooming  Medium dark pink flowers are lightly cupped, with a swirling of quilled petals and sometimes a button eye. Flowers are 3". Strong sweet fragrance. Grows around 4'.

Princess Adelaide Soft pink, large, double blooms are well scented. Grows 4' x 3' (Sometimes classed a Gallica)

Reine Blanche Fully double, pure white with creamy centers and a tight button eye. Grows 3' x 3'.

Rene D' Anjou Once Blooming  Deep pink, almost 3" blooms. Flowers are full of petals, with a muddled, swirling shape around the center, and showing shades of pale pink and purple.  Hot weather fades them to pink and lilac. Clusters of 3-7.  Vigorous, reliable, not fussy. Grows to around 6'.

Robert Leopold Salmon pink, semi-double, lightly cupped with yellow stamens in the center. They fade after a few days to rose pink. Can produce clusters of up to 5.  Extremely prickly! Vigorous, quickly making long, gawky stems that are best pegged down to force flowers all along the arching stems. It grows to around 9'. Strongly scented. (Some repeat flowering)

*Another favorite  of mine!

Salet Medium Pink, Double, 3"blooms with a reddish hue. Strong scent. Very thorny canes. Grows to 6' and repeats well. It is one of the most free flowering of all the Moss roses. They appear singly and in clusters of up to 5.

Shailers White Moss Mostly white, with occasional hints of pink flowers are well mossed, full, flat and quartered. Strong scent. Very free flowering. Grows 5' x 4'.

Soupert et Notting Medium pink fading to pale pink flowers are a bit globular at first, then slightly cupped, sometimes quartered, and sometimes with a button eye. Flowers appear on short stemmed, dense clusters of up to five.  Flowers are 3". Medium sweet scent. Grows to almost 4'. Repeats a little in fall.

Souvenir de Pierre Vibert  Fully double flowers are a mix of red, violet and deep pink. Ample moss and foliage. Grows 4' x 3'. Flowers all summer.

Striped Moss Pink blend with red stripes. Flowers are 2" and double. Prone to black spot. Grows to 5'.

White Bath Large, fully double pure white. Heavy scent. Well mossed Grows 4' x 3'. (Said to be a sport of Common Moss)

William Lobb  Once Blooming Mauve flowers are 2" and semi-double. Long, thorny stems that might need support. Grows to 5'. Strong sweet fragrance. Vigorous, sending out long, lanky bristly stems in large, heavily mossed clusters. Flowers turn to light purple shades as they mature.  Will flower all along the stems if pegged down.

Zenobia Globular flowers are cerise pink. Fragrant. Grows 6' x 4'. Tall growing, lanky, well mossed.

Zoe  Bright pink, fully double flowers on theses Moss roses open flat with many narrow fluted petals. Scented. Mid green foliage. Free flowering, grows 4' x 3'.


Heirloom roses

Do you grow any of these roses?

Won't you share a picture so everyone can see these beautiful roses? Comments on how they do for you are welcome also! Thanks!

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