A Garden of Pleasant Flowers pp. 412-421 (1629)
John Parkinson

Rosa. The Rose tree or bush.

THE great varietie of Roses is much to be admired, beeing more then is to bee seene in any other shrubby plant that I know, both for colour, forme and smell. I have to furnish this garden thirty sorts at the least, every one notably differing from the other, and all fit to be here entertained: for there are some other, that being wilde and of no beautie or smell, we forbeare, and leave to their wilde habitations. To distinguish them by their colours, as white, red, incarnate, and yellow, were a way that many might take, but I hold it not so convenient for divers respects: for so I should confound those of divers sorts one among another, and I should not keepe that methode which to me seemeth most conuenient, which is, to place and ranke euery kinde, whether single or double, one next unto the other, that so you may the better vnderstand their varieties and differences: I will therefore beginne with the most ancient, and knowne Roses to our Countrey, whether naturail or no I know not, but assumed by our precedent Kings of all others, to bee cognisances of their dignitie, the white Rose and the red, whom shall follow the damaske, of the finest sent, and most use of all the other sorts, and the rest in their order.

1. Anglica alba — English white Rose

The white Rose is of two kindes, the one more thicke and double then the other: The one riseth vp in some shadowie places, vnto eight or ten foote high, with a stocke of a great bignesse for a Rose. The other growing seldome higher then a Damaske Rose. Some doe iudge both these to be but one kinde, the diversitie happening by the ayre, or ground, or both. Both these Roses have somewhat smaller and whiter greene leaves then in many other Roses, five most usually set on a stalke, and more white underneath, as also a whiter greene barke, armed with sharpe thornes or prickles, whereby they are soone known from other Roses, although the one not so easily from the other: the flowers in the one are whitish, with an eye or shew of a blush, especially towards the ground or bottome of the flower, very thicke double, and close set together, and for the most part not opening it selfe so largely and fully as eyther the Red or Damaske Rose. The other more white, lesse thicke and double, and opening it selfe more, and some so little double as but of two or three rowes, that they might be held to be single, yet all of little or no smell at all. To describe you all the severall parts of the Rose, as the bud, the beards, the threds &c. were needlesse, they are so conversant in every ones hand, that I shall not neede but to touch the most speciall parts of the varieties of them, and leave a more exact relation of all things incident unto them, unto a generall worke.

2. Incarnata — Carnation Rose [Rosa belgica sive Vitrea]

The Carnation Rose is in most things like unto the lesser white rose, both for the growing of the stocke, and bigness of the flower, but that it is more spreade abroade when it is blown then the white is, and is of a pale blush colour all the flower throughout, of as small a sent as the white one is almost.

This kinde of Rose is not very great, but very thicke and double, and is very variable in the flowers, in that they will be so different one from another: some being paler then others, and some as it were blasted, which commeth not casually, but naturally to this rose: but the best flowers (whereof there will bee still some) will be of a bright pale murrey colour, neere unto the Velvet rose, but nothing so darke a colour.

3. Anglica rubra — English Red Rose.

The red Rose (which I call English, not only for the reason before expressed, but because cause (as I take it) this Rose is more frequent and used in England, then in other places) never groweth so high as the damaske Rose bush, but most usually abideth low, and shooteth forth many branches from the roote (and is but seldome suffered to grow up as the damaske Rose into standards) with a greene barke, thinner set with prickles, and larger and greener leaves on the upperside then in the white, yet with an eye of white upon them, five likewise most usually set upon a stalke, and grayish or whitish underneath. The Roses or Flowers doe very much vary, according to their site and abiding; for some are of an orient, red or deepe crimson colour, and very double (although never so double as the white) which when it is full blowne hath the largest leaves of any other Rose some of them againe are paler, tending somewhat to a damaske; and some are of so pale a red, as that it is rather of the colour of the canker Rose, yet all for the most part with larger leaves then the damaske, and with many more yellow threds in the middle the sent hereof is much better then in the white, but not comparable to the excellencie of the damaske Rose, yet this Rose being well dryed and well kept, will hold both colour and sent longer then the damaske, bee it never so well kept.

