A Rose A Day: Reine des Violette

Reine des Violette is a lovely Hybrid Perpetual that dates back to 1860. Hybrid Perpetuals  were developed as hardy garden plants between 1840 and 1900, by crossing the Portland, Bourbon and Gallica roses and were mostly used as cut flowers in the days before hybrid teas.

The “Queen of Violettes” has double, quartered blooms that are amazingly fragrant. This year in my garden she started out deep pink and faded to  purple.  The color is so intense that it is hard to capture … especially when all you use is your iPhone! 🙂

I have 3 of these roses and find them oh so charming! The have that wild, old rose growth habit and multi-petaled, quartered blooms that I just love!




This year she is giving me a run for my money with Black Spot and Powdery Mildew. Just a little to damp out for her! Hey it’s been a little to damp out for me too! We’ll get through it.

The Lovely Reine des Violettes

I love Old Garden Roses and have had Reine des Violettes (Queen of Violets) on my wish list for several years. This beautiful rose was a favorite in the Victorian gardens, so of course I needed one!

The Victorians became as mad about these roses as the 17th century Dutch were about tulips, and created entire societies around the rose for the first time, focusing on exhibition and competition, which changed forever the way human beings look at roses. To read more, click here.

I hope I don’t become “mad about these roses” but it could happen. For now I am happy to say, here is my new little Queen. These pictures don’t do the blooms justice. At first I thought something was wrong because the buds seemed small but they just keep opening … every day this week there have been more petals. The rain this morning didn’t “dampen” her spirits at all. The last picture was taken after a hard rain today. She is tougher than she looks!

The Details…

  • Old Garden Rose: Hybrid Perpetual (from crossing Cortlands, Bourbons & Gallicas)
  • Introduced in 1860 in France
  • Blooms are doubled and quartered
  • This rose is almost thornless-which makes Mr. G very happy.
  • Very fragrant
  • Repeat bloomer
  • Mature size is 2-3′ wide X 4-5′ tall
  • Hard pruning in early spring is recommended.

Here she is…