Rosa Mundi is an amazing Gallica rose with a shady past!
Gallicas are the oldest of the garden roses, having been grown by the Greeks and Romans! Gallicas are spring blooming shrubs with wonderfully fragrant blooms of pink, red and even some purples.
Rosa Mundi is the earliest known stripped rose and dates back to the 1500s.
Legend has it that Rosa Mundi was named after Fair Rosa- mund, a mistress of Henry II, England’s monarch from 1154 to 1189. In The Book of Old Roses, Trevor Griffiths tells the story of their tragic affair. Henry was forced to marry a princess who, brooking no competition, is said to have murdered the lovely Rosamund. By Henry’s order, Rosamund was buried at Godstow Nunnery near Oxford, England, and each year on the anniversary of her death, he ordered her tomb to be decorated with masses of Rosa Mundi. -Virginia Kean / Historical Rose Society
I have 3 of these roses. She is a one-time bloomer that requires very little care … and let me tell you, she is a beautiful charmer! I can see why Henry chose her to adorn Rosamunde’s grave. 🙂