4. Rosa Damascena. The Damaske Rose.

The Damaske Rose bush is more usually noursed up to a competent height to stand alone, (which we call Standards) then any other Rose: the barke both of the stocke and branches, is not fully so greene as the red or white Rose: the leaves are greene with an eye of white upon them, so like unto the red Rose, that there is no great difference betweene  them, but that the leaves of the red Rose seeme to bee of a darker greene. The flowers are of a fine deepe blush colour, as all know, with some pale yellow threds in the middle, and are not so thicke and double as the white, nor being blowne, with so large and great leaves as the red, but of the most excellent sweet pleasant sent, far surpassing all other Roses or Flowers, being neyther heady nor too strong, nor stuffing or unpleasant sweet, as many other flowers.

5. Rosa Provincialis sive Hollandica Damascena
The great double Damaske Province or Holland Rose.

This Rose (that some call Centifolia Batavica incarnata) has its barke of a reddish or browne colour, whereby it is soone discerned from other Roses. The leaves likewise more reddish then in others, and somewhat larger, it vsually groweth very like the Damaske rose, and much to the same height: the flowers or roses are of the same deepe blush colour that the damaske roses are, or rather somewhat deeper, but much thicher, broader, and more double, or fuller of leaves by three parts almost, the outer leaves turning themselves backe, when the flower hath stood long blowne, the middle part it selfe (which in all other roses almost have some yellow threds in them to be seene) being folded hard with small leaves, without any yellow almost at all to be seene, the sent whereof commeth neerest unto the damaske rose, but yet is short of it by much, howsoever many doe thinke it as good as the damask, and to that end I have known some Gentlewomen have caused all their damaske stockes to bee grafted with province Roses, hoping to have as good water, and more store of them then of damask Roses; but in my opinion it is not of halfe so good a sent as the water of damaske Roses: let every one follow their own fancie.

6. Rosa Provincialis rubra.
The red Province Rose.

As the former was called incarnata, so this is called Batavica centifolia rubra, the difference being not very great: the stemme or stocke, and the branches also in this, seeming not to be so great but greener, the barke being not so red the leaves of the same largenesse with the former damaske Province. The flowers are not altogether so large, thicke and double, and of a little deeper damaske or blush colour, turning to a red Rose, but not comming neere the full colour of the best red Rose, of a sent not so sweete as the damaske Province, but comming neere the sent of the ordinary red rose, yet exceeding it. This rose is not so plentifull in bearing as the damaske Province.

7. Rosa Provincialis alba.
The white Province Rose.

It is said of divers, that there is a white Province Rose, whereof I am not oculatus testis, and therfore I dare not give it you for a certaintie, and indeed I have some doubt, that it is the greater and more double white rose, whereof I gave you the knowledge in the beginning: when I am my selfe better satisfied, I shall bee ready to satisfie others.

8. Rosa versicolor.
The party coloured Rose, of some Yorke and Lancaster.

This Rose in the forme and order of the growing, is neerest unto the ordinary damaske role, both for stemme, branch, leafe and flower: the difference consisting in this, that the flower (being of the same largenesse and doublenesse as the damask rose) hath the one halfe of it, sometimes of a pale whitish colour, and the other halfe, of a paler damaske colour then the ordinary; this happeneth so many times, and sometimes also the flower hath divers stripes, and markes in it, as one leafe white or striped with white, and the other halfe blush, or striped with blush, sometimes also all striped, or spotted over, and other times little or no stripes or markes at all, as nature lifteth to play with varieties, in this as in other flowers: yet this I have observed, that the longer it abideth blowen open in the fun, the paler and the fewer stripes, markes or spots will be seene in it: the smell whereof is of awcakc damaske rose lent.

9. Rosea Chrystallina.
The Chrystall Rose.

This Rose is very like unto the last described, both for stocke, branch and leafe: the flower hereof is not much different from it, being no great large or double Rose, but of a meane size, striped and marked with a deeper blush or red, upon the pale coloured leafe, that it seemeth in the marking and beauty thereof, to bee of as much delight as the Chrystall Gilloflower: this, even like the former, soone fadeth and passeth away, not yeelding any great store of flowers any yeare.

