Rose Types

Alba Roses 

The Alba rose is a variety of ancient rose that still exists today. These roses date back to antiquity, even before the Roman Empire was formed. We know this because there is a mention of white roses in texts of 23-79 A.D. and these have been confirmed by botanists to be the Alba roses. Starting from its arrival with the Romans it has been shown to be one of the hardiest and most pest resistant varieties amongst all of the other old roses. The flowers of the variety are found in red and pink color and the foliage is grey green with leaves which are so soft that they droop. It is one of those varieties that can withstand being planted in the shade or in somewhat colder regions.

The word Alba actually means white but today there are many varieties of the species found in the white range between shades of light yellow, pink, light pink, white etc. Alba is a small rose family with only about 13 members to it.

Alba Roses - Characteristics

Alba RoseThe origin of the Alba is from a cross made between Rosa canina and Rosa damascena and thus is a hybrid variety of rose. The white flowers were the original Albas while the pink variety seems to be a recent development. They have a few distinguishing characteristics:

  1. Their foliage is unusual to come by and the foliage itself is sometimes enough to notice an Alba. The foliage can be lead grey-green or blue-green and are always matte, with the leaves often being serrated at the edges.
  2. The Alba can tolerate more shade than any other family of rose.
  3. Alba roses grow really high and are known primarily as tree roses. They are extremely healthy even when they are neglected or the soil is just not rich enough.
  4. Albas add delicious fragrance to the air that is fabulous and will compel you to give them some attention even if it's only for the smell.
  5. Albas flower at a later time than other roses and therefore provide grace to your garden even when other bloomers are waning away.

Alba Roses - Considerations

Christopher Brickell is of the view that all the rose types - Albas, Centifolias, Mosses, and most Damasks should be pruned. He had grouped these flowers together because they all have flowers which form on short lateral branches or even sub-lateral branches which are formed from the second or third year of planting the tree. All of these plants also produce basal shoots very frequently and very vigorously. Brickell suggests that the unripe or damaged shoots should be tipped off along with cutting off one-third of the basal growths. Cutting out on bland shoots, back laterals on flowered shoots is also something that Brickell highly recommends doing.

So go ahead and take good care of your Albas if you happen to have some or plan to get some because they are so beautiful that they have even been immortalized on canvas.