Centifolia roses, also known as Cabbage roses or Provence roses, are a type of old garden rose that are famous for their exquisite fragrance and large, globular flowers with multiple layers of petals. They originated in the Netherlands and were later cultivated in France during the 16th century. The name “Centifolia” means “hundred leaves” and refers to the abundance of petals on each flower.
Centifolia roses are generally shrub-like in growth habit and reach an average height of 4 to 6 feet. They have gray-green foliage and produce blooms in shades of pink, red, and white, which are often striped or splashed with darker colors. The flowers bloom in early summer and have a sweet, musky fragrance that is highly prized in the perfume industry.
Some popular varieties of Centifolia roses include ‘Tour de Malakoff’, ‘Paul Ricault’, and ‘Fantin Latour’. In addition to their beauty and fragrance, Centifolia roses have also been recognized for their historical significance, with several varieties dating back to the 18th century. They have won numerous awards over the years, including the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.