10. Rosa rubra humilis sive pumilio.
The dwarfe red Rose, or Gilloflower Rose.

This Rose groweth alwayes low and small, otherwise in most respects like unto the ordinary redde Rose, and with few or no thornes upon it: the Flowers or Roses are double, thicke, small and close, not so much spread open as the ordinary red, but somewhat like unto the first double white Rose before expressed; yet in some places I have seene them more layde open then these, as they grew in my garden, being so even at the toppes of the leaves, as if they had been clipt off with a paire of sheeres, and are not fully of so red a colour as the red Province Rose, and of as small or weak sent as the ordinary red Rose, or not so much.

11. Rosa Francafurtensis.
The Franckford Rose.

The young shootes of this Rose are covered with a pale purplish barke, set with a number of small prickes like haires, and the elder have but very few thornes: the flower or rose it selfe hath a very great bud or button under it, more then in any other rose, and is thicke and double as a red rose, but so strongly swelling in the bud, that many of them breake before they can be full blowen, and then they are of a pale red rose colour, that is, betweene a red and a damaske, with a very thicke broade and hard umbone of short yellow threds or thrumes in the middle, the huske of the flower having long ends, which are called the beards of the rose, which in all other are iagged in some of them, in this hath no iagge at all: the smell is neerest unto red Rose.

12. Rosa Hungarica. The Hungarian Rose.

The Hungarian Rose bath greene shootes slenderly set with prickes, and seldome groweth higher then ordinarily the red Rose doth; the stemme or stocke being much about that bigness: the flower or Rose is as great, thicke and double, as the ordinary red Rose, and of the same fashion, of a paler red colour, and beeing neerely looked upon is finely spotted with faint spots, as it were spreade over the red; the smell wherof is somewhat better then the smell of the ordinary red Rose of the best kinde.

13. Rosa Holoserica simplex & multiplex.
The Velvet Rose single and double.

The old stemme or stock of the velvet Rose is covered with a dark coloured barke, and the young shootes of a sad greene with very few or no thornes at all upon them: the leaves are of a ladder greene colour then in most forts of Roses, and very often seven on a stalke, many of the rest having but five: the Rose is eyther single or double: the single is a broade spread flower, sonsisting of five or sixe broade leaves with many yellow threds in the middle: the double bath two rowes of leaves, the one large, which are outermost, the other smaller within, of a very deepe red crimson colour like unto crimson velvet, with many yellow threds also in the middle., and yet for all the double rowe of leaves, these Roses stand but like single flowers: but there is another double kinde that is more double then this last, consisting oftentimes of sixteene leaves or more in a flower, and most of them of an equall bignesse, of the colour of the first single Rose of this kinde, or somewhat fresher; but all of them of a smaller sent then the ordinary red Rose.

14. Rosa sine spinis simplex & multiplex.
The Rose without thornes single and double.

The Rose without thornes bath divers greene smooth shootes, rising from the root, without any pricke or thorne at all upon them, eyther young or old: the leaves are not fully so large as of the red Rose: the flowers or Roses are not much bigger then those of the double Cinamon Rose, thicke set together and short, of a pale red Rose colour; with divers pale coloured veines through every leafe of the flower, which bath caused some to call it The marbled Rose, and is of a small sent, not fully equall to the red Rose. The single of this kinde differeth not in any other thing from the former, then in the doublenesse or singlenesse of the flowers, which in this are not half: so double, nor yet fully single, and are of a paler red colour.

I have heard likewise of a white Rose of this kinde, but I have seene none such as yet and therefore I can say no more thereof.

15. Rosa Cinamomea simplex & multiplex.
The Cinamon Rose single and double.

The single Cinamon Rose bath his shootes somewhat red, yet not so red as the double kinde, armed with great thornes, like almost unto the Eglantine bush, thereby showing, as well by the multiplicitie of his shootes, as the quicknesse and height of his (hooting, his wilde nature: On the stemme and branches stand winged leaves, sometimes seven or more together, which are small and greene, yet like unto other Roses. The Roses are single, of five leaves a peece, somewhat large, and of a pale red colour, like unto the double kinde, which is in shootes redder, and in all other things like unto the single, but bearing small, short, thicke and double Roles, somewhat like unto the Rose without thornes, but a little lesser, of a paler red colour at the end of the leaves, and somewhat redder and brighter toward the middle of them, with many yellow short thrumes; the small sent of Cinamon that is found in the flowers bath caused it to beare the name.

