Alba roses, also known as the White Rose of York, are a group of Old Garden roses that have been cultivated for centuries. They are thought to have originated in ancient Rome, and were later brought to England by the Romans. The name “Alba” comes from the Latin word for “white,” which describes the pure white or pale pink flowers that bloom in early summer.
Some of the most popular Alba rose varieties include ‘Alba Maxima’, ‘Mme Plantier’, and ‘Félicité Parmentier’, which were all introduced in the 19th century. The Alba rose is known for its hardiness and disease resistance, making it a popular choice for gardens in cooler climates.
One notable figure in the history of Alba roses is Jean-Baptiste André Guillot, a French horticulturist who is credited with developing the first repeat-flowering Alba rose in the mid-19th century. Another important figure is David Austin, who has introduced several popular Alba rose hybrids, such as ‘Alba Semiplena’, ‘Munstead Wood’, and ‘The Pilgrim’. You can read more about Alba rose hybrids in the Modern Shrub category.
Alba roses have received numerous awards over the years, including the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit. These beautiful and historic roses continue to be a popular choice for gardens and landscapes around the world.