Rose Types


Centifolias have a history that can be traced back thousands of years. The botanical name for these roses is centipetala and they are also known as 'Great Holland Rose', 'Cabbage Rose' and 'Rose des Peintres' amongst others. Records of a "hundred-petalled rose" are available that date back to 300 B.C. so it is generally inferred that R.centifolias are a kind of species rose that existed from that time. Strangely and interestingly enough, there has been no record of a centifolia growing in the wild, although there are a few reports of wild Centifolias from various sites in Europe and Asia. And it has also been discovered, thanks to the latest chromosomal investigations into roses, that these roses are likely the product of four separate kinds of roses: R.gallica, R.phoenicia, R.moschata and R.canina. The prevailing theory is that the Centifolia, as we know it today, was first cultivated in Holland somewhere during the 16th century.

CentifoliasThe Centifolias are really an extraordinary marvel of the evolutionary process as they have double blooms. Now these roses are rendered sterile because of the double blooms, because the extra petals are really stamens converted into petals. So initially, these sterile roses were sports, and the extensive breeding of these roses began only when a semi-double sport began.

When the rose begins to open, the flowers are cupped - their shape is perfect and their smell is heavenly. The shrub itself is very slender and forms an arch. The inner petals are small and often quartered or imbricated, and the function of the larger outer petals is to protect these delicate inner ones. The whole structure and many petals are arranged in such a manner, however, that it reminds us inevitably of a cabbage, but calling this lovely flower a "cabbage rose" certainly does seem a travesty.

Centifolias - Care

You have to take care of these roses, they are fragile, they need adequate nutrition, if possible they should be sprayed from time to time. They also need props for support, because the flowers are large and heavy and often the stems bend under the weight. The shrubs are capable of withstanding cold, the flowers mainly bloom in June and are very fragrant. The size of the flowers varies, as does the colour, from white to pink to purple.

'Pompom de Bourgone' is a miniature shrub that despite being a Centifolia does not conform to these rules. The shrubs are non-recurrent bloomers however. But they are very hardy, having survived through centuries. The larger shrubs produce flowers that are perfectly shaped, and the smaller ones also produce double blooms but the size of the blooms is in keeping with the size of the shrubs.

Centifolias - Perfumes

Often flower extracts are taken from these roses and used as perfumes. Rosa Centifolia Flower Extract or Cabbage Rose extract is a completely organic substance and is used for skin conditioning. This is a water based extract and does not contain oil. However, many women feel it works wonders for your skin. There is a slight variation depending on the variety of Centifolia used to create the extract due to the difference in the chemical properties between each. But overall the extracts contain tannin, which is known to help tone and tighten the skin.

The major differences in chemical properties between 'Rosa Damascena Otto' and 'Rosa Centifolia absolute' for example can be summed up in technical terms in this way: 44% less citronellol, 2,000% more phenyl ethanol, 35% less geraniol as well as nerol and 55% less stearpoten. But most women simply enjoy the lovely fragrance and the gentle toning properties of each without overt concern on these types of technical details!