16. Rosa lutea simplex. The single yellow Rose.

This single yellow Rose is planted rather for variety then any other good use. It often groweth to a good height, his stemme being great and wooddy, with few or no prickes upon the old wood, but with a number of small prickes like haires, thicke set, upon the younger branches, of a darke colour somewhat reddish, the barke of the young shootes being of a sad greene reddish colour: the leaves of this Rose bush are smaller, rounder pointed, of a paler greene colour, yet finely snipt about the edges, and more in number, that is, seven or nine on a stalke or ribbe, then in any other Garden kinde, except the double of the fame kinde that followeth next the flower is a small single Rose, consisting of five leaves, not so large as the single Spanish Muske Rose, but somewhat bigger then the Eglantine or sweete Briar Rose, of a fine pale yellow colour, without any great sent at all while it is fresh, but a little more, yet [mall and weake when it is dryed.

17. Rosa lutea multiplex sive flore pleno.
The double yellow Rose.

The double yellow Rose is of great account, both for the rarity, and doublenesse of the flower, and had it sent to the rest, would of all other be of highest esteeme. The stemme or stocke, the young (hoots or branches, the small hairy prickes, and the small winged leaves, are in all parts like unto the former single kinde; the chiefest difference consisteth in the doublenesse of the flower or Rose, which is so thicke and double, that very often it breaketh out on one side or another, and but a few of them abiding whole and faire in our Countrey, the cause whereof wee doe imagine to bee the much moisture of our Countrey, and the time of flowring being subject to much raine and showers; many therefore doe either plant it against a wall, or other wayes defend it by covering: againe, it is so plentifull in young shootes or branches, as also in flowers at the toppe of every branch, which are small and weake for the most part, that they are notable to bring all the flowers to ripenesse and therefore most of them tall or wither away without comming to perfection (the remedy that many doe use for this inconvenience last recited is, that they nippe away most of the buds, ]caning but some few upon it, that so the vigour of the plant may be collected into a few flowers, whereby they may the better come to perfection, and yet even thus it is hardly effected) which are of a yellowish greene colour in the bud, and before they be blowne open, but then are of a faire yellow colour, very full of leaves, with many short haires rather then leaves in the middle, and having short, round, greene, smooth buttons, almost flat under them the flower being faire blowne open, doth scarce give place for largenesse, thicknesse, and doublenesse, unto the great Provence or Holland Rose. This Rose bush or plant is very tender with us here about London, and will require some more care and keeping then the single of this kinde, which is hardy enough; for I have loft many my selfe, and I know but a few about this towne that can nourse it up kindly, to beare or scarce to abide without perishing; but abideth well in every free aire of all or the most parts of this Kingdome: but (as I heare) not so well in the North.

18. Rosa Mochata simplex & multiplex.
The Muske Rose single and double.

The Muske Rose both single and double, riee up oftentimes to a very great height, that it overgroweth any arbour in a Garden, or being set by an house side, to bee ten or twelve foote high, or more, but more especially the single kinde, with many green farre spread branches, armed with a few sharpe great thornes, as the wilder forts of Roses are, whereof these are accounted to be kindes, having small darke greene leaves on them, not much bigger then the leaves of Eglantine: the flowers come forth at the toppes of the branches, many together a it were in an umbell or tuft, which for the most part doe flower all at a time, or not long one after another, every one standing on a pretty long stalke, and are of a pale whitish or creame colour, both the single and the double the single being small flowers, consisting of five leaves, with many yellow threads in the middle: and the double bearing more double flowers, as it they were once or twice more double then the single, with yellow thrummes also in the middle, both of them of a very sweete and pleasing smell, resembling Muske: some there be that have avouched, that the chiefest sent of these Roses consisteth not in the leaves, but in the threads of the flowers.

19. Rosa Moschata multiplex altera: alijs Damascena alba, vel verisimilior Cinamomea flore pleno albo.
The double white Damaske Muske Rose.

