Centifolias + Mosses
First developed by Dutch nurserymen in the late 16 th century Rosa Centifolia was said to have more than 100 petals and its rounded shape gave rise to its English name of the ‘Cabbage Rose’. In John Gerard’s Herball (London 1597), it is also described as ‘The Great Holland Rose’ and ‘The Province Rose’ (from Provence, France, where it was extensively grown). R. centifolia is a complex hybrid, believed to be derived, in the main, from Gallica and Damask parents.
17 th century English portrait painters were fond of including Centifolia roses in their portraits as symbols of the beauty of their noble female sitters. Towards the end of the 17 th century, a ‘sport’ from this rose appeared with interesting ‘mossy’ chracteristics and became known as R. muscosa. The flower stem, calyx and sepals are covered in small glandular structures that resemble moss, but smell of pine-leaves. A similar sport was discovered on the ‘Autumn Damask’ rose and became the ancestor of a new sub-race of roses called MOSS ROSES.