Bourbon Rose

The Bourbon rose is actually the name for a group of antique old garden roses that were first bred back in the 1800s. Find out more about them!

Bourbon Rose

The name does not refer to whiskey in this case! Rather, it was named for the island of Bourbon where they were first discovered, although this island is now called Reunion.

The Bourbon rose is a combination of a Chinese breed and damask roses. This resulted in a breed that had many of the great quality of both of those varieties. It had the great fragrance of the damask with the repeated blooming of the China breeds. This led to their popularity in the mid-1800s. They fell out of favor toward the end of the century, and very few new breeds have been created since then.

Today, they are grown mostly by old and antique rose growers. They are a tougher plant for a newbie to work with. They can be very susceptible to blackspot and diseases. They are rated for zones 5-10 but they are notoriously finicky, although many gardeners in the Pacific Northwest have had luck with them. They are commonly found as hedges but can be trained as climbers as well, as you can see in the picture below. They do have lovely blooms and a great scent though!

Bourbon roses

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