This other kinde of Muske Rose (which with some is called the white Damaske Muske, but more truely the double white Cinamon Rose) hath his stemme and branches also shorter then the former, but as greene: the leaves are somewhat larger, and of a whiter greene colour; the flowers also are somewhat larger then the former double kinde, but standing in umbels after the same manner, or somewhat thicker, and of the fame whitish colour, or a little whiter, and somewhat, although but a little, neare the smell of the other, but nothing so strong. This flowreth at the time of other Roses, or somewhat later, yet much before the former two forts of Muske Roses, which flower not untill the end of Summer, and in Autumne; both which things, that is, the time of the flowring, and the sent being both different, shew plainly it cannot be of' the tribe of Muske Roses.

20. Rosa Hipanica Moschata simplex. The Spanish Muske Rose.

This Spanish Rose riseth to the height of the Eglantine, and sometimes higher, with divers great greene branches, the leaves whereof are larger and greener then ofthe former kindes: the flowers are single Roses, consisting of five whiter leaves then in any of the former Muske Roses, and much larger, having sometimes an eye of a blush in the white, of a very sweete smell, comming nearest unto the last recited Muske Rose, as also for the time of the flowring.

21. Rosa Pomifera maior. The great Apple Rose.

The stemme or stocke of this Rose is great, covered with a darke grayish barke, but the younger branches are somewhat reddish, armed here and there with great and sharpe thornes, but nothing so great or plentifull as in the Eglantine, although it be a wilde kinde: the leaves are of a whitish greene colour, almofi like unto the first white Rose, and five alwaies set together, but seldome seven: the flowers are small and single, consisting of five leaves, without any sent, or very little, and little bigger then those of the Eglantine bush, and of the very same deepe blush colour, every one standing upon a rough or prickly button, bearded in the manner of other Roses, which when the flowers are fallen growe great, somewhat long and round, peare-fashion, bearing the beards on the tops of them; and being full ripe are very red, keeping the small prickles still on them, wherein are many white, hard, and roundish seedes, very like unto the feede of the Heppes or Eglantine berries, lying in a soft pulpe, like unto the Hawthorne berries or Hawes: the whole beauty of this plant consisteth more in the gracefull aspect of the red apples or fruit hanging upon the bushes, then in the flowers, or any other thing. It seemeth to be the same that Clusius calleth Rosa pumila but that with me it groweth much higher and greater then he saith his doth.

22. Rosa silvestris odora sive Eglenteria simplex.
The single Eglantine or sweete Briar bush.

The sweete Briar or Eglantine Rose is so well knowne, being not onely planted in Gardens, for the sweetenesse of the leaves, but growing wilde in many woods and hedges, that I thinke it loll time to describe it; for that all know it hath exceeding long greene shootes, armed with the cruellest sharpe and strong thornes, and thicker set then is in any Rose either wilde or tame the leaves are smaller then in most of those that are noursed up in Gardens, seven or nine most usually set together on a ribbe or stalke; very greene and sweete in smell, above the leaves of any other kinde of Rose: the flowers are small single blush Roses, of little or no sent at all, which turne into reddish berries, stuffed within with a dounie or flocky matter or substance, wherein doth lye white hard seede.

23. Rosa sylvestris odora sive Eglenteria flore duplici.
The double Eglantine.

The double Eglantine; is in all the places that I have seene it a grafted Rose, (but I doubt not, but that his originall was naturall, and that it may be made naturall againe, as divers other Roses are.) It groweth and spreadeth very well, and with a great head of branches, whereon stand such like leaves as arc in the single kinde, but a little larger, not smelling fully so sweete as it: the flowers are somewhat bigger then the single, but not much, having but one other rowe of leaves onely more then the former, which are smaller, and the outer leaves larger, but of the lame pale reddish purple colour, and smelleth somewhat better then the single.

