roseThis collection highlights plants that are beloved for their beauty and history. Roses have been hybridized for hundreds of years, derived from the native roses of Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and China. Other ornamental plants in this “English-style garden” include hollyhocks, foxgloves, petunias, and penstemons. Drifts of color change with the seasons and enhance the view of San Francisco. Plants in this garden are grouped according to rose classes.

The term “Old Roses” refers to hybrids developed prior to 1867. They were derived primarily from the Asian species Rosa chinensis, R. damascena, R. foetida, R. moschata, R. multiflora, R. odorata, R. rugosa, and R.wichuraiana. Hybridized extensively, the resulting forms are grouped into “classes,” including Centifolias, the favorite roses of the early Dutch painters; Damasks that are used in perfumes; Teas, Chinese roses that scented tea shipped to Europe; and Hybrid Perpetuals, popular in Victorian times.

Also found here are “modern” roses, which have wide appeal and illustrate their richness in current horticulture. These roses were developed after 1867 when a Hybrid Perpetual was crossed with a Tea. Subsequent hybrids bore larger flowers in more colors with multiple bloom cycles. Many popular modern roses are classed as Polyanthas, Hybrid Teas and Floribundas.

Roses have symbolic meaning in many different cultures. Economic uses include rose water, a flavoring in Middle Eastern cuisine, and teas made from rose hips, high in vitamin C.