Rosa damascena bifera. Ancient, precise age and origin unknown.
Also known as the Autumn Damask, or Four Seasons Damask, this rose is thought to be the original member of the remontant Damask group. Peter Beales and other authorities speculate that it is the result of a cross of R. gallica and R. moschata. Likely originated in the Middle East.
While this is certainly a fine shrub in its own right, it is a bit sprawly and unkempt for some peoples liking. The clear pink blooms come in flushes through the summer, although I have heard some reports that it can be hesitant to rebloom in all but spring and fall. Mine has produced four flushes of bloom this season, and is still a small shrub. The foliage is typical Damask, with soft, downy greyish green leaves which are reasonably disease resistant. It is supposedly very tolerant of pruning.
There are clear similarities to some of the earliest Hybrid Perpetuals, for example, 'Baronne Prévost'. Some of the Hybrid Perpetuals are reputed to be descended from R. damascena bifera.
merit rating: 8.2
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