24. Rosa semper virens. The ever greene Rose bush.

This Rose or bush is very like unto a wilde single Eglantine bush in many respects, having many very long greene branches, but more slender and weake, so that many times they bend downe againe, not able to sustaine themselves without some helpe, and armed with hooked thornes as other Roses be; the winged leaves consist of seven for the most part, whereof those two that are lowest and opposite, are smallest, the next two bigger then they, the third couple bigger then any of the rest belowe, and the end leafe biggest of all: this proportion generally it holdeth in every winged leafe through the whole plant, which at the first comming forth are somewhat reddish, with the young branch that shooteth out with them, but being full growne, are of a deepe greene colour, and somewhat shining, dented about the edges, and fall not away front the branches as other Roses doe, but abide thereon for the most part all the Winter: the flowers stand foure or five together at the tops of the branches, being single Roses, made of five leaves a peece, of a pure white colour, much larger then the ordinary Muske Rose, and of a fine sent, comming nearest thereunto, with many yellow chives or threads in the middle.

The Place.

Some of these Roses had their original], as is thought in England, as the first and second; for these dryed red Roses that come over to us from beyond the Seas, are not of the kinde of our red Rose, as may well be perceived by them that will compare our English dryed leaves with those. Some in Germany, Spaine, and Italy. Some againe in Turkie, as the double yellow Rose, which first was procured to be brought into England, by Master Nicholas Lete, a worthy Merchant of London, and a great lover of flowers, from Constantinople, which (as wee heare) was first brought thither from Syria; but perished quickly both with him, and with all other to whom hee imparted it; yet afterwards it was sent to Master Iohn de Franqueuille, a Merchant also of London, and a great lover of all rare plants, as well as flowers, from which is sprung the greatest store, that is now flourishing in this Kingdome.

The Time.

The Cinamon Rose is the earliest for the most part, which flowreth with us about the middle of May, and sometimes in the beginning. The ordinary Muske Roses both single and double flower latest, as is said. All the other flower much about one time, in the beginning of Iune, or thereabouts, and continue flowring all that moneth, and the next throughout for the most part, and the red untill August be halfe past.

The Names.

The severall names, whereby they are most commonly knowne unto vs in this Countrey, are expressed in their titles; but they are much differing from what they are called in other Countries neare unto us, which to compare, conferre, and agree together, were a worke of more pain es then use: But to proportion them unto the names set downe by Theophrastus, Pliny, and the rest of the ancient Authors, were a worke, wherein I might be sure not to escape without falling into errour, as I verily beleeve many others have done, that have undertaken to doe it: I will therefore for this worke desire that you will rest contented, with so much as hath already been delivered, and expect an exact definition and complete satisfaction by such a methodicall course as a generall History will require, to be performed by them that shall publish it.

The Vertues.

The Rose is of exceeding great use with us; for the Damaske Rose (besides the superexcellent sweete water it yeeldeth being distilled, or the perfume of the leaves being dryed, serving to fill sweete bags) serveth to cause solublenesse of the body, made into a Syrupe, or preserved with Sugar moist or dry candid. The Damaske Province Rose, is not onely for sent nearest of all other Roses unto the Damaske, but in the operation of solubility also. The red Rose hath many Physicall uses much more then any other, serving for many forts of compositions, both cordiall and cooling, both binding and loosing. The white Rose is much used for the cooling of heate in the eyes: divers doe make an excellent yellow colour of the iuyce of white Roses, wherein some Allome is dissolved, to paint or colour flowers or pictures, or any other such things. There is little use of any other sort of Roses; yet some affirme, that the Muskc Roses are as strong in operation to open or loosen the belly as the Damaske Rose or Province.

1. Rosa Damascena. The Damaske Rose. 2. Rosa Provincialis sive Hollandica. The great Province Rose. 3. Rosa Francafurtensis. The Franckford Rose. 4. Rosa rubra humilis. The dwarfe red Rosa. 5. Rosa Hungarica. The Hungarian Rose. 6. Rosa lutea multiplex. The great double yellow Rose. 1. Rosa sine spinis multiplex. The double Rose without thorns. 2. Rosa cinamomea flore pleno. The double Cinamon Rose. 3 Rosa Holoserica simplex. The single Velvet Rose. 4. Rosa Holoserica duplex. The double Velvet Rose. 5. Rosa Moschata multiplex. The double Muske Rose. 6. Rosa Moschata Hispanica simplex. The single Spanish Muske Rose. 7. Rosa Pomifera maior. The great Apple Rose. 9. Rosa silvestris sive Eglanteria duplex. The double Eglantine Rose.


Rose lists