Bourbon (B) / Climbing Bourbon (Cl B)
Bourbon roses are a group of roses that originated on the Île Bourbon, now called Réunion Island, in the Indian Ocean. They were first introduced to France in the early 19th century and quickly became popular due to their repeat-blooming nature, rich colors, and strong fragrances. The Bourbon roses are known for their hardiness, disease resistance, and adaptability to a wide range of climates.
One of the most famous breeders of Bourbon roses was Jacques. From the 1830s to the 1850s, he developed many new cultivars of Bourbon roses, including ‘Louise Odier’ and ‘Zéphirine Drouhin’, which remain popular today. Another important breeder of Bourbon roses was the Englishman Henry Bennett, who introduced several notable cultivars such as ‘Souvenir de la Malmaison’.
Climbing Bourbon roses are a subcategory of Bourbon roses and are prized for their vigorous growth, hardiness, and repeat-blooming nature. They can be trained to grow up trellises, walls, or pergolas, adding vertical interest to gardens. Some popular climbing Bourbon roses include ‘Climbing Souvenir de la Malmaison’, ‘Climbing Pinkie’, and ‘James Galway’.