The William Lobb rose, is one of the most popular of the grand old Victorian roses.
This is a moss rose, that bears beautiful flowers that start off crimson/purple, and as they age, they turn purple, magenta, lilac, lavender, mauve, and gray, all within heavily mossed and bright green sepals. Some of the petals fold over to reveal pink colored backs. When the semi-double flowers are fully open, they display golden yellow stamens.
The blooms are heavily petaled, and open loose and informal. A bush in bloom is quite lovely. Because of the changing colors on the rose, it gives the bush the appearance of having two-toned flowers on it.
Type Moss Rose
Hybridizer Laffay 1855
Growth Habits Grows tall, and lanky. It grows 6-8 ft. high by 4-5ft. wide.
Blooms Crimson color, that changes with age to various shades of purple color. The flowers measure almost 3” across. Blooms only once a season
Foliage Large, soft green, matte foliage
Fragrance Strong, sweet fragrance
Hardy zone zones 4-9
This is a vigorous rose that grows tall and arching. It sends up long, lanky bristly stems that are filled with mossed clusters of crimson flowers. The firm stems are covered in grayish brown moss, and have many stout thorns. The tall stems might need support, and do well when planted on a pillar. If pegged down, or allowed to flop over, you will get flowers growing all along the length of the canes.
You only get to enjoy these beautiful moss roses once a year. They bloom only once, in early Summer, in great profusion.
Give this rose a few years to become established before it shows you just what a spectacular rose it can be! Do very minimum pruning the first two years, then prune right after flowering (by 1/3 if you need to control it's size)
The large leaves are sometimes susceptible to black spot, and mildew is sometimes a problem also.
This Moss rose, or (old garden rose), has a wonderful strong, sweet scent. The best way to enjoy the fragrance is to plant the bush in a sheltered spot, where the smell hangs in the air.
Rosa William Lobb was named for a Cornish plant collector 'William Lobb' (1809-1863) He was a great Victorian gardener who was responsible for seeking and introducing many plants and roses to English gardens.