Apothecary’s Rose

Rosa gallica var. officinalis | Also known as: Old Red Damask, Crimson Damask Rose, Provence rose, Red rose of Lancaster, Rosa officinalis | Rating: 0 votes | Print / Pdf

Old Red Damask should be covering your face, not your garden.

It is only a modest-sized shrub, but there is no doubt Rosa gallica var. officinalis makes an impact everywhere it appears. Lush, dark green, deeply furrowed oval leaves create a real sense of character, while its large, round and usually dark pink, lightly scented flowers are scattered over the domed shrub in summer. Known as the Apothecary's Rose, it loves moist, well-drained soil, but requires full sun to maximize its floral impact. A climber, it can easily negotiate trellises or walls, bringing a touch of class to anywhere. Pruning in late winter and deadheading after flowering encourage greater floral displays.

Rate it:
Known dangers?
  • no
Height [m]
  • 1 - 1.2
Spread [m]
  • 1
Dominant flower colour
  • Red
Flower Fragrance
  • Yes, let it smell
Flowering seasons
  • Early spring
  • Mid spring
  • Late spring
  • Early summer
Foliage in spring
  • Green
Foliage in summer
  • Green
Foliage in Autumn
  • Green
Foliage in winter
  • Green
  • Yes, let it smell
Propagation methods
  • softwood cuttings
  • seed
  • budding
  • Hardwood cuttings
Growth habit
  • Climbing
  • Rounded
  • Acidic
  • Neutral
  • Alkaline
Hardiness zone
  • Z3-9
Heat zone
  • H9-1
Winter temperatures [°C]
  • -40 - -1
Heat days
  • 0 - 150
  • well-drained
  • well-drained but frequently watered
Soil type
  • sandy
  • Clay
  • chalky
  • loams
Sun requirements
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
  • Exposed
  • Sheltered
Standard category
  • Trees & shrubs
  • Shrubs
Grown for
  • Attractive Flowers
Creative category
  • Kid Approved
  • Fine fragrants
  • Colours
  • Show-offs
  • Neighbour repellant
  • For birds & bees
  • Roses & classics
  • Author's choice
Garden type
  • Cottage garden
  • City
Garden spaces
  • Specimen
  • Hedges and screens
  • Borders
Gardening expertise
  • intermediate
Time to reach full size
  • 2 to 5 years
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Rosa or rose is a genus that certainly doesn't need an introduction. Popular the world over, roses are prized for their beauty and are a symbol of love, especially on St Valentines Day. There are many species of rose, some grow as shrubs, others are climbers. They usually have sharp thorns and they have attractive flower heads, with velvety petals in a wide array of colours. Of course they are the ultimate cut flower and they're also grown for use in the perfume industry. Roses have featured widely in art and literature. Roses can be easy to grow but they do need pruning and they are often prone to pests.

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